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20 Best U.S. Cities for Retirement: 2021

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Related: 12 Best U.S. Cities for Retirement: 2020

Only three in 10 American workers feel firmly confident they will have enough money to retire comfortably, according to research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Many people approaching retirement think their only option is to continue working. Gallup reports that workers in 2020 planned to retire at age 66 on average, six years later than in 1995.

In a new report, WalletHub suggests that an alternative is to relocate to an area where one’s dollar goes further without sacrificing lifestyle. At the same time, the personal finance website acknowledges that retirees want more than just an inexpensive place to live; they want to feel safe and have access to good health care, among other considerations.

The ideal city, WalletHub says, will offer many ways to spend leisure time and have good weather.

To identify the best areas to retire to, WalletHub compared the retirement-friendliness of 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated ones in each state — across the key dimensions of affordability, activities, quality of life and health care, and evaluated those dimensions across 48 metrics.

Researchers graded each metric on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for retirement. They then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the sample. The sample considered only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

WalletHub notes that with cost being a significant factor in retirement, its analysis assumed retirees will rely on a fixed income. The lower their expenses, the better retirees will fare in a particular city.

See the gallery above for the 20 best cities for retirement in 2021.

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