"The 20 Most Affordable Places to Retire 2021" banner over an aerial view of Boynton Beach, Florida

Here are the most affordable places to retire in 2021.

What are the most important factors you consider when choosing a place to retire? You're probably thinking about climate, home prices, taxes, health care, transportation, and entertainment options, just to name a few.

All are important characteristics that make a city or metro area an ideal place for retirement, but it might be hard to put all those factors together and find your perfect place. That’s where we come in.

For our 2020 list of the most affordable places to retire in the United States, we considered a number of different data points. The most important factors were cost, including cost of living, median home value, median income, and home prices. Other things that were considered are 55+ community selection, state taxes, transit score, walk score, volunteer opportunities, climate, and more.

A stylized map of The 20 Most Affordable Places to Retire 2021

All of that gave us a list of the 20 most affordable places to retire in the U.S. The list ranges from traditional retirement destinations to bigger northern cities to some surprising places out west. Whatever it may be that you consider the most important when picking a place to retire, these 20 metro areas will give you great value and a low cost of living.

1. Boynton Beach Area - Florida

Palm trees beside the outdoor pool at Venetian Isles in Boynton Beach, Florida

To get the No. 1 spot, Boynton Beach ranked high in cost of living, home price and value, and taxes.

When 55places named Sioux Falls in South Dakota the most affordable place to retire in 2019, it was a bit of a surprise. This year totally reversed that as our winner is (and has been) one of the most popular places to retire for decades.

Boynton Beach, known as the “land of five minutes,” is a seemingly ever-expanding Southeastern Florida city that's home to over 50 age-restricted communities. Since it’s long been such a popular retirement destination, the amenities and attractions in place are perfect for retirees, and many of them are just a five-minute drive away.

Naturally, to get the No. 1 spot, Boynton Beach ranked high in cost of living, home price and value, and taxes, as does most of Florida. Besides being affordable, the city scored high in categories related to population and climate. Of course, having 50 age-restricted communities with a lot of unique features helped too.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Being an Atlantic Coast city of course means there’s plenty of shoreline and beaches to enjoy, the favorite being Oceanfront Park, Ocean Ridge Hammock Park, and Ocean Inlet Park. Boating, fishing, and water sports are also very popular. 

Other popular outdoor spaces include Gulfstream Park, and the Seacrest Scrub Natural Area, Wakodahatchee Wetlands. That’s just scratching the surface. With great weather and an ideal location, Boynton Beach residents always have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Boynton Beach shines when it comes to density and variety of nearby daily necessities. Some residents swear if you walk five minutes in any direction from wherever you are, you’ll run into a deli, bagel shop, Chinese restaurant, or Publix. Besides good food and good shopping being nearby, residents of Boynton Beach have several options for more fun, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.

Boynton Beach 55+ Communities

There are few cities in the U.S. with more communities on offer than Boynton Beach. This means there’s a lot of variety with many resale communities offering homes for sale below $100k. On the other hand, developers still want in on this retirement capital and plenty of newer communities are on offer with new homes at higher price points. Here’s a handful of popular options:

View all communities in the Boynton Beach area. 

2. Sarasota Area - Florida

Aerial view of palm trees and houses lining a residential street in Cresswind at Lakewood Ranch in Lakewood Ranch, Florida

Much like Boynton Beach, Sarasota is home to miles of shorelines and pristine beaches.

Heading over to the Gulf Coast, we have Sarasota ranking at No. 2. Snugly located between Tampa and Fort Myers and right on the coast, Sarasota and Bradenton have plenty to do on water and on land. 

What separates the Sarasota area from the other great Florida retirement cities? Of course, affordability is at the top. A large 55+ community count also helps as does a very good walk score and a large but not overwhelming population.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Much like Boynton Beach, Sarasota is home to miles of shorelines and pristine beaches. Siesta Key Beach is one of the most popular, while Lido Key and Saint Armands Key are also favorites among locals.

The Ringling Museum is another popular attraction that features indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the Circus Museum, gardens, and Ce’ D’Zan, a mansion where John Ringling lived. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, and Sarasota Jungle Gardens are also popular. 

Sarasota 55+ Communities

The Sarasota area is no stranger to 55+ communities, with 30 age-restricted communities in the area and 33 active lifestyle communities. The area has several established options but builders certainly recognize Sarasota’s popularity as several new communities have been announced over the last few years, including a few in the popular Lakewood Ranch master-planned community.

View all communities in the Sarasota area.

3. Salt Lake City Area - Utah

Sunset view of a row of houses in SpringHouse Village in South Jordan, Utah

The Salt Lake City area had several suburbs score high, including Sandy and West Jordan.

Our first trip west lands us in Utah, which may surprise some. However, over the last few years, Utah has become a popular destination for retirees due to its mild climate, and of course, affordability. The Salt Lake City area had several suburbs score high, including Sandy and West Jordan. They scored high on cost of living, median income, and home price. They also have one of the highest volunteer scores on the list.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Salt Lake City is nestled between the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, so there are always great opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the year. Besides a hike, popular outdoor spots include the Red Butte Garden, the Tracy Aviary & Botanical Gardens, and Liberty Park. 

Cultural institutions include the Utah State Capitol Building, the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, and the Clark Planetarium. The Utah Jazz, the city’s NBA team, is always incredibly popular and makes for a good night out.

Salt Lake City Area 55+ Communities

The area is home to over 20 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities, many of them offering newer homes and modern amenities in tight-knit neighborhoods under 500 homes. 

View all communities in the Salt Lake City area. 

4. Dallas-Fort Worth Area - Texas

Tables and chairs on an outdoor patio at Frisco Lakes in Frisco, Texas

Dallas has big-city amenities and plenty of desirable suburbs that are home to 55+ communities.

The first Texas area to make the list is the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the state’s largest metro area. Dallas has big-city amenities and plenty of desirable suburbs that are home to 55+ communities ranging from 20 homes to over 7,000.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked high in cost of living, home value and price, and taxes, largely thanks to there being no income tax in Texas. 

Can’t Miss Attractions

Residents of the Metroplex can enjoy the area’s warm climate at several large parks, including White Rock Lake, Klyde Warren Park, and The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

The city is particularly known for its popular sports teams: the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, and Stars. Besides sports, there are dozens of museums throughout the area, including the Dallas Museum of Art, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Dallas-Fort Worth Area 55+ Communities 

Several of the area’s most popular communities are larger neighborhoods built into master-planned communities while others are smaller, more tight-knit communities for people who just need a clubhouse and some company.

View all communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

5. Tampa-St. Petersburg Area - Florida

Lounge chairs on the patio beside the outdoor pool at Summertree in New Port Richey, Florida

On any given day in Tampa and St. Petersburg, there’s always something going on.

After finishing No. 9 in 2019’s version of this list, Tampa and St. Petersburg have vaulted into the top five. The region is not only home to two big cities, but also dozens of popular suburbs, miles of coastline, three professional sports teams, and plenty of outdoor recreation.

The largest metro area on the list so far, the Tampa area scores high because of a friendly tex environment, abundant volunteer opportunities, and a low cost of living. The area has a solid walk score and transit score too, on top of great weather year-round.

Can’t Miss Attractions

On any given day in Tampa and St. Petersburg, there’s always something going on. The area is home to several theme parks and museums, including Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, Adventure Island, and ZooTampa at Lowry Park. As mentioned above, the area is home to three pro sports teams: the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If you’re looking to do something a bit more relaxing, there are just as many options. That includes Lettuce Lake Park, Bayshore Boulevard, and the popular Tampa Riverwalk. Of course, you can always simply grab a bite and a drink from one of several beachside restaurants and watch the Clearwater Beach sunset any night you please.

Tampa-St. Petersburg Area 55+ Communities

The Tampa area is home to over 100 communities great for retirees, including 51 that are age-restricted. Some, like Sun City Center, go back decades, while others, like Del Webb Bexley, are just a few years old.

View all communities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

6. Corpus Christi Area - Texas

Early morning view of Corpus Christi Cathedral in Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi is the sixth most affordable place to retire this year.

Back in October when 55places announced the 25 most affordable places for snowbirds, one region of the country really stood out: South Texas. So it’s not a surprise now to find out Corpus Christi is the sixth most affordable place to retire this year. 

While the area’s cost of living is higher than those in front of it on this list, residents enjoy much lower home prices and low taxes found throughout Texas, including no state income tax. On top of that, the city is located right on the Gulf of Mexico and enjoys an average year-round temperature of over 70 degrees. 

Can’t Miss Attractions

Being on the Gulf means there are plenty of water-based activities and attractions. There’s the U.S.S. Lexington Museum, a World War II-era aircraft carrier that now operates as a museum. There are also plenty of beaches to enjoy, including Whitecap Beach, Padre Island, and Malaquite Beach.

The city is also home to the Texas State Aquarium, the South Texas Botanical Gardens, and Selena Museum.

Corpus Christi 55+ Communities

There are no 55+ communities on 55places.com located in Corpus Christi, but there are three throughout the Rio Grande Valley area.

View all communities in South Texas.

7. Baltimore Area - Maryland

Golf carts driving through a golf course at The Woodlands of Urbana in Urbana, Maryland

As part of the Northeast Corridor, Baltimore is one of the most ideally located cities in the country.

The first real surprise on the list is Baltimore and its suburbs, which come in at No. 7. Part of the Northeast Corridor, Baltimore is one of the most ideally located cities in the country. It scored high in categories like taxes, home cost, transit and walk scores, and volunteer opportunities.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Much like other East Coast cities, Baltimore is rich with history and culture, That includes the Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Aquarium, Fort McHenry, and The Walters Art Museum. A visit to the Inner Harbor is always a fun time and is within walking distance from the Camden Yards, home or the Orioles, and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens. 

There’s also plenty of traditional cuisines, including blue crabs, soft crab sandwiches, crab cakes, and pit beef. 

Baltimore Area 55+ Communities 

The Baltimore-D.C. area has over 50 communities ideal for those looking to retire. That includes a few expansive and popular resale communities, some condo communities, and some newer communities.

View all communities in the Baltimore area.

8. Pittsburgh Area - Pennsylvania

The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh area has 29 communities, the majority of which are all-ages.

Pittsburgh was one of the first Rust Belt cities to make a comeback, and it’s been thriving ever since. Home to breweries, bistros, and bridges, plenty of retirees looking to stay near grandchildren are calling it home.

The city and its suburbs scored high in several factors, including low home prices, lower taxes, and great scores for transit, walking, and volunteering. 

Can’t Miss Attractions

There are plenty of museums to enjoy in the area, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Science Center. Residents of the area are surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains and several major rivers, so there’s plenty of hiking and kayaking to do.

To take in some nature, there’s the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Mount Washington. Of course, the city is also very passionate about its sports teams: the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins. 

Pittsburgh Area 55+ Communities

The Pittsburgh area has 29 communities, the majority of which are all-ages but provide the homes and amenities needed to retire. Traditions of America is by far the most popular builder in the area and has built several communities. 

View all communities in the Pittsburgh area. 

9. Delray Beach Area - Florida

Lounge chairs on the patio beside the outdoor pool at Avalon Trails in Delray Beach, Florida

Delray Beach has a good cost of living score, and residents enjoy Florida’s low-state taxes.

Back in Southeast Florida for No. 9, and we have another traditional retirement hotspot. Delray Beach is directly south of our No. 1 area and packs similar amenities and a large community selection (38) into the same space on the shore.

Besides a warm climate and endless opportunities on the water, Delray Beach has a good cost of living score, and residents enjoy Florida’s low-state taxes.

Can’t Miss Attractions 

Being so close, Delray Beach residents enjoy many of the same parks as those in Boynton Beach, including the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, but Delray Beach does boast the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Perhaps the most popular area of Delray Beach Atlantic Avenue, the main street is lined with trees, antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and popular restaurants. It runs over the Gulf Stream and ends directly at Delray Public Beach, so there are plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the area.

Delray Beach Area 55+ Communities

Like many cities in the area, Delray Beach has a large selection of resale communities that are credited with helping boost the retirement population here decades ago. That means there’s plenty of low-priced homes that come in communities with large and varied amenity options. There are a few newer communities in town too, if you happen to be looking for new construction.

View all communities in the Delray Beach area.

10. Ocala Area - Florida

A calm pond beside a golf course and homes in Stone Creek in Ocala, Florida

Besides one of the most popular 55+ communities in the country, Ocala has just under 30 communities.

Our first inland Florida community is none other than Ocala, home of the back-to-back winner of 55places’ Community of the Year award winner On Top of the World. It’s become an increasingly popular place to retire due to its cost of living and ideal location close to several major coastal cities.

Besides affordability and a great 55+ community selection, Ocala scores high on home prices, low taxes, volunteer opportunities, and climate.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Ocala is known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” so if you’re looking for a stable, there are plenty of options in the area. Besides horses, the area is full of outdoor adventure from state parks to national forests. The most popular include the Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs State Park, Sholom Park, and Fort King National Historic Park.

Cultural attractions include the Appleton Museum of Art, the Silver River Museum, and the Reilly Arts Center

Ocala Area 55+ Communities

Besides one of the most popular 55+ communities in the country, Ocala has just under 30 communities that are great for retirement. Many of these are sprawling neighborhoods with the amenities to match.

View all communities in the Ocala area.

11. Philadelphia Area - Pennsylvania

View over the Schuylkill River of the Philadelphia skyline in an orange sunset light

There are over 100 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities throughout the Philadelphia area.

Baltimore isn't the only historical East Coast city to crack our top 20. Philadelphia and its suburbs might not be the place you first think of when it comes to retirement, but plenty of retirees and 55+ communities call it home.

In fact, there are over 100 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities throughout the Philadelphia area, and that’s not including dozens of communities in New Jersey and Delaware that are part of the Philadelphia metro area. Besides a large selection of communities, the Philadelphia area ranked highly because of a good cost of living (better than many Florida cities), a friendly state-tax environment, a good transit score, and a great walk score. Philadelphia also offers plenty of ways for retirees to volunteer and get involved in their local community.

Can’t Miss Activities

Where to start? Being one of the country’s oldest big cities naturally means there's plenty of sightseeing to do and museums to visit. That includes the iconic spots like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of the American Revolution, to name a few. 

There are plenty of great things to do outdoors too, including taking an architecture tour to explore the city’s wide and varied architecture, the Morris Arboretum, and Wissahickon Valley Park.

There are also plenty of farmers markets and four professional sports teams: the 76ers, Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles. Of course, the city is crammed with highly rated restaurants, bars, cultural centers, and shopping opportunities.

If you’re not looking to head to the city and prefer to stay in the suburbs, there’s still plenty to do. That includes Longwood Gardens, Valley Forge National Historical Park, and the Bryn Athyn Historic District

Philadelphia Area 55+ Communities

Philadelphia is one of the few big cities with 55+ communities located within its borders. Besides that, the suburbs have a large selection of communities, including a handful of 600+ home communities and plenty of mid-sized and smaller options. 

View all communities in the Philadelphia area. 

12. Wilmington Area - Delaware

Cars and houses on a peaceful residential street in The Village of Hershey Run in Wilmington, Delaware

The Wilmington area has 19 communities that are ideal for retirees.

New Castle County finished No. 8 in our 2019 version of this list, largely due to the work of Wilmington. In general, Delaware is an extremely popular place for people looking for an affordable retirement, so naturally, it lands in the top 20 again. 

As expected, Wilmington scores high with taxes as Delaware is one of the friendliest tax states in the country with no sales tax. Other good metrics include transit and walk scores and low home prices. 

Can’t Miss Attractions

Wilmington boasts a quaint downtown that’s full of small shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Popular museums in the area include the Delaware Art MuseumThe Delaware Contemporary, and The Hagley Museum.

There are a handful of spots ideal for those looking for outdoor activities, including Brandywine Creek State Park, Bellevue State Park, and the Wilmington Riverwalk.

Delaware Area 55+ Communities

The Wilmington area has 19 communities that are ideal for retirees. All of these are under 500 homes and boast tight-knit environments and ideal locations throughout the East Coast. 

View all communities in the Wilmington area.

13. Tucson Area - Arizona

Fountains and greenery on the grounds of Sun City Oro Valley in Oro Valley, Arizona

The Tucson metro area is home to large, small, resort-style, and low-maintenance communities.

Arizona is generally considered the second-biggest state for retirees, so it’s to be expected that a city is ranked No. 13 on the list. In this case, it’s the Southern Arizona city of Tucson

The city known for its public art, festivals, and creativity is home to 17 55+ and active lifestyle communities. The area also scored high due to lower home prices, low property taxes, and a warm, sunny climate.

Can’t Miss Attractions 

Besides annual festivals and art walks, lovers of the outdoors will be perfectly at home in Tucson. Saguaro National Park is the crown jewel, although some may argue the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum can stake a claim. Besides there, there’s the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, the Tucson Botanical GardensCatalina State Park, Tucson Mountain Park, and much more. 

There’s also plenty of history to take in around the area, including San Xavier del Bac Mission, one of the most historic mission churches found in the U.S. 

Tucson Area 55+ Communities

The Tucson metro area is home to large, small, resort-style, and low-maintenance communities, including some of the most popular in the country.

View all communities in the Tucson area.

14. Houston Area - Texas

The skyline of Houston, Texas under a blue sky

Houston’s natural setting allows for plenty of outdoor recreation on land or on water.

The largest city in Texas is also one of its most affordable metro areas for retirement. Full of popular suburbs, highly rated 55+ communities, and access to the Gulf, there’s plenty to love about the Houston area.

Suburbs that scored high include Galveston, Sugar Land, Pearland, League City, and Fulshear. They scored well with cost of living and home prices while scoring highly among every tax category.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Being a city rooted in science, there are plenty of museums to check out, including the Space Center Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Downtown Aquarium

Houston’s natural setting allows for plenty of outdoor recreation on land or on water. Some of the most popular include Hermann Park, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, Memorial ParkBuffalo Bayou Park, and the Mercer Botanic Gardens.

Houston Area 55+ Communities

Houston is home to 24 communities—17 of them are age-restricted. As expected in an area of Houston’s size, many of these communities are larger and contain over 500 homes and resort-style amenities.

View all communities in the Houston area.

15. San Antonio Area - Texas

Chairs beside the bocce ball courts at Hill Country Retreat in San Antonio, Texas

The San Antonio area has low home prices and a low tax impact thanks to Texas’ lack of income tax.

Few will be surprised to see San Antonio make the list. The Texas Hill Country city is home to history, great food, a charming riverwalk, and so much more. Despite having so much going on, the city is still affordable, which makes it one of the most popular places to retire in Texas.

Besides a good cost of living score, the San Antonio area has low home prices and a low tax impact thanks to Texas’ lack of income tax. The area also has a solid walk score and plenty of volunteer opportunities.

Can’t Miss Attractions

A day in San Antonio can always be spent strolling the River Walk and grabbing a bite to eat or a drink at any of one of the many restaurants that line the river. Other popular outdoor spaces in the area include the Natural Bridge Caverns, the San Antonio Botanical Garden, and the Japanese Tea Gardens.

The city is also home to some of the most historic landmarks in the country. Besides The Alamo, there’s the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park which is home to Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, Mission Concepción, and Mission Espada.

San Antonio Area 55+ Communities

There are 16 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities in the San Antonio area, not including the resort-style Kissing Tree, which is located in nearby San Marcos, part of the Austin metro area.

View all communities in the San Antonio area.

16. Harlingen Area - Texas

A railroad bridge in Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen provides retirees with a low cost of living, very low home prices, and a friendly tax environment.

Wrapping up a big haul for Texas cities is another Rio Grande Valley area, Harlingen. Much like most of South Texas, Harlingen provides retirees with a low cost of living, very low home prices, and a friendly tax environment.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Hugh Ramsey Nature Park and the World Birding Center are great places to relax and enjoy the serenity of nature. The city is also just a short drive to the coast where beaches, fishing, boating, and more are available. 

Jackson Street is the popular main street full of restaurants and antique shops. It also hosts Jackson Street Market Days, a collection of local art, live music, and food, on the first Saturday of every month.

Harlingen Area 55+ Communities 

There’s one 55+ community in Harlingen as well as two others found throughout South Texas.

View all communities in South Texas. 

17. Phoenix Area - Arizona

Palm trees on the grounds of Sun City Grand in Surprise, Arizona

Phoenix is surrounded by acres of park space that’s great for hiking or just general sightseeing.

Phoenix, known to many as the most popular area for retirees in Arizona, comes in at No. 17 on the list. With dozens of suburbs and almost 80 communities, the Phoenix area packs in a lot for retirees, including affordability. 

The Phoenix metro area scores highly when it comes to climate, cost of living, and volunteer opportunities. 

Can’t Miss Attractions

For baseball fans who move away from their hometown team, Phoenix is a great place to get a little slice of home. Each year, Cactus League teams head to the area for spring training, which is a cheap and fun-filled way to see your favorite team each spring. Some homebuyers even catch a game and tour a community on the same day.

Besides baseball, Phoenix is surrounded by acres of park space that’s great for hiking or just general sightseeing. Some of the most popular include Desert Botanical Garden, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, South Mountain Park and Preserve.

Phoenix Area 55+ Communities 

Phoenix is home to the original 55+ community, Sun City, a 60-year old community that has set many trends for communities across the country. Since then, communities large and small have opened up in the Phoenix area, which gives buyers plenty of options.

View all communities in the Phoenix area.

18. Florissant, Missouri

Two female bicyclist on the trail during the spring in Missouri

The St. Louis area is full of plenty of indoor and outdoor attractions.

Part of the St. Louis metro area, Florissant is the 13th largest city in Missouri with a population around 50,000. The city scored especially well when it came to cost of living (the second-lowest on the list behind Harlingen). It also received good marks for home prices, taxes, and volunteer opportunities.

Can't Miss Attractions

The St. Louis area is full of plenty of indoor and outdoor attractions. That includes two beloved sports teams: the Blues and the Cardinals. There's also outdoor fun to be had at Forest Park, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, and the Gateway Arch National Park.

Architecture fans have plenty to enjoy, including the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, the Old Courthouse, Laclede's Landing, and Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. Touring the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, which was stood since the 1800s, is another fun way to spend an afternoon.

St. Louis Area 55+ Communities

While there are no 55+ communities in Florissant, there are four that can be found through the St. Louis area. All are age-restricted, and the largest has 440 homes while the smallest has 64.

View all communities in the St. Louis area.

19. Charlotte Area - North Carolina

Lounge chairs on the patio surrounding the outdoor pool at Cresswind Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina

Builders have recognized Charlotte’s popularity and matched it with over 130 active lifestyle communities.

At No. 19, North Carolina makes an appearance, and it's no surprise to see its largest city, Charlotte. Charlotte is a big metro area that has great options for everyone, whether you just want to grab a nice meal or spend the day on the trails.

Not only does Charlotte have a good selection of 55+ communities, but it also scored well in cost of living and has a great volunteer score. While North Carolina’s taxes are average, those who want less of a tax burden can choose the metro area’s South Carolina suburbs.

Can’t Miss Attractions 

Charlotte has a celebrated sports history, with professional teams in the NFL and NBA. It’s also home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The area is also full of greenspaces that are home to nature trails and lakes that are great for boating and fishing. These include Freedom Park, the McDowell Nature Preserve, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Wylie, and Lake Norman

Since the area is growing quickly, new restaurants and breweries open up frequently, including some run by Michelin-starred chefs.

Charlotte Area 55+ Communities 

Builders have recognized Charlotte’s popularity and matched it with over 130 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities, including those in South Carolina. Many of them are larger developments built by big-name builders, but there are plenty of more tight-knit options available.

View all communities in the Charlotte area. 

20. Yuma Area - Arizona

A stream of the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona

Yuma is a popular area for snowbirds, with over 85,000 retirees spending their winters in the area each year.

Rounding out our top 20 is Yuma, an Arizona border city with plenty of outdoor recreation on hand. Yuma is also a popular area for snowbirds, with over 85,000 retirees spending their winters in the area each year.

Yuma stands out the most when it comes to home prices, having one of the lower median values and prices among any area on the list. It also scores well on taxes as most Arizona cities do.

Can’t Miss Attractions

Some of the most popular outdoor attractions in Yuma are Gateway Park, Mittry Lake, and Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden. Gateway Park and Mittry Lake both offer fishing opportunities, while the Robert J. Moody Demonstration is home to native plants and local art.

Another popular attraction is the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, an in-depth look at a 19th-century prison. 

Yuma Area 55+ Communities 

There are no communities in Yuma listed on 55places, but since it’s a popular place for snowbirds there are plenty of rentals available.

Methodology

This 55places analysis looked at all major cities and metropolitan areas within the U.S. that have a total population of over 50,000. We then took these areas and stacked 14 different data points and weighted with the retiree in mind by focusing on affordability and lifestyle to identify the best areas to retire. The sources we used to accomplish this are:

  • Sperling's Best Places: Cost of Living, Average Temperature
  • US Census: Population, Median Income, Median Home Value
  • The Tax Foundation: Property, Sales, & Income Tax
  • Medicare: Average Cost
  • National Service: Volunteer Opportunities
  • WalkScore: Walk Score, Transit Score
  • 55places: 55+ Community Information