10 Best and Worst US Cities to Retire

August 22, 2018
Amanda Carrozza

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

Worried that you may not have enough money saved to support yourself in retirement? In the United States, location can have a real impact on quality of life and affordability for retirees.

Ideally, preparing for retirement is a multidecade effort that includes various investment and savings accounts. However, with just 17% of the workforce “very confident” that they will have enough money to retire comfortably, some veterinarians nearing the end of their career may want to consider relocating to an area of the United States that is deemed favorable for those in their golden years.

To pinpoint which parts of the country have the most to offer people age 65 and older, WalletHub—a website that offers free credit scores and reports—compared more than 180 US cities across 46 key measures of affordability, quality of life, health care, and availability of recreational activities.

By averaging each city’s score across all the metrics, these were determined to be the 10 best and 10 worst cities to retire in 2018.

Best Cities to Retire

Worst Cities to Retire

1

Orlando, FL

173

Fresno, CA

2

Scottsdale, AZ

174

Modesto, CA

3

Tampa, FL

175

Jersey City, NJ

4

Denver, CO

176

Bakersfield, CA

5

Fort Lauderdale, FL

177

Providence, RI

6

Charleston, SC

178

Stockton, CA

7

Miami, FL

179

Baltimore, MD

8

Austin, TX

180

Warwick, RI

9

Cape Coral, FL

181

Bridgeport, CT

10

Tempe, AZ

182

Newark, NJ

At #2 on the list, Scottsdale, Arizona has the highest share of the population age 65 or older with 22.4%. By contrast, Fontana, California—at #166—has the lowest share (6.8%). Although it ranks #103 on the list overall, Columbia, Maryland has the highest share of workers over the age of 65 (26.86%)—this is almost 3 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, where only 9.31% of the workforce is 65 or older.

When it comes to cost of living for the retirement community, Laredo, Texas—#62 on the list—has the lowest adjusted index (2.5 times lower than San Francisco, the city with the highest adjusted index). From an overall quality-of-life standpoint, the top spot goes to Henderson, Nevada. Because of the city’s low health care and activities ranking, however, it doesn’t break the top 50 on this year’s list.

View the entire list on the WalletHub website.