18 Best Places to Retire in the US

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By Darryl Henderson

You want to spend your golden years somewhere enjoyable after a lifetime of working hard, so it’s definitely worth doing some prior planning. The US has a wide range of options to choose from when you’re looking to move for your retirement. Here are the 18 best places to retire in the US.

Sarasota, Florida

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Britannica says the name “Sarasota” was derived from a Spanish term meaning “a place of dancing”, and that couldn’t be more true. Set on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota enjoys stunning beaches, warm year-round weather, and a vibrant retirement community.

Charleston, South Carolina

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The rich colonial and Civil War history of South Carolina could make it the perfect retirement destination for history lovers. With well-preserved architecture, a mild climate, and a relaxed pace of life, as well as numerous high-end golf courses and waterways – what’s not to love?

Tucson, Arizona

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Tucson boasts a unique desert environment with beautiful landscapes and hiking trails – ideal for the more adventurous retiree. It offers a low cost of living compared to other Southwestern cities, and a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

Savannah, Georgia

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Forbes has Savannah on its list of top places to retire – because of its low cost of living which is 17% below the national average, historic squares and streets, laid-back lifestyle and excellent cuisine, and of course the strong community bonds and diverse senior-friendly activities on offer.

San Diego, California

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San Diego benefits from a mild Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, numerous outdoor activities, high-quality healthcare facilities, and friendly, active retirement communities that make all newcomers feel at home.

Asheville, North Carolina

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This picturesque mountain retreat is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with breathtaking scenery. The bustling arts community, vibrant downtown, and varied outdoor activities on offer make Asheville one of the best places to spend your retirement.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Santa Fe boasts a unique mix of Native American and Spanish cultures and is famous for its art scene with galleries, museums, and music festivals. The pleasant climate has four distinct seasons and clean air for those looking to live as healthily as possible.

Austin, Texas

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Austin offers a livelier retirement destination. Austin is the perfect choice if you enjoy a rowdy music scene, year-round festivals and events, diverse food options, and a range of outdoor activities nearby.

Honolulu, Hawaii

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Retire to luxury with Honolulu’s glorious beaches, year-round warm weather, and a relaxed island lifestyle. However, CNBC highlights the need for financial security to retire to Hawaii, as it is one of the more expensive places on our list.

Santa Barbara, California

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This beautiful coastal city has Mediterranean-style architecture, farm-to-table dining experiences, and a thriving wine region if you’re partial to some quality rosé. With numerous art and music festivals throughout the year, you won’t be short of things to do in Santa Barbara.

Portland, Maine

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Portland is a charming waterfront city in Maine with a strong sense of history. It’s well-known for its deliciously fresh seafood and vibrant local markets. It’s also within proximity to coastal and mountain areas for outdoor adventures.

Bend, Oregon

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Bend offers a high desert climate with stunning views of the Cascade Mountains. It has various outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and cycling. The Bend retirement community is growing by the year, with more people flocking to the area and various new amenities.

Boise, Idaho

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If you’re looking for a small-town feel with big-city amenities then Boise, Idaho may help to meet your retirement needs. It boasts a low cost of living and a strong sense of community. You can also enjoy plenty of outdoor activities along the Boise River and nearby mountains.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Breathtaking views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding mountains make Colorado Springs the type of place you see on a postcard. Retiring here would introduce you to many cultural attractions, a thriving arts scene, and a wide range of outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing.

Seattle, Washington

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Seattle is a magnificent city with a mix of urban and natural attractions. It has a renowned coffee culture, high-quality dining options, and access to beautiful landscapes such as Puget Sound and Mount Rainier.

Palm Springs, California

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NBC says retiring to Palm Springs gives you a lot of bang for your buck, with endless sunshine and gorgeous mountain views. The sunny desert climate and resort-style amenities make it feel like you’re constantly on vacation. It’s also really affordable for the excellent quality of life you receive.

Madison, Wisconsin

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Madison is situated in Wisconsin and has a strong community spirit with numerous local events. It’s known as a college town with a vibrant cultural scene and a range of food options but also has beautiful lakes and parks available for outdoor recreation.

Wilmington, North Carolina

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Wilmington is a historic port city with beautiful waterfront views. Its growing film industry provides unique cultural experiences, and it also provides easy access to stunning beaches and a variety of outdoor activities.