Top 5 Affordable and Fun Places to Retire
Whether you’re looking for small towns or big cities, this roundup will help you explore some of the best retirement locations.

Leisure Pursuits

19525354_mNot sure which city to retire in? We’ve got the top cities for you! We’ve accounted for everything from cost to weather, health care and activities. Below you’ll discover five great retirement cities from five “best of” lists. Explore why these cities made the cut and which you might find appealing.

  • In AARP’s article “Retire to a Good Life for Less,” Daytona Beach, Fla. took the top spot for its weather (averaging 61-80 degrees) and the fact it has no Social Security state tax, no state tax on pensions, and an affordable cost for housing. Of course, the beach doesn’t hurt either.
  • Time’s “9 Great Places to Retire” gave the “Best Place to Keep Costs Low” category to Bella Vista, Ark. The town features affordable homes and property tax and a cost-of-living index below the national average. While it’s a relatively small town – less than 30,000 residents – it offers golf, nature trails and all your standard recreation opportunities.
  • The Milken Institute produced a report titled “Best Cities for Successful Aging,” giving the top “Large Metro” category to Madison, Wis. for its quality health care, strong economic and educational environment, healthy lifestyle choices and plenty of options for culture and recreation. Iowa City, Iowa, took home No. 1 for “Small Metro” due to the fact it rated well for its health and transportation systems, has a solid economy, and low obesity rates. At just over 71,000 inhabitants, Iowa City is still big enough to support a variety of restaurants, galleries and other entertainment.29943802_m
  • Ever consider leaving the country to retire for less? U.S. News Money’s article “9 Affordable Places to Retire Overseas” lists Carcassonne, France as the affordable, luxurious location abroad. With a monthly living budget of $1,750, it’s not the cheapest city on the list by far, but Carcassonne is less expensive than many other parts of France. For history buffs, it even includes a medieval fortress listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Keeping the focus in the United States, CBS News published the “10 Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Retire” list. The first city on the list is the revitalized Pittsburgh, Pa., for its health care, public transportation, relatively low tax burden, and a lower than average cost of living. While it doesn’t have the weather of Florida, Pittsburgh offers the arts, culture and sports of a large city.

Click on the links to discover more top options, then research your favorites online, looking up factors such as the city’s average weather, crime rates, real estate prices, tax codes and activities.

Keep your goals in mind for a retirement – or even a partial-retirement – filled with fulfilling activities in a city you love.


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