The 10 Best U.S. Cities for an Early Retirement

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Early retirees
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Millions of workers have quit their jobs in recent years in what has been dubbed the Great Resignation. Most of these folks have gone on to new places of employment.

But others have decided they’ve had enough. Perhaps spurred on by a re-evaluation of their lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these workers have retired, some earlier than they had previously planned.

Of course, it is easier to retire in some places than in others.

Recently, SmartAsset rounded up a list of cities where it is easier to retire early. In making this judgment, SmartAsset weighed factors such as:

  • Tax friendliness
  • Elderly care
  • Affordability
  • Livability

Based on these metrics, what follows are the U.S. cities where it is easiest to retire early.

10. Lexington, Kentucky

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Yes, you really did see Fido wag his tail the last time you discussed retiring to Lexington. Not only does the city rank high on the list of places for early retirees, but it’s also one of the “The Best Cities for Dog Lovers in 2022.”

9. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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SmartAsset says this Pennsylvania city gets high marks for its elderly care. If you’re looking for affordable digs, note that the Steel City is also one of “10 Markets Where Home Prices Now Are Falling.”

8. Boise, Idaho

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In recent years, Boise has become a magnet for transplants of all ages, including retirees. In fact, Idaho recorded far and away the biggest population increase in 2021 as it possibly lured people away from high-tax states.

7. Mesa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona
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Psst! The word about Mesa’s affordability is getting around. In fact, it’s No. 10 on the list of “The 10 Most Affordable Cities for an Early Retirement.”

6. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
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Retirees looking for a large, yet affordable city should consider Louisville. Single women in particular might want to give the city a second look, as it made the list of “15 Cities Where Women Are Buying Homes.”

5. Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
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Plano has the best effective income tax for retirees, at 16.24%, according to SmartAsset. It also made the list of “The 11 Safest Cities in America for 2021.”

4. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona
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Average effective property taxes are low here, just a scant 0.52%, SmartAsset says. That fact probably helped Scottsdale land at No. 3 on the list of “The 10 Best Places to Retire in America.”

3. Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada aerial photo
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Like Arizona, Nevada has become a hotspot for those seeking a warm place to spend their retirement. The Henderson metro is the No. 2 answer to the question “Where Are Seniors Buying Homes?

2. Chandler, Arizona

Homes in Chandler, Arizona
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Chandler is a good place to retire early if you fear you might change your mind later and want to return to work. The Arizona metro finished No. 4 on a list of the cities with the most job gains in 2021.

1. Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert Arizona
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Gilbert — less than 10 miles from Chandler — gets high marks from SmartAsset for low violent crime and modest property tax rates. It also attains a lofty spot on the list of “15 Cities With the Most Digitally-Connected Seniors.”

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