ConsumerAffairs ranks the best cities for retirement


A surprising number are located in the Midwest

When people retire they often move to a new city or state and they move for a lot of different reasons. Maybe they want to be closer to family. But often, the decision is based on factors like economics, weather, and lifestyle.

While Florida has a reputation as a retirement destination, the Sunshine State failed to crack the top 10 in a new ConsumerAffairs study on the “Best and Worst Cities for Retirement.” The best city may surprise you.

Lincoln, Neb., is ConsumerAffairs’ top city for retirement because it checks the most boxes we used to rank retirement locations. The ConsumerAffairs research team considered a range of factors, including the cost of living, quality of life, walkability and access to green spaces.

Factors like demographics – the percentage of the population over 65 – also influenced the rankings, as did crime rates, cultural and physical activities and access to health care.

Lincoln scored well on those factors. It has a low cost of living and a high percentage of people over 65. As a university town, it also offers many cultural activities. In fact, many other Midwestern cities posted high retirement scores.

Here are the 10 best U.S. cities for retirement:

  1. Lincoln, Neb.

  2. St. Louis, Mo.

  3. Champaign, Ill.

  4. Des Moine, Iowa

  5. El Paso, Tex.

  6. McAllen, Tex.

  7. Green Bay, Wisc.

  8. Jackson, Miss.

  9. Akron, Ohio

  10. Great Fall, Mont.

The worst places to retire

On the other side of the ledger, ConsumerAffairs used the same criteria to identify cities that might not be the best place to spend your golden years. Number one on that list is Lake Havasu City, Ariz. It was cited for its higher cost of living and low score on a community well-being index.

Here are the 10 worst cities for retirement:

  1. Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

  2. Spartanburg, S.C.

  3. Olympia, Wash.

  4. Stockton, Calif.

  5. Vineland, N.J

  6. Flagstaff, Ariz.

  7. Harrisburg, Pa.

  8. Anchorage, Alaska

  9. Modesto, Calif.

  10. Utica, N.Y.

Check out the full study here.

Find a Walk-in Tub partner near you.