Not everyone can retire like TV’s Golden Girls, moving to a warmer climate with a group of sarcastic and sassy friends. For some, being close to family and friends is the most affordable and comforting choice.
But if moving is an option, there are pros and cons to senior living in every US city.
A recent analysis personal finance website WalletHub compared the “retiree-friendliness” of more than 180 U.S. cities based on 46 factors, then gave each city an overall score out of 100.
The analysis examined factors affecting affordability, quality of life and health care.
To no one’s surprise, Florida cities scored highly, but one of the nation’s most legendary cold-weather cities came in at 12th, while another famous snow area came in at 14th. Here’s a look at the top-rated cities.
15. St. Petersburg, Florida
Total score for this metropolitan area: 54.55 out of 100 possible points
There’s a lot of Florida on this list. Saint Peter boasts 361 sunny days per year and an average temperature of 74 degrees. And if you want to spend some of those days on the water, the city tied for first with four other cities in the number of fishing facilities per capita.
Total score for this metropolitan area: 54.65 out of 100 possible points
Not all retirees are ready to retire from active recreation. For active seniors, there’s Denver, with its famous mountains ready for skiing and climbing. And you can have many years to enjoy these sports, as Colorado recently appeared on the list 11 states where retirees have the longest life expectancy.
Total score for this metropolitan area: 55.03 out of 100 possible points
Busy Atlanta enjoys a mild southern climate as well as all the benefits of a big city. It ranked No. 5 in WalletHub’s analysis when it came to exploring the city’s activity options, covering everything from bingo halls to art galleries. Only three cities – Washington, San Francisco and St. Louis – have more museums per capita.
Total score for this metropolitan area: 55.78 out of 100 possible points
Minneapolis has snowy winters, that’s a fact. But the bustling City of Lakes has plenty to do in all weathers, and was ranked No. 4 in WalletHub’s analysis of activities. The Minneapolis area also counts 15 US metro areas with the most homes under constructionwhich can mean more affordable homes for sale.
11. Casper, Wyoming
Total score for this metropolitan area: 55.95 out of 100 possible points
Kasper is sparsely populated has a population of less than 60,000, so you won’t lack for space to roam or rest. It’s also budget-friendly, ranking #5 in WalletHub’s affordability category.
10. Salt Lake City
Total score for this metropolitan area: 56.07 out of 100 possible points
The exciting spirit of Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital, is famously home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and numerous colleges also call it home. There’s good news for homebuyers: Salt Lake City ranked No. 3 on the latest list housing markets where sellers are cutting prices.
9. Tampa, Florida
Total score for this metropolitan area: 56.32 out of 100 possible points
We return to Florida again in Tampa, a city close to St. Petersburg. Tampa is included 10 Cities Where Home Stocks Are Growing Fast, the number of active homes grew by nearly 92% year-over-year in July. It’s also part of WalletHub’s top five cities for most fishing facilities per capita.
8. Wilmington, Delaware
Total score for this metropolitan area: 56.62 out of 100 possible points
Wilmington is Delaware’s largest city, but don’t start imagining urban sprawl – slightly more than 70 thousand people live here. You can also find some tax benefits here. Delaware recently made WalletHub’s list nine states with the lowest property tax rates.
7. Scottsdale, Arizona
Total score for this metropolitan area: 56.69 out of 100 possible points
Chances are, you won’t be the only retiree on your Scottsdale block. WalletHub found the city ranked second on the list of cities with the highest percentage of residents 65 and older. It also ranked 4th among cities with mild weather. And property taxes are low, helping the city make the SmartAsset list 10 Best US Cities for Early Retirement.
6. San Francisco
Total score for this metropolitan area: 56.81 out of 100 possible points
Want to stay active in retirement? The city by the bay ranked No. 2 in the activity study, behind only Washington, D.C. Let’s hope you’ve saved up over the years because according to real estate website Redfin that the average sale price of a home here is $1.3 million.
5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Total score for this metropolitan area: 57.21 out of 100 possible points
Fort Lauderdale was famous “Where the Boys Are” in the 1960 film of the same name. But its beaches and sunshine attract people long past spring break. That sun can be hot — no wonder it’s the #1 city on LawnStarter’s list the best cities to have a pool.
Total score for this metropolitan area: 57.37 out of 100 possible points
Miami combines the sunshine and mild weather of Florida with the bustling activity of a big city. It’s not exactly expensive, but buying a home can be unaffordable: Miami was recently ranked No. 2 on RE/MAX’s National Housing Report the five housing markets with the largest declines in home sales.
Total score for this metropolitan area: 57.88 out of 100 possible points
Cincinnati may not be what you think of when you think of a retirement haven. But the Ohio city scores highly for activity and is home to several major sports teams, such as football’s Bengals and baseball’s Reds. And since money is usually a concern in retirement, it’s good to know that Cincy recently made the Porch list 15 cities where your dollar goes the furthest.
2. Orlando, Florida
Total score for this metropolitan area: 58.23 out of 100 possible points
Your grandchildren will be constantly clamoring to visit them when you retire to Orlando, home to numerous theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The Orlando area also made the list 15 cities that build the most houseswhich means house prices should fall.
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Total score for this metropolitan area: 58.97 out of 100 possible points
Are you surprised that a non-Florida city tops the list? Charming Charleston is the oldest and the second largest city in South Carolina, the history of which dates back to 1670. It scored highly for both activities and accessibility, and was one of only five cities for the number of fishing facilities per capita. Just keeping it on the reel.
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