June 10, 2024 | Alex Summers

20 Of America’s Best Towns For Retirees

We Did The Research For You

When it comes to choosing the best place to retire, you’ll need to consider four main features: affordability, activities, quality of life, and healthcare. Luckily, we have the happiness index to help us, and we’ve gone through it to get all the info you need to pick the perfect place for retirement bliss.

America’s Best Towns For Retirees

Trenton, New Jersey

Population: 384,951
Percentage of population 65+15.3%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,363
Median monthly rent: $1,361

Welcome to Trenton, the capital city of New Jersey. Whether you're a retiree seeking leisurely strolls or an adventurer ready to hit the water, Trenton has something for everyone.

Trenton, New JerseyFamartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Trenton, New Jersey (cont’d)

With easy access to New York City and the sunny shores of Atlantic City, you'll never be far from excitement. Plus, Trenton's job market has a #8 ranking on the happiness index, meaning retirees have lots of opportunities for part-time or seasonal work to boost their savings. 

Trenton New JerseyFotosForTheFuture, Shutterstock

Toldeo, Ohio

Population: 646,330
Percentage of population 65+: 16.8%
Median monthly mortgage: $795
Median monthly rent: $809

Retirees love Toledo for its mix of affordability, culture, and outdoor adventures. Ranking at an impressive #9 for housing affordability, Toledo has low rent and mortgage costs, making it an ideal place to settle down.

Toledo, OhioSeasurfer, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Toledo, Ohio (cont’d)

Affectionately called the "Glass City" for its history with the glass-making industry, Toledo also has a vibrant cultural scene. Museums like the renowned Toledo Museum of Art showcase top-tier collections, adding to the city's appeal, and many retirees have found that Toledo lives up to its slogan: "You Will Do Better In Toledo".

Toledo, OhioHenryk Sadura, Shutterstock

Sarasota, Florida

Population: 824,160
Percentage of population 65+: 32.2%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,050
Median monthly rent: $1,359

While Sarasota isn't the cheapest place on the list when it comes to housing, this charming community just south of Tampa has become a special place for retirees. When it comes to desirability, people love Sarasota's stunning white-sand beaches, including the renowned Siesta Key Beach, one of several incredible place to go boating and fishing.

Sarasota, FloridaTrey Ratcliff, Flickr

Sarasota, Florida (cont’d)

Sarasota's warm climate allows for year-round outdoor activities. Beyond its natural beauty, the city has an amazing culinary scene and lots of places to celebrate the arts and music, including the opera house, live music venues, and performing arts hall. The city also ranks high when it comes to retiree taxes, thanks to Florida's tax-friendly environment.

Sarasota SkylineCullen Morgan, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Population: 672,914
Percentage of population 65+: 17.3%
Median monthly mortgage: $841
Median monthly rent: $834

Winston-Salem, affectionately known as Winston among locals, has a #8 ranking because of its incredible housing costs. The town is also home to six colleges and universities, giving it an energetic feel. There's also lots of live performances, thanks to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United Statesalmassengale, Flickr

Winston-Salem, North Carolina (cont’d)

Those who like museums and art can find their happy place at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, while those who like the great outdoors can explore scenic hiking trails to state parks. The Quarry at Grant Park is said to be a particularly stunning overlook. 

Winston-Salem, North CarolinaLarry, Flickr

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Population: 326,590
Percentage of population 65+: 16%
Median monthly mortgage: $865
Median monthly rent: $851

Green Bay holds a special place in the hearts of football fans worldwide as the proud home of the legendary Green Bay Packers. But beyond the gridiron, Green Bay has lots of other outdoor activities for retirees. From tranquil walking and jogging trails to thrilling skiing and snowshoeing adventures, the area's trails offer year-round fun.

Green Bay, WisconsinChris Rand, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Green Bay, Wisconsin (cont’d)

Even when the weather does get a bit choppy, residents can enjoy a sense of peace and safety thanks to the city's low crime rates and excellent air quality. Green Bay also gets high marks for affordability, factoring in both the cost of living and the price of goods and services. 

Green Bay, WisconsinMinimilian, Shutterstock

Manchester, New Hampshire

Population: 420,504
Percentage of population 65+: 15.8%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,250
Median monthly rent: $1,305

Situated along the Merrimack River, Manchester is a beautiful city all year-round. And with no sales or earned income taxes it's a top choice for retirees.

Manchester New HampshireNayaDadara, Shutterstock

Manchester, New Hampshire (cont’d)

With lots of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, it's easy to explore the city. And if you're ever in town, you'll have to stop by the Manchester Farmers Market, where you can indulge in locally sourced produce. Meanwhile, those seeking a bit more action, can get great discounts on season passes for seniors at McIntyre Ski Area. 

new hampshire ski resortFashionStock.com, Shutterstock

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Population: 415,887
Percentage of population 65+: 14.8%
Median monthly mortgage: $706
Median monthly rent: $839

Fort Wayne is a great option for retirees on a budget. The city gets an impressive #7 ranking for affordability, thanks to low housing costs and the overall price of goods and services.

Fort Wayne, IndianaNortheast Indiana Regional Partnership, Flickr

Fort Wayne, Indiana (cont’d)

Summer is a great time in Fort Wayne, with festivals that honor the city's German heritage. There are also lots of cycling and running events for more athletic retirees. And for the baseball fans, Fort Wayne hosts three minor-league teams.

elderly couple riding bicyclesSHVETS production, Pexels

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Population: 6,215,222
Percentage of population 65+: 16%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,227
Median monthly rent: $1,230

Welcome to the birthplace of American democracy! Iconic landmarks like Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, are major draws to Philadelphia but it’s not all history—the city is also a hub of arts and outdoor adventures.

Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaAdam Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

Beyond its famous cheesesteaks and hoagies, Philadelphia's has a diverse dining scene with any kind of cuisine one could think of. Sports are a major part of the city's identity, with locals cheering on teams like the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers all throughout the year. But in addition to all the action, retirees like the city for its top-notch healthcare and hospitals. 

Lankenau Hospital Heart PavillionMontgomery County Planning Commission, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tampa Florida

Population: 3,146,074
Percentage of population 65+: 19.6%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,071
Median monthly rent: $1,230

With its stunning Gulf of Mexico beaches and sunshine all year, Tampa ranks in at #9 for desirability. And retirees love it for its blend of relaxing beach vibes and bustling city energy. 

Tampa, FloridaMatthew Paulson, Flickr

Tampa Florida (cont’d)

Tampa's culinary scene has lots of options for fine dining, and residents can also enjoy e dining the city's many parks. There's even a zoo and an aquarium, with many attractions offering senior discounts. 

Busch Gardens in Tampa, FloridaJoni Hanebutt, Shutterstock

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Population: 372,428
Percentage of population 65+: 14.1%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,123
Median monthly rent: $1,218

One of the main draws to Ann Arbor is impressive healthcare system, which gives retiree in the city added peace of mind. It's also a charming place to live, with lots of opportunities for retirees to have fun.

Ann Arbor, MichiganLengau, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Ann Arbor, Michigan (cont’d)

Art and history enthusiasts will find plenty to explore at the University of Michigan's museums, while outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a variety of activities year-round. From kayaking on the picturesque Huron River in the warmer months to ice skating and snowshoeing in the winter, Ann Arbor offers a diverse array of outdoor experiences for residents to enjoy.

Huron River In Ann ArborNOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Population: 2,366,544
Percentage of population 65+: 20%
Median monthly mortgage: $870
Median monthly rent: $892

In Pittsburgh, affordability meets quality of life. Retirees benefit from easy access to a top-tier hospital system, contributing to Pittsburgh's #21 ranking for health care.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at nightraffik, Flickr

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

With esteemed institutions like the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh has a rich academic environment. Retirees can attend classes, concerts, and other events. Sports fans can rally behind the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates, while outdoor lovers can explore the city's parks and green spaces.

Picture of Carnegie Mellon UniversityCorey Seeman, Flickr

Youngstown, Ohio

Population: 542,459
Percentage of population 65+: 21.2%
Median monthly mortgage: $653
Median monthly rent: $706

Located near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, Youngstown warmly welcomes visitors with its friendly community atmosphere. And with an impressive ranking for affordability, Youngstown offers retirees the chance to make their retirement dollars stretch further.

Youngstown, OhioJoseph, Flickr

Youngstown, Ohio (cont’d)

Retirees can take advantage of senior discounts on golf at Mill Creek MetroParks, a green oasis that spans more than 5,000 acres, complete with bike and hiking trails, golf courses, and beautiful lakes. Meanwhile, the revitalized downtown area beckons with its lively restaurants and captivating galleries.

Youngstown State UniversityJack Pearce, Flickr

Daytona Beach, Florida

Population: 662,671
Percentage of population 65+: 25.4%
Median monthly mortgage: $886
Median monthly rent: $1,181

As a beloved tourist hotspot, Daytona Beach's 23 miles of pristine Atlantic Coast beaches offer endless opportunities for relaxation, whether it's lounging with a good book or taking a refreshing swim. Because of this, it's one of the most desirable spots for retirees who are looking to settle down. 

Landscape Photo of Daytona Beach The view looking north from a hotel room.Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr

Daytona Beach, Florida (cont’d)

Retirees are drawn to Daytona Beach not only for its lively ambiance but also for its favorable tax climate, making it an attractive long-And renowned for its motor sports, the city comes alive with excitement, especially during iconic events like the Daytona 500. 

Landscape photo of Daytona BeachMutaz Albar, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

York, Pennsylvania

Population: 454,605
Percentage of population 65+: 17.5%
Median monthly mortgage: $965
Median monthly rent: $1,025

Retirees are drawn to York, partly due to its easy access to quality health care. York also has a lot of history, with landmarks like the York College of Pennsylvania, established in 1787. It's also the place where Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1778.

York, PennsylvaniaJoe Zlomek, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

York, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

Locals cherish York's heritage, evident in the beautifully restored historic buildings throughout the city. Throughout the year, York comes alive with seasonal events, including the renowned York Fair, a tradition dating back to 1765.

York FairMark Raybin, Shutterstock

New York City, New York

Population: 20,968,258
Percentage of population 65+: 15.9%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,762
Median monthly rent: $1,574

This one might come as a surprise but it’s true: New York is a great place for retirees. Here, there's never a shortage of activities to keep residents entertained, from world-class theaters to acclaimed restaurants and museums. 

Central Park, New York - 2009Mathew Knott, Flickr

New York City, New York (cont’d)

With three hospitals on the U.S. News Best Hospitals Honor Roll, retirees can find specialists to suit all their medical requirements. Despite its reputation for high living costs, New York City has a high desirability ranking and there are lots of opportunities for part-time work if retirees want to earn some extra cash. 

yellow car in New YorkOno Kosuki, Pexels

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Population: 857,997
Percentage of population 65+: 18%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,038
Median monthly rent: $1,141

Located 90 miles from New York City and 60 miles from Philadelphia, Allentown offers the convenience of easy access to these major cities without the high housing costs. And despite being the third-largest metro area in Pennsylvania, Allentown maintains the charm of a smaller town, with many historic homes adding to its character.

Allentown PAAtwngirl, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Allentown, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

While winters in Allentown can be chilly, they provide a paradise for avid skiers. For those who prefer more leisurely activities, the city has lots of hiking trails for walking or running. The city also very family-friendly, with lots of family-centered attractions such as the Da Vinci Science Center and the America On Wheels Museum.  

Da Vinci Science CenterCyberXRef, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Population: 566,743
Percentage of population 65+: 19.7%
Median monthly mortgage: $783
Median monthly rent: $834

Located just two hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, Scranton offers retirees the best of both worlds: proximity to major cities paired with the charm of a small community, affordable housing, and low crime rates. With a respectable #14 ranking for access to good health care, retirees can rest assured knowing their medical needs are well-handled. 

senior woman walking at hospitalGround Picture, Shutterstock

Scranton, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

History buffs will delight in visiting the Lackawanna County Courthouse, a National Register of Historic Places landmark. And retirees will find themselves in good company, as nearly 20% of the population is aged 65 or older. For outdoor enthusiasts, Scranton offers a variety of activities, from morning jogs or strolls along the Lackawanna Heritage Trail to picnics at Sturgis Park or nature walks along the Davis Trail at Nay Aug Park. 

Lackawanna County CourthouseBestbudbrian, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Population: 550,480
Percentage of population 65+: 18%
Median monthly mortgage: $1,000
Median monthly rent: $1,114

Despite dropping two spots from its previous ranking, Lancaster remains highly esteemed as a retirement destination. Known for its exceptional health care for seniors, low taxes, and overall happiness of its residents, Lancaster continues to attract retirees who want a fulfilling lifestyle.

Lancaster Pennsylvania DowntownRandolph Carney, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lancaster, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Lancaster, from scenic hiking trails to engaging water sports. Meanwhile, the city's food scene, with its eclectic array of cuisines and trendy eateries in renovated warehouses and buildings, adds to its allure.

organic food stall in Lancaster, PennsylvaniaJames Kirkikis, Shutterstock

Reading, Pennsylvania

Population: 426,967
Percentage of population 65+: 17.1%
Median monthly mortgage: $972
Median monthly rent: $985

Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, Reading has quickly become one of the best places to retire. Retirees are drawn to the city for its exceptional health care, ranked at #6, and its convenient proximity to Philadelphia, just 90 minutes away by car. 

Reading PennsylvaniaBoringHistoryGuy, Wikimedia Commons

Reading, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

Beyond its practical appeal, Reading boasts charm and affordability, complemented by its diverse community. Retirees will discover a tons of unique activities to enjoy, including a visit to the iconic Reading Pagoda, a historic landmark dating back to 1908. 

Reading PennsylvaniaJack, Flickr

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Population: 587,411
Percentage of population 65+: 17.7%
Median monthly mortgage: $945
Median monthly rent: $1,019

Harrisburg, the vibrant state capital of Pennsylvania, has claimed the top spot on our list for retirees. That's all thanks to the city's high rankings for senior health care (#10) and resident happiness (#15). Retirees are also drawn to Harrisburg  for its low taxes. 

Senior CoupleProstock-studio, Shutterstock

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (cont’d)

Located along the scenic Susquehanna River, Harrisburg's Riverfront Park offers a picturesque setting, with endless opportunities for running, biking, and leisurely strolls. Nearby state forests provide further avenues for exploration. Additionally, Harrisburg's strategic location within easy driving distance of major metro areas like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., adds to its allure for retirees. 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Capitol Buildingkev72, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons


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