3 Awesome Cities to Retire In

3 Awesome Cities to Retire In

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of millions across the country, affecting future career plans that may have formerly felt concrete. In the face of nationwide layoffs, a record-breaking number of Americans are left unemployed without income. Among those who still have a job, many citizens are concerned by the health risks involved with working in a public environment amidst a pandemic — causing people to contemplate if now might be the right time to retire, although ahead of schedule.

If you’ve considered accelerating the timeline on your retirement horizon, or you often envision the promises of post-COVID life that lies ahead, there are several factors you should consider. Procuring the money necessary to sustain you without earning an income requires strategic preparation. However, all that planning could be for naught in these uncertain times, especially if your company has been severely impacted by the coronavirus and forced you out of work, or a predisposed condition makes employment particularly dangerous.

Prior to the pandemic and its economic turmoil, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that 63% of Americans either dont believe or are uncertain that their savings are sufficient; note that this statistic only reflects people who have a retirement account, which a quarter of the population does not. These figures help explain why so many people turn to clever resourcefulness when it comes to retirement so they can stretch every dollar and enjoy their Golden Years to the fullest.

Some retirees opt for a reverse mortgage, others choose to downsize into a smaller home, while many more choose to relocate to a different city to reap all the benefits it offers. Certain locations are more advantageous to retirees than others; below, we’ll take a look at three awesome places to retire, so you can explore all of your options, make an informed decision, and lay the foundation for a full, vibrant future ahead.

How We Chose These Cities for Retirement

Everyone has their own unique preferences and priorities, so to objectively declare the “best” cities to retire in would be impossible. Maybe you want to be close to family, enjoy a warmer climate, live at the golf course, watch the sunset over your acreage of land, or go wherever you’re most free from financial concern. Ultimately, only you can decide where you’ll be happiest to hang your hat.

That being said, the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 Best Places to Retire evaluated the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., then ranked each one based on the survey responses of 3,052 people nationwide, age 45 and up. They calculated a retirement score for each city with a methodology that weighted the average of six indexes:

  1. Housing Affordability (20.2%) – assesses the comparative cost of housing in metropolis U.S. cities
  2. Happiness (22.7%) – measures the residents’ contentment with important aspects of their daily lives
  3. Desirability (13.5%) – represents the amount of interest Americans have to retire in a given area
  4. Retiree Taxes (14.6%) – estimates the expected tax friendliness of each city for retirees
  5. Job Market (10.9%) – evaluates the strength of the metro job market because, for many people, retirement does not mean exiting the workforce
  6. Healthcare Quality (18.1%) – measures the availability of top-quality health care available in the area

So, considering all these variables, what did the data conclude? Here are three awesome cities to retire in, according to some of the highest scores identified by the U.S. News & World Report.

Sarasota, Florida

Florida is a well-known vacation destination, but it also gets its nickname as The Retirement State for a few key reasons. One, it’s very tax-friendly, allowing retirees to keep more of their hard-earned money. There are no taxes assessed on state income, retirement income, or Social Security benefits. There is also no estate nor inheritance tax, should people be concerned about the wealth passed onto their heirs, and property taxes are very reasonable compared to the rest of the country.

To sweeten the deal, the properties in Florida are in close proximity to the state’s coast-to-coast beaches, with a tropical, sunny climate. Heat and humidity are standard, but that doesn’t stop people from enjoying all the outdoor activities, which helps them stay fit and healthy to live long.

Many retirees flock to Florida for financial gain and high quality of life, but Sarasota, in particular, is home to a significant number of residents age 65+ who are likely to have bustling social calendars because the city caters to its seniors with an abundance of activities, golf, and shopping.

(Note: Other retirement cities in Florida that fell within the top 10 list include Fort Myers, Port St. Lucie, Naples, Ocala, and Miami.)

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Sliding in to take the fifth-place seat among the top cities in the Sunshine State is Lancaster. Here, you can find the perfect balance between commercial spaces and natural land. Sprawling farmland and manicured suburbs are nestled against the bustling city center, where affordable housing costs less than the national median home price.

Residents can enjoy the rich changing of seasons, each bringing iconic conditions along with it. Winters may be frigid and snowy, but they yield to beautiful, temperate springs, warm summers, and crisp, colorful falls. There’s a little something for everyone, from all walks of life, making it a great option for those looking forward to unwinding and taking a mental health break after concluding their career.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Coming in seventh place with an overall score of 7.2 is the Midwestern metropolis, Ann Arbor. What’s interesting about this city is that it also ranks extremely high for places to live (not just retire) as the top 12/150, as compared to Lancaster’s 67th position. The scenery is lush, decked with green parks spread out all across the city, set against a backdrop of charming and historical architecture.

The long summers in the Midwest are worth the colder months that follow, however, Ann Arbor also makes a great city for retirees who want to travel, considering its proximity to Detroit, three different Great Lakes, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toronto.


The residents in these three cities understand the importance of happiness, health, and finance — but only you can decide where your heart is most content.