25 Best US Cities for Retirement: 2017

Out of the 150 most populous cities, these 25 got (mostly) high marks from WalletHub in four categories

(Photo: Thinkstock) (Photo: Thinkstock)

It may seem all retirees go to Florida, but that doesn’t have to be the case, as many cities, with both hot and cold weather, offer retirees many benefits that can ease their living situation, including health facilities, Affordability and overall Quality of Life.

Although many retirees settle where they have family, others may be more analytical, as was this WalletHub study, which reviewed four overall categories to determine the best U.S. cities in which to retire. These categories were: Affordability, Activities, Quality of Life and Health care.

Although the four areas were weighted equally, within each were different aspects that were weighted differently. So within Affordability, WalletHub looked at adjusted cost of living, which was given the heaviest weighting, in addition to tax-payer friendliness and annual costs of adult day Health care and in-home services.

(Related: 12 Best Foreign Cities for Retirement: 2016)

Within the Activities category, all aspects were weighted evenly, ranging from recreation and senior centers to golf courses, theaters and art galleries, bingo halls and even fishing facilities.

For Quality of Life, the heaviest weighting was given to weather, mild being the most favorable, while air and water quality were weighted least. The category also included share of population that was 65 and older, the labor market for elderly, city walkability, as well as crime rate.

Finally, Health care weighted almost all areas evenly including numbers of physicians, nurses, Health care facilities and top-rated geriatrics hospitals.

What were the top scorers in each category? 

  • Affordability: Laredo, Texas;
  • Activities: San Francisco;
  • Quality of Life: Honolulu;
  • Health care: Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

For the big picture, WalletHub combined these categories to find the top-rated U.S. cities of the 150 most populated in which to retire. Those cities that scored highest in a particular category are noted with a Shout Out: BEST of the Best! Those that scored the lowest in a category among these 25 cities gets noted: WORST of the Best!

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

25. Colorado Springs
(Population: 465,000)

  • Affordability: 77
  • Activities: 63
  • Quality of Life: 8
  • Health care: 56 

Great Big Idaho Potato Truck in Boise.

24.  Boise, Idaho
(Population: 223,000)

  • Affordability: 81
  • Activities: 42
  • Quality of Life: 27
  • Health care: 39

Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles.

23. Los Angeles
(Population: 3,976,500)

  • Affordability: 127
  • Activities: 5
  • Quality of Life: 17
  • Health care: 32

Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

22. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
(Population: 174,500)

  • Affordability: 51
  • Activities: 126 -- (WORST of the Best!)
  • Quality of Life: 98
  • Health care: 1 -- (BEST of the Best!)

These two opposite Shout Outs make Sioux Falls a tough choice for retirees: The lack of activities may bore you into a deep depression but you’ll have a great health care system to lift you out of your funk.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. (Photo: AP)

21. San Francisco
(Population: 871,000)

  • Affordability: 144 -- (WORST of the Best!)
  • Activities: 1 -- (BEST of the Best!)
  • Quality of Life: 36
  • Health care: 7

So if you retire to super pricey San Francisco you get to either pay rent and stare out the window of your expensive apartment OR live on the street and have money to pay for all the cool things around town.

Cincinnati Skyline.

20. Cincinnati
Population: 299,000

  • Affordability: 74
  • Activities: 9
  • Quality of Life: 124 — (WORST of the Best!)
  • Health care: 77

Yeesh, WKRP in Cincinnati indeed. You remember the TV show, right? The WKRP (without the W) stands for what it sounds like.

Raleigh skyline.

19. Raleigh, North Carolina
(Population: 459,000)

  • Affordability: 61
  • Activities: 48
  • Quality of Life: 61
  • Health care: 6

Port St. Lucie, Florida 

18. Port St. Lucie, Florida
(Population: 185,000)

  • Affordability: 26
  • Activities: 80
  • Quality of Life: 83
  • Health care: 15

St. Petersburg, Florida

17. St. Petersburg, Florida
(Population: 261,000)

  • Affordability: 3
  • Activities: 32
  • Quality of Life: 66
  • Health care: 92

Wisconsin State Capitol.

16. Madison, Wisconsin
(Population: 252,500)

  • Affordability: 117
  • Activities: 31
  • Quality of Life: 11
  • Health care: 3

Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

15. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
(Population: 179,000)

  • Affordability: 44
  • Activities: 29
  • Quality of Life: 65
  • Health care: 34

Minneapolis skyline.

14.  Minneapolis
(Population: 413,500)

  • Affordability: 124
  • Activities: 19
  • Quality of Life: 42
  • Health care: 2

Cape Coral, Florida.

13. Cape Coral, Florida
(Population: 180,000)

  • Affordability: 21
  • Activities: 68
  • Quality of Life: 30
  • Health care: 50

Mardi Gras in New Orleans. (Photo: AP) 

12. New Orleans
(Population: 391,500)

  • Affordability: 30
  • Activities: 13
  • Quality of Life: 109
  • Health care: 93

Pittsburgh skyline.

11. Pittsburgh
(Population: 303,500)

  • Affordability: 76
  • Activities: 20
  • Quality of Life: 43
  • Health care: 53

Fremont Street in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP)

10. Las Vegas
(Population: 633,000)

  • Affordability: 32
  • Activities: 17
  • Quality of Life: 52
  • Health care: 109 — (WORST of the Best!)

So basically, don’t retire to Las Vegas if you’re thinking of visiting a decent doctor in the next one to 30 years.

City of Austin Road Sign.

9. Austin, Texas
(Population: 948,000)

  • Affordability: 57
  • Activities: 21
  • Quality of Life: 54
  • Health care: 48

 

Denver Brocons Fans. (Photo: AP)

8. Denver
(Population: 693,000)

  • Affordability: 103
  • Activities: 18
  • Quality of Life: 34
  • Health care: 21

Waikiki shoreline in Honolulu.

7. Honolulu
(Population: 352,000)

  • Affordability: 134
  • Activities: 12
  • Quality of Life: 1 — (BEST of the Best!)
  • Health care: 9

The islands are expensive but you probably won’t care because, hey, you’re living in freaking Hawaii, bro! 

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. (Photo: AP)

6. Salt Lake City
(Population: 193,500)

  • Affordability: 75
  • Activities: 26
  • Quality of Life: 92
  • Health care: 12

The World of Coke in Atlanta. (Photo: AP) 

5. Atlanta
(Population: 472,500)

  • Affordability: 58
  • Activities: 8
  • Quality of Life: 113
  • Health care: 52

Solieri Bridge in Downtown Scottsdale.

4. Scottsdale, Arizona
(Population: 246,500)

  • Affordability: 62
  • Activities: 43
  • Quality of Life: 5
  • Health care: 10

South Beach Miami

3. Miami
(Population: 453,500)

  • Affordability: 36
  • Activities: 4
  • Quality of Life: 117
  • Health care: 29

Tampa Riverwalk.

2. Tampa, Florida
(Population: 377,000)

  • Affordability: 7
  • Activities: 10
  • Quality of Life: 80
  • Health care: 59

Disney World in Orlando. (Photo: AP)

1. Orlando, Florida
(Population: 277,000)

  • Affordability: 8
  • Activities: 14
  • Quality of Life: 112
  • Health care: 13

--- Related on ThinkAdvisor:

12 Best Foreign Cities for Retirement: 2016

15 Best US Cities for Retirement: 2016

15 Worst US Cities for Retirement: 2016

25 Best Countries for Retirement Security: 2017

10 Best Foreign Countries for Retirement: 2017

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