Take a Load Off: Top 5 U.S. Cities for Retirees By Dina Gachman

Some people think that all retirees dream of heading to warmer climes like Florida, Arizona, or even Mexico. Sure, retirees flock to these places in droves, especially if they’ve battled it out in cold climates all their lives. There are a lot of other factors to consider when you’re thinking about retirement, though. Cost of living, quality of health care, safety, and crime rates are just as important as a warm climate and sunny days.

The ideal city for you really depends on what your idea of a perfect retirement is. Do you want to wear shorts year round and sit outside playing chess and ping-pong with the locals? Do you want to have snowy holidays and lots of culture? The country is your oyster, so it’s worth doing some research.

Here are the top five cities for retirees according to Kiplinger.com. See what sounds right for you.

5 Pittsburgh, PA

Image credit: Wikipedia

This city has a population of a little over two million people. It’s not exactly a beach town, but it’s also not as hectic as New York. The median household income is about $46,000 and the cost of living is pretty good. You’ll also find nearly 200 doctors per 100,000 people – not too shabby. If you love football, you have the Steelers, plus plenty of cultural events and great food. Did we mention that it’s one of the country’s safest cities?

4 New York City, NY

Image credit: Wikipedia

The Big Apple comes in at number four, and for good reason. One – it’s an amazing city. There are also about 250 doctors per 100,000 people, and great medical care. You don’t need a car to get around New York City, which is another huge plus. Finally, there are almost 30 “naturally occurring retirement communities,” which are actually a mix of younger and older residents – it’s just that retirees tend to gravitate to these spots so there’s a support system. Plus, like we said – it’s Manhattan!

3 Palm Bay, FL

Image credit: Coldwellbanker.com

We’ve all heard of Palm Beach, but Palm Bay is between Jacksonville and Miami, right on the Atlantic. If wearing shorts 365 days a year is your goal, this is for you. Parks, golf courses, retirement communities, safety, and solid medical care are all huge plusses. You can also get great bang for your buck when it comes to real estate. And if you love fishing, this is your spot.

2 Corvallis, OR

Image credit: Oregonstate.edu

Corvallis, what? If you haven’t heard of Corvallis, one look at a photo and you might buy a plane ticket. This small, gorgeous Pacific Northwest town is perfect if you love nature and the outdoors. It’s home to Oregon State and there’s no shortage of cultural events to keep you occupied. The Cascade Mountains are also only a two-hour drive away. If nature, safety, and great quality of living are for you, check out Corvallis. It rains a lot, but the temperatures rarely get super hot.

1 New Orleans, LA

Image credit: Wikipedia

What is that you say? Isn’t New Orleans still ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and unsafe? Not so, according do Kiplinger. After a lot of effort and rebuilding, the amazing city of New Orleans is back and better than ever. There’s been a boom of new homes and construction, and there’s a new energy in the city. The state also offers tax breaks to retirees. “Social Security and federal government and military retirement benefits are tax-free, and property taxes are low,” says Kiplinger. Add to that amazing food, great music, a mild climate, and great medical facilities and it sounds pretty enticing, right? Viva New Orleans!

Do any of these sound good to you? Do you have better ideas? Let us know.
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