The Best Places to Retire With Type 1 Diabetes


Life in an active adult community offers several benefits to adults with type 1 diabetes. Active adult communities across the country offer low-maintenance homes and healthful amenities like fitness centers, low-impact exercise classes, and swimming pools. Although many homebuyers look at nearby hospitals when searching for their next homes, those with type 1 diabetes might seek out locations with top-ranked hospitals specifically for diabetes care.

Every year, U.S. News & World Report publishes its list of the best hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology, a resource that active adults can use to help them decide where to find their next home. We then coupled those rankings with our knowledge of the top active adult communities in those areas to determine some of the best places to retire for type 1 diabetes. 

Baltimore-D.C. Area

The Baltimore-D.C. Area of Central Maryland has plenty to offer active adults and retirees. This Mid-Atlantic state boasts nearly 4,000 miles of shoreline, four-season weather, and retirement-friendly taxes.

For those with type 1 diabetes, Baltimore boasts another advantage. Two of the country’s top hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology are located in downtown Baltimore within ten minutes of each other. Johns Hopkins Hospital, renowned for its high rate of successful outcomes, ranks #2 nationwide, and the University of Maryland Medical Center ranks at #38.

Residents who live near Baltimore can also reach MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (#26) in Washington, D.C. within two hours. The award-winning hospitals near Philadelphia are also just two-and-a-half hours away.

With 45 active adult communities in the Baltimore-D.C. Metro Area, homebuyers can find plenty of affordable and popular options with reasonably priced homes, desirable amenities, and convenient locations. The abundance of high-quality health care throughout the state means that there are plenty of 55+ communities near the state’s best hospitals.

Orange County, California

Many people associate Southern California with a high cost of living, but residents of Orange County enjoy close proximity to four of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals for diabetes.

Within Los Angeles, active adults can access #9-ranked UCLA Medical Center and #15-ranked Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. UCLA earns top marks for its high volume of patients with successful outcomes, while Cedars-Sinai has excellent patient services and advanced technologies.

The larger LA area also includes Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley (#37) and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance (#46).

In addition to world-class hospitals, Orange County offers an upscale lifestyle. The area is home to some of the state’s most luxurious active adult communities, but there are more affordable options, too.

Just east of LA, the expansive Inland Empire Area continues to gain popularity as a retirement destination. For active adults who want to live farther from the city, the Inland Empire includes some of the state’s most popular active adult communities and many low-priced communities as well.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With historic landscapes, high-rated hospitals, and tax benefits for retirees, the Philadelphia area is worth considering for active adults with type 1 diabetes. With over 150 active adult communities in Pennsylvania, homebuyers can browse many diverse options to find the community they want to call home.

Residents of the Philadelphia area live in a central location near two top-ranked diabetes and endocrinology hospitals. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is #5 in the country based in part on the hospital’s above-average patient safety rating. Nearby Chester County Hospital in West Chester (#44) provides another option for diabetes care. Within two-and-a-half hours, residents can also reach the award-winning hospitals near Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Throughout Pennsylvania, there are many active adult communities near the state’s best hospitals so that advanced care is always within reach. Homebuyers interested in learning more about the area can explore some of Pennsylvania’s most popular communities and also some of the area’s best for downsizing into low-maintenance homes.

Ocala, Florida

For active adults who have their hearts set on a Florida retirement, one of the regions to explore may be the Central Florida destination of Ocala. This prime location allows residents to travel easily around the state and enjoy the low cost of living and high quality of life that draws retirees to the area.

One of Florida’s best hospitals for diabetes is UF Health Shands Hospital (#39) in Gainesville. With the city of Gainesville as one of the most affordable places to retire in 2019, active adults can find several low-cost communities nearby. Ocala residents can reach the hospital in 40 minutes.

Additional hospitals in the area include Tampa General Hospital (#24) and Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine (#49), both about 90 minutes from Ocala. For active adults who want to live closer to either of these hospitals, the Tampa Bay area includes dozens of communities and St. Augustine offers five intimate communities to choose from.

As a tax-friendly retirement destination, the Central Florida region includes some of the state’s most affordable and desirable places to live.

Northern California

With its abundant outdoor recreation and mild climate, Northern California creates an opportunity for adults to live a healthy, active lifestyle in an up-and-coming retirement destination. With three of the country’s top-ranked hospitals for diabetes in the area, adults with type 1 diabetes can find their next home within easy reach of health care.

At #6 in the country, the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco is the state’s best hospital for diabetes care. About 45 minutes away, Stanford Health Care’s Stanford Hospital ranks at #17. Less than two hours northeast, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento ranks at #48.

Although the Bay Area boasts several luxury 55+ communities, those looking for more affordable places to retire can find them throughout Northern California. The area also includes two popular Del Webb communities and some smaller options. Sacramento, in particular, offers ideal communities for downsizing and affordable living.

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