Best Places to Live

2017 Best Places to Retire

From health care to cost of living, we crunched the data and found 10 cities that give today's seniors what they want. Fair warning: some cities on this list might surprise you.

Dan Koeck

There was a time when retirement meant simply kicking back, relaxing and doing a whole lot of nothing. For most of today’s retirees, that’s no longer an accurate description of their Golden Years. These days, retirement simply means you no longer are confined to an office and daily routine. It doesn’t mean you have retired from life. Instead, you are now free to pursue all those other activities that have been piling up on your bucket list. Each day is a blank canvas, and you have the freedom to decide how to fill it.

One of the first decisions many new retirees must face before jumping into this lifestyle change is determining where to live. Granted, quite a few people won’t go anywhere, choosing instead to remain in their hometown, or the place they have lived for much of their life. But some will look for new adventures in a different location, and deciding where that place will be is an important choice. After all, you don’t want to pay your dues for 30 or 40 years, only to find yourself in the end living somewhere that simply isn’t enjoyable. Or affordable.

Help is on the way, though. With this list, we present the Best Places to Retire, 2017, a list of 10 cities throughout the U.S. that offer different versions of what retirement means. We analyzed data on characteristics of livability that our research has shown are especially important to seniors, including health care, climate, crime rates, cost of living, housing costs and access to recreational activities. So whether you want to spend your time in the great outdoors or prefer to relax away the days in museums and restaurants – or do both – there is truly a place for every taste on this list.

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Ranking Criteria

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