11 Best Places To Retire for Active Seniors


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Choosing the best place to retire can be quite a challenge. If you’re an active senior, you’ll want to choose a retirement destination that gives you plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air. However, this is only one of the many aspects retirees should consider.

The best places to retire for active seniors are Anchorage (Alaska), Yuma (Arizona), Fort Collins (Colorado), Sarasota (Florida), and Mount Morris (Michigan). These cities have affordable properties, plenty of health care facilities, tons of exercise opportunities, and low crime rates. 

This guide will help you review the essential aspects of choosing a retirement destination, including property prices and nearby health care facilities. After that, we’ll reveal some of our top picks for active seniors. You can use this information to make the best, most informed decision about your retirement plans.

What To Consider When Choosing the Best Place To Retire for Active Seniors

Figuring out where to retire can be a challenge. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of retirement communities throughout the US, and they all have something unique to offer.

Still, you can help yourself decide on a destination by considering a few crucial factors. For example, active seniors will want to think about:

  • Property prices
  • Health care
  • Exercise opportunities
  • Local crime trends
  • Employment opportunities for seniors

Before you put a downpayment on a home, you’ll need to consider these aspects. Comparing property prices and setting a budget is a significant first step toward making your retirement dreams a reality.

Property Prices

Do you already have a good idea of how much money you intend to spend on a new home? If you currently own your home, do you know its current value? Are you prepared to sell it yourself, or will you need to contract a real estate agent to help?

These are only a few of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself before settling on a retirement destination. After all, you don’t want to start making big plans about your dream destination, only to discover halfway through the moving process that you can’t afford a home there.

Many retirees choose to live off their savings or pension. As such, it’s often wise to select destinations with below-average property prices and taxes. Otherwise, retirees can quickly find themselves doling out large amounts of money to purchase and sustain their residence. 

Always have a property price range in mind before selecting a few potential retirement destinations. You may also want to consider your future home’s local health care options. Some places have rock-bottom property prices, but hardly a hospital in sight.

Health Care

Active seniors tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives than sedentary seniors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need access to high-quality healthcare facilities. Retirees that are in the process of selecting their new home will want to choose a property within driving distance of a highly-ranked hospital.

Even if you’re in excellent health now, it’s crucial to remember that your retirement destination will likely be the place where you’ll spend the rest of your days. As such, your health may falter or decline in the years or decades after moving to your retirement paradise. It’s always best to be prepared by choosing a place ready for any health emergency you may have.

Exercise Opportunities

Of course, part of the charm of choosing a destination (for active individuals) is the range of potential activities. A town or city that doesn’t offer much indoor and outdoor recreation isn’t likely to suit your need for everyday exercise and adventure.

Exercise opportunities come in many shapes and sizes, and they’re not limited to a gym membership. When choosing a retirement paradise for your active body and mind, you’ll want to select a location that’s known for its varied activities, both indoor and outdoor.

Parks, nature preserves, recreation centers, and commercial shopping centers all make for excellent exercise opportunities. Additionally, natural spaces like lakes and rivers are often ideal for kayaking, canoeing, water sports, and fishing. Keeping your body fit isn’t the only goal when it comes to staying active. You’ll also want to keep your mind sharp.

Consequently, the ideal retirement destination for active seniors should also include plenty of learning and continued education opportunities. Locations near colleges or universities or that have plenty of museums and galleries could be ideal for the cognition-conscious retiree.

Local Crime Trends

It’s also essential to consider your destination’s crime rates. Some areas could be more dangerous than others, especially for seniors and property owners. Active adults that enjoy going for a morning run should feel safe and comfortable while they’re out and about. 

Ensuring that your preferred retirement location has relatively low crime rates can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing crime first-hand. That’s a smart way to avoid the many negative consequences of being a victim of crime, including bodily harm, monetary loss, and stress.

Employment Opportunities for Seniors

Yet another thing that active seniors will want to consider is employment. While many choose to live off pre-arranged funds, individuals who tend to remain active may choose to seek employment. If your future home doesn’t offer many opportunities to elderly workers, finding a job could be an unexpected challenge.

Some of the highest-rated retirement destinations are relatively remote, which can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re open to taking on part-time work in the future, living in a small town could inhibit your ability to find a job. 

If you’re running low on funds, this lack of employment opportunity could become a severe problem. As such, many active seniors choose to settle in relatively urban cities and towns where part-time opportunities are plentiful.

Now that you’re familiar with the qualities you should look for, we can review the best places for active seniors. No matter which region of the US you intend to retire in, there’s an ideal state, city, or town waiting for you. Let’s explore!

Anchorage, Alaska

11 Best Places To Retire for Active Seniors

  • Average Home Price: $334,300
  • Health Care: 12+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Chugach National Forest, Anchorage Museum, Ship Creek
  • Local Crime: 13 violent, 43 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Well below average

Alaska is one of the most beautiful states, though it can also be one of the most expensive. Still, if you can afford a retirement home in Anchorage, you may want to go for it. Not only will you have the opportunity to experience life in the US’s most northern state, but you’ll also get the chance to explore Alaska’s bountiful natural beauty.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail winds through the city and out toward some of the most breathtaking-beautiful natural spots around Anchorage. At 11 miles (17.7 km) long, it offers plenty of space for biking, hiking, jogging, and walking. If you’re hoping to get a little further away from the city, you can explore the nearby Chugach National Forest.

This massive expanse of wilderness is perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, and picnicking. During the winter, it’s a fantastic spot for skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. During the summertime, you can find families and retirees enjoying the water. There’s nearly a limitless number of things active individuals can enjoy here!

Of course, Anchorage isn’t a cheap place to live. Not only are you likely to pay at least $330,000 for an average-sized home, but groceries, health care, and general goods are most expensive here. 

The cost to transport items from the continental US to Alaska is often why everyday household items are more expensive in Anchorage. It’s something you’ll need to consider. Additionally, Anchorage has a comparatively high crime rate that might prove problematic for some retirees.

Yuma, Arizona

  • Average Home Price: $156,300
  • Health Care: 1 hospital
  • Exercise Opportunities: Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado River State Historic Park
  • Local Crime: 4 violent, 24 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Below average

Yuma might be a popular destination for tourists that enjoy the Old West, but it might also be the ideal retirement destination. With below-average property prices, plenty of historical sites, and quite a few outdoor activities, this Arizona town could be the perfect spot for you to enjoy your golden years in grace and style.

The majority of crimes here tend to be petty, property-related offenses. While the job growth isn’t impressive, there’s a constant tourism industry in Yuma that may lend itself well to active seniors. One of the most glaring issues that residents may experience is a lack of health care variety, as there is one primary hospital in Yuma. 

Still, Yuma is home to just about 100,000 residents. As such, there’s a good chance that you’ll get to know your neighbors and community very well after moving here. However, Yuma isn’t so remote as to leave you feeling stranded in an emergency, and you can find urgent clinic locations scattered throughout the town.

Fort Collins, Colorado

  • Average Home Price: $389,700
  • Health Care: 3+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: Nature trails, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, camping, hot air balloon rides, and much more! 
  • Local Crime: 2 violent, 24 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Well above average

To be fair, a home in Fort Collins will cost a little more than the national average. However, a property in this area is bound to increase in value over time. Even better, residents of Fort Collins have the whole natural and human-made world at their fingertips.

There are about several dozen different activities to enjoy here, from camping and hiking to hot air ballooning. There are also several commercial centers where visitors and residents can enjoy luxury shopping and dining experiences. 

As such, Fort Collins could be the ideal retirement destination for those hoping to appreciate a mixture of natural and urban life. Because it’s steadily becoming a more popular vacation spot, retirees may be able to find employment within the tourism industry here. 

Still, the real cherry on top is the crime rate. Fort Collins enjoys one of Colorado’s lowest crime rates, making it a safe bet for older folks. 

Sarasota, Florida

11 Best Places To Retire for Active Seniors

  • Average Home Price: $264,500
  • Health Care: 3+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: Siesta Key Beach, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Myakka River State Park, The Legacy Trail
  • Local Crime: 6 violent, 32 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Above average

Florida is one of the top retirement destinations for US citizens, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Unlike many other states, Florida seldom experiences snow or frigid temperatures. 

It’s home to plentiful orange groves, established retirement communities, and plenty of fun things to do. Even if you don’t have a dollar to spend, you can enjoy the white sand beaches and warm sunshine. That is, of course, if you’re living in Sarasota.

While Ocala might be home to one of the largest retirement communities in the US, Sarasota might be the most comfortable, accessible, and exciting Floridian city for active seniors. Not only is it startlingly close to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s also home to a dazzling variety of museums, galleries, and gardens.

After enjoying a morning run along the shoreline, seniors would enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many affordable diners and cafes. A stroll through the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens makes for an excellent afternoon activity, though a day spent out at Myakka River State Park is bound to be just as thrilling.

Sarasota’s average home price is about level with the national average, and the violent crime rate is comparatively low. Besides, some of Florida’s highest-rated hospitals can be found in Sarasota and the surrounding area. The tourism industry ensures that part-time positions are consistently available. Indeed, Sarasota may be the best way to put the gold in your golden years.

Mount Morris, Michigan

  • Average Home Price: $68,300
  • Health Care: 3+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: Bluebell Beach, Stepping Stone Falls, C.S. Mott Lake, Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad
  • Local Crime: 9 violent, 11 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Below average

Are you looking to retire in a classic, quintessential small town? Mount Morris, Michigan, may be the right place for you. With average property prices that rival the cost of a new luxury car, it’s challenging to find a more affordable (yet magical) retirement destination. 

When you add the low crime rate and excellent health care to the mix, it becomes even more evident why Mount Morris is popular among retirees. So, what kinds of activities can you find in this small Michigan town? Well, indoor activities are lacking.

However, if you get your kicks outdoors, you’re bound to enjoy everything Mount Morris has to offer. You can explore the peaceful Stepping Stone Falls or take a kayak out onto C.S. Mott Lake. When you’re ready to take a seat and relax, you can enjoy the pleasant sights and sounds of the Huckleberry Railroad at Crossroads Village.

Hibbing, Minnesota

  • Average Home Price: $90,400
  • Health Care: 1 hospital
  • Exercise Opportunities: Carey Lake Recreation Area, Hull Rust Mine, Hibbing Historical Society Museum, Maple Hill Park
  • Local Crime: 3 violent, 11 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Below average

This small town is perhaps best known as Bob Dylan’s hometown. However, it could be your next hometown as well. Hibbing, Minnesota, might not have skyscrapers, busy urban centers, or luxurious shopping centers, but it does have plenty of small-town charm.

Active seniors that decide to move here can explore the Hull Rust Mine and related Hibbing Historical Society Museum. When those sites become tiresome, residents can enjoy Maple Hill Park’s quiet calm or snack on a picnic at the Carey Lake Recreation Area.

Property prices in this area are below average, but local health care facilities are few and far between. Still, Hibbing has one of the lowest violent and property crime rates in the continental US, which could be enough to convince some retirees to invest. 

Overall, Hibbing is a beautiful spot for those looking to soak up some peace. It just might not be the best for active individuals with a thirst for city life.

Billings, Montana

11 Best Places To Retire for Active Seniors

  • Average Home Price: $230,500
  • Health Care: 3+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: DanWalt Gardens, The Rimrock, Pictograph Cave State Park, Pioneer Park
  • Local Crime: 6 violent, 41 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Below average

Billings is the biggest city in Montana, but it’s relatively affordable compared to other US cities. When you need a budget-friendly mix of urban convenience and rural views, it’s challenging to find anything better than Billings. 

That said, this city does have some of the most aggressive property crimes in the nation. If you do choose this destination, you may want to invest in home security systems and devices. Of course, after paying about $230,000 for a home, you might have some money left over to afford extra security.

For many residents, the potential property crime is overshadowed by the wealth of activities found here. You can enjoy caves, parks, and massive rock structures in Billings, as well as quite a few shopping opportunities. Sadly, the job growth here is below average, making it tricky for some seniors to find employment.

Mesquite, Nevada

  • Average Home Price: $256,600
  • Health Care: 1 hospital
  • Exercise Opportunities: Whitney Pockets, Little Finland, Gold Butte National Monument, Wolf Creek Golf Club
  • Local Crime: 1 violent, 22 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Above average

Mesquite walks a fine line between a small city and a large town. Though it’s home to only one primary general hospital, you likely won’t end up there due to violent crime. Mesquite has one of the lowest violent crime rates anywhere in the US!

To sweeten matters further, this growing settlement’s job growth is looking pretty good. Seniors who need or want part-time employment during retirement may find a broader range of available positions and gain better employment while living in Mesquite. 

Property prices here are relatively average. However, recreation is above average in almost every regard. You can keep active by discovering the unbelievable rock formations at Gold Butte National Monument, hiking around Whitney Pockets, or getting a round-in at the Wolf Creek Golf Club.

Asheville, North Carolina

  • Average Home Price: $286,900
  • Health Care: 3+ hospitals
  • Exercise Opportunities: Biltmore Estate Tour, Pisgah National Forest, The North Carolina Arboretum, Botanical Gardens at Asheville 
  • Local Crime: 1 violent, 22 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Slightly above average

Walking the Appalachian Trail can be found on many bucket lists. If the idea of wandering the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains sounds appealing, you might want to check out Asheville, North Carolina. Not only does this spot give hikers a leg up on the trail, but it’s also home to plenty of exercise-oriented activities.

You could burn calories and keep fit while touring the massive Biltmore Estate, or you could plan weekend camping trips in the Pisgah National Forest. Naturally, this wild area is also an excellent spot for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. You can also refresh your mind and body while strolling through The North Carolina Arboretum.

There are quite a few hospitals in Asheville, which bodes well for aging adults. However, the average home price is slightly above the national average, and the job outlook is also about average. As such, you may need to pay more to find a home here, and it could be challenging to find work. However, the violent crime rate is meager.

Anacortes, Washington

  • Average Home Price: $463,700
  • Health Care: 1 hospital
  • Exercise Opportunities: Washington Park, Mt. Erie Park, Rosario Beach, Tommy Thompson Trail, Cranberry Lake, Guemes Channel Trail
  • Local Crime: 1 violent, 22 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Above average

Anacortes is one of the pricier retirement destinations for active adults. However, it could be the perfect fit, especially if you love hiking, camping, fishing, and living near the coast. This town also happens to be one of the largest retirement communities in Washington, so new residents may quickly find friends and join local clubs.

Anacortes also boasts an array of natural wonders. Active seniors may find that the entire area is a vast playground of unending opportunity. From walking the beaches of Washington Park to getting your steps in on the Tommy Thompson Trail, there are tons of chances to burn some calories and get fresh air.

When you’re ready to do some island-based exploration, you can take a ferry to one of the many San Juan Islands surrounding Anacortes. Each island provides days of endless hiking, camping, and adventure. The wild flora and fauna found here are in pristine condition, and nature enthusiasts will feel right at home.

Organic and local ingredients are popular in this area. Residents can enjoy healthy eating and a variety of dining opportunities. However, living costs are higher than in other states and communities, which can be draining for those with restricted incomes. Fortunately, Anacortes has an above-average job growth outlook for the next decade.

Cody, Wyoming

  • Average Home Price: $277,400
  • Health Care: 2+ hospital
  • Exercise Opportunities: Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Shoshone National Forest, Buffalo Bill State Park, Old Trail Town, Buffalo Bill Dam 
  • Local Crime: 2 violent, 11 property per 1,000 residents
  • Job Growth: Well below average

When safety, health, and history are your top priorities, look no further than Cody, Wyoming. This historical town has about 10,000 residents, but what it lacks in people is more than makes up for fun things to do. 

If you’re a fan of the Old West (and, in particular, Buffalo Bill), you’ll never tire of Cody’s attractions. This town gets its name from the infamous Old West legend, Buffalo Bill! The Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Old Trail Town can transport you back in time and sharpen your wits. 

You may find yourself getting lost in your imagination as you spy Conestoga wagons and broken wooden yokes, but history buffs aren’t the only folks welcome in Cody. This small town also has plenty of natural features that are worth exploring. The Shoshone National Forest is one of the most notable camping and hiking spots, but the Buffalo Bill State Park is equally exciting. 

Hunting, fishing, boating, and much more are only a stone’s throw away when you’re a resident. Why not slide those jeans on, grab your spurs, and head out west toward a gorgeous retirement?

Conclusion

When choosing the ideal retirement spot, you’ll want to pick a place within your budget that’s full of high-quality hospitals and overflowing with activities. It’s also crucial to consider the crime rate and the job outlook. 

No matter what kinds of physical and mental activities you enjoy doing, one of the options discussed here is bound to satisfy your preferences. Whether you’re dreaming of touring glaciers in Alaska or riding horses in Montana, you can choose a retirement destination that perfectly meets your needs and budget. 

Sources

Ruth

Hey there, my name is Ruth, I'm in my late fifties. My life was turned upside down a few years ago as I experienced a burn-out. But I saw it as a sign that something had to change in my life. I'm happy I used this tough experience as a stepping stone. I now feel happier than ever and hope to inspire you to do the same, no matter how old you are.

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