Top 10 Retirement Destinations in the U.S.

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One of the best ways to improve your retirement outlook is to change your scenery. Moving to a different city can stretch your dollars further and allow for a more comfortable retirement. However, there are many factors to consider when selecting a personal oasis.
What makes a city ideal for retirement? Everyone has to answer that question for themselves depending on personal preferences and financial situations, but NerdWallet recently analyzed the following variables among the 75 largest cities in the United States to find the best urban places to retire.

  • Retiree presence: Includes the percentage of the population older than 65 in each city to assess if there is a peer group.
  • Affordability: Includes the cost of living index (the average cost of living index is 100 across all U.S. cities) to measure the level of affordability in each city. It also includes the average cost of a visit to the doctor’s office and annual cost of in-home services to assess healthcare and assisted living costs. In-home services cover basic household assistance such as shopping, laundry, personal hygiene, and meal preparation that allow older individuals to live in their homes as they age.
  • Weather: Many seniors prefer to enjoy their retirement in warmer climates, so NerdWallet incorporates average annual temperatures into the rankings — the warmer a city, the better.
  • Walkability: Gauges how easy it is to live without a car by looking at the Walk Score of each city. Retirees in urban locations typically like to have easy access to local sites and services.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 major U.S. cities to call home in retirement.

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10. Memphis, Tennessee

Overall score: 63.6
Cost of living index: 84.91
65+ population: 10.6 percent
Average annual temperature: 77.2
Walk score: 75.6

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9. Henderson, Nevada

Overall score: 63.72
Cost of living index: 104.65
65+ population: 16.7 percent
Average annual temperature: 68.3
Walk score: 27.6

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8. Honolulu

Overall score: 64.71
Cost of living index: 175.12
65+ population: 17.7 percent
Average annual temperature: 77.7
Walk score: 62.6

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7. Baltimore

Overall score: 64.8
Cost of living index: 107.88
65+ population: 11.9 percent
Average annual temperature: 55
Walk score: 66.2

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6. Tampa, Florida

Overall score: 66.59
Cost of living index: 92.85
65+ population: 10.9 percent
Average annual temperature: 73.4
Walk score: 46.3

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5. Corpus Christi, Texas

Overall score: 67.63
Cost of living index: 92.07
65+ population: 12.4 percent
Average annual temperature: 72.1
Walk score: 35.7

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4. Mesa, Arizona

Overall score: 68.17
Cost of living index: 95.5
65+ population: 15.8 percent
Average annual temperature: 75
Walk score: 34.4

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3. El Paso, Texas

Overall score: 69.39
Cost of living index: 92.29
65+ population: 11.7 percent
Average annual temperature: 64.5
Walk score: 38.7

Source: Thinkstock

2. New Orleans

Overall score: 73.67
Cost of living index: 95.12
65+ population: 11.4 percent
Average annual temperature: 69.7
Walk score: 56.3


1. Miami

Overall score: 81.41
Cost of living index: 110.55
65+ population: 15.6 percent
Average annual temperature: 77.2
Walk score: 75.6