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Best big cities for retirees in America

  • Best big cities for retirees in America
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    Best big cities for retirees in America

    Retirees approach their golden years in countless ways—some may prefer a rural and quiet small town, a spot near the water, or a retirement community in a warm place. Others may crave a big city, where there are plenty of exciting activities seniors can take part in whenever their heart desires. Aside from things to do, baby boomers must consider the weather, housing costs, transportation, and health care, all of which greatly affect the aging population.

    Stacker looked at data from Niche's “2019 Best Cities to Retire,” which graded each geographic retiree location with an A–D grade. “This grade takes into account key factors, such as weather, crime rates, residents 65 and older, housing costs, and access to amenities such as restaurants, golf courses, exercise facilities, and doctors, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for retirement,” reports Niche. Only cities with populations over 250,000 were considered.

    Provision Living, owner of senior residential communities, surveyed 200 Americans and reports up to 52% of Americans ponder retirement four or more times weekly and baby boomers' dream age to retire is 64, while millennials' is 56. The survey broke down the ideal retirement day by the hour, finding out it entails seven to eight hours of sleep; one to two hours of watching a streaming service or television; one to two hours of dining out; two to three hours of socializing; three to four hours of leisure; and two to three hours spent doing hobbies.

    Nine of the top 10 best big cities to retire to are in warm-weather climates, from the beaches of Florida and California to the dry heat of the Southwest. San Francisco, which claimed the fourth spot on the list, is a great retirement spot if money is not an issue—as average home values approach 1 million dollars. Down the coast, Irvine was the list's safest city for violent crime for the 13th straight year.

    Texas led the way with seven of the top 50 cities for retirement, while California and Florida each claim five. Honolulu was the lone city on the list off the mainland.

    Read on to find out the best big cities for retirees.

    You may also like: 30 great vacations for retirees

  • #50. Cincinnati, Ohio
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    #50. Cincinnati, Ohio

    - Population: 298,957 (12% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $36,429
    - Housing: $124,200 median household value and $684 median rent

    World-class health care and a low cost of living are just a couple of reasons why the Queen City got an A-. Social Security benefits are fully exempt from state income taxes, stretching dollars even further, and it was rated among the most walkable cities in the U.S. by Walk Score, leaving transportation optional. Entertainment ranges from professional sports teams to the world-renowned Cincinnati Music Hall.

  • #49. Nashville, Tennessee
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    #49. Nashville, Tennessee

    - Population: 654,187 (11% age 55–64 and 11% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $52,858
    - Housing: $191,400 median household value and $970 median rent

    The home of country music and some of the best fried chicken in the country boasts plenty for seniors to do in the active city, with Provision Living ranking Nashville 19 out of the 20 best cities to retire in. No state income tax and a reduced tax burden for retirees offsets the slightly above average housing and living costs.

  • #48. Colorado Springs, Colorado
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    #48. Colorado Springs, Colorado

    - Population: 450,000 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $58,158
    - Housing: $233,100 median household value and $1,013 median rent

    Colorado's second-largest city, with a population of 450,000, has more than 9,000 acres of parkland and over 250 urban and park trail miles, making it a great place for elderly outdoor enthusiasts. The high altitude of 6,000 provides cool summers and blizzardy winters. With the Army's Fort Carson Base in the city, “many military families tend to retire here, due to their familiarity with the area,” reports Topretirements.com.

  • #47. Arlington, Texas
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    #47. Arlington, Texas

    - Population: 388,225 (11% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $55,562
    - Housing: $147,000 median household value and $939 median rent

    Affordability and diversity push the nation's 50th-largest city Arlington into the rankings, with a median rent and household value well below the national averages. Additionally, Niche also ranks Arlington 44 out of 228 for best cities to buy a house in America. Boasting a suburban feel, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is just minutes away for city-loving retirees.

  • #46. Boston, Massachusetts
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    #46. Boston, Massachusetts

    - Population: 669,158 (10% age 55–64 and 11% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $62,021
    - Housing: $455,100 median household value and $1,445 median rent

    Highs and lows highlight Boston's allure for retirees. While the average home value is well over double the rest of the nation, and the median rent is a cool $500 above the median, the area's vast nightlife and outdoor options make it an attractive spot. Boston is host to some of the world's top hospitals and was ranked third in the nation for walkability by Walk Score, meaning transportation costs can be kept low to offset the cost of living.

  • #45. Portland, Oregon
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    #45. Portland, Oregon

    - Population: 630,331 (12% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $61,532
    - Housing: $352,700 median household value and $1,109 median rent

    Outdoor living is the primary draw of the Rose City, named by Niche as one of the top for outdoor activities. Bicycling Magazine rated Portland #5 in the U.S. for the best biking cities in 2018 and Forbes branded it #4 in America's Top 20 Healthiest Cities for fitness fanaticism. Add in that Social Security is tax-exempt and there is no state sales tax, and Portland offers plenty of reasons to settle down for good.

  • #44. Oakland, California
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    #44. Oakland, California

    - Population: 417,442 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $63,251
    - Housing: $564,500 median household value and $1,255 median rent

    As Niche's two out of 228 most diverse cities in the U.S., with 13% of the population 65 and older, the east side of the San Francisco Bay in Oakland readily welcomes seniors. The aging population can find plenty to do from frequenting Paramount theaters to eating out in Chinatown. The warm-summer Mediterranean climate is comfortable all year round, keeping seniors out of the cold.

  • #43. Houston, Texas
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    #43. Houston, Texas

    - Population: 2,267,336 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $49,399
    - Housing: $149,000 median household value and $940 median rent

    The Space City's affordability makes it an attractive spot for seniors to spend their golden years, with house prices vastly below the national average. The city's Museum District offers something for everyone, with a zoo, aquarium, multiple museums, and plenty of restaurants for entertainment. The crime rate and extremely hot conditions are drawbacks to the area, but health care is among the best in the nation, with four hospitals landing on Becker's Healthcare 2018 ranking of "100 great hospitals in America."

  • #42. Dallas, Texas
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    #42. Dallas, Texas

    - Population: 1,300,122 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $47,285
    - Housing: $154,000 median household value and $937 median rent

    U.S. News & World Report rates Dallas nine out of 100 best places to retire, pointing out it offers “both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living.” Affordability is also an advantage for seniors on a budget, according to Niche, reporting the median home value of $154,000 is $30,000 lower than national average, and the median rent value of $937 is $12 less than the national average.

  • #41. Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    #41. Albuquerque, New Mexico

    - Population: 556,718 (12% age 55–64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $49,878
    - Housing: $188,500 median household value and $833 median rent

    Steeped in Native American culture, New Mexico's largest city features an array of museums and hosts the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world. The nearby Sandia Mountains provide hiking and camping year-round, and for seniors who don't want to walk around, Albuquerque offers the country's longest aerial tramway to the Sandia Peak. 

  • #40. San Antonio, Texas
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    #40. San Antonio, Texas

    - Population: 1,461,623 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $49,711
    - Housing: $127,700 median household value and $918 median rent

    The famed Riverwalk, with miles of shops, restaurants, and theatres is a great spot for retirees in search of a more relaxing, vibrant nightlife. Rich in history, the Alamo is one of many local museums and a low cost of living provides the expendable income to enjoy the sights regularly. Housing and rent prices are well below the national average, as is violent crime in The Mission City.

  • #39. Lexington, Kentucky
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    #39. Lexington, Kentucky

    - Population: 315,109 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $53,013
    - Housing: $175,000 median household value and $828 median rent

    Personal finance news forecaster Kiplinger reports the heart of the bluegrass country is a great place to retire for health purposes, with five-star hospital Baptist Health Lexington in town. Additionally, the well-below national average median home price of $166,000, and average rent of $995, rank the area as one of Kiplinger's top tax-friendly states. “It exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes, plus up to $31,110 per person in retirement income,” reports Kiplinger.

  • #38. St. Louis, Missouri
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    #38. St. Louis, Missouri

    - Population: 314,867 (13% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $38,664
    - Housing: $123,800 median household value and $780 median rent

    Scoring high in health care and culture Livability.com reports, "it's hard to say whether recent retirees or their grandchildren enjoy St. Louis, MO more." With more than 50 hospitals in the St. Louis metro area, medical care is readily around every corner for seniors who retire here. For fun, museums, amusement parks, zoos, concert halls are throughout the county, which ranked one out of 107 by Niche for healthiest counties in Missouri.

  • #37. Durham, North Carolina
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    #37. Durham, North Carolina

    - Population: 257,232 (11% age 55–64 and 11% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $54,284
    - Housing: $195,000 median household value and $958 median rent

    Along with a Niche grade of A, the Triangle Real Estate Journal breaks down reasons to retire in the area—including pedigreed hospitals like Duke University Medical Center that offer a physician-to-population that is four times the national average. “With an annual average temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and almost no chance of snow, Durham's temperate climate is a great choice for seniors looking to escape the brutal winters of the northern part of the country” adds the journal.

  • #36. San Diego, California
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    #36. San Diego, California

    - Population: 1,390,966 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $71,535
    - Housing: $523,600 median household value and $1,503 median rent

    With an overall Niche grade of A-, America's Finest City is also seen as an excellent place for seniors to settle down due to mild temperatures year-round, and beaches and plenty of other outdoor activities for retirees and their families. However, one reason many may not retire here is the high cost of living, which is well above the national average and unaffordable for many seniors.

  • #35. Fort Wayne, Indiana
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    #35. Fort Wayne, Indiana

    - Population: 262,450 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $45,853
    - Housing: $106,500 median household value and $708 median rent

    The meager cost of living and quiet neighborhoods make Fort Wayne a friendly place for seniors settling down. The median home value in the midsize metropolitan area is $106,500, whereas the national average is $184,700. Niche gives Fort Wayne's nightlife and diversity both A-, but only grades crime and safety at a C.

  • #34. Louisville, Kentucky
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    #34. Louisville, Kentucky

    - Population: 615,478 (13% age 55–64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $49,439
    - Housing: $146,900 median household value and $779 median rent

    Home to the Kentucky Derby, Louisville touts horse tracks, city life, and acres of green grass for seniors who want to settle in the Midwest city located on the Ohio River. Like it's neighbor Indiana, the low cost of living does not secure safety as it rates C- for crime and safety by Niche. However, the A- for the array of outdoor and indoor activities in the city offsets that negative; it was ranked the #50 most fun city in America by WalletHub in 2018. 

  • #33. Charlotte, North Carolina
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    #33. Charlotte, North Carolina

    - Population: 826,060 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $58,202
    - Housing: $187,300 median household value and $1,018 median rent

    The famous southeast “y'all come back” welcome is especially for seniors in Charlotte, which is also considered by Niche as one of the “most diverse” and “best cities” to live. Though the median home value and rent in Charlotte are both slightly above the national average, the thriving professional sports teams, famous breweries, and almost 40 miles of greenway trails make it worth it for the hundreds of thousands of retirees settled here.

     

  • #32. Austin, Texas
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    #32. Austin, Texas

    - Population: 916,906 (10% age 55–64 and 8% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $63,717
    - Housing: $285,900 median household value and $1,165 median rent

    Texas in general is a tax-friendly state for retirees: Income from Social Security is not taxed, nor are retirement account withdrawals or public and private pensions. Austin in particular is known for its live music and nightlife scene, along with its restaurants. For those more interested in spending their time in nature, retirees can choose from a wide variety of activities such as golf, cycling, and hiking, or taking a leisurely dip in Zilker Park's Barton Springs Pool, which is fed from underground springs and has an average temperature of 68–70 degrees. 

  • #31. Sacramento, California
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    #31. Sacramento, California

    - Population: 489,650 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $54,615
    - Housing: $287,600 median household value and $1,114 median rent

    Jazz festivals, museums, and zoos are just a few attractions that draw the aging population to California's capital, which was once home to the Gold Rush and Pony Express. Given an A+ for both ethnic and economic diversity by Niche, Sacramento's hot summer climate welcomes seniors with mild winters. 

  • #30. Orlando, Florida
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    #30. Orlando, Florida

    - Population: 269,414 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $45,436
    - Housing: $196,900 median household value and $1,091 median rent

    Mickey Mouse and warm weather welcome seniors to the area that has dozens of adult communities to choose from. Golfing in Orlando is prime for retirees who are looking to spend their afternoons on the green playing tournaments on professionally designed courses.

  • #29. Omaha, Nebraska
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    #29. Omaha, Nebraska

    - Population: 463,081 (12% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $53,789
    - Housing: $146,500 median household value and $861 median rent

    Kiplinger reports the pros and cons of making Omaha home for seniors. Though a “burgeoning social scene helps make this affordable small town attractive to seniors,” Social Security benefits taxed does not. However, excellent health-care centers and affordable housing balance out the difference in the demographic that has warm and humid summers, and freezing and dry winters.

  • #28. Kansas City, Missouri
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    #28. Kansas City, Missouri

    - Population: 476,974 (12% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $50,136
    - Housing: $139,900 median household value and $862 median rent

    Missouri's largest city, Kansas City boasts multiple activities for seniors, with a low cost of living that keeps the aging population in-state while many more retire to the area. Niche reports some of the most economical real estate for retirees in the area with the $139,000 home value—way under the $184,700 national average. Additionally, Niche gives the city an A for both diversity and nightlife.

  • #27. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    #27. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    - Population: 305,012 (12% age 55–64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $44,092
    - Housing: $108,500 median household value and $887 median rent

    Consumer financial service Bankrate listed Pittsburgh as one of three prime places to retire in 2017 for the meager cost of living, minimal crime, and good health care. “Places that might offer seniors the best standard of living may look a lot different from our traditional sun-and-golf idea of retirement havens,” reports Bankrate. Niche's grades of As and Bs for housing, nightlife, diversity, and good families confirms Pittsburgh is good for seniors.

  • #26. El Paso, Texas
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    #26. El Paso, Texas

    - Population: 678,266 (10% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $44,431
    - Housing: $121,300 median household value and $792 median rent

    U.S. News & World Report ranks El Paso 11 out of 100 best places to retire, noting it is much more than steakhouses and cowboy hats. Seniors here see a median home value of $121,300, more than $60,000 cheaper than the national average. Less money for housing means more to enjoy the Sun City, which sees a little less than 300 days of sunshine annually, enabling seniors to enjoy the plethora of parks, tramway, and other outdoor activities in the area.

  • #25. Denver, Colorado
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    #25. Denver, Colorado

    - Population: 678,467 (10% age 55–64 and 11% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $60,098
    - Housing: $322,900 median household value and $1,131 median rent

    Along with being 25 out of 50 for best big city for retirement, Denver also ranked 24 out of 228 in both Niche's “Healthiest Places to Live” and “Healthiest City in America.” Additionally, MagnifyMoney reports “the Mile High City has the third lowest rate of hospitalizations of Medicare recipients,” confirming the 11% of Denver seniors 65 years and older are some of the healthiest in the nation.

  • #24. Seattle, Washington
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    #24. Seattle, Washington

    - Population: 688,245 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $79,565
    - Housing: $537,800 median household value and $1,377 median rent

    Cleaner air and water, high quality of life, proximity to Canada, and multicultural food scene are just some reasons for seniors to settle in Seattle, according to Best Retirement Cities in the USA. Though owning and renting property in the Emerald City is expensive, attractions like the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture, and the dozens of nature-driven activities, make up for it for most seniors.

  • #23. Jacksonville, Florida
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    #23. Jacksonville, Florida

    - Population: 867,313 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $50,555
    - Housing: $150,200 median household value and $984 median rent

    The northern Florida city of Jacksonville touts top-of-the-line golf courses and warm weather year round, making it a top spot for retirees. The low cost of living is one of many pros for seniors to settle, according to After55.com, adding parks, Big-League sports, and museums are a few more. As for cons, traffic sprawl and the threat of hurricanes steers some seniors clear away from the East Coast town.

  • #22. New York City, New York
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    #22. New York City, New York

    - Population: 8,560,072 (12% age 55-64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $57,782
    - Housing: $538,700 median household value and $1,340 median rent

    Retiree Frank Politano told Forbes he and his wife did not want the typical “Florida retirement.” “They want to be around young people. And they want to stay active, healthy, and mobile as they get older. New York offers all these things,” reports Forbes. Along with it's A- rating from Niche, the Big Apple rated four of 228 for “best cities for outdoor activities,” and five out of 228 for “most diverse cities in America,” by Niche.

  • #21. Virginia Beach, Virginia
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    #21. Virginia Beach, Virginia

    - Population: 450,057 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $70,500
    - Housing: $267,300 median household value and $1,296 median rent

    Rated a “Top 10 Beach Town for Retirees” by CBS News in 2014, the coastline community has 35 miles of shoreline for seniors to slumber or exercise on. Though the cost of living is slightly above the national average, the tourist town touts a low crime rate and many health-care facilities.

  • #20. Lincoln, Nebraska
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    #20. Lincoln, Nebraska

    - Population: 277,315 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $53,089
    - Housing: $156,400 median household value and $788 median rent

    Lincoln's low-cost of living and Niche's A grades for diversity and nightlife make this Nebraska city a nice place to settle down for seniors. With 134 miles of trails, 131 parks, 9 public pools, five golf courses, and six recreation centers, active seniors will be kept busy in Lincoln. 

     

  • #19. Phoenix, Arizona
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    #19. Phoenix, Arizona

    - Population: 1,574,421 (11% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $52,080
    - Housing: $197,800 median household value and $954 median rent

    There are seven reasons seniors should retire in Phoenix, according to After55.com, including being tax-friendly for retirees, the low cost of living, varied climate, possible health benefits, low-maintenance living, great attractions, and lots of fellow retirees. Add in Niche's overall 19 out of 50 rating and A- grade for diversity and nightlife, and there is more than enough logic to see why so many baby boomers are calling Arizona home for good.

  • #18. Washington D.C.
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    #18. Washington D.C.

    - Population: 672,391 (10% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $77,649
    - Housing: $537,400 median household value and $1,424 median rent

    The pros to D.C. include a prime location on the East Coast, a variety of neighborhoods, and never a shortage of things to do. The cons: traffic and the high cost of living and stress. It seems the pros outweigh the cons for the 22% of seniors who call D.C. home.

  • #17. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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    #17. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    - Population: 629,191 (12% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $51,581
    - Housing: $148,500 median household value and $819 median rent

    Retirees looking for a tax-friendly state can look to Oklahoma, which does not tax Social Security income, and provides deductions on 401(k)s and pensions. Oklahoma City metro—which is within a few hundred miles of other major cities such as Wichita, Dallas, and Kansas City, perfect for day trips—is served by EMBARK buses and retirees interested in cycling around town can take part in the Spokies bike share program. 

     

  • #16. Wichita, Kansas
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    #16. Wichita, Kansas

    - Population: 389,054 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $48,982
    - Housing: $124,400 median household value and $767 median rent

    Wichita may be a city well-suited for military retirees, with the local McConnell Air Force Base and the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center. The city also offers continuing education opportunities, shopping, museums, and festivals to keep seniors active. Niche gave the Wichita an overall A- grade for diversity and nightlife, and median home value of $124,400 compared to the national average of $184,700.

  • #15. Corpus Christi, Texas
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    #15. Corpus Christi, Texas

    - Population: 322,726 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $53,626
    - Housing: $125,000 median household value and $956 median rent

    Corpus Christi's cost of living is cheaper than the national average, making the Texas coastline town appealing to seniors on a budget. Downtown, the city offers museums, galleries, and hundreds of restaurants, and along the shores of Corpus Christi, both bird-watching and hiking are popular among seniors. MarketWatch does, however, note a downside to the spring break vacation spot, reporting “come March and April the town may be more Girls Gone Wild than a retirement spot.”

  • #14. Atlanta, Georgia
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    #14. Atlanta, Georgia

    - Population: 465,230 (10% age 55–64 and 11% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $51,701
    - Housing: $238,700 median household value and $1,037 median rent

    Tax breaks for retirees and top-notch retirement communities are a couple of reasons the aging population loves Atlanta. As the capital of Georgia, the city offers diverse culture, food, and entertainment. With cycling and pedestrian paths placed around the city, seniors living here can run errands and exercise simultaneously in the subtropical climate that brings forth four seasons.

  • #13. Tulsa, Oklahoma
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    #13. Tulsa, Oklahoma

    - Population: 401,352 (12% age 55–64 and 13% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $44,577
    - Housing: $129,000 median household value and $784 median rent

    Topretirements.com reports “seniors with limited incomes may be able to freeze the value of their home for tax purposes,” in the state that does not tax Social Security benefits. The favorable financial reasons, humid subtropical climate, and Niche's overall grade of A- for Tulsa shows why seniors are calling the town home.

  • #12. Raleigh, North Carolina
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    #12. Raleigh, North Carolina

    - Population: 449,477 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $61,505
    - Housing: $225,000 median household value and $1,010 median rent

    The capital of North Carolina offers seniors plenty to do from attending a play at any of the area colleges or eating and shopping downtown. Topretirements.com reports excellent capital area transit systems and a crime rate that equals the national average, offering seniors the security of safe travel throughout Raleigh. Niche's overall grade of A+ for the area and the slightly above average cost of living make the town suitable for seniors.

  • #11. Honolulu, Hawaii
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    #11. Honolulu, Hawaii

    - Population: 402,452 (13% age 55–64 and 20% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $70,527
    - Housing: $688,200 median household value and $1,441 median rent

    The lone city outside the mainland U.S., Niche gives Hawaii's largest city an A+ for nightlife, diversity, weather, and health and fitness. One-third of the population is 55 years and older, and seniors will enjoy the stunning beaches, volcanoes, and wide range of shops and restaurants in Waikiki. That beauty comes with the highest cost of living in the nation, and Newsweek called Honolulu the place where “toilet paper costs more than anywhere else in the world.”

  • #10. Las Vegas, Nevada
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    #10. Las Vegas, Nevada

    - Population: 621,662 (12% age 55–64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $53,159
    - Housing: $209,700 median household value and $1,024 median rent

    Sin City offers plenty of entertainment options for retirees, from its famed casinos, top-notch shows, and an extensive list of restaurants. Despite some triple-digit summer months, Las Vegas' climate is relatively mild the rest of the year to enjoy the nearby Spring Mountains. The biggest detractor for retirees gambling in Las Vegas is the crime rate, with violent crimes well above the national average.

  • #9. Tampa, Florida
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    #9. Tampa, Florida

    - Population: 368,087 (11% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $48,245
    - Housing: $190,300 median household value and $1,031 median rent

    White sandy beaches and world-class golf courses are among the attractions drawing retirees to The Big Guava. A thriving tourism industry means there's plenty of restaurants and activities, including Busch Gardens, a zoo, aquarium, and a vibrant downtown arts scene for seniors to enjoy. Rent prices are $82 above the national average, and 52% of residents rent, but Florida charges no state income tax, helping to offset the cost.

  • #8. Tucson, Arizona
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    #8. Tucson, Arizona

    - Population: 530,905 (11% age 55–64 and 14% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $39,617
    - Housing: $137,600 median household value and $801 median rent

    Attractive housing and rental prices draw seniors to this favorite retirement spot. Additionally, Social Security is not taxed, public pensions qualify for a deduction, and there are tax-free groceries. Several museums and national parks including Sabino Canyon, offer outdoor activities for those that love the desert.

  • #7. Miami, Florida
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    #7. Miami, Florida

    - Population: 443,007 (12% age 55–64 and 17% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $33,999
    - Housing: $271,200 median household value and $1,056 median rent

    The Magic City is an attractive retirement spot thanks to its beautiful weather, world-class golf courses, booming nightlife, and a vibrant cultural scene. All those amenities come with a high cost of living and above-average housing prices, but is offset slightly by no income or Social Security taxes in Florida. 

  • #6. Irvine, California
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    #6. Irvine, California

    - Population: 256,877 (10% age 55–64 and 10% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $95,573
    - Housing: $753,400 median household value and $2,114 median rent

    Retirees in Irvine can enjoy the small-town feel of the city, while Los Angeles and San Diego are less than two hours away. Irvine is rated the second-healthiest city in the country, and seniors can certainly feel safe, as ABC reports Irvine “had the lowest rate of violent crime per capita for a city of its size,” for the 13th straight year. Retiring in Irvine does come with a steep cost of living, with housing prices nearly four times the national average.

  • #5. Mesa, Arizona
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    #5. Mesa, Arizona

    - Population: 479,317 (11% age 55–64 and 16% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $52,155
    - Housing: $187,900 median household value and $943 median rent

    Beautiful weather, a low cost of living, and a wide selection of golf courses and outdoor activities make Mesa an attractive spot for seniors. Housing and rent are in line with national averages, while retirees can enjoy some of the best health care in the nation. For art lovers, check out the Mesa Arts Center, with tons of art classes, a contemporary art museum, and performances throughout the year, from classical music to speakers to theater. 

  • #4. San Francisco, California
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    #4. San Francisco, California

    - Population: 864,263 (12% age 55–64 and 15% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $96,265
    - Housing: $927,400 median household value and $1,709 median rent

    For seniors who can afford to reside in the Golden Gate City, the countless things to do and see, and warm-summer Mediterranean climate makes it an attractive spot to retire. People craving cultural experiences can check out some of San Francisco's best museums, and be proud of the fact that the city was ranked #1 greenest in the country by a WalletHub study.

  • #3. Henderson, Nevada
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    #3. Henderson, Nevada

    - Population: 284,817 (13% age 55–64 and 19% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $66,939
    - Housing: $266,200 median household value and $1,184 median rent

    As the second largest city in Nevada aside from Vegas, the hot summer climate of Henderson offers seniors an array of activities to enjoy all year through. Notably walkable, Henderson has dozens of concert venues and casino resorts for an active senior nightlife, and many parks, lakes, and mountain loop trails for afternoon jaunts. Niche grades Henderson A- as it notes slightly above average median home and rent value.

  • #2. Plano, Texas
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    #2. Plano, Texas

    - Population: 281,566 (13% age 55–64 and 12% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $88,578
    - Housing: $271,300 median household value and $1,243 median rent

    As the setting for the television show “Dallas,” retirees here enjoy the low cost of living, reduced crime rate, and wide array of activities. Plano, given an overall A+ grade by Niche, was also rated in the top 10 by the data source for the best city, best place to buy a house, and best place to raise a family.

  • #1. St. Petersburg, Florida
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    #1. St. Petersburg, Florida

    - Population: 256,031 (15% age 55–64 and 18% age 65+)
    - Median household income: $50,622
    - Housing: $165,000 median household value and $1,015 median rent

    As the Sunshine State is the quintessential spot for retirement so is the Sunshine City, according to Niche. Sun shines nearly every day of the year, and white sandy beaches and world-class golf courses minutes away earn St. Petersburg an A from Niche for outdoor activities. Nearly one-third of the population is age 55 or over, and 58% of the population owns a home, with values well below the national average.

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