In creating our list of the best places to retire in America, we've considered the essential requirements for a great retirement: cities that offer great weather, a fair cost of living, and high quality of healthcare.

Check out our Top 40 inexpensive places to retire, and see if you can't find something that fits your vision!

40. Scottsdale, Arizona

A resort and golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona
Mark Skalny/Shutterstock
Scottsdale, Arizona

This community of a little more than 200,000 people offers gorgeous warm weather, beautiful parks, and immaculate streets. Its proximity to Phoenix makes it a fantastic place for shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Owing in a large part to the year-round arid weather, Scottsdale and Phoenix are home to world-famous golf courses. Healthcare in Scottsdale is known to be excellent. It should be noted that the Mayo Clinic has one of its three major branches in Scottsdale.

39. Cape Coral, Florida

Aerial view of city and gulf Cape Coral, Florida. The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village
Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

Although there will be some rebuilding to do in this city after Hurricane Irma, Cape Coral is a lovely town worthy of your consideration. Cape Coral is located on the west coast of the peninsula and is known for its low crime rate, excellent restaurants, and perpetually sunny Florida weather! The cost of living in Cape Coral is relatively low when compared to the cost of living in Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

Find out how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.

38. The Woodlands, Texas

Aerial view of The Woodlands, Texas
thierry dehove/Shutterstock
Aerial view of The Woodlands, Texas

This community of approximately 100,000 is a well-kept secret for retirees. The Woodlands offers excellent housing and a low cost of living. The median rent is $1,300, and median home prices are around $300,000.

This town has very low crime, and the weather is lovely and warm. The Woodlands' proximity to Houston gives you access to quality health care just a short drive away.

37. Torrance, California

Aerial view of Torrance Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County, California
Aerial view of Torrance Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County, California.

If you like the idea of living near Los Angeles but would prefer living in a smaller community, Torrance could be just the place you're looking for! This town is home to California's famous sunny weather and promises easy access to nearby beaches. It's a little pricier than some of the communities we have listed so far, with a median home value of $600,000. Median household income is just below $80,000. With 15 healthcare centers, Torrance is a good place for medical care.

How much home can you afford?


36. Augusta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia skyline at dusk
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Augusta is a gem of Southern living. It is an inexpensive city, with a median household income of about $38,000. Augusta's crime rate is low and the town is rich in Southern history, and offers a wide variety of shopping and nightlife options. With its warm weather and two medical centers that focus exclusively on women's healthcare, Augusta sets a high standard for retirement living on this list.

35. Metairie, Louisiana

A boardwalk with a gazebo over a southern swamp in Lafreniere Park in Metairie, Louisiana
Chuck Wagner/Shutterstock

Despite having less than 150,000 residents, Metairie is a very diverse place. This town offers a robust nightlife and a very low cost of living. The median household income is around $52,000. Locals consider this town to be a good compromise between big-city and suburban living.

Metairie is located just a 15-minute drive from New Orleans, so you can get a taste of the city any time you want. There is one healthcare center in Metairie, but access to New Orleans gives you a wide variety of healthcare providers.


34. Mesa, Arizona

Beautiful golf course near Red Mountain in east Mesa, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock

Mesa offers modest living, with a median rent of $1,260 and homes selling at around $150,000.

This is suburban living in a dry climate, and having a swimming pool nearby is a must. The city is known for being well-organized, with its grid of streets that are easy to understand and navigate. Nightlife is robust and healthcare resources are excellent. The Arizona Medical Training Institute is located in Mesa.

33. Lakeland, Florida

Lakeland, Florida fountain at a public park
Rob Hainer/Shutterstock

Lakeland is nestled safely in the middle of Florida, far away from weather-beaten coasts. The climate is warm and mild all year, and the cost of living requires an income of only $39,000. This is a family-friendly town that is home to a hospital and 17 healthcare centers.

32. Overland Park, Kansas

Calm waters in a large pond at the Overland Park (Kansas) Arboretum reflects fair weather cumulus clouds against a blue sky.

If you want to live in the American heartland, this is the place for you. The cost of living is slightly higher than some of the smaller locales on our list: you will need an income of about $72,000 to live here. Overland Park is close to Kansas City, so health care options abound. It is a low-crime city and residents consider it to be a nice, quiet place to live. The weather can be cold in winter, but summers are mild and sunny.

31. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama downtown skyline
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Mobile offers inexpensive living and a mild, temperate climate. The median household income is $38,000. Winters are rainy and summers are hot and humid, making the town a perfect retirement getaway from snowier areas. The city's 18 major health care centers include a hospital and two nursing homes.


30. Evansville, Indiana

Evansville, Indiana
Robert Cravens/Shutterstock

This is a fairly small city with a population of approximately 120,000, and the cost of living is very low. An income of $35,000 will get you a comfortable lifestyle here. The climate is subtropical, meaning that summers are hot but winters are blissfully mild. With more than 15 healthcare centers in the city, you'll have peace of mind and all the doctors and hospitals you'll need in your old age.

29. Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas

The nightlife is surprisingly vibrant in this small city of 100,000. You will also find warm Texas weather and a low cost of living in Wichita Falls. The median income is $44,000, and the town is a two-hour drive from Dallas. The town is relatively safe and there are two local hospitals and ten healthcare centers.

28. Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida downtown skyline
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Tampa is located in a protected ocean inlet, so it is less susceptible to the harsh weather problems beach communities tend to have. Sunny Tampa is also home to a diverse population of about 350,000, and the cost of living requires an income of around $44,000. With two hospitals and 17 health care centers, you can count on getting high-quality medical care in Tampa.

27. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

You can live comfortably in Charleston on an income of around $55,000, and the median price of homes is about $250,000.

In Charleston, you will have access to beaches, excellent restaurants, and plenty of outdoor fitness activities. The summers can be hot, but winters are relatively tame. The city also boasts two hospitals and eight healthcare centers.

26. Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri
Matt Wunder/Shutterstock

Springfield is an inexpensive place to live: the median income is around $34,000, and rent can be less than $1,000 per month. Median home prices come in at just over $100,000. You will see some snow in the winter and summers can be hot, but not extreme. The city has three hospitals, as well as extensive home care offerings.

25. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa City Hall on a winter's day
wisit wongba/Shutterstock

This small city of 128,000 is developing at a quick pace. Traffic can be heavy during rush hours, but you will find easy access to the interstate highway. Cost of living is low, with a median income of $53,000. Winters can be quite cold and long, while summers are hot and humid. For people who are used to definite seasons and want to take advantage of investment potential in this growing city, Cedar Rapids is a great retirement option. This community has 16 healthcare centers and rates highly for medical access.

24. Las Cruces, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico Organ Mountains

With a modest population of about 100,000, Las Cruces offers small-city living at a low price. Cost of living is relatively low, with a median income of $41,000. New Mexico State University is located here, giving the city a vibrant character and bringing in new restaurants and nightlife venues every year. In Las Cruces, you will experience nice, hot New Mexico weather. For a small city, it also has a robust healthcare system with 18 major healthcare centers.

23. Thousand Oaks, California

Thousand Oaks, California

The cost of living in Thousand Oaks is on the higher side, but for those with an income of about $100,000, this can be an amazing choice for California living. This city is green and home to many parks and outdoor activities. It's located near Malibu and not far from Los Angeles. Good healthcare is found in surrounding areas, so be prepared to travel to your doctor.

22. Richardson, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Richardson, Texas, has hot summers and mild winters, and this friendly city has a low crime rate. The cost of living is a bit higher than in some of the other cities on our list: you'll need an income of around $72.000 to live comfortably here. Richardson is located near Dallas, so you'll have big-city amenities while living in a small community of just over 100,000. Three hospitals and 15 medical centers ensure you'll never be without healthcare when you need it.

21. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock

Despite being known for its famous gambling strip, Las Vegas features a number of communities where retirees can enjoy a high-quality, low cost of living. A household income of around $50,000 will get you a great lifestyle here. The weather is warm and dry, and the population is quite diverse. And of course, Vegas nightlife is among the best in the world, and entertainment is never far away. A wide variety of healthcare centers makes this a great place for medical care, too.

20. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Alizada Studios/Shutterstock
Main Street in Bethlehem, PA, with historic buildings, commercial properties and people.

Here’s another welcoming college town that offers low home prices, a walkable and lively downtown, and a lower cost of living than average. The median house price is just over $150,000, and retirees gain extra benefits because the state does not tax certain employer-sponsored retirement income. The city is also well-equipped with hospitals and healthcare facilities.

19. Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Athens, Georgia, USA downtown cityscape.

For a healthy dose of Southern charm and affordable living, you can retire in picturesque Athens, Georgia. With just 120,000 residents, this friendly college town offers a warm climate without being stuffed to the gills with retirees like Florida. Although multiple neighborhoods have made it into the National Register of Historic Places, Athens maintains a youthful atmosphere and is known for its low cost of living, internationally famous music scene, and great golf, hiking, and other active pursuits in nearby state parks.

18. Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Charles Knowles/Shutterstock
Boise Idaho street leading to the capital building in fall.

Located along the Oregon Trail and nicknamed "the city of trees," mid-sized Boise is a green and active place to retire. With a large selection of shopping and dining choices, walkable downtown Boise is a lovely place to spend the afternoon. For the truly adventurous, Southwest Idaho is also home to mountains, canyons and whitewater rafting opportunities! The median home price is around $208,000, and there are several highly-rated hospitals in town.

17. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Savannah, Georgia, USA at Forsyth Park Fountain.

Known as one of the most beautiful cities in America, Savannah is a gorgeous town designed for pedestrian enjoyment. With its mix of public squares, historical homes, and charming stores, the town is a popular tourist destination and home to a vibrant community of retirees. There are many cultural and natural attractions, and the weather ranges between mild and wet winters and hot, humid summers. In addition to the great atmosphere, Savannah is surprisingly affordable, with a median housing cost of $120,000.

16. Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas
Jeff Zehnder/Shutterstock
Buildings of Downtown Lawrence in Douglas County, Kansas.

An unexpectedly lush spot in the middle of dusty Kansas, Lawrence is a green and tree-filled town that's growing very popular with retirees. With a population under 100,000, this relatively quiet college town has an energetic downtown, an art museum and theatre, and a farmer's market. With its affordable medium home prices of $143,000, snow-less winters, and hot summers, what’s not to love?

15. Brevard, North Carolina

Looking Glass Falls
Gary Rolband/Shutterstock
Brevard, North Carolina

Sometimes called "the land of waterfalls," the teeny town of Brevard has a mild climate and is surrounded by scenic mountains and natural spaces. With a population of less than 8,000 people, you’ll definitely get to know your neighbors! This town offers many outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, hiking, and biking, as well as a small and friendly downtown area. Transylvania Community Hospital is the main heath service provider nearby.

14. Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson, South Carolina
JASON TENCH/Shutterstock
Clemson football players pray before the Presbyterian football game on September 11, 2010 in Clemson, South Carolina.

Located just two hours from Atlanta, Georgia, this growing college town is still an affordable spot to retire. Median home selling price is currently about $180,000, but naturally pricing varies by neighborhood. The west side of town is close to the college — home to the famous Clemson Tigers football team — so it's both a livelier and louder part of town during the school year. Clemson is considered to be very friendly to newcomers and offers plenty of continued learning opportunities and a good tax base for retirees.

13. Bella Vista, Arkansas

Bella Vista, Arkansas
Michael J. Munster/Shutterstock
Tanyard Creek waterfall at Tanyard Creek Park in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

This relatively small town is home to just 27,600 people and has amazing weather and lovely natural surroundings for active retirees. In addition to its 7 lakes, hardwood forests, and many walking trails, homeowners can also choose from several golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, and shooting ranges for low monthly fees. With a median home price of $102,000 and a median monthly rent of $650, Bella Vista is a truly affordable spot to settle down.

12. Ocean Pines, Maryland

Ocean Pines, MD
Ocean Pines Association |
Ocean Pines, Maryland

Residents love life in squeaky clean, amenity-filled Ocean Pines. It’s a lovely place to relax and grow old, with its fresh air, welcoming beachfront and bay, and plethora of outdoor activities. From yachting to golfing to tennis, you can pick your leisure activity and walk or bike there. Retirees will also benefit from the no state tax on Social Security income and the above-average number of doctors in the area. The median housing cost is a bit higher at $233,500, but residents swear that the warm community and great lifestyle is worth every penny.

11. Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock
State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

This sprawling Midwestern city is a haven of parks, gardens, and interesting historical neighborhoods to live in and visit. Each hood has its own distinct flavor, with unique restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The median home price is $167,000, and the town has two major hospitals and several outpatient clinics. With average winter temperatures above 20F, Lincoln offers a pleasant climate that lets you truly enjoy everything the city has to offer.

10. Harrisonburg, Virginia

View of the Shenandoah River and Massanutten Mountain, in the Shenandoah Valley
John Bilous/Shutterstock
View of the Shenandoah River and Massanutten Mountain, in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia near Harrisonburg.

Harrisonburg is a friendly town of 52,500 people located in the legendary Shenandoah Valley. With its modest-sized college, Harrisonburg has a youthful vibe without the messy shenanigans of larger college towns. The close-by Appalachian Mountains provide plenty of outdoor activities, while the city’s historical downtown area offers shopping and charm galore. The average cost of living is 4% lower than the national average and the median home cost is also lower than average at $180,125. There are also many hospitals to choose from, right in town.

9. Grand Prairie, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas
Jockey riding his horse after race at Lone Star Park Horse Race June 6th, 2009 in Grand Prairie, Texas.

If you prefer to live in a city with a small-town feel, then Grand Prairie might be the perfect spot for you. Grand Prairie is popular with retirees, thanks to its many parks, fitness centers, and entertainment venues, including a race track, baseball stadium, beach, marina, and growing restaurant strip. Summers are hot and humid and winters are cold and wet, but hurricanes tend to avoid this area. The town is 20 minutes' drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and there are plenty of health care options offered by Texas General Hospital, a women's hospital, and an emergency medical center.

8. Jefferson City, Missouri

Jefferson City, Missouri
Nagel Photography/Shutterstock
Downtown Jefferson City from across the Missouri River in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Located halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, Jefferson City is a quaint, historic town of 43,000. With more than 30 retirement and assisted living communities in the city, this is a town that both welcomes and cares for its retirees. The cost of living here is 10% below the national average, leaving plenty of room in the budget to enjoy the dinner theatres, boutiques, and antique stores downtown. Here you can expect to meet your neighbors, as everyone will be out and about enjoying the lovely weather, which hovers between summer highs of 88F and winter lows of 20F.

7. Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City stands out among the many college towns on this list thanks to its active literary community and arts festivals. Education and healthcare are the main drivers of the city’s economy, which means you can expect great healthcare and adult education opportunities. Iowa City’s downtown has a lovely riverfront and Literary Walk with commemorative plaques, green treed streets, and a shopping mall. The median home price here is about $280,000, and crime is well below the national average.

6. Lewiston, Maine

Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council
Lewiston, Maine

For a small town of just over 36,000, Lewiston has a lot going since its recent revitalization. The town is home to multiple museums, a theatre, a brewery, and the lovely Androscoggin River front with miles of walking and biking trails. With its lower than average cost of living, fresh air, and low crime rate, Lewiston is a lovely and quiet place to hang your hammock.

5. Maryville, Tennessee

Maryville, TN
By Brian Stansberry - Own Work, CC BY 3.0
Maryville, Tennessee

Located just 15 miles outside Knoxville, Maryville is home to the lovely historic Maryville College and a fairly educated population. Maryville has become very popular with retirees thanks to its low tax rate, highly-rated hospital, many parks, and welcoming atmosphere. There are plenty of active adult communities to keep your social calendar busy, too. The current median home price is $157,500, but prices are rising as the town grows in popularity.

4. Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Charlotte, FL
sunset at a weathered pier at port charlotte harbor, near punta gorda, southwest florida.

Florida is the perennial retirement favorite and coastal Port Charlotte is one of its shining stars thanks to its low taxes, affordable boating, fantastic Cuban food, and great weather. Even though the town has grown in popularity in recent years, it maintains a relaxed attitude and lower than average cost of living and relatively low median housing price of $166,600. With a hospital and several medical centers in town, look no further for an affordable retirement on the waterfront!

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Spring, Colorado
Gary K Gray/Shutterstock
Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

As the second-largest city in Colorado, Colorado Springs has a population of 415,000 and its own airport. Colorado Springs remains a popular retirement spot thanks to its gorgeous natural surroundings and year-round run. With its high-altitude location, the town experiences all four seasons from hot summers to winter snowstorms. But it also promises a lower cost of living than other cities in the state, and has a median housing price of $284,000, which is half the price of a home in Boulder. Memorial Hospital and Penrose Hospital are located in town.

2. Summerville, South Carolina

A historic Antebellum home flies the American flag.
James Kirkikis/Shutterstock
A historic Antebellum home flies the American flag.

Summerville began growing when wealthy people moved in during the 1800s, and this is evidenced in the lovely historical mansions and charming downtown and its many interesting shops. Today, Summerville is experiencing a lot of growth, which translates to construction and rising home prices. The current median house cost is $178,000, but the area has many million dollar homes as well. All the same, the fresh air, famous spring flowers, and warm weather continue to attract retirees. Located only 14 miles from Charleston, Summerville offers the best in charming small-town living and modern amenities.

1. Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee, Washington
Sky Sajjaphot/Shutterstock
Wenatchee, Washington.

Locals love the Wenatchee Valley, with its river, natural beaches, parks, and unexpected desert landscapes. Given its natural surroundings, the city of Wenatchee is a paradise for outdoorsy types, offering nearby opportunities for water sports, whitewater rafting, golfing, mountain biking, and skiing, all in one place. The median home price is currently $262,000, and there are several well-regarded hospitals in town. With its two performing arts centers, local wineries, and open-air concerts in the summer, this city really seems to have it all.

About the Author

Kevin Johnston

Kevin Johnston

Freelance Contributor

Kevin Johnston writes for organizations such as John Hancock, Weill Cornell Medical College, Rutgers University, Standard and Poor’s, Ameriprise Financial, ADP and Cigna. His articles have been published in The New York Daily News, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, Business Age, Nation’s Business and Zack’s Investment Research. Johnston has had a regular column on the music industry in Music Row Magazine, has published numerous articles on education, and is known as an expert in instructional design and training, investment writing, small business management and finance.

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