The Best Places to Retire With Arthritis

A 55+ couple with arthritis holding hands and enjoying a day at the beach.
If you have arthritis, here are the best places to retire.

Retirement is all about finding the time and place to live your best life. For some people, that means being close to family. For others, it means finally moving to a place where they can enjoy their hobbies. If you have joint pain from arthritis, the climate of your retirement destination is a major consideration.

The weather can have a significant impact on people living with arthritis. Weather conditions like humidity, cold temperatures, and barometric pressure can worsen arthritis pain. If you’re looking to retire in a climate without these conditions, these five cities are some of the best places to live with arthritis. 

A sailboat on the water with a view of Downtown San Diego in California.

San Diego is a city in Southern California with warm summer months and mild winters. Sitting on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, this city also comes with beautiful views and plenty of chances to get out on the water.

Climate

The city is shaped by canyons and valleys, giving it a rugged appearance characteristic of many coastal California cities. While the city does have defined seasons, those seasons are not marked with extreme temperature swings. The coldest month of the year is January, with temperatures averaging around 55.2 degrees. When summer peaks in August, the average temperature is 70 degrees.

Health Care

While the warmer temperatures could give you some respite from the nagging symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to know your local health care options. San Diego has a number of highly regarded health systems, including UC San Diego and Scripps Health. If you decide to move to this city for retirement, you will be able to establish care in the specialties you need.

Recreation Opportunities

If you’re thinking of moving to California, San Diego has no shortage of opportunities for recreation. Visit the wildlife at San Diego Zoo and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Surf, swim, or lounge on any of the plentiful beaches on the city’s coastline. Get your fill of the sunny weather at Balboa Park before finding your next favorite restaurant in San Diego’s culinary scene.

Recommended 55+ Communities

If you’re looking for the comfort and convenience of a 55+ community in the San Diego area, you won’t be disappointed. These three communities are located within the city, making it easy to enjoy all San Diego has to offer.

Mid $400s - Low $1Ms

Oaks North is a large 55+ community with eight neighborhoods. It has nearly 2,000 homes with construction dating back to the mid-1970s and late 1980s. Most homes are single-family, but you’ll also find attached options and condos.

The Oaks North community has a thriving social scene that brings its residents together. Hit the Oaks North Golf Course to perfect your long and short games, join an exercise group, or explore the different clubs within community.

High $400s - Low $1Ms

Seven Oaks is another 55+ community in San Diego that caters to an active adult lifestyle. The community has both attached and single-family homes.

Once you step outside your home at Seven Oaks, you’ll be able to enjoy the plethora of amenities that the community has to offer. Gather at the Community Center to explore your artsy side in the crafts studio or lose yourself in a good book at the library.

Low $700s - High $800s

University Canyon is a small community with just 389 homes, all of which are attached. Each home offers two stories and an attached garage. Construction dates back to the 1980s. The lifestyle at University Canyon is very laid-back, with outdoor pools and plenty of ways to stay active. If you’re craving some socialization, neighbors can gather at one of University Canyon’s barbecue areas.

The Downtown Denver skyline at dawn.

Arthritis sufferers will appreciate the mountain climate of Denver, Colorado. Thanks to the city’s high altitude, residents enjoy low humidity. If you’re moving to Denver for your retirement, you can expect a beautiful blend of city life and nature. Denver is rich with arts and culture, but the great outdoors are never far.

Climate

Mountains punctuate Denver’s skyline. The city itself is located on the edge of the Great Plains with the Colorado Front Range and Rocky Mountains nearby. While mountains might automatically make you think of the cold, Denver has hot summers with temperatures hitting the high to mid 80s in July and August. Come wintertime, the temperature does drop. During the winter months, temperatures can be in the mid 40s to the low teens. Of course, snowfall is expected in this skier’s paradise.

Health Care

Like any major city, Denver has its fair share of health care options. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCHealth University of Colorado Health as the top hospital in the city. It’s nationally ranked in several specialties, including pulmonology, rheumatology, and gastroenterology. SCL Health Saint Joseph Hospital and Sky Ridge Medical Center are also highly ranked options in Denver.

Recreation Opportunities

Denver is rich in cultural institutions. Visit the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Botanic Gardens, or the Museum of Contemporary Art. Sports fans will love catching the Colorado Rockies’ home games at Coors Field. If you’re in the mood to shop and eat, Larimer Square is the place to be. Located in the heart of downtown, this walkable area offers a vibrant collection of eateries and boutiques.

If you prefer to embrace the rugged outdoor lifestyle that appeals to many Coloradans, you can explore nearby state parks, walk the paths of the city’s many urban parks, hop on your bicycle, or kayak through downtown at Confluence Park.

Recommended 55+ Communities

Low $200s - Mid $400s

Skiing and hiking aren’t the only outdoor activities Denver can claim. The city also has beautiful golf courses. For those who want to spend their retirement out on the green, Windsor Gardens is located around the Emerald Greens Golf Course & Club. In addition to the golf course, residents of this community can enjoy a clubhouse, outdoor pools, sports courts, and walking trails. 

The homes in this 55+ community are attached-style or condos that were built in the 1960s and 1970s. While sizable, these homes are reasonably priced.

Low $400s - High $600s

Three 20-story buildings make up the Park Lane Condominiums community. If you’re in the market for a low-maintenance lifestyle, a home here could be the perfect fit. The Park Lane homeowners’ association (HOA) takes care of the buildings’ landscape, exterior, and snow removal, leaving residents more time to enjoy the community’s amenities and all Denver has to offer. Building residents can swim laps in the indoor pool, work up a sweat in the fitness center, and socialize with neighbors in the many common areas.

The three buildings have a total of 358 condos. Inside, many of the condos feature open floor plans and generous views of the city’s surrounding mountains.

Mid $600s - Low $1Ms

With 282 homes, Stoney Brook is a smaller community located about 20 minutes outside of Downtown Denver. The collection of attached homes comes with the convenience of an HOA that handles much of the outdoor maintenance of the neighborhood. If you’re looking for something to do close to home, Stoney Brook has a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a clubhouse. 

Stoney Brook features spacious two-story homes that range from 1,278 to 4,582 square feet. Once you settle in, expect to enjoy features like a roomy living room, a kitchen with upgraded appliances, and a gas fireplace.

A full moon over the downtown skyline of Phoenix, Arizona.

Arthritis pain doesn’t have to define your retirement years. You’ve probably heard about Arizona’s famed dry heat. In the state’s capital city of Phoenix, you’ll be able to enjoy low-humidity and warm temperatures all year long. Plus, moving to Phoenix means luxuriating in 300 or more days of sunshine each year.

Climate

Phoenix is a city with a clear view of the horizon nearly anywhere you look. It’s located on the flat plains of the Salt River Valley. You can expect the aridity of a desert climate here. While it does rain here, it isn’t often. As you might expect, temperatures can easily soar in Phoenix. From June to September, don’t be surprised if there are multiple days that hit 100 degrees or hotter. In the winter, it’s possible for temperatures to dip into the 40s, but you could also enjoy your Christmas with temperatures in the 60s.

Health Care

Mayo Clinic, one of the most recognizable names in health care, has a location in Phoenix. It’s the top-ranked hospital in the city, according to U.S. News & World Report. Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are also high-performing in several different specialties.

Recreation Opportunities

If you can’t get enough of the heat, Phoenix has plenty to keep you busy while outdoors. You can explore the Sonoran Desert via many of its hiking trails. You might even spot ancient petroglyphs on one of your walks. You might be in the desert while in Phoenix, but you can still find some water. Try paddling on the Salt River, or take a dip in a resort swimming pool. If you have grandkids coming to visit, they’ll love the Hurricane Harbor water park.

While the heat has its lure, sometimes cooling off indoors has its appeal too. You can step into the cool halls of one of the city’s museums, or set out to find your next favorite restaurant. Phoenix has plenty to offer the avid foodie.

Recommended 55+ Communities

Low $300s - High $400s

The 55+ community Ahwatukee Retirement Village is part of the master-planned community Ahwatukee Foothills. You’ll find plenty of activities to meet your interests here. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and Ahwatukee Retirement Village makes it easy with options like yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi, and water aerobics. You can also indulge your love for arts and crafts by joining one of the community’s hobby groups.

Ahwatukee Retirement Village has more than 1,600 homes, a mix of attached properties and single-family homes. The community offers the convenience of single-story living, making the floor plan easy to navigate. Though just one floor, the homes offer plenty of living space. Floor plans range from 1,000 to 2,200 square feet. The community is ideal for anyone who is home shopping on a budget.

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

Anasazi Village Condominiums have a total of 364 units built in the 1980s. This community emulates a resort lifestyle with two clubhouses and five pools. Easy access to a pool is a top priority for many people who settle down in Phoenix. The community also has a number of scenic walking paths for residents who want to stretch their legs.

If you’re looking to downsize in your retirement, Anasazi Village Condominiums are an attractive option. Condos can be as cozy as 850 square feet or as large as 1,296 square feet. You can choose from units with two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.

Low $400s - Mid $600s

If looking out on the impeccably maintained green of a golf course is your idea of a perfect view, Bella Monte at Desert Ridge delivers. This gated community looks out over the Wildfire Golf Course. If one course isn’t enough, residents are just a short distance from several other options, including Arizona Grand Golf Course and Encanto Golf Course. Bella Monte at Desert Ridge also offers amenities like a community clubhouse and three heated pools. 

Bella Monte at Desert Ridge comprises a series of two-story condo buildings, a total of 345 units. The condos come in five models, giving you some flexibility when it comes to choosing a size and floor plan for your home.

Sunset over Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona.

If you’re considering a move to Arizona, Phoenix isn’t your only choice. Tucson is also a popular retirement destination. Tucson is a smaller city with more outdoor activities, while Phoenix is more of an urban center.

Climate

Tucson is further south than Phoenix, but you can expect similar weather patterns and topography. Both cities are in the Sonoran Desert. December and January are the chilliest months in Tucson, with temperatures in the 40s to 60s. Come summertime, the heat can soar to 100 degrees or above.

Health Care

This Arizona city has several hospitals that are high performing in multiple specialties, according to that U.S. News & World Report. TMC Healthcare-Tucson is the top hospital in the city. Other notable hospitals include Northwest Medical Center-Tucson, Banner-University Medical Center South, and Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Recreation Opportunities

The Sonoran Desert has the stark beauty characteristic of many hot, arid landscapes, and Tucson offers many opportunities to appreciate it. You can set out to explore Saguaro National Park, or you can take the grandkids to learn about the outdoors at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The Tucson Botanical Gardens is the perfect spot for anyone who loves all things green and growing. The city is also home to a number of casinos, as well as plenty of shopping and dining options.

Recommended 55+ Communities

Mid $300s - Low $1Ms

If you’re looking to settle down in a 55+ community, SaddleBrooke has a plethora of home types and sizes for nearly any budget. This community has more than 5,000 homes, both attached and single-family.

SaddleBrooke is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, offering residents scenic views. In addition to a gorgeous location, the community also offers plenty of amenities. You can enjoy access to two different golf courses, an outdoor pool, and plenty of trails for walking and biking. You can also enjoy a variety of live shows at the DesertView Performing Arts Center.

Mid $200s - Mid $800s

Dorado Country Club Estates has a more intimate atmosphere with just 551 homes. Homebuyers can choose from single-family or attached options. Residents live in a number of subcommunities within Dorado Country Club Estates, each of which comes with its own exclusive amenities. A master HOA oversees the entire community, ensuring residents can enjoy a low maintenance lifestyle. Also, this community offers access to a golf course.

Mid $200s - Low $400s

La Cholla Hills is a smaller 55+ community in Tucson. It has just under 400 single-family and attached homes built during the 1980s. If you’re looking to downsize, there are homes starting at about 700 square feet.

The community is anchored by a clubhouse, which brings residents together for clubs and activities. If you decide to make La Cholla Hills your home, you’ll also have access to amenities like outdoor pools and sports courts. 

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip on a sunny day.

The desert climate of Las Vegas might be just what you’re looking for if your arthritis symptoms are on your mind as you search for the perfect retirement destination. Moving to Las Vegas also means you can expect no shortage of entertainment.

Climate

The bright lights of Las Vegas can be found in the Mojave Desert, meaning you can expect a dry, hot climate if you retire here. The summer months come with scorching heat that hit up to 104 degrees, while the winter months come with cooler—but rarely cold—temperatures. Given its desert location, don’t expect to get much rain in Vegas.

Health Care

Residents of Las Vegas have access to a number of different health care systems. Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center and Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center are both high performing in a few different specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Recreation Opportunities

If you’ve embraced a “work hard and play hard” mentality, Las Vegas might be the perfect fit for your retirement. You’ve put in the work, and now, you can enjoy all of the fun that the Entertainment Capital of the World has to offer. Vegas is, of course, known for its casinos. You can also enjoy the resort amenities offered on The Strip and catch live entertainment any time you’re craving it.

Recommended 55+ Communities

Low $300s - Mid $1Ms

Developer Del Webb is the mastermind behind the Sun City Summerlin 55+ community in Las Vegas. This master-planned community is ideal for the active adult lifestyle. It has more than 7,000 homes, both attached and single-family.

Sun City Summerlin is designed for convenience. Residents are conveniently located near all that Las Vegas has to offer, and the community has an impressive array of amenities at both a clubhouse and a community center.

Low $400s - Mid $1Ms

Siena is a gated, 55+ community in Las Vegas that features 2,000 beautiful attached and single-family homes. The community is situated around an 18-hole golf course, offering great views and easy access for golf enthusiasts. The community also has its own fitness center and a large community center.

Homebuyers will find a pretty large range of home styles and prices in the Siena community. It offers 14 single-family floor plans and four attached villa styles.

High $200s - Low $700s

Los Prados, a gated 55+ community, is located around an 18-hole golf course. In addition to golf, residents can swim in the community’s outdoor pools, enjoy a friendly tennis match, and soak up the scenery on plenty of walking and biking trails. Los Prados also has its own clubhouse with plenty of space to socialize, its own restaurant, and a library.

Los Prados has about 1,300 homes ranging from 1,083 to 3,300 square feet. You have your choice of attached or single-family properties.

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

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