The 5 Best Cities To Retire To In Iowa

When you’re sitting down and thinking about a state to retire to, chances are pretty good that Iowa isn’t one that pops up in your mind unless you live near it.  It’s pretty wide open land which when combined with it’s affordability makes it a decent choice.  However, the harsh winters are something to consider if you’re planning to retire to Iowa.   If are indeed thinking about Iowa as a retirement destination, then here are 5 of the best cities in Iowa to retire to.

Fort Madison

Best Cities To Retire To In Iowa - Iowa Retirement

Fort Madison is a popular small town river community in Iowa.   While the main attraction might be the river itself, it’s the small town family owned businesses that keep it running.   Fort Madison is a good choice for retirees interested in horses and rodeos.

The median home value is $94,125, making Fort Madison one of the most affordable cities in Iowa. Taxes are also very low in Fort Madison, at only 8.00%.



Best Cities To Retire To In Iowa - Retire To Cedar Rpaids

Set in the rolling hills of east-central Iowa, Marion, a suburb of Cedar Rapids, which has a population of roughly 38,000, is home to a thriving retail and commercial hub that caters to the residents and visitors alike.

In addition to its affordable cost of living, Marion offers a excellent healthcare system with no physician offices more than 25 minutes away. It also provides excellent access to multiple recreation areas along the Cedar River & Raccoon River, perfect for rest and relaxation.

Aside from healthcare, Marion has several noteworthy amenities within city limits including six locally-owned libraries as well as a full calendar of special events like fairs & festivals all year round. This provides plenty of opportunities to sightsee and find new things to do that will appeal regardless of age or interests.



Best Cities To Retire To In Iowa - Retire To Des Moines

Retirees enjoy exploring all of the museums in Burlington, such as the American Museum of Natural History or the Des Moines Art Center. There are also several local parks like Crapo Park, which is a perfect spot to take a walk or bike ride through some scenic trails and pathways.

If shopping is top on your list, you can take advantage of all the great shopping destinations in Burlington such as South Hill Mall and Burlington Town Square Mall. You’ll also find plenty of affordable dining spots including family-friendly cafés and pubs that serve up delicious meals at reasonable prices.

The mild climate also adds to Burlington’s retirement appeal as it experiences hot summers and relatively mild winters with some snowfall. Furthermore, you’ll find plenty of reputable health care providers throughout Burlington with easy access to a plethora of specialties such as preventive care, orthopedic surgery, cardiac care and more.

A fast commute into Des Moines via Highway 34 only adds to its convenience, making it easier for seniors to access all their necessities quickly – from groceries to restaurants—without too much hassle. All in all, if you’re looking for a comfortable place to retire in Iowa where you can get excellent health care services at an affordable price point then look no further than Burlington!


Located in central Iowa near the rivers of Lucas and Story county, this town is rich in culture and offers plenty of things for retirees to take part in.

The cost of living in Ames is very affordable and it has a low crime rate compared to surrounding areas so retirees can feel safe. In addition to that, access to healthcare from quality physicians and providers makes it easy for seniors to maintain their well-being.

At the same time, one of the biggest draws for retirees looking at Ames as a retirement destination is the range of things to do. The local community offers plenty of entertainment opportunities with shops, restaurants and parks for people to explore. One popular attraction is Reiman Gardens located on Iowa State University’s campus – one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. There are also many special Citizen’s Engagement classes aimed specifically at those over 55.

Cedar Rapids

Best Cities To Retire To In Iowa - Retire To Iowa

Cedar Rapids is quickly becoming one of the best cities to retire to in Iowa. Located on the breathtaking Cedar River, this city has numerous features that make it ideal for retirees. The cost of living in Cedar Rapids is moderate to low and you’ll find a variety of housing options at a range of prices. The health care options are excellent and there are several hospitals, clinics and specialists in the area.

When it comes to things to do, Cedar Rapids offers a little bit of something for everyone. Cultural outlets like galleries, theaters, museums and more will keep your mind stimulated, while outdoor forays into nature can keep you physically fit if you enjoy hiking or biking around Lake McBride or visiting Squaw Creek Park or Taylor Park Trail. Or take up golfing on the Nine Eagles Golf Course or visit the Indian Creek Nature Center! There are plenty of activities year-round so you won’t get bored here!

While these are our choices for the 5 best cities in Iowa to retire to you, you can find many great options in the suburbs of Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.   What’s your favorite?