Long-exposure car headlights leading to the Houston, Texas skyline at sunset

Houston has a lot to offer active adults seeking ample greenspace and a diverse cityscape.

Houston is one of the best places to retire in Texas. Sprawling 665 square miles, Space City boasts an affordable cost of living, plentiful housing options, and a never-ending array of recreation opportunities. Houston is also the most diverse city in the country, according to WalletHub, beating out both New York and Los Angeles. More than 140 languages are spoken in Houston, with Spanish and Vietnamese among the most common.

Retirees looking for homes for sale in Texas will find that this vibrant city has much to offer. Whether you’re thinking of moving to Houston to live near family or you simply want a change of pace, active adults can explore multiple active lifestyle communities in H-town.

Read on for five reasons to retire in Houston.

1. Plenty of Greenspace

A tree canopy covering a pathway with benches in a Houston, Texas park

Houston is no concrete jungle.

Although it’s the largest city in Texas, Houston is no concrete jungle—it’s home to abundant greenspaces. Bayou City contains more than 50,000 acres of park space within the city limits, and it has even undergone a greenspace transformation in recent years.

Houston has added new parks, cleaned up existing parks, and installed nature and biking trails throughout the city, giving retirees plentiful options for outdoor recreation and exercise. The Houston Parks and Recreation Department oversees 366 parks and more than 200 greenspaces, in addition to more than 125 miles of hiking and biking trails.

2. A Low Cost of Living

A resort-style swimming pool with lap lanes in front of a yellow clubhouse in the Village at Tuscan Lakes, League City, Texas

There are several 55+ communities around Houston.

Compared to similar metro areas, Houston offers better affordability for residents. Here, retirees can expect a median home sale price that’s lower than several other major cities around the country. While the national average for housing costs hovered around $315,743 in 2020, Houstonians experienced a slightly higher average of around $319,339, according to U.S. News & World Report.

There are several 55+ communities around Houston. At The Village at Tuscan Lakes in League City, retirees can enjoy the nearby Kemah Boardwalk or spend the day on Galveston Island, which is just 30 minutes away. This 55+ community offers homes for sale that range from 1,109 to 2,581 square feet.

A little closer to Downtown Houston, Heritage Towne Lake in Cypress offers single-family homes for sale ranging from 1,553 to 3,372 square feet. Homeowners in this active adult community can enjoy a resort-like atmosphere that centers around fishing and boating. 

3. A Robust Restaurant Scene

Houston is home to more than 11,000 restaurants that span the spectrum from traditional Southern fare to fine dining.

Whether retirees consider themselves foodies or they simply enjoy a good meal, living in Houston allows them to dig into an exciting culinary scene. Houston is home to more than 11,000 restaurants that span the spectrum from traditional Southern fare to fine dining. Retirees can savor a variety of international favorites to suit any palate, as well, whether they enjoy Ethiopian dishes or Indian cuisine,

Active adults can’t go wrong ordering a dish at one of the city’s many award-winning restaurants, such as Brennan’s of Houston, which Food & Wine ranked as one of the 40 Most Important Restaurants in America, or Goode Co. BBQ, which was named one of America’s best barbecue joints by National Geographic Traveler.

4. No State Income Tax

Exterior view of an old barn and buggy with a Texas state flag painted on the roof, located in the middle of a prairie

Texas is one of seven states with no state income tax.

Retirees who settle in Houston can enjoy stretching their retirement dollars further than many other major metro areas. Texas doesn’t impose a state income tax, and it never will since the state constitution forbids it. This means that Social Security retirement benefits and all other types of retirement income are tax-free at the state level.

Texas joins six other states—Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming—that don’t collect income tax.

5. World-Class Health Care

A stethoscope shaped into a heart on a set of blue scrubs and a medical intake form

Houston is home to the world's largest medical complex.

Living in Houston gives retirees peace of mind because they have easy access to some of the world’s top doctors and specialists. Houston is home to the world’s largest medical complex and employs more than 360,000 health care workers.

Retirees can also take comfort knowing that no matter where they live in the city, they’re always close to a medical facility. The Houston area contains 85 hospitals with more than 19,300 beds. Houston Methodist Hospital, the city’s No. 1 hospital, is a general medical and surgical facility that’s nationally ranked in nine adult specialties and high performing in nine procedures and conditions.