Rio Rancho is the largest city in Sandoval County and one of the fastest-growing cities in New Mexico. The city sits near the Rio Grande, giving residents a variety of natural landscapes to explore. With hot summers, low housing costs, and local museums and galleries, Rio Rancho gives retirees plenty to look forward to.
Climate & Geography
Rio Rancho has a desert climate with very little rainfall. Temperatures reach over 90 degrees in the summer and fall to the low 30s in the winter.
The city is located in the Albuquerque Basin near the Rio Grande and the Santa Ana Indian Reservation. Albuquerque is approximately 20 miles away.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
There are several greenspaces near Rio Rancho, including the Petroglyph National Monument, West Mesa, and the Coronado Historic Site, where residents can hike and enjoy the local history. The Willow Creek Trail and Cibola National Forest feature wooded walking and hiking trails as well.
For entertainment, residents enjoy the J&R Vintage Auto Museum as well as the Artists of New Mexico Galleria for local art. Residents have several shopping options, like the Plaza at Enchanted Hills and the Rio Rancho Marketplace.
Rio Rancho is also only a half-hour drive from the activities and entertainment of Albuquerque.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Rio Rancho is below the national average. Factors like housing, groceries, health care, and utilities are all below average.
New Mexico taxes all forms of retirement income, including Social Security benefits, but the state also offers deductions of up to $8,000 for retirees over 65. New Mexico imposes a gross receipts tax instead of a sales tax, and when compared to sales taxes in other states, New Mexico’s gross receipts tax is slightly higher than average.
The Albuquerque metro area ranks in the top 95 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in Rio Rancho. University of New Mexico Hospitals and Presbyterian Hospitals, both in Albuquerque, are rated high performing by U.S. News.