Your Choice Will Not Be Easy!

The best retirement cities for you will be different than they are for someone else. It will depend on numerous factors such as weather, taxes, crime rates and so on. Below I have listed the various personal preferences of retirees.

For many retirees the priorities are low housing cost, warm weather and an affordable cost of living. Others would list access to medical care, proximity to a big city and low crime rate as top priorities. Keep in mind that there is no ideal city in the United States for retirees. See Best Retirement States.

Utopia for Retirees!

I believe there was a Utopia a few decades ago. The weather was ideal and the cost of living was affordable. The problem was retirees flocked there. The result was all of the problems that a large population creates such as: increasing home prices, crime, and traffic congestion to name a few.

If you're wondering what city I'm describing, it is not one city but several. It could be San Diego, Miami, Phoenix or Orlando. Many who flocked to southern cities have since relocated somewhere between their Chicago or New York or Canadian origins to the Carolinas, Tennessee, or Arkansas.

These "relocators" are call "half-backs" because they moved half-way-back. Apparently, their Utopia was not as perfect as they had anticipated.

Rank Your Priorities - Match Them to a City!

There are no two people, I suspect, who would have the identical priorities. Certainly there are no couples with matching priorities. And that can be a problem.

Here is a list of some things to consider if you choose to relocate in one of the best retirement cities:

  • Weather - temperature, humidity, four seasons
  • Crime - increasing or decreasing; violent; crime against seniors
  • Cost of living - food, housing, taxes  (the financial basics)
  • Medical care - accessibility and quality
  • Big city proximity - access to cultural events, sports teams, a major airport
  • Future problems - traffic congestion, air and water quality
  • Work opportunities - for seniors who need income or just want to stay active
  • Recreational opportunities - golf courses, beaches, mountains, rivers (scenery)
  • Population - trends, age groups, a college town
  • Natural and man-made hazards (nuclear)

There Can Only Be One #1 City - But, Here are Five!

The #1 city is different in various lists because the criteria varies. These were all listed #1 recently: Albuquerque, NM; Alexandria, LA; Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Tucson, AZ. (Note: most start with the letter "A" - Hmmm!)

Your #1 favorite is not likely to be listed as your criteria is unique to you. For low taxes and diversity you may choose Clarksville, TN. If home appreciation, lakes and rivers, and access to quality medical care is important, your choice could be Tyler, TX.

Some retirees like the youth element present in a college town. There are several college towns on "Best Cities" lists: Colorado Springs, CO; Bowling Green, KY; Iowa City, IA; and Fort Collins, CO.

Here Are Some Other Choices to Consider!

If you are looking for a second career, there may be certain locations that would suit those needs better. Becoming a skiing instructor would work out better in Colorado Springs than in Tucson, for example.

High on your list may be bright sunny days, lack of snow or "walkability". Maybe access to adult education is important. If lack of finances is an issue, places that are affordable, on Social Security only, may top the list.

The Perfect Place for You!

I have provided many ideas for consideration in your search of the best retirement cities. That fulfills my objective for each topic on this website. I am trying to provide all the information that you need to make a decision without searching somewhere else.

My suggestion for you is to list all of items that are important to you, first. Then give them a value or ranking. With your decision completed, you can find all of the information that you need on the internet for places that rank high with your values.

Finally, I strongly recommend that you live in your chosen town, city or location for one year. Experience the change of seasons. You will then better be able to determine what part of town is right for you or if you need to start a new search.


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