It’s natural to desire a different environment for varying stages of life, and choosing where to retire can be a life-changing decision. While living in the busy streets of New York real estate may be great as a working professional, you may want to settle down somewhere a bit less crowded later in life. While you could look at our list of best states to retire to, you’d be left having to sift through the cities. So we have compiled a list of the top retirement cities in the U.S. to help guide your decision. Based on criteria such as property taxes, weather, accessibility, and medical care, here are six of the best cities to retire to in the United States.
1. Phoenix, AZ
A large city with several smaller suburbs surrounding it, Phoenix provides plenty to do while offering a relaxed pace of life. Residents of Phoenix real estate primarily own their homes, and they love being settled in a community that offers everything from stunning golf courses to diverse cuisine and breathtaking parks.
Phoenix is one of the best cities to retire to in the United States because it is in Arizona, which charges no social security income tax. Arizona is such a popular retirement destination, you’ll find 4 Del Webb Communities there. In addition, Arizona doesn’t place a state tax on groceries, and Phoenix is one of the 20 Arizona cities that doesn’t place city taxes on groceries either, so that’s more cash in your pocket to spend your retirement years doing what you love. Complete with a number of resort-style retirement communities, top-rated hospitals like Mayo Clinic and Banner Medical System, and the cost of living right around the national average, Phoenix could be your ultimate retirement dreamscape.
Top Reasons to Retire to Phoenix:
- No social security income tax in Arizona
- Warm weather
- No state grocery tax
2. Clearwater, FL
Many people have big dreams of retiring in Florida, and Clearwater, Florida, makes that dream possible. Aside from enchanting, sandy beaches, Clearwater offers a number of boating, fishing, and sailing opportunities, unique restaurants, and a charming downtown area. Unlike tourist-centered beaches like Panama City or Miami Beach, Clearwater real estate is situated within a slow-paced and spread out community. Here, you can spend your retirement along the coastline without worrying about other residents or visitors being right on top of you.
Particularly, Clearwater is one of the best retirement cities in the U.S. because its cost of living is around 5.4% lower than the national average, and the cost of healthcare is about 20% lower than average. Real estate in Clearwater is also a huge draw for retirees, as homes for sale in Clearwater are generally single-story houses that are easy to manage and maneuver. In addition, housing costs in Clearwater are 18% lower than the national average. Pair these low living costs with Clearwater’s wide range of amenities, warm beach views, and close access to retirement communities and healthcare facilities, and you could have your ideal life for retirement.
Top Reasons to Retire to Clearwater:
- Low cost of living
- Accessible, beachside real estate
- Affordable healthcare
3. Lancaster, PA
For wide open spaces and views of vast farmland, look no further than Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for retirement. Each property in Lancaster real estate provides your very own piece of the Amish countryside, with close-knit communities and several quaint cottages peppered throughout the city. While Lancaster provides you with plenty of room to spread out, it certainly isn’t isolated. You’ll also find a wide variety of small shops, family-style restaurants, and charming boutiques in Lancaster, providing a slight urban break from life on the farm.
The state of Pennsylvania is a popular destination for retirement because the state provides so many tax breaks. Lancaster residents don’t have to worry about state taxes on their retirement income (including 401Ks, social security, IRAs, or pensions), medications, groceries, clothing, or residential heating fuel. Lancaster is also close enough to big cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh but far enough to not feel cramped, so you can truly retire in the best of both worlds here.
Top Reasons to Retire to Lancaster:
- Pennsylvania tax breaks on retirement income, groceries, medications, clothing, and residential heating fuel.
- The relaxed pace of life
- Central location
4. Sarasota, FL
When it comes to the best cities to retire to in the U.S, you shouldn’t overlook the award-winning beaches of Sarasota. Sarasota is situated on Florida’s southwest coast and offers much more than just white-sand beaches; you’ll find biking and walking trails, 5-star golf courses, community events, and waterfront parks here. Homes for sale in Sarasota, FL, are perfect for anyone hoping to retire in a sunny, active community.
One of the statistics that make Sarasota stand out is that over 40% of the population is 60 or older, which means Sarasota provides ample opportunity for residents to socialize and have support, no matter the season of life. The cost of living is one of the major aspects that keep retirees coming to the area, with no income tax in the state of Florida.
Top Reasons to Retire to Sarasota:
- No state income tax
- Sunny climate
- High retiree population
5. Savannah, GA
A historic city with endless amenities and activities and a relaxed atmosphere, Savannah is one of the most idyllic places to retire in the U.S. With unique homes dating back to the 1800s, stunning Spanish moss trees lining the streets, and a 30-minute drive to the beach, there are several reasons to relocate to Savannah. This graceful river city will allow you to bike or stroll to a quaint breakfast spot before spending a warm day on the beaches of Tybee Island or strolling down River Street with some world-famous pralines in your hand.
Real estate in Savannah is one of the prime reasons people retire there, as the median home price in Savannah is 31% below the national median. The more historic homes inside Savannah’s downtown district may cost a bit more than average, but as you move to the streets directly outside of downtown, you’ll find more recently built houses with a smaller price tag. In addition to affordable housing, Savannah offers a bikeable and walkable environment, no estate tax, and a moderate climate that never breaches too hot or too cold.
Top Reasons to Retire to Savannah:
- Affordable housing
- No estate tax
- Easy to get around on foot or bike
6. Ann Arbor, MI
Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor isn’t what you would normally think of a college town. Ann Arbor is a truly midwest city that offers the best in urban living with a moderate pace of life. Boasting four distinct seasons, a world-class healthcare sector, and a diverse array of activities, Ann Arbor has not only been named one of the best cities to retire to in the U.S. but also one of the best places to live in general. It’s easy to stay active in Ann Arbor, as the city is stocked with several parks and trails, including the Border-to-Border Trail, which is ADA-accessible and spans across 35 miles of Washtenaw County.
The University of Michigan Hospitals – Michigan Medicine is ranked as one of the country’s best hospitals and is a close drive from most Ann Arbor real estate. Not only does this provide peace of mind for those who need frequent care, but it also means that innovation and new research in the healthcare industry are constantly moving forward to provide the most efficient care methods.
Top Reasons to Retire to Ann Arbor:
- Excellent healthcare
- One of the top cities to live in the U.S.
- ADA-Accessible trail
The Best Cities to Retire to in the U.S.
We hope this list provided a great jumping-off point for your retirement real estate search. Deciding where to retire can be an altogether exciting and overwhelming task, so if you’re still hesitant, reach out to a local real estate agent to help ease any anxieties. With cities like these, you’ll be settled in and enjoying retirement in no time!