For most people in the working world, retirement is an oft thought of dream. For some, it’s years away and those dreams are nothing more than fantasies. For others, it’s close at hand, and those dreams become much more practical. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, having a retirement destination in mind is one key to ensuring that you have a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.
To that end, Stacker has rounded up the best place to retire in every state in 2019. The rankings include towns, cities, and neighborhoods of various sizes, and all have earned their appeal based on a number of factors, including weather, crime, tax rates, housing costs, and access to amenities. Niche, which compiled the initial report, used federal and local government data sets from several sources, including the U.S. Census, FBI, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as its own proprietary data and community reviews.
An additional note: According to Niche the national average for median home value is $184,700, the median rent is $949, and the median household income is $55,322. All comparisons for above and below national averages are given accordingly.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere sunny and warm like Sun City, Arizona; quiet and remote, like St. Maries, Idaho; or near a big city, like Winchester, Nevada, you’re sure to find a place on this list to suit your perfect retirement fantasies—or realities.
Read on to find out the best place to retire in every state.
Population: 5,791 (17% age 55–64, 28% age 65+)
Median household income: $59,523 (13% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $248,200 median home value (64% homeowners), $836 median rent (36% renters)
Orange Beach, Alabama, sits next to the Florida border, sharing in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Once a small fishing hamlet, Orange Beach now boasts 6,000 year-round residents, with numbers climbing higher in the summer when tourism is heavy. Fifty percent of residents are 45 or older, which combined with tax breaks for retirees, a year-round warm climate, and a heavy focus on arts and community make this a great place to spend your golden years.
Population: 4,471 (17% age 55–64, 14% age 65+)
Median household income: $67,434 (7% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $223,000 median home value (60% homeowners), $1,019 median rent (40% renters)
Warmer climates aren’t for everyone. Retirees looking for a cooler place to settle down might consider heading to Soldotna, on Alaska’s southern coast. Boasting some of Alaska’s most sought-after outdoor recreation sites, including the famous Kenai River, there are miles of trails to hike and acres of rivers to fish. The Kenai Peninsula College campus of the University of Alaska also offers a tuition waiver for senior citizens, making this an attractive place for those looking to learn something new.
Population: 39,363 (17% age 55–64, 74% age 65+)
Median household income: $37,059 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $119,400 median home value (81% homeowners), $986 median rent (19% renters)
The “original 55+ community,” Sun City, Arizona, has long been the #1 retirement destination for those starting a new chapter in their lives. An intentionally planned community for those 55 and older, Sun City was started in 1960 and now offers practically everything a retiree could ask for. There are hundreds of social groups in the community that meet to do everything from ballroom dancing to discussing books to scenic Sedona hiking. There is also an almost unlimited variety of shopping and dining options, as well as easy access to medical offices and community centers—all of which can be reached by the legendary golf cart roads.
Population: 4,669 (5% age 55–64, 36% age 65+)
Median household income: $33,710 (0% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $76,600 median home value (81% homeowners), $686 median rent (19% renters)
Prefer a quieter and more isolated retirement? Cherokee Village in Arkansas’ Ozark Forest might be just the place. A 15,000-acre retirement community, Cherokee Village has two 18-hole golf courses, a half-dozen swimming pools and lakes, a private beach, nature trails, fitness centers, and several community centers that service over 100 clubs and 24 churches. Cherokee Village is also an ideal retirement location for those on a more stringent budget.
Population: 5,602 (18% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $140,690 (46% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $805,200 median home value (86% homeowners), $1,994 median rent (14% renters)
Some retirees prefer not to be totally surrounded by other retirees. For those looking for a more balanced community, Kensington, California, across the bay from San Francisco in the Berkeley Hills, is just the place. A 30-minute drive from the heart of San Francisco, Kensington, is home to many retirees, but also hosts two school districts attracting a large number of younger families. While Kensington is by no means cheap, the crime rate is well below the national average and the urban feel is worth the cost to many who can afford it.
Population: 2,684 (16% age 55–64, 22% age 65+)
Median household income: $108,500 (33% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $342,100 median home value (91% homeowners), $1,784 median rent (9% renters)
At the base of the Rocky Mountains, Holly Hills, Colorado, sits just outside of Denver. The 2,684-population town has a median age of 45, endless outdoor adventure opportunities, and easy access to one of the biggest performing arts complexes in the country.
Population: 6,594 (18% age 55–64, 30% age 65+)
Median household income: $89,950 (25% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $363,600 median home value (75% homeowners), $1,165 median rent (25% renters)
For avid boaters and bird watchers, Essex, Connecticut, is the ideal retirement location. A ship-building town that dates back to the 1600s, Essex is right on the Connecticut River and still feels like a bustling maritime city. With a bald eagle festival every February—the stunning birds nest here during the winter months—and a lively community theater scene, Essex has a lot going on to keep retirees busy and active.
Population: 1,119 (28% age 55–64, 50% age 65+)
Median household income: $82,941 (30% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $842,800 median home value (82% homeowners), $1,008 median rent (18% renters)
Rehoboth Beach proper is about a square mile with just over 1,000 full-time residents. While this can make housing pricey, the small size is a huge draw for retirees. The town’s median age is 57, and the over-65 population is expected to grow by 75% over the next 25 years. The close proximity to the beach, the ability to walk everywhere, and the small-town feel that’s amplified by the almost-constant stream of community events are all cited as retirees’ most-loved factors.
Population: 5,011 (17% age 55–64, 32% age 65+)
Median household income: $74,268 (15% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $203,300 median home value (89% homeowners), $1,090 median rent (11% renters)
Living in Whiskey Creek, Florida, is far from cheap—homes here, on average, are more expensive than 65% of other neighborhoods in Florida—but that doesn’t seem to deter hundreds of new retirees from flocking here each year. Low crime rates, warm weather, a variety of housing options, and a huge consolidation of college-educated senior citizens are all attractive factors for the newly retired, making Whiskey Creek the best place for retirement in all of Florida.
Population: 3,095 (18% age 55–64, 19% age 65+)
Median household income: $100,871 (27% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $300,200 median home value (87% homeowners), $1,146 median rent (13% renters)
Founded in 1924, Avondale Estates, Georgia, was originally intended to be a self-contained community with its own businesses, schools, parks, lakes, and pools. Home to the state’s longest-running professional theater, Academy Theatre, Avondale Estates places a huge emphasis on the arts—there are festivals held here year-round, including a Steam Punk Festival, an Art-B-Que, and a Holiday Market. This is an ideal retirement spot for those determined to invest more in art and community during their golden years.
Population: 2,124 (15% age 55–64, 26% age 65+)
Median household income: $134,792 (43% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $932,400 median home value (89% homeowners), $1,955 median rent (11% renters)
Located on the island of Oahu, Maunawili has been called "the best place to live in Hawaii.” Just north of Honolulu, this small town is hemmed in by Kawainui Marsh and Kailua Beach Park, and gives residents prime access to the outdoors. And while homes are expensive here, almost all of them come with amenities like private swimming pools, tennis courts, and luxurious gardens.
Population: 2,323 (16% age 55–64, 22% age 65+)
Median household income: $40,817 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $137,100 median home value (63% homeowners), $571 median rent (37% renters)
With a cost of living well below the national average, the small mountain town of St. Maries, Idaho, is a hidden gem of a retirement location. Nestled in Northern Idaho, there is plenty of access to the outdoors, and there are tons of volunteer opportunities, weekly senior citizen lunches, and bustling crafts and art clubs. This would be the perfect choice for those who love to split their time among salmon fishing, trail hiking, and engaging in a close-knit community of local artists.
Population: 1,625 (18% age 55–64, 31% age 65+)
Median household income: $95,417 (30% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $202,100 median home value (93% homeowners), $979 median rent (7% renters)
Leland Grove is a small suburb just outside Springfield, Illinois. The 1,600-person city places a huge focus on its close association with President Abraham Lincoln. With many tourist attractions in and near Leland Grove, including Lincoln’s home, a Lincoln museum and various historical sites, Leland Grove is the perfect retirement location for a small-town history buff.
Population: 1,762 (15% age 55–64, 17% age 65+)
Median household income: $141,563 (46% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $439,400 median home value (92% homeowners), $1,750 median rent (8% renters)
Measuring 2 square miles, Meridian Hills is a small neighborhood just north of Indianapolis. With easy access to a network of hiking trails, a prominent country club, and a boisterous historical society, this low-crime, middle-income town is great for those looking for some variety in their retirement lives.
Population: 3,786 (17% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $41,399 (6% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $89,600 median home value (75% homeowners), $507 median rent (25% renters)
Love a small-town, old-school atmosphere? Retire in Waukon, Iowa. Centered around a 46-acre park, and only 15 miles from the Mississippi River, Waukon has one library, a handful of churches, and a post office with a staff of two. Spend your golden years here, where everyone really will know your name.
Population: 2,439 (15% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $35,381 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $51,500 median home value (68% homeowners), $489 median rent (32% renters)
Eureka, Kansas, located in the Flint Hills, is primarily a farming town. Housing is cheap, rolling plains abound, and Lake Eureka is the city’s largest communal point. A fantastic retirement location for those who’ve spent their earlier years in farming communities, or those who always wished they had.
Population: 2,203 (18% age 55–64, 31% age 65+)
Median household income: $88,558 (21% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $241,300 median home value (96% homeowners), $1,967 median rent (4% renters)
Windy Hills, Kentucky, is a city of historic homes, with property deeds that can be traced to the time of the Virginia Settlement and homesteads that date to the early pioneers. The homes, some of which were built in the late 1700s, are the focal point of the community and a major attraction for history buffs of all ages. But the city also offers fun events, like an Arbor Day celebration (Windy Hills is a designated Tree City), a Fourth of July celebration, and a rousing Christmas festival.
Population: 3,103 (11% age 55–64, 16% age 65+)
Median household income: $91,288 (18% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $241,900 median home value (64% homeowners), $1,202 median rent (36% renters)
Westminster is a suburb of Louisiana’s capital, Baton Rouge, which offers everything a retiree could want—shopping, dining, museums, concerts, and sporting events. Westminster is both quieter and safer than downtown Baton Rouge, with slightly cheaper housing and just enough of a separation from the daily hustle and bustle that one’s retirement can actually feel relaxing.
Population: 3,352 (14% age 55–64, 24% age 65+)
Median household income: $72,679 (9% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $285,200 median home value (84% homeowners), $1,014 median rent (16% renters)
Rockport, Maine, is a tiny coastal village sandwiched between the better-known towns of Rockland and Camden, and has been named "one of America’s prettiest towns.” The home of all of the stone used in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and Andre the Seal, Rockport is filled with little bits of trivia and American history. With lots of boating, plenty of parks, a thriving artists’ community, and even a full-fledged farm, Rockport is a great place for a peaceful retirement.
Population: 2,030 (18% age 55–64, 22% age 65+)
Median household income: $250,001 (80% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $1,608,300 median home value (95% homeowners), $3,375 median rent (5% renters)
Celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2018, Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. With a median household income of $250,000, the city offers everything money can (or can’t) buy—a private, members-only country club, designer shopping, five-star dining, and little crime. Chevy Chase is a great retirement city for those looking to live the rest of their lives in luxury.
Population: 2,021 (10% age 55–64, 27% age 65+)
Median household income: $121,806 (22% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $540,100 median home value (97% homeowners), $1,125 median rent (3% renters)
West Falmouth is a smaller village within the popular retirement community of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Located near the bottom of Cape Cod, West Falmouth is a picturesque destination with an economy that’s driven almost entirely by tourism (Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Provincetown are all close by, the first two by ferry). Art, antiquing, museum-hopping, and park-wandering are often cited as the village’s most popular activities.
Population: 2,933 (20% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $151,440 (52% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $431,200 median home value (94% homeowners), $2,550 median rent (6% renters)
The smallest of the five Grosse Pointe communities, Grosse Pointe Shores has sweeping views of Lake St. Claire. Located a few miles north of Detroit, the village was originally a summer resort for the Detroit elite, but today is a family-friendly residential destination. Zoned entirely for single-family households, you won’t find apartment buildings or many businesses here. However, the hamlet does boast a symphony, a community theater, a war memorial, a yacht club, and an 8.6-acre park for residents only.
Population: 2,612 (15% age 55–64, 28% age 65+)
Median household income: $49,728 (6% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $164,300 median home value (50% homeowners), $883 median rent (50% renters)
Osseo, Minnesota, was incorporated as a city in 1875 and is a part of the only "special park district” in the state. With a bustling main street, a colorful farmer’s market and a commitment to green and sustainable living, Osseo is great for those looking to live as organically as possible well into their retirements.
Population: 1,883 (24% age 55–64, 31% age 65+)
Median household income: $73,917 (8% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $159,800 median home value (87% homeowners), Suburban median rent (13% renters)
Hide-A-Way Lake is a private, gated community in Mississippi. With 24-hour security, a full-service restaurant, tennis courts, a pool, miles of walking paths, stables, a library, a golf course, and a marina, residents truly never have to leave if they don’t want to. And with almost a dozen social clubs and a community lodge, there is always something to do and someone to do it with.
Population: 11,001 (17% age 55–64, 26% age 65+)
Median household income: $156,899 (53% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $659,700 median home value (89% homeowners), $1,045 median rent (11% renters)
Town and Country is an exclusive and affluent community in Missouri. Established as a village in the 1950s, Town and Country is home to some of the best private schools in the United States, thousands of one-acre lots, and hundreds of mega-mansions. For those with more padded pockets, Town and Country is an attractive place to retire; while it lacks shopping and dining, it’s quiet, uniform and safe.
Population: 3,363 (13% age 55–64, 21% age 65+)
Median household income: $53,235 (5% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $151,600 median home value (64% homeowners), $506 median rent (36% renters)
Established in the late 1800s as a railroad town, Glasgow, Montana, is a quaint little prairie town on the edge of a massive wildlife refuge. Elk, mule deer, red foxes, and coyotes call Glasgow home, as well as many retirees. If you’re looking for more space in your retirement location, Glasgow is the place to go—many of the homes here are built on lots that are several acres.
Population: 3,664 (15% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $46,250 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $106,100 median home value (67% homeowners), $588 median rent (33% renters)
O’Neill has been dubbed "Nebraska’s Irish Capital,” and it is home to one of the country’s largest St. Patrick’s Day festivals each year. Irish culture is a huge part of the town’s history and identity today, and those whose blood runs green would do well to retire here.
Population: 27,986 (13% age 55–64, 14% age 65+)
Median household income: $38,352 (6% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $128,300 median home value (37% homeowners), $819 median rent (63% renters)
As of early 2019, Winchester, Nevada, was an unincorporated township of Las Vegas, Nevada. Essentially this means that Winchester is more of a neighborhood than a town in its own right. Retirees choosing to live in Winchester will still be paying Las Vegas city taxes, but they also get unfettered access to all downtown Las Vegas has to offer. In particular, the hotels, casinos and shows that dot the strip, a section of which runs straight through Winchester.
Population: 7,103 (18% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $63,125 (13% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $240,600 median home value (87% homeowners), $1,018 median rent (13% renters)
Gilford, New Hampshire, sits in the lakes region next to Lake Winnipesaukee. With an adventurous community of cross-country and alpine skiers, Gilford is a winter sports lover’s heaven. There’s also plenty to do in warmer weather—the town is practically encircled by state parks with hiking trails, fishing ponds, and marinas. Kimball Castle, one of the few castle ruins in the United States, is also located in Gilford.
Population: 1,166 (16% age 55–64, 44% age 65+)
Median household income: $77,083 (23% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $658,400 median home value (83% homeowners), $1,021 median rent (17% renters)
The New Jersey coast is a popular tourist destination in the summer, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the expansive beaches, crowded boardwalks, and sky-high hotels. This sort of seasonal influx tends to make the New Jersey coast less attractive for retirees, many of whom prefer a quieter life. But Surf City, New Jersey, offers the best of both worlds. There’s no boardwalk in the region (meaning fewer tourists), but there are plenty of pristine and naturally beautiful beaches—perfect for an early morning stroll or late afternoon sunbathing.
Population: 1,515 (23% age 55–64, 43% age 65+)
Median household income: $36,207 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $122,800 median home value (84% homeowners), $816 median rent (16% renters)
Hailed as "the diamond in the desert,” Elephant Butte offers almost everything you could want in life. It’s home to the largest lake in New Mexico, a Top 10-rated golf course, community events from an annual chili cook-off to a floating parade of lights, miles of trails, tons of luxury spas, and deep-rooted history, while still remaining a quiet city with a closely knit community.
Population: 3,084 (12% age 55–64, 31% age 65+)
Median household income: $179,531 (56% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $1,150,500 median home value (97% homeowners), $3,501 median rent (3% renters)
Sixteen miles from the heart of Manhattan, Lake Success seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. One of nine villages that make up the Great Neck region, Lake Success is largely residential (although it is home to two golf courses), and was once the home of the United Nations. In typical New York fashion, living here is expensive, but it offers a great solution for retirees who don’t want to be far from the city but who’d still prefer a little more peace and quiet.
Population: 1,420 (21% age 55–64, 42% age 65+)
Median household income: $69,688 (15% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $372,400 median home value (87% homeowners), $1,053 median rent (13% renters)
On the stunning outer banks of North Carolina, one of the top beach destinations for tourists on the East Coast is the sleepy town of Pine Knoll Shores. Now home to one of the only remaining maritime forests in the outer banks, living in Pine Knoll Shores feels like a year-round vacation with miles of beaches to enjoy. The town also supports and welcomes members of the military, hosting several annual fundraising events each year for veterans and service members.
Population: 6,615 (13% age 55–64, 23% age 65+)
Median household income: $52,176 (9% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $89,800 median home value (57% homeowners), $658 median rent (43% renters)
Valley City, North Dakota, has been named "the most beautiful city” in the state, and for good reason. Located in the Sheyenne River Valley, this scenic town has tons to enjoy outdoors and a colorful Native American history.
Population: 7,082 (16% age 55–64, 18% age 65+)
Median household income: $76,576 (16% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $160,200 median home value (86% homeowners), $988 median rent (14% renters)
One of only four cities in Ohio to not levy a local income tax, Bellbrook places a lower-than-normal tax burden on its retirees. It’s also metropolitan, safe, and home to dozens of community organizations, such as a garden club, a Lions Club, and a historical society, offering retirees plenty to do with their free time.
Population: 3,864 (17% age 55–64, 19% age 65+)
Median household income: $123,098 (42% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $636,800 median home value (80% homeowners), $918 median rent (20% renters)
A planned community not far from Oklahoma City, Nichols Hills began as a residential area designed for families. Intended by its founder to foster a slower pace of life, Nichols Hills still feels that way today. The town places a huge emphasis on beauty and community and is welcoming to all who share in that common desire.
Population: 2,311 (22% age 55–64, 23% age 65+)
Median household income: $45,042 (4% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $174,900 median home value (66% homeowners), $751 median rent (34% renters)
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean, the Siskiyou Mountains, and the Rogue River, Gold Beach, Oregon, has the "perfect blend of solitude and adventure.” There are tons of beaches, stunning mountain hikes, windsurfing alcoves, salmon rivers, and untouched forests all brimming with ways to fill your day. Retirees can pick up new hobbies like bird watching and clamming before retreating to their beach houses to enjoy their 360-degree views.
Population: 1,952 (16% age 55–64, 25% age 65+)
Median household income: $45,636 (9% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $102,600 median home value (85% homeowners), $524 median rent (15% renters)
With a quarter of its residents over the age of 65, North Warren, Pennsylvania, is a perfect place for retirees. It’s also the perfect place to "Go Wild!” The city’s initiative urges residents to stay healthy and adventurous by heading outside to enjoy the acres of forests and miles of waterways that lie within the town’s boundaries. Aside from the usual outdoor activities, North Warren also offers outdoor theater, music performances, and First Fridays year-round.
Population: 5,462 (21% age 55–64, 22% age 65+)
Median household income: $101,448 (27% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $563,900 median home value (84% homeowners), $1,708 median rent (16% renters)
Have you ever dreamed of living in a town with one of those picturesque lighthouses? Jamestown, Rhode Island, has one that dates back to the 1700s. Beavertail Lighthouse isn’t the only historical gem in this small coastal city. Incorporated in 1678, Jamestown is full of fascinating Americana, and makes for quaint and quiet retirement living.
Population: 9,456 (17% age 55–64, 39% age 65+)
Median household income: $42,917 (4% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $120,500 median home value (74% homeowners), $900 median rent (26% renters)
A low cost of living, a high quality of life, and access to the pristine South Carolina shore make Garden City a highly sought-after destination for many retirees. Property taxes are low in the unincorporated city, and seasonal work abounds for those who aren’t totally sold on a work-free retirement.
Population: 3,460 (14% age 55–64, 24% age 65+)
Median household income: $44,458 (7% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $80,700 median home value (62% homeowners), $587 median rent (38% renters)
Strongly shaped by its Native American roots, Mobridge, South Dakota, hasn’t changed much since it was incorporated in 1906. Nods to its history dot the small town, and the diversity of residents rivals many major cities. Another draw for retirees is that it has a cheap cost of living, making it easy to stretch a dollar.
Population: 1,930 (15% age 55–64, 21% age 65+)
Median household income: $120,875 (36% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $561,700 median home value (89% homeowners), $1,125 median rent (11% renters)
Sometimes those looking to move when they reach retirement do so in search of fresh mountain air to replace the polluted city air they’ve been breathing for decades. Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, provides that, plus much more. Minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain is remote—a single two-lane road brings you in and takes you out of the town—and almost 100% residential, but from the mountain top, you can see seven states, visit Rock City, and hike into the country’s deepest cave. It’s a dream location for those anxious for a little rugged living.
Population: 1,964 (14% age 55–64, 18% age 65+)
Median household income: $125,568 (45% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $643,000 median home value (77% homeowners), $782 median rent (23% renters)
Surrounded by San Antonio, Olmos Park is its own posh little town. While you’re inside the city’s limits you definitely get that "small town USA” feeling, but as soon as you drive outside of the boundaries it’s clear you’re still in a big city. Retirees can take in a Spurs game and then head back home where they’re sure to know the names of everyone on their block.
Population: 4,436 (15% age 55–64, 23% age 65+)
Median household income: $55,266 (6% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $192,100 median home value (77% homeowners), $913 median rent (23% renters)
Often called "little Hollywood,” Kanab, Utah, is great for the film buff who doesn’t want to settle down in Los Angeles. For many years, Kanab was one of the most isolated cities in the nation, cut off by the Colorado River and a mountain range. Today, it’s a scenic, Old-West-feeling town that’s been the backdrop for hundreds of Western movies over the years. It’s also central to Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Salt Lake City, and close to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Lake Powell, making it perfect for retirees who don’t want to stop traveling.
Population: 4,058 (19% age 55–64, 26% age 65+)
Median household income: $52,813 (10% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $218,600 median home value (73% homeowners), $757 median rent (27% renters)
The fourth largest city in Vermont, Rutland is prized for its mix of old and new. It’s only 6.7 square miles, wedged between two mountain ranges, but it offers a pretty hefty bang for its buck. Living here is cheap compared with national averages, and residents have unfettered access to plenty of outdoor activities and downtown city life.
Population: 5,906 (10% age 55–64, 23% age 65+)
Median household income: $56,764 (5% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $209,200 median home value (57% homeowners), $820 median rent (43% renters)
Bridgewater, Virginia, boldly claims to offer its residents "a better life,” and it definitely appears that it does. It’s home to a thriving retirement village, puts on dozens of fun community events, and has a fairly low real estate tax. Essentially, it is a retiree’s dream.
Population: 3,197 (13% age 55–64, 20% age 65+)
Median household income: $193,516 (62% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $1,578,900 median home value (93% homeowners), $2,900 median rent (7% renters)
Just across Lake Washington from Seattle, Clyde Hill, Washington, has stunning, sweeping views and lush green forests. It’s affluent and educated, and easy to walk. While the tiny city doesn’t have many of its own amenities like parks and local gathering places, the neighboring country club and the next-door City of Bellevue more than make up for it.
Population: 1,031 (18% age 55–64, 24% age 65+)
Median household income: $40,638 (5% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $92,500 median home value (72% homeowners), $505 median rent (28% renters)
West Virginia has some of the lowest property taxes in the country, so purchasing a piece of land in Belmont would be a worthwhile investment. Just next to the Ohio River, Belmont is tiny—a mere 1,000 people live here year round and most city services have a single employee—but it feels homey and is safe. Belmont is the perfect alternative to a life previously spent in big cities.
Population: 1,754 (17% age 55–64, 41% age 65+)
Median household income: $65,089 (3% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $108,200 median home value (70% homeowners), $581 median rent (30% renters)
King is small town right in the center of Wisconsin. Its primary feature is the Veterans Home, which spans 42 acres of state property, and has been serving veterans and their families for 130 years. Many of the residents in King are associated with the home—they either have family in care there or they work as volunteers—and it tends to be a huge draw for retirees; (41% of the town’s residents are of retirement age.)
Population: 2,918 (16% age 55–64, 28% age 65+)
Median household income: $45,668 (2% earning $150,000+)
Housing: $137,300 median home value (72% homeowners), $690 median rent (28% renters)
The "gateway to Yellowstone,” Thermopolis, Wyoming, is home to the world’s largest mineral hot springs. The hot springs’ restorative and healing powers are a major draw, as are the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site, the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum, and Wind River Canyon.