1. Missouri — Jefferson City

Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City Missouri
eurobanks / Shutterstock

Missouri’s capital features historic charm and a fantastic downtown, with old architecture and trendy shops and eateries.

Jeff City is a pretty decent location as well, as husker_who writes on Reddit, “There are a lot of state parks in the area: I used to run on the Katy Trail every weekend, and then about twenty minutes north is Rock Bridge state park, which has a lot of nice trails. There aren't a ton of cultural events, but Columbia is only half an hour away, and there's always a lot going on there. And it's only a couple hours from both St Louis and Kansas City.”

If you have an income of less than $85,000, your Social Security benefits won’t get taxed in the Show Me State, and there may be some tax exemptions for other forms of retirement income.

2. Alabama — Daphne

Sunset at Bayfront Park in Daphne, Alabama on Mobile Bay
George Dodd III / Shutterstock

Baldwin County’s biggest city offers a warm climate and short, mild winters. It is considered one of the safest cities in Alabama, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

Daphne has also earned the nickname “The Jubilee City” because of the phenomenon known as a jubilee that pushes blue crabs, shrimp and fish to shallow shorelines in the summer months in Mobile Bay. Don’t miss this stunning event, or all the fresh seafood you can snag.

Redditor campb029 says “It’s good, safe, family friendly living, and lies in very close proximity to several good beaches,” mentioning that Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Pensacola Beach are within an hour’s drive, while Florida’s Destin and Fort Walton are about an hour and a half away.

3. Nebraska — Columbus

Pawnee Plunge Water Park
Kim S / TripAdvisor

The city of Columbus along the Loup River offers golf, parks and a community hospital within easy reach.

Pawnee Park, or "The Picnic Capital of Nebraska," covers nearly 153 acres and features a water park, football and track stadium, disc golf, playgrounds, fishing, a skate park, tennis and volleyball courts and even ice skating in winter.

Property values are fairly low, at around $175,000. And although the state does not curently rate highly in terms of being tax friendly for retirees, a new law going into effect in 2022 will exempt military veterans from paying taxes on their retirement income.

4. Wyoming — Sheridan

Two Bison In Sheridan Wyoming
Steve Creek / Shutterstock

Forbes once called Sheridan “the Cowboy State's Coolest Small Town,” thanks to its uniquely western shops, eateries and location — little more than a half hour’s drive away from Bighorn National Forest.

There’s a hospital within the city, so don’t worry about driving far for health care, and Sheridan’s shopping scene features unique small stores and antiques shops as well as big national retailers.

Bear in mind that Sheridan is more on the pricey side compared to the rest of the state, and you can find cheaper housing in Riverton.

5. California — San Rafael

Residential area with houses built on a hill San Rafael, Marin county, north San Francisco bay area, California
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

Marin County ranks among the healthiest counties in California, and San Rafael, its county seat, is no exception. The Kaiser Permanente medical center offers more than 200 physicians and nurse practitioners across primary care areas like geriatric medicine, and it serves more than 100,000 members.

You won’t lack for outdoor appeal, either — the city lies on San Francisco Bay, with beaches and parks nearby, and the Sunday Marin Farmers Market is one of the largest in the state.

San Rafael resident Claude Baudoin says on Quora, “You’re only 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, an hour from pretty much any point in San Francisco,” and “there are a variety of places to eat downtown in San Rafael as well as in Terra Linda, especially Italian and Asian cuisines.”

6. New Jersey — Flemington

Union Hotel, Flemington, NJ
Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Just a heads-up — this Hunterdon County borough is smoke- and tobacco-free. New Jersey as a whole ranks highly for health care access, and the Hunterdon Medical Center is just a five-minute drive away.

Check out the nearby Northlandz miniature wonderland, which exhibits more than 100 model trains, and stop at the Liberty Village Outlet Marketplace for all your shopping needs.

Your Social Security won’t count under New Jersey’s income tax law, but other retirement income is partially taxed. However, homeownership can be pretty expensive, so make sure you’ve [secured a good mortgage rate] before settling in.

7. Colorado — Aspen

Aspen, Colorado skiing
@michel.porter8 / Twenty20

This ski resort town situated in the Rockies is frequented by the wealthy and affluent, but if you can afford one of Aspen’s million-dollar homes, you’ll enjoy stunning scenery and high-end restaurants and boutiques.

“If you can find/afford a place to live right in town, that is the best scenario, because you can do without a car. Groceries, restaurants, the post office and skiing are within walking distance. The bus station is right in town, and you can take local rides for free or go down valley for a few dollars,” writes Caren Goodrich on Quora.

Colorado is also quite tax-friendly to retirees — you can subtract up to $24,000 in retirement income from your taxable income each year.

8. Washington — Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor
David Gaylor / Shutterstock

You’ll have to take a seaplane or ferry to reach this commercial center on the San Juan Islands archipelago. It’s peppered with small shops, restaurants and pubs and surrounded by gorgeous natural scenery.

Architectural Digest calls Friday Harbor the prettiest town in Washington and it’s not hard to see why. It’s characterized by waterfront views, small shops and restaurants and easy walkability.

There’s no income tax in Washington, so Social Security benefits and retirement income are tax-free, however property values in Friday Harbor are exceedingly high. You’ll find cheaper accommodations in Wenatchee, although you’ll sacrifice on location.

9. Nevada — Reno

The Beautiful view of Reno
tusharkoley / Shutterstock

Reno could be called a downsized version of Las Vegas with its casinos and resorts, but it’s more than just a gaming town, offering gorgeous mountain scenery and a wide expanse of desert.

Often nicknamed “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno’s downtown and Midtown district are perfect for more urban getaways, with plenty of shopping options and restaurants and bars. The 580-acre Rancho San Rafael Regional Park hosts events throughout the year, including the Great Reno Balloon Race in September.

“If you’re an outdoorsy person, Reno is GREAT. Close access to several ski resorts in the winter; plenty of water activities, mountain biking, and hiking in the summer,” writes mountainaita on Reddit.

10. Ohio — Brunswick

Kmart Brunswick, Ohio
Mike Kalasnik / Flickr

Considered one of the safest cities in Ohio due to its relatively low crime rates, Brunswick in Medina County also offers convenient access to bigger urban cities such as Cleveland and Akron.

Brunswick offers green spaces, including the Susan Hambley Nature Center and the forested North Park, and the Brunswick Medical Center is situated in the heart of the city.

Ohio exempts Social Security from state income taxes, and the cost of living in the state is relatively low, although housing is a bit more pricey. For cheaper options, look to Port Clinton, which also offers close proximity to the water.

11. Virginia — Winchester

The Courthouse in Winchester, Virginia.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley is an artistic hub, hosting concerts, festivals and other cultural events throughout the year. It’s also a gateway to natural attractions like the Appalachian Trail.

The city has a medical center, shopping mall and a few parks, such as Jim Barnett Park, which includes a fitness trail, disc golf course, playground and indoor and outdoor pools. And you’ll discover charming shops and restaurants in Old Town Winchester.

Virginia is considered fairly tax-friendly toward retirees. The state doesn’t tax Social Security benefits, but you will be partially taxed on withdrawals from retirement accounts and public and private pensions.

12. New Mexico — Santa Fe

People walking on a sidewalk in Santa Fe, NM
@heatherdeffense / Twenty20

Although New Mexico is considered one of the worst states for retirement, thanks to taxed retirement income, high property crime and poor health care access, the city of Santa Fe has much to recommend it.

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe’s stunning adobe architecture, arts and cultural hubs and abundance of recreational opportunities — which include ballooning and parasailing for the more adventurous — hold plenty of allure for retirees.

TheShadyTaco writes on Reddit, “If you are looking for a slower pace, Santa Fe is a good option. Most of the demographic in Santa Fe are older, and there isn't much nightlife, although they do have an incredible amount of bars and craft brews are in no short supply if that's your thing … It's fairly rich in culture and there is usually some sort of event going on no matter the time of year.”

13. Arizona — Tucson

Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown city skyline with mountains at twilight.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Snowbirds flock to sunny Tucson each year. It’s a rapidly growing metro area with a relatively low cost of living and stunning mountain scenery.

You’ll also find fantastic historical and cultural attractions such as Saguaro National Park, with its desert flora and fauna and ancient petroglyphs. You can also enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine as well. Old Pueblo isn’t without its faults, however — it has one of the worst crime rates in Arizona, according to FBI data.

“The diversity, art, culture and food and drink options are amazing. You can also get into the mountains or trail systems very easily from basically any part of town, which makes Tucson unique because it doesn’t take an hour or longer of driving through town to access trails,” writes BaginaJon on Reddit.

14. New Hampshire — Lebanon

Mascoma Lake
@mallorypearl / Twenty20

This beautiful city is recognized for its high quality of life, tight community and scenic trails and views of Mascoma Lake.

Lebanon is also home to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center — rated by U.S. News as the best hospital in the state — and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

“Great place to live if you like the outdoors. Close to Burlington, Vermont, and Montreal. Activities: mountain stuff, horse riding, hockey. Most rinks have adult skate every day of the week for like $8 (except in summer). A couple hours from Boston and a few hours drive to NYC,” says one Redditor.

15. Georgia — Peachtree City

Golf cart with golf clubs on a green field
ANGHI / Shutterstock

This Atlanta suburb made headlines in 2011 for its golf cart craze — almost every family drove these tiny vehicles around the city’s 100-mile network of multi-use paths to get to school, grab groceries and more.

Aside from this quirky trend, the city offers small boutiques, large national chains, more than 100 restaurants and eight hotels. It’s also about a half-hour drive from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Fayette County is also known for its mild climate, low crime rate and fantastic recreation opportunities. And the county’s official site calls Peachtree City “the nation’s most successful planned community.”

16. South Dakota — Pierre

The Capitol Building of South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock

South Dakota’s picturesque capital city on the Missouri River is one of the least populated capitals in the U.S. — perfect for a retiree trying to get away from it all — while retaining the essentials, like a Walmart supercenter and medical clinics.

Griffin Park, on the river, offers picnic shelters, a baseball field, beach, pool, skate park and tennis courts.

There’s no state income tax in South Dakota, which means Social Security, pension and other forms of retirement income are all tax-free. Sales taxes are pretty low as well.

17. Indiana — Loogootee

Loogootee, IN
Evan Nichols (Virtual Tours) / Panoramio

The city of Loogootee is situated in Perry Township in scenic Martin County, with its beautiful wooded hills and trails.

The city is a mere five minutes away from the 630-acre West Boggs Park, where you can boat, fish, camp and swim. Loogootee offers restaurants, a city pool and park and the Jack Butcher Arena, which seats more than 4,000 people.

The Hoosier State is fairly affordable for retirees, with its low property taxes and decent cost of living. Income from your pension and retirement savings will be taxed, but your Social Security is exempt.

18. Maryland — Bel Air South

Golfing
@sawjon / Twenty20

This census-designated place in Hartford County features green, open spaces like Harford Glen Park and the Maryland Golf and Country Club. The University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health center is just a short drive away as well.

“Bel Air has breweries, bars and restaurants. Plenty of shopping. Everything you need is 5 miles away. There are cool walking trails and parks. They have a farmer's market in town and you can buy fresh produce from local farms within a short drive. Crime is low,” says tamescartha on Reddit about the Bel Air area.

Home values can be a bit pricey, however, so for more affordable options, look to Hagerstown, where the median home value is just $174,043.

19. Oregon — Bend

Tumalo Falls - Bend, OR
Clifford Wayne Estes / Shutterstock

This small city on the Deschutes River offers skiing adventures in the Cascade Mountains, glorious green spaces such as Drake Park and old volcanic sites and caves.

“It is an outdoor meca. World-class mountain biking, hiking, horse trails, skiing of every kind, Cascade lakes for water sports, whitewater rafting/kayaking, and Mt. Bachelor is one of the largest ski areas in North America with snow that lasts till Memorial Day (or longer),” says Steve Sickler on Quora.

However, home values in Bend are staggeringly high — at around $600,000, according to Zillow — so if you’d like to enjoy Oregon’s natural beauty but in a more affordable location, try La Grande by the Umatilla National Forest.

20. New York — New York City

Scenic view of Fifth Avenue with people and yellow cabs
@JJFarquitectos / Twenty20

Believe it or not, New York City’s fantastic health care system and access to amenities can make it an ideal retirement spot.

“NYC is wonderful for old people. Excellent public transportation, great hospitals, a plethora of doctors and specialists, lots of services that provide nursing care, etc. Also, the walkability, even if you can't walk very far or fast, means you can still get out to socialize, get groceries for a much longer span of time, whereas in the suburbs, having to drive everywhere when your eyesight and instincts are rusty is unsafe and eventually leads to isolation,” says PigeonProwler on Reddit.

That said, the Big Apple is generally considered one of the most expensive cities to live in across the country, so if you’d rather not take a chunk out of your retirement fund to deal with rent or high mortgage payments, consider the small town of Corning instead.

21. Arkansas — Forrest City

Forrest City sports complex
Ardelta / Wikimedia Commons

The “Jewel of the Delta” is another secret gem for retirees. The median home value is just $46,947, according to Zillow, and the state won’t tax you on your property or Social Security benefits.

The tiny city nestled about halfway between Little Rock and Memphis offers both delightful recreational activities and lovely historic sites.

It’s also close to Village Creek State Park, which offers almost 7,000 acres of forested hills and boasts 33 miles of trails amid campsites, indoor and outdoor theaters, picnic areas and pavilions.

22. Maine — Portland

fishing in Portland, Maine
@Akmora1 / Twenty20

If you seek the comfort and convenience of a city with accessible amenities such as high-quality hospitals and scenic views, consider relocating to this waterfront city.

“Portland is big enough to find fun things to do: concerts, sports, restaurants, outdoors, ocean activities, White Mountain is 1.5 hours away, shopping, etc. But it's not so big you have to deal with crowds, traffic and the like,” writes Tom Coyne on Quora.

That said, the city is pretty expensive, with typical home values upward of $400,000, so a retiree on a fixed income might be better off settling down in Augusta, the state capital.

23. Hawaii — Kapa‘a

Kapa'a Beach Park Hawaii Island
norinori303 / Shutterstock

If you can afford the high cost of living, this beachside community in Kauai County offers wonderful shopping and dining options plus live music and water sports.

Hawaii itself is also recognized nationwide for its excellent health care system, taking the top spot for access and quality, according to US News.

“The BEST part about Kaua‘i … Even when money is tight, we can drive over to the beach about 5 minutes away and enjoy nature. We can swim, hike, sit in the sand, go to the mountains, play in the river and just enjoy a simple life,” writes Kapa‘a resident Regina Floyd on Quora.

24. Idaho — McCall

Mountain in McCall, Idaho
@justin.lunt / Twenty20

This picturesque resort town by Payette Lake in Valley County has it all for nature lovers. Visitors flock to the upscale Shore Lodge every year for its lovely suites and spa pools and to enjoy McCall’s water sports and skiing adventures.

McCall also offers several annual cultural and artistic attractions such as music festivals, boat shows, carnivals and parades.

“McCall is great. If you like the outdoors, it's the place. Skiing, hiking, boating, chilling. Good food everywhere for (normally) good prices. Plus, mostly nice people. Lots of tourists. Shore Lodge is very nice as well,” says Redditor _retro_future.

25. Pennsylvania — West Chester

Aerial view of Old town in United state with blue sky in summer daytime - West Chester, Pennsylvania USA
LittleKitty / Shutterstock

This borough in the heart of the Brandywine Valley is just a half hour from Wilmington and 45 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and offers excellent shopping and dining options downtown.

Retirees can enjoy golf, gardens, wineries, breweries and outdoor adventures at gorgeous parks such as the 2,606-acre Ridley Creek State Park, which offers guided nature walks, hiking, fishing, biking and horseback riding.

Locals advise avoiding all the college kids — West Chester is home to a public university — but Allottafachina on Reddit says the city’s an “awesome area” and “If you aren't super strapped for cash, check out the restaurants and bars. Great food at some of the older-crowd places. Even if you go about 15 minutes out of town (more so East than West), you're still in a highly populated area, with great food/shops.”

26. Alaska — Haines

Haines, Alaska
@mchar238 / Twenty20

Haines could be a great retiree destination — if you don’t mind the frigid winters and pricey groceries that come hand-in-hand with living in the Frontier State — as it offers plenty of outdoor activities throughout the year and gorgeous scenic views.

Kristine Harder on Quora recommends the fantastic scenery and says “there are fabulous acoustics in the Chilkat Center for the Arts, and the Arts Council is quite active.”

Alaska is also an income tax-free state, which means you won’t owe anything on your Social Security benefits or pension money. There’s just one health care center in Haines, however, so for more amenities and health care access you might be better off settling down in the big city of Anchorage, which is about 756 miles away.

27. Kentucky — Versailles

Martin Castle, Kentucky
@ramita / Twenty20

Horse and liquor enthusiasts can head to Versailles in Woodford County, known for its “bourbon, wine and bloodlines.”

Aside from horse farms and bourbon and wine tours, visitors will find shopping and dining options, and the city is less than a half hour’s drive from Lexington. You’ll find cheaper housing and rental options farther south in Danville, the county seat of Boyle County, however.

The state of Kentucky is also tax friendly for retirees. Your Social Security and up to $31,110 in retirement income is exempt from the state income tax.

28. North Dakota — Bismarck

State Capitol of North Dakota
Randall Runtsch / Shutterstock

If you’re willing to battle North Dakota’s brutally cold winters and high housing costs and put up with taxed retirement income, Bismarck’s not a bad place to settle.

The serious crime rate is relatively low and it’s also considered a major center for both retail and health care. Two major medical facilities in the city include CHI St. Alexius Health-Bismarck and Sanford Medical Center Bismarck, which rank highly for adult specialties.

The city of Fargo is a bit more affordable, however, plus it has landed on Forbes’ Best Places to Retire list for 10 years in a row, due to its high number of doctors per capita and good air quality.

29. Rhode Island — Newport

Van Zant Pier after a rainstorm in Newport, Rhode Island.
Olga Enger / Shutterstock

Newport on Aquidneck Island, sometimes called the “Sailing Capital of the World,” offers plenty of attractions to lure both mariners and retirees.

Snag fresh seafood at the local eateries and check out the Gilded Age mansions along Bellevue Avenue. Residents also enjoy a fairly moderate climate with highs of 65 and lows of 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Rhode Island, you’ll need to contend with high property taxes and an estate tax, however, and Social Security and retirement income gets taxed as well. On top of that, home values are a lot higher in Newport than the rest of the state, so you might be better off settling down in Providence.

30. Illinois — Waterloo

Waterloo, Illinois
Paul Sableman / Flickr

Monroe’s county seat is a friendly small town just a 20-minute drive away from downtown St. Louis. It offers quiet, historic charm with big-city bustle just in reach.

Compared to the rest of the country, it’s relatively cheap to live in Waterloo. The median home value is $209,058, according to Zillow, and health care is considered affordable as well.

Senior amenities include medical services and assisted living and nursing facilities, and locals enjoy lovely parks, shopping and dining opportunities and community events. There are also museums and golf courses and a weekly farmer’s market.

31. Delaware — Seaford

Delaware beach
Ben Felps / Panoramio

The city of Seaford, nestled along the Nanticoke River, calls itself “the Perfect Place to Start,” but it could also be the perfect place for a retiree if you enjoy a slower pace of life.

The city has several parks, an 18-hole public golf course and a sports complex, and you’ll find plenty of dining and shopping options on High Street. Seaford also offers more than 500 retail stores and service-based businesses, a hospital and several support clinics and elderly care.

The Diamond State also doesn’t tax Social Security benefits or levy a sales tax, so it’s quite affordable for someone on a fixed income.

32. Montana — Helena

At the Symphony under the Stars in Helena, MT
@eleman11 / Twenty20

This state capital in the Rocky Mountains got its start during a gold rush in 1864 — and while it’s not quite as thrilling in the 21st century, it’s still an ideal location for a retiree.

“The outdoor activities are unlimited, basically. Close to whatever you could possibly imagine. It’s a great town for someone who loves the outdoors and being close to nature. It’s not overly huge either, it’s honestly a perfect size. It’s a perfect place for a true Montana experience,” says justtakemetovegas on Reddit.

Aside from all the natural beauty, take a stroll down the Historic District to admire the preserved architecture, or head downtown for the art galleries, stores, dining and microbreweries.

33. Louisiana — Slidell

Honey Island Swamp
@Akmora1 / Twenty20

Surrounded by rivers and bayous and wooded parks, “Camellia City” offers plenty of distractions for a retiree. Seniors also pay reduced utility fees, according to the city website, and Louisiana doesn’t tax Social Security benefits or public pension income.

Slidell is just a few miles from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and a short drive from the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and North Shore Beach Park.

Don’t miss out on community events such as the Bayou Jam Concerts and Slidell Movie Nights, tours at the Honey Island Swamp, and the Olde Towne Slidell district, which offers restaurants, shops, galleries and museums.

34. Connecticut — Middletown

Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown, Connecticut
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

Once a shipbuilding town, it’s now a largely residential city, and its downtown area teems with college students from the private liberal arts Wesleyan University.

It usually costs more to live by the water, but the median home value in Middletown isn’t high compared to the rest of the state. You won’t lack for green space, either, with two state parks and several golf courses nearby. But if you have your heart set on this city or another to retire in, start your retirement plan now to save and invest toward that goal.

“Middletown is fabulous. It's a diverse, mixed income community with vibrant neighborhoods and a lot of arts and culture. Wesleyan is a gem for its Center for the Arts shows and performances … Restaurants abound on Main Street … People care in this community. It takes some time to uncover the hidden gems, but you'll find them,” writes Catherine S on Quora.

35. Michigan — Petoskey

Entrance to Bayfront Park under the highway in Petoskey, Michigan, on Little Traverse Bay off Lake Michigan
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock

This coastal resort community lies along the sparkling shores of Little Traverse Bay and boasts lovely Victorian architecture and stunning harbor views.

Michigan doesn’t tax Social Security benefits and also lets you deduct significant amounts from other retirement income. However, you will have to deal with high property taxes, plus the median home value in Petoskey is higher than the rest of the state.

Most Redditors recommend the city for its scenic views — iriebutterfly recommends you “walk around downtown and go into Fustini's Oils and Vinegars for tasting, Reusch Jewelers for dreaming and the marina for lovely views. Second, drive through Harbor Springs up to 119N to the tunnel of trees. Check out Sturgeon's Bay/Lake Michigan for beautiful beach views. End at Leg's Inn for a delicious Polish dinner.”

36. West Virginia — Parsons

Shavers Fork of the Cheat River, Parsons, West Virginia
Hank Shiffman / Shutterstock

You’ll enjoy both affordable housing and delightful scenery if you choose to make your retirement home in this small mountain town in Tucker County.

Close by lies Blackwater Falls State Park in the Allegheny Mountains, which boasts 20 miles of hiking trails and its dark cascade falls, colored by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.

Keep in mind that Parsons is a bit out of the way from the rest of the state, however; the nearest hospital is about a half hour’s drive away. And Social Security and other forms of retirement income get partially taxed in West Virginia.

37. Vermont — Barre

Vermont foliage view, Barre, VT
mmlynch3 / Shutterstock

Barre’s more than just a small granite town — the housing options are more affordable compared to the rest of the state, and outdoor recreational opportunities are within reach as well.

The 26,000-acre Groton State Forest is about 20 minutes away. It encompasses seven state parks and more than 17 miles of hiking trails and more than 20 miles of gravel roads and multi-use trails for mountain biking and horseback riding.

“You have quick access to the highway, there are retail centers, there are entertainment centers, there are bars, and loads of places to go hiking around the area. And the Barre City Police Department and Barre Town PD are highly responsive,” writes coffee_stained_note on Reddit.

38. Massachusetts — Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven Beach Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
marthasvineyardimages / Shutterstock

You might recognize this small community for its location on Martha’s Vineyard island — a beachy summer enclave frequented by celebrities and former presidents, such as Reese Witherspoon and Barack Obama.

Check out the historic lighthouses, delightful farms and fresh seafood, all within easy reach.

You could make this charming vacation destination your year-round retirement home if your nest egg is big enough to afford the staggeringly high prices. The median home value on Zillow is just under $1 million.

If not, you’re better off in Worcester, which is still a bit pricey but under Massachusetts’ $500,000 median.

39. Kansas — Paola

Town Square of Paola, Kansas
Paulmcdonald / Wikimedia Commons

This small town south of Kansas City, Mo., is perfect for a senior seeking a slower pace of life.

Check out the historic gazebo and water fountain in the park square, surrounded by shops and restaurants. And for green spaces, look to all the parks, including the 12,000-acre Hillsdale State Park, which features a small beach and playground area.

Although Paola certainly has its pros, retirees on a fixed income can find more affordable housing in Topeka, where the median home value stands at $138,955.

40. Florida — North Port

Braodwalk across wetlands in The William S Boylston Nature Trail in Myakka River State Park in Sarasota Florida in the United States
Jim Schwabel / Shutterstock

Florida has long been lauded as a retiree haven, thanks to its tax-friendliness, sunny climate and beaches, but it’s not the cheapest state to live in. North Port isn’t so bad, however, with a median home value of $245,415.

North Port features more than 26 parks and open spaces, including the 8,500-acre Myakka State Forest, canoeing and kayaking opportunities on the Myakka River and the city’s freshwater canals and several hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and bird watching trails.

You’ll have to drive about 20 minutes outside the city to reach the nearest hospital, however. North Port includes a children’s hospital and urgent care center within city limits, but for general care look to Port Charlotte and Sarasota.

41. Wisconsin — Mequon

Mequon, Wisconsin
Aaron Volkening / Flickr

You get the best of both worlds in Mequon, a residential suburb that lies alongside Lake Michigan and is just 30 minutes away from the big city of Milwaukee.

You won’t lack for outdoor opportunities. The 438-acre Mequon Nature Preserve has some lovely walking trails amid restored forests, prairies and wetlands, while Virmond Park offers gorgeous bluff views of Lake Michigan.

Homes in Mequon cost more than double the state median, however, so retirees on a fixed income might prefer something in Watertown.

42. Mississippi — Pascagoula

PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI SHORELINE VIEW IN NOVEMBER 2019
Michael Mosley / Shutterstock

The “Singing River” city along Mississippi Sound is Mississippi’s busiest port and includes a population of about 20,000 residents. While you usually pay more to live by the water, the median home value in Pascagoula is less than $100,000.

Check out Pascagoula Beach Park, which features a playground, picnic pavilions, a seasonal splash pad, fishing pier and trail. Visit the local seafood restaurants for fresh, delicious fish sandwiches and shrimp baskets.

The state of Mississippi exempts all forms of retirement income from taxes, and property taxes are relatively low as well.

43. Tennessee — Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA downtown cityscape from the pedestrian bridge at dusk.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Chattanooga, a city in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is dubbed “The Scenic City” for a reason. Take in the breathtaking views at Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls and visit historical attractions such as the Tennessee Valley Railroad.

The city claims it has “the most productive affordable housing program in the nation” and has won three national awards for outstanding "livability.” Health facilities close at hand include the high-performing CHI Memorial Hospital.

“Lots of outdoor activities, new niche restaurants popping up, relatively good music scene given the size of the city, relatively close to other cities/destinations for weekend getaways, minor league baseball and soccer teams are pretty popular,” says Timmers86 on Reddit.

44. Oklahoma — Coweta

Coweta Fall Festival 2007
Caleb Long / Wikimedia Commons

This sleepy Tulsa suburb was an agricultural town until the 1960s, and today residents enjoy relatively low home values with easy access to the big city.

There’s a Walmart superstore here, and you can check out Archery Park and the local sports complex for recreational opportunities. The closest hospitals are about 20 minutes away in Tulsa.

Oklahoma in general is quite affordable for retirees — it offers low property taxes, the state exempts Social Security retirement benefits from taxes, and it offers a $10,000 deduction toward other types of retirement income.

45. North Carolina — Asheville

People with backpacks hiking on vacation trip in mountains. Father with his family enjoying time on a trip. Close to Asheville, Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA.
Margaret.Wiktor / Shutterstock

Asheville, tucked away in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, boasts a thriving arts scene that earned it the title “The Paris of the South.” It also has incredible eateries and scenic views.

The temperate climate and fresh mountain air means you’ll also get some relief from the sweltering summers and frigid winters of other states.

“There is a lot of natural beauty and outdoor activities (hiking, biking, paddling, camping) within an hour or two's drive. For the size of the town, there's lots of great food and drink. There's a good spread of old people and young people — both college-aged kids and retired folks. Lots of comfortable, friendly, close-knit neighborhoods,” writes one Redditor.

46. Minnesota — Lake City

man waterskiing
@nazrul / Twenty20

Lake City, situated on Lake Pepin, is often called the birthplace of waterskiing — local Ralph Samuelson made history when he first performed it in 1922.

Aside from water sports, residents enjoy restaurants, small town shops and the surrounding bluffs and parks, particularly the 250-acre Hok-Si-La Park, which features walking trails, campgrounds and a beach.

The U.S. travel site Only In Your State ranks the city as a top retirement destination as well for its high population of retirees, low housing costs and crime rate and convenient access to grocery stores, libraries, restaurants and recreational activities.

47. Utah — Moab

Couple on vacation hiking trip. Man and woman standing on top of the mountain looking at beautiful view. Delicate Arch,  Moab, Utah, Arches National Park.
Margaret.Wiktor / Shutterstock

Stark red rock formations, arches and mesas lie beyond Moab, a town uniquely positioned between two national parks. However, there’s a lot to love within the city limits as well.

Aside from adventuring around nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks, which offer hiking, biking, climbing and whitewater rafting, residents have access to some smaller city parks, a hospital, urgent care center and several eateries.

Unfortunately, Utah taxes Social Security benefits and other retirement income, and property values are relatively high — the median home value in Moab is $386,351.

48. South Carolina — Charleston

Seniors enjoying a beautiful springtime walk. Charleston.
@speakboston / Twenty20

Retire to this port city with its blend of historic buildings, horse-drawn carriages, boat tours and beaches. Walk along The Battery for delightful seaside views and the 12-acre Waterfront Park with its unique giant pineapple fountain. And check out the top shopping and dining spots in the area.

Among the hospitals in the city are MUSC Health-University Medical Center, nationally ranked and considered high-performing for adult specialties.

However, drawbacks to living in the city include oppressive summer heat and high home values. Retirees on a fixed income may find more affordable options in Columbia.

49. Iowa — Davenport

Pick from a variety of breath taking views capture by a drone. Aerial photos are taken from a variety of places and themes. Enjoy the aerial views! Downtown Davenport Aerial View
JamesPatrick.pro / Shutterstock

Davenport, once dubbed "The Most Livable Small City in America," is actually Iowa’s third largest, and it’s a vibrant, modern community with a bustling downtown.

Housing is pretty cheap, with the median home value at just $147,545, according to Zillow, and Davenport’s Genesis Health System placed second in IBM Watson Health’s 15 top health systems list in 2021.

“What Davenport is, is a diversified small city with a very sound economic base, lots of nice-to-excellent neighborhoods, filled with hard-working and trustworthy and reliable people. Good churches, good schools, good stores, good jobs,” says Kent Aldershof on Quora.

50. Texas — Boerne

weathered wooden bench amid golden prairie grass and trees in the Texas Hill Country
LI Cook / Shutterstock

Boerne, a German-founded town named for author and publicist Ludwig Börne, is a hidden gem in Texas Hill Country.

Enjoy the outdoors at Boerne City Lake Park, which includes a fishing pier, boat dock and a butterfly garden, and the wooded Cibolo Nature Center. Take a guided tour of the limestone Cascade Caverns, just 3 miles outside Boerne.

Texas doesn’t have an income tax, so you won’t owe money to the government for your retirement income or Social Security, but property taxes are high, plus Boerne’s median home value is almost double the rest of the state. You might find more modest prices in the College Station area, but you’ll have to deal with lots of college students roaming around as well.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer with MoneyWise.com. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Biology and Professional Writing and Communications.

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