The Top 10 Retirement Towns in the USA

If you’re like most Americans, you dream of retiring somewhere warm AND affordable. A city with a reasonable cost of living that will let you get the most out of your retirement savings. analyzed these factors, along with the other attributes retirees found appealing in cities, and came up with two top ten lists: the ten least and most expensive retirement towns.

With approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers celebrating their 65th birthday each day, the retiree population is big and getting bigger. If these retiring Boomers continue the trend of moving to more elder-friendly communities as they age, it will have a major impact on the real estate market as a whole.

Did Houston Make the List?

One of the criteria for qualifying as a retirement city is a disproportionate number of senior citizens to the rest of the population, with a minimum of 25% people over 60 years old to be included. Many of the top ranking cities had populations comprised of over 40% senior citizens! Houston does not meet this demographic criteria, and we think it’s because we are so young and hip. We think this makes it a great reason to retire in Houston, though! From fun ways to stay active, great food to try, and wonderful real estate prices, Houston would be a wonderful place to settle in after retirement. Our city enjoys all of the other features that make a place an attractive retirement destination.

“Aging in Place”

The ranking also took into account the median home price, senior-friendly amenities and how much money it would take to pay down a median-price home with a 15 year mortgage, assuming a 20% down payment and 5% interest rate. The search for retirement communities included scanning home descriptions for keywords like “aging in place,” first floor bedroom” and “retirement.”

Image c/o Claire Widman,

Most Expensive Retirement Towns

San Luis Opisbo, California ranked at the top of the list of desirable but pricey retirement destinations. With a median price of $729,600, it’s semi-affordable by California standards but still pricey compared to the rest of the country. The city offers spectacular views of the ocean and hills, as well as an excellent location on the Pacific Coast Highway, between Los Angeles and San Diego. Santa Rosa, located an hour north of San Francisco, was the second California city to rank as a top-notch high end retirement spot.

Well-to-do retirees also flock to Santa Fe, NM, Prescott, AZ, Bend and Medford, OR. Along with Naples, FL, Barnstable, MA, Ocean City, NJ and Hilton Head, SC. Each of these cities has a median home price of $450,000 or more.

Image c/o Claire Widman,

Least Expensive Retirement Towns

If you’re looking for somewhere to stretch those pension dollars, there are plenty of great retirement destinations that are more budget-friendly! We were not surprised to see Florida top the list. Sebring ranked first, Ocala in third and Homosassa Springs rounded out the top five. Median home prices in these cities were between $180,000 and $221,000, and the communities boast amenities like walkable neighborhoods, abundance of gated retirement communities and ocean-front views.

Hickory, NC, Hot Springs, AR, Glen Falls, NY, Roanoke, VA, New Bern, NC, Sierra Vista, AZ and Myrtle Beach, SC also made the list of least expensive retirement cities. While Houston may not have a high enough proportion of seniors to qualify as a retirement city, we have the warm climate, low home prices, and wealth of activities like fishing (in nearby Galveston), golf, museums, a strong performing arts community, that retirees look for.

Ready to Retire?

If you or someone you know is looking to pack up and move to one of the retirement hot spots listed here, we’re ready to help you through every step of the sales process. All you’ll have to do is get started on your well-earned years of rest and relaxation!