10 Best Cities to Retire Across the Country

You’ll find dozens of opinions as to the 10 best cities to retire in, each with valid rationalizations.

Thousands of baby boomers are retiring every day looking to move to one of the best cities to retire.

Each retiree’s decision will vary based on one or more of these criteria:

    healthcare in retirement

  • Cost of Living

  • Tax Implications

  • Climate

  • Lifestyle

  • Indoor activities suit your temperament

  • Outdoor adventures as much as possible

No matter what drives your decision, you’ll want to know as much as possible about the best cities to retire.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the 10 best cities to retire. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smokies, with two rivers and a national forest, you’ll quickly fall in love with the sceneries and weather.

Asheville has plenty of activities for you:

  • 14 public golf courses and an ample amount of private courses

  • Two dozen tennis facilities

  • Hiking in the Appalachian Mountains

  • Fishing

  • Water sports

  • Minor league baseball

  • Brevard Music Center

  • Horse shows

  • Asheville Art Museum

  • Shakespeare in the Park

As one of the 10 best cities to retire, Asheville also has College for Seniors and a senior wellness center.

An interesting fact about Asheville, the city has more doctors per capita than anywhere else in the world, with a strong concentration of hospitals and other medical facilities.

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the best cities to retire in due to the low humidity, cool evenings and tolerable summer temperatures, with quant boutiques and breathtaking scenery.

Berea, Kentucky

Berea, Kentucky is one of the 10 best cities to retire in for its college town appeal; only 100 miles southeast from Louisville and 130 miles north of Knoxville, providing the amenities a larger city can offer.

Berea is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and also one of the most unique college towns.

Berea College offers free tuition, but the students are required to work, with an emphasis in arts and crafts.

A few of the activities you might enjoy in Berea include:

  • Local artist workshops

    • Sculptured figurines

    • Copper and brass jewelry

    • Blown glass

    • Hand crafted jewelry

  • Outdoor activities

    • Golfing

    • Kayaking

    • Biking

    • Hiking

Berea has mild temperatures all year, requiring light jackets in the winter and an umbrella in the spring.

Berea is one of the 10 best cities to retire in with its college town atmosphere, rich cultural and historic roots.

Bonita Springs, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida is one of the 10 best cities to retire.

Once a fishing village, Bonita Springs is between Naples and Fort Myers; and north of Marco, where you’ll be able to take advantage of the big city amenities while living in a small community.

Located on the Gulf Coast, Bonita Springs is known as The Gateway to the Gulf, with some of the most beautiful beaches along the coast.

Bonita Springs is one of the best cities to retire in for the beaches and water sports, including: boating, fishing, shelling and sunning.

Golf, shopping, dining, the art museums, and the Florida Everbaldes Hockey Team will provide you with plenty of entertainment options.

One of the primary reasons Bonita Springs is one of the 10 best cities to retire is the Gulf Coast.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado is one of the 10 best cities to retire. Another college town, The University of Colorado has over 30,000 students with a total population in the city of 100,000.

The nearby Rocky Mountains provide most of the outdoor activities:

  • 54 urban Parks

  • Hiking

  • Biking

  • Running

  • 13 ski resorts

  • Ballet and concert hall

  • Nomad Theatre

  • Over 50 golf courses

The senior center facilities scattered throughout the city provide: classes, trips, shopping and dancing for your entertainment.

Since Denver is only 50 miles away, Boulder residents are less than an hour’s drive to enjoy what the big city offers.

Boulder is one of the best cities to retire in with a mild climate and voted one of the healthiest cities in the country.

All of the residents of the city are encouraged to stay healthy and even participating in the annual Memorial Day Walk/Run.

Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo, Hawaii is another destination for the 10 best cities to retire. Away from the main islands, you’ll find natural wonders including Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots in Wailuku River State Park.

healthcare in retirement

In addition to the spectacular beaches and view, you’ll also have an opportunity to enjoy some of these activities:

  • Water sports

    • Surfing

    • Skiing

    • Boating

    • Fishing

  • Rainforest Zoo

  • Imiloa Astronomy Center

  • Lyman Museum

  • Pacific Tsunami Museum

Hilo has a farmers market, the best of the open markets in Hawaii. You’ll have your choice of locally grown exotic fruit, vegetables, herbs, island jams and jellies, macadamia nuts and delicious baked goods, as well as papayas.

The markets also have orchids and anthuriums, wind chimes, etched glass and koawood treasures.

Blessed with dramatic waterfalls, fertile rainforests and blooming gardens with your choice of one of the beautiful homes or retirement communities along the winding roads or on a beach front.

If this isn’t enough to lure you to Hilo, the city has the beauty of Hawaii but far enough away from the main tourist attractions to provide a quieter pace of life, making Hilo one of the 10 best cities to retire.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska is one of the 10 best cities to retire. Not everyone is looking for hot summers and water as the main attraction.

Although Lincoln is only 75 square miles, the city has 36 official neighborhoods.

The University of Nebraska helps make Lincoln a college town, with the NCAA sports activities.

Lincoln has a mild climate, with winter temperatures in the 30’s and summers around 80 degrees.

Lincoln, Nebraska is home to the largest porch swing, giving you an idea as to the laidback culture and providing you with a quiet and easy lifestyle making it one of the 10 best cities to retire.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California is one of the 10 best cities to retire; 42% of the population is over 50 years of age.

Palm Springs is a desert town with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Palm Springs Activities

In addition to the plethora of golf courses, Palm Springs offers Indie movies, a 125,000 square foot art museum and all of the country club activities you can imagine.

Coachella Valley is one of the most popular retirement communities in the city and even across the state.

A desert surrounded by mountains, Palm Springs is one of the 10 best cities to retire, but you’ll want to have a hankering for super-hot temperatures

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts is one of the 10 best cities to retire. 40 miles from Boston, Plymouth is better known as the South Shore.

Everyone is familiar with Plymouth Rock, but today it’s just one of the many sites for this charming town.

You’ll have a full day of activities at your disposal if you choose Plymouth as one of the best cities to retire.

A few of the activities include:

  • Country Clubs or Clubhouses activities:

  • Dinner and dancing

  • Billiard room

  • Card/activity room

  • Fitness room

  • Tennis and Bocce courts

  • Walking trails

  • Ponds for fishing

  • Golf courses

  • Canoeing

  • Swimming

    Plymouth’s climate is humid continental due to its location to the Atlantic Ocean, meaning year-round humidity.

    Choose Plymouth, Massachusetts as one of the best cities to retire in and enjoy the scenery along with the heritage.

    San Diego, California

    San Diego, California is one of the 10 best cities to retire.

    You can find low cost social events offered by one of the 10 Senior Centers and city-sponsored events.

    A few of your activity choices include:

    • Concerts

    • Farmers market

    • Street fairs

    • Sporting events

    • Swimming

    • Exercise classes

    One of the nuances of San Diego as one of the best cities to retire is Props 60 and 80. Under certain conditions you can transfer your existing home’s tax base to your newly purchased retirement home in San Diego.

    San Diego has a great climate with highs in the 80’s inland and in the 70’s coastal.

    You have 72 senior communities including 58 affordable Mobile/Manufacture Home Communities.

    San Diego is one of the best cities to retire where you have your choice of 62 golf courses and 21 beaches just around the corner.

    Sedona, Arizona

    Sedona, Arizona is one of the 10 best cities to retire. Although located in Arizona’s high desert, Sedona has four mild seasons with average temperatures peaking around 75 degrees.

    Since the weather is spectacular year-round, you’ll enjoy playing golf or tennis summer and winter.

    If you prefer indoor activities:

    • Public libraries

    • Sedona Center for Arts and Technology

    • Sedona Creative Life Center

    • Sedona Historical Society

    • Sedona Main Street Program

    Sedona is characterized by massive red-rock formations and is one of Arizona’s high tourism locales. Most importantly, Sedona is one of the premier retirement spots in the country.

    Sedona is a 10-square mile city with only 51 percent of the area privately-owned. The remainder of the space is part of the Coconino National Forest.

    If you choose to move to Sedona, one of the best cities to retire, you’ll be in good company. The average age of Sedona’s population is 50.

    The best cities to retire from a financial perspective:


    Sales Tax Rate

    Gas Tax Rate per Gallon

    Social Security Benefits Taxed

    State Tax Standard Deduction Single/ Married

    Cost of Living Compared to National Average

    Median Home Price



    39.2 cents







    27.8 cents


    2,240 for both



    Bonita Springs


    16.6 cents







    22.0 cents

    First $20,000






    47.1 cents






    5.5 %

    26.7 cents





    Palm Springs


    48.6 cents







    23.5 cents





    San Diego


    48.6 cents







    19.0 cents





    The 10 best cities to retire offer a variety of options, from lifestyles, climate and cost of living.

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