Digging out the heavy coats, shovels and bags of ice melt: Tired of this yearly tradition?
You could retire to somewhere that is sunny and warm year-round. While some retirees find paradise in countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica, there is no need to move overseas for beautiful weather.
Here’s a look at some prime spots in the U.S. where retirees get both good weather and a good quality of life.
It’s hard to beat Orlando as a sunny retirement destination. The city had an average daily temperature of 74.9 degrees Fahrenheit last year, and it’s hard to miss its prominence in WalletHub’s annual survey of the best U.S. cities for retirees.
Of course, the fact that Florida doesn’t have a state income tax is the icing on the cake.
You may need a jacket during the winter months, but you won’t have to worry about shoveling in Hattiesburg. It almost never snows here.
What’s more, the city has a cost of living well below the national average. Hattiesburg is a certified retirement community, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.
Retirees can hardly go wrong by moving to Sarasota, according to U.S. News & World Report. The publication named the Florida city as the 11th-best place to retire in 2022-2023, and the best place to live in Florida. The city also earns high marks for being a safe place to live and offering a good quality of life.
Plus, according to some estimates, residents enjoy 251 sunny days per year in Sarasota.
Head south to Augusta for a retirement destination that boasts pleasant summers and mild winters. While daily low temperatures can reach the 30s in the winter, snow is an uncommon occurrence here.
Forbes named it one of the best places to retire in 2021, thanks to its affordable housing, state tax exemptions for retirement income and low crime rate. More recently, the city was named the best place to retire in Georgia.
Arizona attracts many older Americans, and Scottsdale is the best city in the state for retirees, according to WalletHub. The city landed in the No. 7 spot of the website’s 2022 rankings, ahead of other Arizona cities such as Phoenix and Tempe, and takes fourth place as the city with the best quality of life among the more than 180 cities WalletHub looked at.
And if you’re looking for sun, Scottsdale has it in spades, boasting more than 330 sunny days per year.
If you’d rather retire to a small community, Travel + Leisure recommends Fredericksburg, Texas. Located approximately 70 miles from San Antonio and Austin, this small town of approximately 11,000 residents has a rich German heritage and is a destination for those seeking good food, wine and an eclectic shopping experience.
The average annual high temperature in Fredericksburg is a comfortable 77 degrees, although summer highs can reach into the 90s.
El Paso, Texas
El Paso is another sunny Texas city to consider. GOBankingRates says you’ll get sunshine 84% of the time in this community on the U.S.-Mexico border, and its low housing prices make it one of the cheapest places to retire in America. According to the website, the average cost of living in El Paso is just $39,158 per year.
The weather may be one reason why so many people like Phoenix, which was the nation’s fastest-growing large city from 2010 to 2020. GOBankingRates says the Arizona city gets sunshine 85% of the time, and its annual average high temperature is 88 degrees.
Retirees who choose to retire to Phoenix also get the perk of not having their Social Security benefits taxed by the state.
Given its nickname as the Sunshine State, Florida has no shortage of warm and sunny places to retire, as shown by the multiple cities from the state on this list.
Another one of them, Naples, was named the sixth-best city for retirement in 2022-2023 by U.S. News & World Report, and the city gets high marks for being a safe community with a good quality of life and strong desirability.
However, be aware that it may be more expensive than some other Florida destinations. Plus, the community was in the path of Hurricane Ian which means it may be rebuilding for quite some time.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Those who want to retire near the ocean may find Virginia Beach is the right spot for them. You won’t see much snow here, and you get about 213 days of sun each year.
Forbes included Virginia Beach on its list of the best places to retire in 2021, in part because of its comfortable climate, low crime and no state estate taxes or state income tax on Social Security.
Asheville, North Carolina
Maybe you want to be somewhere warmer for retirement, but you don’t want to give up the four seasons completely. In that case, Asheville might be a good choice for you.
Known for its temperate climate, this North Carolina city in the Blue Ridge Mountains region doesn’t see more than 11 inches of snow all winter, and its summer temperatures, while warm, rarely top 90 degrees. On average, you’ll get about 212 sunny days each year in Asheville.
There’s a reason George Vanderbilt, son of famed businessman William Vanderbilt, constructed his Biltmore estate here.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico, is no stranger to “best of” lists. It has been selected in the past by organizations such as AARP and Forbes as one of the top places in the country to retire. It has an affordable cost of living and plenty of hiking trails and recreational sports leagues for seniors who want to stay active and fit.
As for being warm and sunny, Las Cruces has an impressive 340 days of sunshine each year with average temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the spring. And if you like it hot, you’ll love it here. It’s not unusual for the mercury to hit three-digit highs during the summer months.
If you want to retire to the community with the most sun possible, head to Yuma, Arizona.
Located in the southwest corner of the state and close to the Mexican border, Yuma receives an average of 90% of its possible sunshine each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s the highest percentage in the country.
Beyond the weather, Yuma can be an affordable retirement choice and a good option for those seeking a slower pace of life. With about 100,000 residents, this isn’t a booming metropolis, but it does host events such as the Colorado River Balloon Crossing Festival.
For those who are “California Dreamin'” about retirement, Fresno is a good choice for warm weather and clear, sunny skies. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report named the city as the second-best place to retire in California.
You’ll be in good company as a retiree there, with 17% of the population aged 60 or older. What’s more, Fresno gets 79% of its possible sunshine, on average, each year, per NOAA data.
Round Rock, Texas
This suburb of Austin is one of Kiplinger’s picks for a retirement city for those want to avoid the cold. The magazine’s 2019 analysis reports that housing in Round Rock is cheaper than that found in the nearby state capital. What’s more, the cost of living for retirees is estimated to be lower than the national average.
Average temperatures in Round Rock are 95 degrees in July although they can dip to just above freezing — 35 degrees — in January.
For 2022-2023, U.S. News & World Report named Pensacola as the third-best place in the nation to retire. The magazine gives the city above-average marks for value, desirability and quality of life.
Like other Florida retirement destinations, Pensacola offers sunny weather, beautiful beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Not everyone wants to live in Florida or the desert for their retirement. Those who want something different might find it in Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole country. Lafayette was at one time named the Happiest City in America by the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, and there is a lot here that will make retirees happy.
Kiplinger’s notes the city has a low cost of living for retirees, and its average high temperature of 92 in July will fit the bill for those seeking a warm retreat. There is also plenty of food, music and culture to keep active seniors busy during their golden years.
Back in California, Ventura is another ideal landing spot for retirees. The city makes the top 10 as one of the nation’s best retirement destinations, according to StorageCafe, an online storage marketplace.
The cost of living in Ventura is higher than the national average, but retirees may find the price is worth the amenities. The city is located relatively close to Los Angeles while also being a short drive away from the mountains.
As for the weather, it’s hard to complain about the city’s average 273 sunny days per year. Plus, there is virtually no humidity here, meaning that even the hottest summer days feel comfortable.
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