Even though you love your kids and grandchildren more than anything, you might be ready to make a change. Are you looking for a place to live where you’ll find plenty of other retirees? Or perhaps a great, affordable city that boasts low crime rates? Here are five of the best retirement cities in the United States.
1. Palm Bay, Florida. The first state many people think of when considering retirement is Florida, which offers many attractive options. An especially popular Floridian city is Palm Bay, where, as of July 2014, approximately 20 percent of its population comprised residents over 65. The city is booming with an influx of seniors attracted to the warm climate and the benefits of no state income tax. Palm Bay residents also enjoy lower-than-average tax rates, 10 golf courses, more than two dozen parks, and plenty of nearby beaches.
2. Hialeah, Florida. Hialeah may be known for horse racing, but it’s also attracting its fair share of retirees. Like Palm Bay, almost 20 percent of the population is over 65 — but if you occasionally want some lively entertainment and a younger crowd, it’s just eight miles from downtown Miami. Want proof the city is catering to the retiree crowd? Hialeah has several adult centers that offer meals, classes, and other activities for seniors. Hialeah Hospital even has its own senior emergency-care room.
3. Sun City, Arizona. If you prefer dry desert heat, another state known for its retiree and snowbird populations is Arizona. One of the best towns is Sun City, which is almost entirely devoted to senior living. Residents enjoy peaceful living and great financial benefits: The Phoenix metro area has a fairly low cost of living compared to other big cities, but Sun City seniors enjoy extremely low property taxes on newer homes that may even overlook a golf course. In April 2014, Sun City catered to its senior population by allowing golf carts to drive on the shoulders of city streets.
4. Surprise, Arizona. Another great Arizona city to consider when planning your retirement is Surprise, which is drawing older adults in droves. Its location near Sun City, on the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area, is no coincidence: Surprise’s retirement community Sun City Grand was built by the same developers. Surprise has welcomed its senior population with open arms, going as far as allowing golf carts on city streets with speed limits under 35 miles per hour. Besides the warm Arizona climate, you can enjoy the benefits of being close to a major city without the traffic or crime.
5. Fargo, North Dakota. If you prefer a climate where you still get the full range of seasons, you might be surprised at one of Forbes’ 2014 retirement hot spots in the United States: Fargo, North Dakota. Yes, you’ll have to endure some cold winters, but you can also enjoy a booming local economy and a cost of living that’s 8 percent lower than the national average. As a bonus to your senior health, there’s clean air and plenty of areas to walk or bike safely — which may head off a trip to one of the many doctors available in the area.
There are many more great places attracting seniors, but these five of the best retirement cities can get your started in your quest for the perfect home.