The red sandstone buttes of Papago Park after sunset near Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix has long been a retirement destination. Here's why.

Phoenix is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the American Southwest. With sunny weather, a low cost of living, and top-notch golf courses, it’s easy to see why Phoenix attracts retirees year after year.

Here are the top five reasons why active adults choose to retire in the Phoenix area.

1. The low cost of living appeals to retirees.

The Phoenix, Arizona cityscape in downtown at night

Phoenix is one of the most affordable big cities in the Southwest.

Phoenix’s relatively low cost of living appeals to many retirees, especially those who have a fixed income. It’s one of the most affordable big cities in the Southwest and often attracts Californians seeking a sunny place to retire without the West Coast’s high prices. The state of Arizona is also pretty tax-friendly for retirees, and Social Security income is untaxed.

Thanks to its low cost of living, the Phoenix area is home to a number of affordable age-restricted communities. Apache Wells, a gated 55+ community about 30 minutes from Downtown Phoenix, has 1,823 homes priced from the high $100s to the mid $500s. Residents of this affordable community have access to an 18-hole golf course, a top-notch fitness center, an outdoor pool and spa, and more.

Northtown is another great 55+ community in the Phoenix area. This community has 281 single-family homes priced from the low $200s to the mid $300s. Amenities include a clubhouse, a heated outdoor pool, and a catering kitchen.

2. The weather is always sunny and warm.

A trail in South Mountain Park Preserve near Phoenix, Arizona on a sunny day

Phoenix usually sees no more than 9 inches of rain per year.

Phoenix’s great weather is a plus for several reasons. With around 300 sunny days per year, it’s easy to embrace an outdoor lifestyle and stay healthy. And since Phoenix usually sees no more than 9 inches of rain per year, homeowners can look forward to low-maintenance living. For those interested in avoiding high heating costs and shoveling snow every winter, Phoenix is the place to be. 

When Phoenix residents want to experience distinct seasons, they can head up to Northern Arizona towns such as Flagstaff for weekend trips. The northern part of the state regularly receives snowfall during winter.

3. The area offers fantastic outdoor recreation.

Superstition Mountain at Lost Dutchman SP with an Ocotillo cactus in the foreground

The nearby Superstition Mountains have hiking trails that cover more than 170 miles. 

Phoenix residents can enjoy some of the best outdoor recreations that the Southwest has to offer. The nearby Superstition Mountains have hiking trails that cover more than 170 miles. From off-road tours in the desert terrain to kayaking on Lake Pleasant, the Phoenix area has plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Phoenix has the best golf courses in the Southwest.

A golf course fairway bathed in sunlight with Camelback Mountain in background in Phoenix, Arizona

Retirees in the area can enjoy golf throughout the year in Phoenix.

Active adults who enjoy playing golf will feel right at home in Phoenix. The area is considered one of the best destinations in the Southwest for golf. Greater Phoenix is home to nearly 200 golf courses, from municipal to resort-style courses. With Phoenix’s sunny weather and abundant courses, retirees in the area can enjoy golf throughout the year.

5. There's plenty of big-city entertainment.

The Chase Field sign, Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix, Arizona

For those who prefer sports, residents can watch games at Phoenix’s Chase Field. (Image credited to Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com)

Phoenix’s cultural attractions, shopping, and entertainment allow retirees to live a well-rounded lifestyle. Those interested in art will enjoy the Phoenix Art Museum, which is the largest of its kind in the Southwest. The heart of Downtown Phoenix also has a popular open-air market and cafe where residents can browse artisan goods, crafts, and locally grown produce.

Every year, Phoenix draws over one million people for the annual Arizona State Fair, which has musical performances, rodeo events, and more. For those who prefer sports, residents can watch NBA, WNBA, and MLB games at Phoenix’s Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena. From festivals to sports games, active adults living in Phoenix can enjoy a full calendar of events throughout the year.