#1. Springfield

An enticing array of parks, excellent health care, highly affordable homes and engaging entertainment options make Springfield, MO, the best place to retire. Springfield scored the highest in our measurement of factors that matter to retirees, especially when it comes to cost of living. Most residents spend 7 percent less than average Americans on goods and services. Springfield came in at No. 85 on the Top 100 Best Places to Live list.

Among the financial benefits of living in Springfield, which include low housing costs, are several tax breaks for seniors. The state gives certain senior citizens credit on real estate taxes and rent. There are no taxes on prescription drugs and most Social Security benefits are not taxed.

Located near the center of the country, Springfield provides its residents with amenities often limited to big cities, while offering the atmosphere of a small town. City leaders take pride in keeping the city clean and green. More than 22,000 students attending Missouri State University add a youthful energy to the city. Downtown Springfield blossoms with trendy restaurants and bars, art galleries, music venues, and shops.

Taxis, buses and bike lanes provide alternative transportation options for those who don’t want to drive. The city experiences all four seasons and hosts a variety of events that draw tourists and unite residents. The nearby Ozark Mountains provide year-round adventures from mountain biking and hiking to fishing, and amazing views of colorful foliage. More than 14 independent living, senior apartments, and retirement communities in and around Springfield provide a variety of housing options for those who want to live near other retirees.

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