Features

10 Best Cities for Retirement
If you want to find some of the best retirement spots in America, our advice to you is this: Head outdoors, according to Bankrate.com.
http://www.foxbusiness.com/index.html">FOXBusiness
//a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/global/source/foxbusiness/_jcr_content/image.img.png/0/0/1425338243812.png
http://www.foxbusiness.com/index.html

Retirement Couple FBN

If you want to find some of the best retirement spots in America, our advice to you is this: Head outdoors.

Many of the cities that made our "10 best cities for retirement" list offer residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. Even in spots that have extremely cold winters, retirees are still able to leave their homes and enjoy a breath of fresh air. In turn, many of the most active communities tend to have the happiest residents.

We ranked 196 of America's cities in terms of walkability, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax rates and weather. The ranking also incorporated a specialized wellness score for seniors from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The top 10 cities weren't clustered in any particular region; some of them were coastal cities, while others were smack-dab in the middle of the country. Most of them had an affordable cost of living -- which is essential to retirees who have to live on a fixed income -- and most offer their residents an ample amount of sunshine.

Here are the best cities to retire.

Franklin, Tennessee

10. Franklin, Tennessee

There's more to Tennessee than whiskey and country music. Just take a look at Franklin.

Only 20 miles south of Nashville, Franklin is experiencing a revitalization, with brewing festivals and free "art crawls" on the first Friday of every month at galleries along Main Street.

Franklin also is a relatively affordable place to live. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, or CREC, ranks the Franklin-Nashville metro area as 52nd out of 308 metro areas in terms of low cost of living. Tennessee also has no state income tax, and overall it has the sixth-lowest tax rate in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.

Franklin may not be as walkable as some of our other cities, but FBI data show that in 2013, there wasn't one murder in the entire city.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(City of Franklin, TN)

Colorado Springs, CO

9. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Hiking, biking, whitewater rafting. If it's the outdoors you love, Colorado Springs has a lot to choose from, especially in the nearby Garden of the Gods Park and Pikes Peak, a mountainous area once popular with miners trying to strike it rich during the gold rush.

Colorado also has a good health care system -- a feature that should be on the minds of anyone who plans to retire there. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says the state enjoys above-average health care, citing good communication with patients and the prevalence of computerized patient documentation systems.

It's also worth noting that residents who are retirement age have expressed a strong sense of well-being and enthusiasm for their surroundings. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which tracks these sentiments around the country, scores Colorado Springs as above average for senior well-being.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Bankrate Inc.)

Cape Coral, Cape Harbour

8. Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral bills itself as a "Waterfront Wonderland," and for good reason: With more than 400 miles of navigable waterways, the city on Florida's west coast has become a haven for the boating crowd.

Retirees have many choices for how to spend their time. Sunbathing, fishing and golfing are all popular activities. With so much to do, it's easy to see why residents gave the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area the fifth-highest well-being score among seniors, according to Healthways.

Located between Miami and Tampa, Cape Coral gets a fair amount of rain and experiences the occasional hurricane. But its relatively warm year-round temperatures make it a welcome destination for many retirees from the Northeast. The city's crime rate also is well below the national average.

Neighboring Fort Myers also ranks high on our list for many of the same reasons.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(The City of Cape Coral)

Austin, Texas, SXSW Festival

7. Austin, Texas

Breakfast burritos, brisket and queso -- the capital of Texas has all the fixin's if you want to eat your way through your golden years.

Sure, summers can be muggy in Austin, but the city makes up for that with plenty of outdoor escapes, including miles of trails, bike paths and parks.

Texas residents also benefit from the absence of a state personal income tax, and the overall state and local tax burden is the fourth-lowest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. Healthways also gives seniors in the Austin area high well-being scores, which usually means residents are relatively happy and satisfied with their surroundings.

Monthly rent in Austin runs around $1,037, which is more expensive than the national average of $919. But that's still cheaper than Houston, Texas' most populous city, where the average rent is around $1,427. And you're in luck if you're planning to host a barbecue: A T-bone steak costs $9.82, below the national average of $10.40.

Round Rock, by the way, also ranks high on our list for many of the same reasons.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Reuters)

Rocky Mountain, Denver, Colorado

6. Denver

If your ideal retirement spot involves the slopes and a post-ski pint, there's really no better spot than Denver, also known as the Mile High City.

Residents love the community in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Many locals spend their weekends hiking or skiing in the mountains. Vail is only a two-hour drive away.

The cost of living in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area is a little high compared with the national average, but the city has a lot to offer, too. Its crime rate, walkability and weather all rank favorably compared with other cities around the country. Colorado also places a lower tax burden on residents than the national average, according to the Tax Foundation.

Also, if you injure yourself skiing on a black diamond trail, never fear: The state has the 13th-best health care system in the country.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Reuters)

Des Moines, Iowa, Downtown Des Moines

5. Des Moines, Iowa

Yes, America, Des Moines.

The city at the center of America's heartland just might be the best place you never thought of for retirement.

Not only is it home to an increasingly vibrant downtown, complete with an excellent farmers market and foodie festivals galore, Des Moines also is a great jumping-off point for the outdoors, with more than 600 miles of trails. And its 4-mile-long enclosed skywalk -- one of the largest in the U.S. -- connects shops and offices downtown, which is a plus, especially in the winter when temperatures drop.

Iowa also has America's sixth-best health care system, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. And like much of the Midwest, including neighboring West Des Moines, the cost of living is relatively low.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Reuters)

Tucson, Arizona, City of Tucson

4. Tucson, Arizona

If it's the outdoors you love, look no further than Tucson, which is surrounded by five mountain ranges, a variety of flowering deserts, hundreds of miles of trails and the southernmost ski area in the U.S. Bikers can rejoice, too. There are miles of paths around the city, known to locals as "The Loop," and the city continues to add more bike lanes and routes.

Southern Arizona's climate is also postcard perfect. It's slightly cooler than Phoenix to the north, and you'll rarely need to stay inside because of a rainy day.

Tucson also ranks high for happiness among residents. Healthways, which scored 105 metro areas in terms of senior well-being, ranks the Tucson area in its top 20.

The cost of living is relatively modest, too. When it comes to homeownership, Tucson homeowners pay around $249,959 -- below the average U.S. price of $305,838. Plus, Arizona places a below-average tax burden on residents, according to the Tax Foundation.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(City of Tucson)

Prescott Arizona, City of Prescott

3. Prescott, Arizona

Welcome to everybody's hometown. That's the motto of this quaint city, located about two hours north of Phoenix.

Prescott is where Phoenix residents visit to escape the sizzling summer heat. It's also more laid-back, with less traffic and a "know-your-neighbor" vibe.

Much of downtown Prescott can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. Whiskey Row, which was once lined with saloons but now showcases hotels, cafes and bars, is a must-see for anyone passing through.

Healthways gives Prescott high marks for well-being, meaning that residents who are 65 and older are generally happy with their surroundings. There are five golf courses nearby, and Prescott National Forest offers visitors more than 450 miles of recreational trails. Prescott gets a fair amount of rain, but winters are mild and the average temperature in August is around 72 degrees.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

 

(City of Prescott)

Arlington Virginia

2. Arlington, Virginia

Typically associated with America's most famous cemetery, retirees have more to do in Arlington than visit Civil War tombstones.

There are more than 100 miles of trails, bike lanes and routes throughout the city, so it's not surprising that residents here embrace a healthy lifestyle and rank high on the wellness index.

Arlington has a low crime rate, and locals can get by without a car. Much of the city is walker-friendly, including areas like Crystal City, Rosslyn and Ballston. The city has ample public transportation, with a handful of metro stops in the area. Neighboring Alexandria is also friendly to walkers.

Virginia also has one of the better health care systems in the country. And when compared with the other states, Virginia's tax rate is more favorable than the national average and falls below its higher-taxing neighbor, Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Arlington County Government)

Full Moon, cactus, Arizona

1. Mesa (metro Phoenix), Arizona

Sun worshippers: Your paradise awaits!

Arizona's blazing, bright skies have attracted retirees to the region for generations. But the mild winters and dry climate aren't the only reasons why the Phoenix area topped our list.

When ranking the cities, we also paid attention to well-being surveys of seniors in those communities. Our reason was simple: If we're going to recommend a place for retirement, we wanted to consider what the locals actually felt about their surroundings. According to Healthways, the Phoenix area ranks among the nation's best in terms of overall well-being.

Meanwhile, the cost of living is relatively low, and the Tax Foundation says Arizona has one of the lower overall tax burdens in the country.

Taken alone, the suburb of Mesa earned our top spot overall, though it's worth noting that Phoenix and Scottsdale also posted strong individual scores. All three are home to many cultural attractions, parks and golf courses.

If you're after hip and trendy, try neighboring Scottsdale, which is buzzing with new restaurants, boutique hotels and spas. Nearby Phoenix also received high rankings, although it struggles with crime, like many other big cities.

Copyright 2015, Bankrate Inc.

(Reuters)

10 Best Cities for Retirement

If you want to find some of the best retirement spots in America, our advice to you is this: Head outdoors, according to Bankrate.com.

More From Our Sponsors