196 of the best and worst cities for retirement


If you’re looking for the best place to retire, there are a lot of factors to consider. 

Bankrate just released new rankings of 196 cities for retirees, and they used the following criteria to come up with the list, ranking the cities from best to worst. 

Read more: How much money do I need to retire?

Consider these factors when choosing a retirement location

  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Walkability
  • Health care
  • Taxes
  • Personal well-being
  • Weather
  • Culture

All very important things to keep in mind, right?

Taking a look at the top 10, four of the cities are located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. – either in Virginia or Maryland. As you’d imagine, all of those cities are quite expensive to live in.

Top 10 cities 

  1. Arlington, Virginia
  2. Alexandria, Virginia
  3. Franklin, Tennessee
  4. Silver Spring, Maryland 
  5. West Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Nashville, Tennessee
  7. Sarasota, Florida
  8. Rockville, Maryland 
  9. Des Moines, Iowa
  10. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

For example, Trulia says the median sales price for a home in Arlington, Virginia, is a whopping $532,250! Rent? That’s $3,150 a month. And Arlington was the number one city on the list! 

196 of the best and worst cities for your retirement

Located immediately outside of a bustling city, Arlington must have made up for the high cost of living in the culture category, because D.C. is home to many free museums.

The bottom 10

  1. Niagara Falls, New York
  2. Milford, Connecticut
  3. New Haven, Connecticut
  4. San Bernardino, California
  5. Cheektowaga, New York
  6. Buffalo, New York
  7. Troy, New York
  8. Worcester, Massachusetts
  9. Little Rock, Arkansas
  10. New York City

Choosing the right city for you

It’s important to consider which factors are most important to you, especially if cost of living is a big concern.

Maybe it’s best to take a highlighter and go through some of the locations that you would consider, and then do more research after narrowing it down. You can read the full list here. 


And if you haven’t figured out how much you’ll need to save in order to retire, here are five steps that you can take right now.

Read more: How much to save each month to have $1 million by retirement

More retirement planning tips

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