As more people come into retirement age, the need for inclusivity and diversity increases. Recently, SeniorAdvice.com released its top 20 cities to retire to in the U.S. Not only are these cities LGBTQ+ friendly, but many of them also have 55+ communities nearby!
According to Gallup, there’s an estimated 4.5 percent of adult Americans who identify as LGBTQ+. As this number increases, the need for LGBTQ+ friendly cities and communities will continue to grow.
Here are just a few of the places LGBTQ+ retirees can consider during their homebuying search.
Popular LGBTQ Communities
Since the very first LGBTQ+ community, RainbowVision in Santa Fe, New Mexico was established, there have been several developed around the country. These communities range from traditional active adult communities to urban apartment communities located near some of the most popular cities in the country. Some of these communities include:
Carefree Cove - Boone, NC
Spirit on the Lake - Minneapolis, MN
Birds of a Feather - Pecos, NM
Fountaingrove Lodge - Santa Rosa, CA
LGBTQ Friendly Cities
There are many cities around the U.S. that attract retirees for a multitude of reasons, and LGBTQ+ friendly cities have even more to offer active adults. These cities have an abundance of cultural attractions, historic landmarks, fine dining, and more.
These cities were also chosen based on the percentage of the population that’s part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce presence, presence of LGBTQ+ friendly communities, local and state legislation protecting the LGBTQ+ community, cost of living, and more. Active adults looking to retire in an LGBTQ+ friendly city should consider some of these options.
1. New Orleans, LA
This historic city is known for its eclectic cultural as well as the European-style architecture and lifestyle that you can find throughout the city. New Orleans is also listed as number four in the country for its LGBTQ+ population.
According to payscale.com, the cost of living in New Orleans is generally lower than the rest of the nation. Active adults in this city will find that the cost of groceries is 3% lower while the average cost of healthcare in the city is 10% lower when compared to the national average.
New Orleans is an especially LGBTQ+ friendly city because of its diverse population and wide variety of support groups and activities within its borders. The city is home to several organizations including, the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans and the Forum for Equality Louisiana, as well as several more.
Some communities in Louisiana include:
The Greens at Pelican Point - Gonzales, LA
Village Charmant - Baton Rouge, LA
Cypress Bend - Bossier City, LA
2. West Palm Beach , FL
The popular retirement and vacation destination of West Palm Beach, Florida is the second most LGBTQ+ friendly city in the U.S. Along with warm weather year-round and picturesque beaches, West Palm Beach is known for its high score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index in 2018.
This city is home to several LGBTQ+ organizations and events including Palm Beach Pride and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. West Palm Beach has set the standard for other Florida cities as well as cities around the nation in their support of the LGBTQ+ community.
West Palm Beach County is home to nearly 100 active adult communities, but some of the most popular are:
Century Village at Boca Raton - Boca Raton, FL
Kings Point - Delray Beach, FL
Century Village at West Palm Beach - West Palm Beach, FL
3. Tucson, AZ
Moving away from the Southern region of the country, Tucson, Arizona comes in at number three on the list of LGBTQ+ friendly cities. With 5% of the city’s population being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s no surprise that this desert city is amongst the top in the country.
Tucson is known for year-round warm weather and affordable living, making it a desirable location for retirees. Tucson's housing expenses are 20% lower than the national average and the utility prices are 10% lower than the national average.
Tucson is also home to The Institute for Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Studies which is offered at the University of Arizona. Active adults will also be happy to know that Tucson became the first Arizona city to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents and city workers in 1999.
There are several 55+ communities in and around Tucson; some of the most popular include:
SaddleBrooke Ranch - Oracle, AZ
Sun City Oro Valley - Oro Valley, AZ
The Highlands at Dove Mountain - Marana, AZ
4. Toledo, OH
Although it might be one of the more unsuspecting cities on the list, Toledo, Ohio has a lot to offer active adults as well as LGBTQ+ homebuyers. Toledo is a city that continues to improve its diversity and inclusion for all cultures, having previously scored a 70 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, the city is now known for its perfect score.
Toledo has taken steps to protect LGBTQ+ community members with a ban on Conversion Therapy, a domestic partner registry, and anti-discrimination protections. Toledo is also home to several companies and corporations which offer their employees same-sex partner benefits.
Toledo is also known as an extremely affordable place to live with the average home price costing around $70,000 and food and health costs ranging 10% to 15% lower than the national average.
5. Alexandria, VA
Located near the nation’s capital, Alexandria, Virginia ranks as number 5 for the most LGBTQ+ friendly communities in the country. This major metropolitan area is home to a diverse population with 4% being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Alexandria is recognized as a major cultural center with a wide variety of museums, art, dining, and more. The city is also home to major airports and a refined public transit system.
Alexandria shows its support for the LGBTQ+ community through several organizations and events. A few of Alexandria’s supports can be found in SAGE and the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Organization.
Some popular active adult communities in the Alexandria area include: