7 Great Reasons to Retire in Arizona

Arizona has been a retirement destination for decades. Here\'s why.

There are many reasons to retire to Arizona, which is why it’s one of the most popular choices in the U.S. for retirees. People are often initially attracted by its climate, with months of sunny days and mild winters, but then discover other advantages.

Here are some of the reasons to consider retiring to Arizona.


The climate is warm and sunny for much of the year, with places such as Phoenix averaging 299 sunny days a year, compared to the US average of 205. In Southern Arizona winters are mild, and if there are a few snow flurries it’s regarded as a bad winter. Northern Arizona does get heavy snow in winter, but if you enjoy winter sports that could be a point in its favor.

In summer the weather does get extremely hot, which is a factor to take into account. As early as May, temperatures in Southern Arizona can start to exceed 100 degrees, and this will continue for several weeks.

The weather breaks a little with the arrival of the early summer monsoon rains, but will then continue hot until the fall. For this reason, Arizona is especially popular with snowbirds, who can escape the intensity of the summer heat.


With 300 golf courses across the state, Arizona appeals to the keen golfer. Many active adult communities have their own golf course, or have easy access to a golf course nearby. Even if they don’t, there are numerous courses within reach of the major centers such as Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tucson.


Arizona offers a number of financial benefits to those wishing to retire there and it is one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. Social Security is not taxed, and there is no gift tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax.

Drug prescriptions from a registered physician or dentist are exempt from state tax. Groceries are also exempt from Arizona state sales tax, though some cities do put a local tax on groceries. Property taxes are well below the national average, and Arizona has one of the lowest tax rates on gas in the county, although gas prices are still well above the national average.

Outdoor Activities

The climate makes Arizona an attractive option to those who like to pursue a healthy active outdoor lifestyle. In addition to golf, for which Arizona is one of the best destinations in the world, it is an ideal climate for other outdoor sports including tennis, swimming, and pickleball. Hiking can be enjoyed in the numerous national parks, state parks, and recreation areas, along with cycling and horse-riding, both very popular.

Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, but there are 22 national parks in the state in total, along with 31 state parks. Arizona has a reputation for desert landscapes, but almost 30 percent of the state is forested, and there is a wide variety in the scenery.

Food and Drink

Tucson is one of only two US cities to be designated World Cities of Gastronomy by UNESCO, which gives an indication of its culinary attractions. Its luxury resorts attract some of the country’s best chefs, which has a trickle-down effect throughout the state. The cuisine is heavily influenced by both Mexican and Spanish cooking, as well as having a touch of Native American, and a Southwestern style of its own.

Dishes to try include the chimichanga, a deep-fried burrito which was allegedly invented accidentally at the El Charro restaurant in Tucson. The Sonoran hot dog is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and grilled, which originated in Sonora, Mexico, and crossed the border into Arizona. Local produce such as cactus fruit and mesquite wood are also used to provide distinctive flavors.

The more upscale resorts around Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, also encourage a thriving cocktail scene, which is helped by a surge in craft distilleries. There are numerous craft breweries and, to the surprise of some people, three different wine-growing regions.


The 6th-largest state in the U.S., Arizona offers a good choice of options to anyone looking to settle there. There is the large urban area of Greater Phoenix, if you enjoy city living, and within that a choice of communities from the luxurious to the more budget minded. Even within specific active adult communities you can find a good range of house prices. 

For those who want to escape the big city, there are smaller cities such as Tucson, offering the benefit of city amenities but easier access to the outdoors. There are also small towns such as Green Valley in Southern Arizona or Prescott in Northern Arizona, for those who prefer the feel of small-town life.


Arizona’s dry heat and healthy climate provide numerous health benefits. Allergies are less common, people with breathing problems and asthma find them eased in Arizona, and those with arthritis find the dry desert heat is preferable to damp climates. The reaction of individuals does vary, so if health is an issue for you then you might want to try renting first. Health care is generally good, with lots of choice, thanks to the number of retirees in Arizona.

So, cost, climate, and health benefits are just three of the many reasons people choose to retire to Arizona.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A group of older adults socialize within their 55+ community.

Top 10 FAQs About Living in 55+ Communities

We’re here to answer all of your questions about joining a mature living community, so you can feel empowered in your decision. This is the next great adventure of your life, and we’re firm believers in leaving the stress out. Check out these top 10 FAQs about living in 55+ communities.

A senior couple takes a hike in a low-humidity state they chose for their retirement.

Retirement: What Are the Top 5 States With the Lowest Humidity?

There are many factors in deciding where to retire, and the weather can be one of them. Luckily, many of the states with nice weather also offer additional benefits for people over 60 and have several exciting active adult communities. Here are the four best states for a low-humidity retirement.

Lake view during autumn at dusk of Table Rock Mountain in Pickens, South Carolina.

5 Reasons To Consider a South Carolina Retirement

What does South Carolina have to offer active adults? A selection of over 80 active adult communities is just the beginning. These five reasons to consider a South Carolina retirement just might convince you that this southern coastal state has everything you’re looking for in a 55+ community.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for having some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

The Carolinas are a power couple when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle in an amazing climate, but they’re separated by more than just a border. A side-by-side comparison of the two can quickly show which is better for you when it comes to your interests and needs.

Exterior view of a model home at Del Webb Carolina Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on a sunny day.

55+ Communities With New Homes for Sale Near Raleigh

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in Raleigh, North Carolina there are plenty of options to consider. We’ve put together a list to help you start your search for the perfect neighborhood with new homes.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top