Are you planning to retire soon? Are you thinking about moving from where you have lived and worked for decades?
Millions of people “follow the crowd” and do what so many of their parents, friends and neighbors do — look for a retirement home in a warm weather state. Florida has been very popular for decades. Arizona has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Too many people, though, are disappointed by their retirement choice. Lounging on the beach just isn’t for everyone. Neither is hot weather. Besides that, many retirement properties in Florida and Arizona are just too expensive, an increasing concern since The Great Recession.
Why should you limit your retirement options? You shouldn’t, but finding the best cities to live in during retirement can require a lot of research. Best Retirement Destinations, though, has decided to help you with your research. We have scrutinized seven “best cities to retire” lists and have found that eight cities are on more than one list. Below are those eight cities in alphabetical order.
- Cape Coral, Fla.
Located on Florida’s southwest coast, off the Gulf of Mexico, this city of more than 150,000 has an incredible 400 miles of canals, according to the Forbes magazine article “The Best Places To Retire In 2015.” Forbes’ profile of Cape Coral reports that the city also has an excellent economy, a low cost of living, great weather, and a low serious crime rate. Cape Coral also made the top 10 on a list produced after a survey by Bankrate.com. The list was published in a USA Today article entitled ironically “The best place to retire isn’t Florida.”
- Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs also made the lists published in Forbes and USA Today. Both lists factor in health care quality, tax rates, the availability of walking trails, cost of living, and crime rates. The Forbes profile notes that Colorado Springs has a booming economy, great opportunities for bicyclists, an “atmosphere of volunteering,” and beautiful scenery, including nearby Pike’s Peak.
- Columbia, Mo.
Columbia is one of 25 cities on Forbes’ list and one of 10 listed in a Kiplinger article entitled “10 Great Places to Retire in 2015.”Residents of Columbia age better than all but two small cities in the entire nation because it has excellent hospitals and job opportunities for seniors, according to the Kiplinger article. It also is a college town with the kinds of amenities that college towns have such as bookstores and excellent restaurants.
- Mesa, Ariz.
The Phoenix metropolitan area, including Mesa and Scottsdale, is the best place for retirees in the entire country, according to theUSA Today article. Mesa, Arizona’s third largest city, is listed by itself on the Forbes list. Prices and taxes are relatively low in Mesa, reports the Forbes profile.
People don’t generally think ‘Pittsburgh’ when they think ‘retirement,’ but it is listed first in the CBS article “10 most affordable U.S. cities to retire.” “Pittsburgh, once a dying steel town, has revitalized itself by investing in both education and medicine, which provide ample quality-of-life services for seniors,” the article reports. The Forbes profile notes that Pittsburgh has a high doctors per capita rate.
- Portland, Ore.
Portland is list first in the U.S. News & World Report article “10 Bargain Retirement Spots” because the prices of its homes are declining faster than anywhere in the nation. In addition, its neighborhoods are pedestrian friendly with plenty of stores and other amenities, it has moderate weather in the winter and summer, and it “bursts with theater and music,” reports the Kiplinger article.
- Rochester, Minn.
“Nobody retires to Rochester for the weather,” notes the Kiplinger article. Thus, the city must really be good in other ways for it to be listed by Forbes and Kiplinger as one of the best places in the nation for retirees. Rochester’s primary appeal is its doctors. The Mayo Clinic is in Rochester so it is first in the nation in doctors per capita. It also has a booming economy, a downtown loaded with amenities, and a very low crime rate.
If this list was based on a points system for being including on “best places for retirees” lists, Tucson would be listed first. It is on the lists published by Forbes, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report and was ranked the eighth best place to retire by Livability.com. “Tucson scored high our assessment of the best places to retire in the categories of health care, housing affordability, golf options, employment and taxes,” the Livability article “Best Places to Retire,” says.
So there’s the eight cities on at least two “best cities for retirees” lists. Six of the seven lists have been mentioned in the article so far. The seventh list is in the U.S. News & World Report article “10 Best Places for the Wealthiest Retirees.” The 10 cities are great if you have the money — Hillsborough, Calif.; Paradise, Valley, Ariz.; Wolf Trap, Va.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Mercer Island, Wash.; Bethesda, Md.; Hinsdale, Ill.; Kailua, Hawaii; Newton, Mass.; and Brentwood, Tenn.