9 Communities in TucsonView All
Tucson is the second-most populated city in Arizona, making it a bustling metropolitan area for those seeking culture, arts, and entertainment. Abundant with parks, nature preserves, museums, and shops, it has become a top destination for retirees looking to balance big city living with a hometown feel.
Climate & Geography
Located in Southern Arizona [https://www.55places.com/arizona/region/southern-arizona], Tucson experiences very hot, dry summers and mild winters as part of its desert climate. Settled in a valley between the Saguaro National Park East, the Tucson Mountain Park, and the Catalina Foothills, the city is surrounded by forested mountain ranges. Overall, residents can expect less than average rainfall and especially dry springs and falls, as well as over 250 sunny days.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Tucson boasts a thriving arts and entertainment scene thanks in part to the proximity of the University of Arizona. Historic Fourth Street is home to many shops, bars, and restaurants near the University. The Arizona Theater Company, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Tucson Opera also call the city home.
Tucson is also home to several festivals, including the Gem and Mineral Show, Festival of Books, Folk Festival, Fourth Avenue Street Fair, and the Tucson Rodeo. Residents seeking a bit more history can visit the Arizona Historical Society, Pima Air & Space Museum, University of Arizona Museum of Art, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
The city holds over 120 parks, ranging from 15 golf courses, natural areas, zoos, and botanical gardens. Residents can enjoy “The Loop,” a popular trail for walking, biking, and horseback riding. Anyone interested in getting further from downtown can visit the Santa Catalina Mountains, which features hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, swimming, fishing, and photography.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Despite being a major metropolis, the cost of living in Tucson is slightly below average for the rest of the U.S. Utilities are higher than average because of the heat, making air conditioning a necessity and driving up costs. Health care costs are lower than average in the entire state of Arizona, but in Tucson, they are even lower.
Retirees with Social Security can enjoy tax-free benefits, but other forms of retirement income, such as pensions and IRAs, are taxable. Property taxes are below average for the state, but the state’s sales tax is higher than the national average at 5.6 percent. Tucson specifically taxes at 8.7 percent. Homeowners over the age of 65 are eligible for property tax breaks.
The Tucson Area ranks within the top 100 metro communities throughout the U.S. on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
Within city limits are three high-performing hospitals, all of which are ranked well in Hip and Knee Replacements. TMC Healthcare-Tucson is ranked by U.S. News the No. 1 hospital in the city and No. 7 overall in Southeast Arizona. Other top-ranking hospitals include Oro Valley Hospital (No. 10 in the region) and Northwest Medical Center-Tucson (No. 14 in the region).