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The 25 Best States For Your Retirement

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Who doesn’t want to spend their retirement in a friendly and cozy place, with many activities? When you reach a certain age, you realize that you need more for your golden time and a certain amount of money to cover those desires. You might be able to save enough money for your retirement, but do you know where is the best to invest it, where to move, and spend that money earned by hard work and intense dedication?

To help you decide where to move next, we have compared over 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country as potential places to retire. Here are the best 25 based on housing affordability, retiree taxes, health care, desirability, and happiness. Scroll to see where you should start your next life chapter.

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25. Pensacola, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,287
Median monthly rent: $992

Pensacola is an excellent choice for those who want to live an affordable beach retirement. Many would say that with a median monthly rent of only $992, Pensacola is the popular spot for retirees on a budget.

One of the most popular activities here are dolphins watching or exploring military forts at the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Pensacola scored high marks for desirability and housing affordability. Due to its location, Pensacola provides access to Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

24. San Antonio, Texas

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,458
Median monthly rent: $987

San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in the States. This growing town is located only 90 miles from Austin, with significantly lower housing costs than Austin.

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San Antonio is the ideal place to mix a Texas Hill Country retirement with a large city’s amenities, including great health care options and great cultural content. Since Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, retirees can keep more of their earnings.

23. Charlotte, North Carolina

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,369
Median monthly rent: $986

Charlotte is one of the most popular North Carolina’s cities. The popularity of this city is constantly on the rise that each year charming Charlotte welcomes new residents.

People choose to move to Charlotte in search of job opportunities or a lower cost of living. The area is a center for the banking industry and motorsports and has diverse cultural content to offer retirees. There are also numerous volunteering options. Professional sports fans can root for the Hornets, Panthers, and Checkers.

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22. Houston, Texas

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,685
Median monthly rent: $1,055

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the States and continues to grow each year. This area is globally known as a center for the oil and natural gas industries.

For a big city, Houston has extremely affordable housing prices. This growing metro area is located near the Gulf of Mexico and has a museum district, a theater district, and several professional sports teams. Plus, Houston is excellent for those passionate about long-life learning, as seniors age 65 and older can audit courses for free at the University of Houston.

21. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,253
Median monthly rent: $860

According to many, Grand Rapids is a real mix of thriving artistic community with an affordable cost of living. Grand Rapids is rich in cultural content, offering its residents numerous art museums, art galleries, and great outdoor activities.

The entire city periodically becomes an art gallery during the ArtPrize awards, which attracts artistic people worldwide. If you want to join the art community in Grand Rapids, it won’t cost you a fortune. The median home price among people age 60 and older is just $162,300.

20. Tampa, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,419
Median monthly rent: $1,070

Tampa offers a great setting and retirement near the beach on a budget while still enjoying a metro area’s amenities. There are beaches with powdery sand along Tampa Bay near the Gulf of Mexico, as well as towering skyscrapers and high rises.

Tampa has a popular port for cruise ships that makes it easy to explore the Caribbean or Europe while enjoying on-board activities. Who doesn’t want to travel around the world when money and time aren’t an issue? Other activities will keep you busy and entertained as theme parks, an aquarium, and professional sports teams.

19. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,204
Median monthly rent: $802

Chattanooga calls itself the “Gig City.” Why? Chattanooga was the first city in the States to offer gigabit internet speed in far 2010. After this huge event, Chattanooga continued investing in high-speed internet.

As expected, ultra-fast internet has attracted numerous tech companies, entrepreneurs, and venture capital firms who need broadband services for their work but wanted a more affordable living cost. There are many options for retirees who wish to work part-time, and if you’re going to start an online business here, it won’t cost you a thing. In your free time, you can enjoy the nearby mountains and the Tennessee River.

18. Lakeland, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,223
Median monthly rent: $944

Waterfront property is affordable in this inland Florida area with 38 named lakes. For those over 60, the median home price is just $120,900. Lakeland is located between Tampa and Orlando and presents a lower-cost alternative to larger cities in the neighborhood.

In Lakeland, you can expect how and humid summers and mild and pleasant winters. This city has several local lakes that are great for outdoor recreation and swans that are descendants of two royal swans donated to the city by Queen Elizabeth.

17. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,688
Median monthly rent: $1,085

Job opportunities draw many new people to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Just in the last year, this big city welcomed 16,369 additional residents.

People love reasonable housing costs. The median home price in the area is just $179,100 among those age 60 and older. As mentioned earlier, Texas doesn’t have an income tax, but you should remember to factor in the potential property taxes when purchasing a home. With so many professional teams to root for, sports fans will have the time of their life.

16. Orlando, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,457
Median monthly rent: $1,161

Orlando is one of the richest cities entertainment-wise when it comes to Florida. Many theme parks, resorts, and convention centers draw visitors to the area all year long. Nex to rich social life, retirees, appreciate the pleasant winter weather and low cost of living.

The University of Central Florida welcomes retirees for many of their courses and for free. If you have grandchildren, they will come to visit you frequently: who can resist not visiting their grandparents who live near Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida?

15. Daytona Beach, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,258
Median monthly rent: $1,029

Daytona Beach is far from a typical sleepy beach town. Actually, Daytona Beach is mostly known for motorsports. NASCAR fans flock to the area for the Daytona 500 and other races at the Daytona International Speedway.

Retirees love low housing costs, nice winter weather, and near the Atlantic Ocean. Daytona Beach has 23 miles of sandy beaches, some of which allow you to drive your car onto the hard-packed sand.

14. Manchester, New Hampshire

Median monthly mortgage cost: $2,010
Median monthly rent: $1,154

Manchester is New Hampshire’s most popular city. This area is known for its high quality of life, great job opportunities, and easy access to great health care.

New Hampshire doesn’t have a state sales tax or an earned income tax. However, it does tax dividends and interest, so the property taxes can be high. For autumn fans, Manchester’s four-season climate is a great choice. For those who love art, the Currier Museum of Art and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House are only a few minutes away.

13. Jacksonville, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,427
Median monthly rent: $1,059

Jacksonville is among the fastest-growing places in Florida. Every year, this area welcomes around 9,000 new residents. People love what Jacksonville has to offer.

Great weather, mild beaches, Atlantic Ocean beaches, and great scenic golf courses draw people toward this area. The area is also rich in high-performing hospitals, including a branch of the Mayo Clinic. The median home price is $185,700 among people age 60 and older.

12. Nashville, Tennessee

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,420
Median monthly rent: $1,008

Nashville is always famous, but in the last few years, people move here and not only for great country music. Nashville is affordable to retirees with a lot of cultural content here to keep their time filled with fun and rich content.

Nashville is also a college town and therefore, home to various higher learning institutions, including Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University. The state of Tennessee doesn’t tax earned income but will tax dividends and interest. Sports lovers have many sports to choose from, and those who are into music and art can attend live performances at the Grand Ole Opry and visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

11. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,267
Median monthly rent: $913

Myrtle Beach is usually known as a popular vacation destination. However, in the last years, the area is known as an excellent destination for retirees.

Plus, there are over 60 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Myrtle Beach has numerous golf courses designed by top architects, making them really popular and beautiful. Fro free time, residents can join the tourists at the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and boardwalk or find a quiet place to enjoy the fresh local seafood.

10. Melbourne, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,324
Median monthly rent: $1,018

There is definitely something special about Florida that inspires people to run there. Melbourne is often called the Space Coast due to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and locals can watch rockets launch into orbit – which is pretty awesome, right?

Melbourne provides plenty of earthly pleasures, such as strolling along the Atlantic Ocean or dolphins watching at the Indian River Lagoon. Great city, mild winters, and low costing costs make Melbourne attractive to retirees.

9. Miami, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,774
Median monthly rent: $1,295

It’s no secret that Miami is expensive. Actually, Miami is more expensive than other parts of Florida, but retirees still choose Miami as their first destination.

This tropical city offers excellent weather, interestingly affordable housing, and amenities that are worth the cost to many retirees. All in, Miami offers a beach retirement that is close to big-city services. Retirees have several health care options to choose from, and the University of Miami provides lectures and discussions for people over age 50.

8. Asheville, North Carolina

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,286
Median monthly rent: $874

Asheville is a perfect choice when you want an outdoor adventure. Located next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, Asheville offers great scenery and rich outdoor life.

As expected, Asheville is known as a mountain town, but little is known that Asheville scores high marks for desirability and affordability. Asheville residents like their city and have a lot of pride in their community. Finally, Asheville is also known for its innovative chefs who make artistic creations with local ingredients.

7. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,737
Median monthly rent: $1,083

Ann Arbor is among the top ten places to retire, thanks to job opportunities and fantastic health care. Ann Arbor is a college town with a rich cultural and business life.

The University of Michigan is in the community center, which provides free tuition for Michigan families with incomes below $65,000. On top of that, this school offers numerous sporting events, musical performances, and other public events. This vivid town scored well on the happiness metric as well, with residents enjoying economic life and enjoying the town’s energy.

6. Ocala, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,065
Median monthly rent: $859

Ocala is an equestrian town known for producing Kentucky Derby-winning horses. For those who enjoy old-town charms with modern life amenities, Ocala seems like a logical choice.

Here, retirees can enjoy a light horseback ride through nature trails, enjoy the fresh air, and even visit local farms. This city is perfect for nature lovers and those who enjoy spending the morning next to the lake shores. On top of incredible scenery, Ocala has a reasonable cost of living and low housing costs.

5. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,516
Median monthly rent: $978

Lancaster is the former capital of Pennsylvania, located between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Today, this city is the number one choice when it comes to favorite retirees destination in Pennsylvania.

Lancaster residents take huge pride in their community, loving safety and the scenery. Surrounded by Amish farmland, many enjoy organic and fresh products sold directly at local stores and the vivid Lancaster Central Market. This city also has a growing foodie scene with a diverse collection of cuisines.

4. Naples, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,787
Median monthly rent: $1,228

According to data, Naples is more expensive than other Florida cities, but many retirees still choose to make Naples their new home. Retirees love the quality of life in Naples and overall well-being that is possible thanks to great air, beaches, and numerous outdoor activities.

People in Naples enjoy their secure economic life and supportive relationships. Naples also scored highly on the desirability metric, and the area is commonly full of tourists, thanks to mild winter weather and spacious golf courses.

3. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,436
Median monthly rent: $1,126

Port St. Lucie is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast, making it appealing to those who love outdoor activities and a reasonable cost of living with high marks for desirability.

Port St. Lucie also scored well on the happiness metric, merely due to residents reporting a lack of stress in their economic life. In addition to that, they get to enjoy ocean beaches, Savannas Preserve State Park, and the boardwalk trails at Hillmoor Lake Park.

2. Fort Myers, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,416
Median monthly rent: $1,093

Fort Myers is one of the most popular retirement destinations in Florida. Moreover, this charming city is one number one retiree destination for those 60 or older.

This Gulf Coast city scored well on happiness and the desirability metrics, with residents reporting they have supportive relationships and are more than able to manage their economic life easily.

1. Sarasota, Florida

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,481
Median monthly rent: $1,152

Sarasota is a favorite for its white sandy beaches and great weather. This beautiful area draws many retirees to the area who can enjoy no state income tax in Florida, which benefits those who plan to work part-time in retirement.

Sarasota scored highly in various surveys of well-being, with residents saying they have supportive social and community relationships. They also love how affordable the Sarasota area is.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, ScienceSQ.

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