RETIREMENT

Top 10 Best Places to Retire

Discover the best retirement destinations in the country based on quality of life, things to do and affordability.

Retirement. Ten thousand baby boomers a day are reaching that point in their lives. Getting to retirement is the culmination of many decisions and, ideally, a long-standing series of life and financial plans. One of the key questions, of course, is where should you live when you retire? Livability's ranking of the Best Places to Retire is a list of 10 varied cities throughout the U.S. Sure, many will decide to retire in place and stay rooted in the communities they've invested in over the years. Some will have financial or health considerations to weigh. Many others will have their retirement decisions driven by their family needs – grandkids can be powerful lures and mighty anchors. For those with freedom to move, however, we've crunched the numbers on 10 great retirement destinations.

We analyzed data on characteristics of livability that our research has shown are especially important to seniors: access to affordable and quality health care, climate and air quality, crime rates, cost of living and access to activities and, well, golf. We also looked for areas with high concentrations of senior citizens, of course. Once the data were in, our editors narrowed down the shortlist to make sure we had a great mix of cities. Whether you're looking for a traditional warm-weather getaway or a city with a more seasonal climate, we can help you plan a great retirement relocation.

Ranking Criteria

Health-care spending • Cost of living • Percentage of people age 60 and older • Crime rate • Weather • Parks • Walkability • Golf courses • Air quality

10. Scottsdale, AZ Population 227,471
9. Rapid City, SD Population 71,692
8. Charlottesville, VA Population 45,084
7. Lincoln, NE Population 269,726
6. Hillsboro, OR Population 97,751
5. Carson City, NV Population 54,482
4. Tacoma, WA Population 203,481
3. Plano, TX Population 275,645
2. Sarasota, FL Population 53,583
1. Santa Barbara, CA Population 90,401