This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.
Retirement means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about lounging on a beach, hitting the links or taking the boat out on the lake. Others are focused on finding a place that balances safety, affordability and health care access.
And some people will plan to keep working in retirement, at least part time: A 2019 study from AARP found that more than 20% of people 65 and older are working or looking for work, compared with just 10% in 1985.
With these priorities in mind, SmartAsset set out to find the best places in America for retirees to live and work.
To do so, we compared 525 cities (each with at least 65,000 in population) across a wide range of metrics: population above the age of 65, unemployment rate for seniors, housing costs as a percentage of retirement income, estimated tax burden for seniors, crime rates, and access to important amenities like retirement communities and medical centers.
Note that the most recent numbers available for senior unemployment are from 2018, so this study does not take into account areas that were particularly impacted by job losses due to COVID-19.
Data comes from the Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey, 2018 Zip Codes Business Patterns Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program. We used crime data from Neighborhood Scout for cities where FBI data was not available.
We found the mean for each metric and how each city fell comparatively. From there, we calculated an overall score, giving a single weighting to all metrics except violent and property crime rates, both of which were half-weighted. The city ranking as the best place to retire received a score of 100 while the city ranking worst received a score of 0.
Here’s what we found.