The Best U.S. Cities for Retirees to Live and Work in 2020

Happy retired couple looking at a map for their next destination
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

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.

Read Next
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card
10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card

Sometimes it’s simply safer to keep the plastic tucked away.

7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time
7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time

Here’s why I hung up my scissors and quit clipping coupons.

Can My Wife Use My Social Security Benefits While Letting Hers Grow?
Can My Wife Use My Social Security Benefits While Letting Hers Grow?

Your self-discipline in not uttering three little words helps determine whether you can use a key claiming strategy.

7 Effortless Ways to Make Extra Money
7 Effortless Ways to Make Extra Money

In the digital age, new ways of earning cash crop up all the time — and some require next to no effort on your part.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less

In this week’s podcast: tips on retiring overseas — from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.