Best Places to Live

Missoula, MT

Population: 69,190
Photo courtesy of Taylar Robbins

Fantastic hunting and fishing opportunities, excellent health care, a low cost of living and a stable economy make Missoula, MT, one of the best places to retire. Missoula ranked No. 8 on our list of Top 100 Best Places to Live. Situated in a valley flanked by large mountains, Missoula provides an sense of isolation that many retirees enjoy. That's not to say this city is in anyway lacking in things to do. Home to the University of Montana, Missoula is very much a college town filled with youthful energy. The city contains three distinct entertainment districts filled with restaurants, shops and breweries. Residents can listen to the local symphony, watch the latest movies, attend readings at independent bookstores or browse art galleries.

Surrounding the city are more than 60,000 acres of wilderness, which can be utilized for hiking, camping and mountain biking. Missoula's trout fishing, considered among the best in the world, was made famous by the movie A River Runs Through It. Missoula receives an average of 39 inches of snow each year. Winter temperatures rarely rise above 38 degrees, and summers stay cool with an average July high of 85.

While Missoula residents pay no sales tax, seniors won't find many of the breaks they do in other states. Montana taxes most forms of retirement income including Social Security. Homeowners and renters 62 and older can apply for up to $1,000 in refundable income tax credit under qualifying conditions.

Missoula, MT Highlights

Cost of living: 4% above the national average
Population 65 & over: 10.7%
Sales tax: 0%