Retirement can be a complicated subject. For most, retirement presents the opportunity to relax and do the things you never had time for. However, for many people retirement can be a tough transition from constant busyness to frequent boredom.
Some retirees simply do not know what to do with all of their new free time or find themselves isolated from the hustle and bustle of the working world.
For these reasons, it is imperative for newly retired folks to retire to a community that will keep them active and spirited. Not to mention, retirement is as topical an issue as ever; according to Pew Research, 10,000 Baby Boomers will pass the retirement threshold of 65 years of age every single day for the next 12 years.
In this spirit, LendEDU has created the Best Places to Retire list. LendEDU’s list ranks the 500 U.S. cities that are best for the people that are looking to ride off into the sunset. Our list evaluated tens of thousands American towns and cities based on three parameters: (1) Retirement Age Population Score; (2) Healthcare Accessibility Score; (3) Entertainment Availability Score.
Using licensed data, LendEDU was able to find the proportion of a city’s residents that were over the age of 65. With the same data, we were able to find the number of healthcare facilities and the number of entertainment attractions in each city. These three data points were then normalized according to the respective town’s or city’s population.
After assigning each parameter a weight, each city was given a score indicative of their compatibility with retirees. A higher score meant a better ranking and vice versa. The cities that made the final ranking were the 500 best cities to retire in. In total, 13,564 cities and towns were analyzed.
As retirement becomes increasingly relevant, LendEDU hopes the Best Places to Retire list assists all of those people looking to settle down and enjoy every single day.
Below you will find the results of our study. The table shows each city’s score for each category, as well as the total scores. The top 500 cities and towns are displayed. The name of each category was shortened to fit on the table. The full names of each category are as follows:
Age = Retirement Age Population Score
The proportion of citizens 65 years or older.
Healthcare = Healthcare Accessibility Score
The number of hospitals, medical clinics, and nursing homes normalized by total population.
Entertainment = Entertainment Availability Score
The number of parks, art galleries, botanical gardens, bowling alleys, golf courses, libraries, movie theaters, museums, and nature centers available to the public normalized by total population.
Total = Total Score
The total number of points scored. Retirement Age Population Score and Entertainment Availability scores were given a weight of 40% each. The Healthcare Accessibility Score was given a weight of 20%.
Note: You can use the filters above the table to search for a specific city or state.
As shown above, each city and town was judged on 3 criteria: Retirement Age Population, Healthcare Accessibility, and Entertainment Availability. All of the data included was licensed from Onboard Informatics. The score for each metric was determined by assigning a percentile rank to each individual town or city based on the entire dataset. For example, the town with the most entertainment available per person would receive a score of 100 whereas the least would receive a 0. The following breakdown shows how each was calculated and why it was included:
Retirement Age Population Score
This metric represents the proportion of retirement aged residents. To calculate this, we divided the sum of all residents who were 65 years old and up by the total population of each town and city. This metric is useful because retirement aged individuals often like to spend their time with others their ages. Also, if a town or city has more retirement aged individuals, it is more likely to have entertainment, clubs, and activities that are geared towards this group of people.
Healthcare Accessibility Score
To calculate this metric, we divided the total number of hospitals, medical clinics, and retirement homes by the total population. This metric was included because as residents become older, their chances of needing medical attention increases. Retirees want to choose a town or city where healthcare is easily accessible incase anything happens.
Entertainment Availability Score
To calculate this metric, we divided the total number of parks, art galleries, botanical gardens, bowling alleys, golf courses, libraries, movie theaters, museums, and nature centers available to the public by the total population of each city or town. Since retirees no longer have to worry about working, it is important to have plenty of entertainment available. All of the different different forms of entertainment listed above were considered suitable for retirement aged individuals.