One of the important factors to consider when choosing an ideal retirement destination is the prevailing weather conditions. No one envisions spending their golden years under extreme weather conditions, either scorching heat or bone-breaking cold. If average temperatures, clear skies, and moderate rainfall are on your must-have list, the good news is, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Some of the best retirement states with nice weather include Texas, Hawaii, Arizona, Delaware, Louisiana, and California. Some of these states boast proximity to top-tier natural attractions, a wide range of exciting outdoor activities, distinct cultural identity, and favorable tax status.
To make our list of the best retirement states with nice weather, we’ve also factored in other livability factors such as cost of living, healthcare, security, and tax rates. Read on to identify a toasty state from our list that suits your retirement needs.
Strategically positioned in the US’s South-central region, Texas is one of the largest and populous states in this renowned country. Stretching over an area of 268,597 square miles (695,662 square kilometers), Texas is home to about 29,730,300 people spread throughout its territories.
Texas’ vastness and diversity are evident in its climate, physical features, economy, and cultural life. Most of its borders are delineated by water, contributing to the diverse but pleasant weather in most of its regions.
Generally, Texas has a diverse climate that ranges from semi-arid and arid in the west to subtropical and humid in the east. The eastern region lies in the humid subtropical area and receives approximately 60″ (1524mm) annual precipitation, the highest in the state.
Here, the months of April, May, and June experience the highest rainfall, while most areas near the coast are cloudy all year round.
Choose to retire in central Texas. The alluring natural attractions characterized by hills and rivers will not only give you plenty of opportunities to explore but will also contribute to pleasant weather. The western part of central Texas has a semi-arid climate, while the rest of the regions have an inviting subtropical climate.
Summers here are hot and humid, while winters are mild, creating a conducive outdoor environment. Central Texas’ average annual precipitation ranges between 21″ (533.4mm) to 35″ (889mm).
The northern part of Texas is dominated by vast plains and exhibits a semi-arid climate with an average annual rainfall of between 18″ (457.2mm) to 20″ (508mm).
The lone mountain ranges and sun-kissed desert attract an arid and temperate climate when it comes to the Big Bend country, comprising Western-central and western parts. This region receives a low annual rainfall of about 15″ (381mm), with the mountain regions receiving heavy snowfall.
On average, temperatures in Texas rarely rise above 35°C (95°F) or drop below 0-5°C (32-41°F). Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Del Rio, and Victoria are some of the warmest cities that are ideal for retirees. On the other hand, Austin and Galveston get the coolest here. Generally, Texas remains sunny on an average of 60% all year round.
This range of temperatures is favorable for retirees who want to lead an active outdoor living; it’s neither sweltering hot nor frigid.
The average downpour varies across different regions. For example, the western part has an average annual rainfall of 8.7″ (220mm), while the North records an average of 37″ (940mm). Additionally, the southern regions record the highest downpour in this state, with an annual average of 60″ (1,500mm).
Famous for its desirable weather, Hawaii tops the list when it comes to ideal retirement destinations. Hawaii is located close to the north Pacific Ocean and rests on 10,970 square miles (28,412 square kilometers). It is home to about 1,406,430 people of diverse origins.
This state boasts a lovely fleet of islands and top-tier natural endowments that add to its scenic beauty. Besides its alluring beauty, Hawaii is also known for its favorable climate that creates an ideal living for retirees seeking to spend their golden years in a warm environment.
Depending on where you decide to retire within Hawaii’s boundaries, you may experience different weather conditions, even over short distances. For example, on the same day, you may experience a generous amount of sunshine in Honolulu while at the same time experience a significant downpour a few miles away in Manoa Valley.
Although Hawaii’s islands are prone to receiving an abundance of sunshine and rain, the areas to the North and East sides of the islands often receive heavier downpour than those on the southern and western sides.
While the climate in this island-state differs from that of other states in the US, the wet season, characterized by higher precipitation and cooler temperatures, runs from October to March. On the other hand, the dry season extends from April to September.
Hawaii is likely to experience hurricanes between June and November. Thanks to its relative isolation, it’s only affected rarely by tropical cyclones. Therefore, your safety isn’t highly compromised.
In general, Hawaii is balmy, and the daytime temperatures range from the lows of 27°C (80°F) in winter to the highs of 31°C (88°F) in summer. It is rare for the temperatures to rise above 32°C (90°F), even on the hottest days during summer.
However, the high humidity may yield a feeling that the weather is a few degrees hotter than usual. There are sunny days coupled with beautiful clear skies about 70% of the year. The difference between day and night temperatures in this scenic state rarely exceeds 12°C (20°F).
While tourism is at its peak in this beautiful state, you can spend your retirement as an active local tourist marveling at what nature has to offer. You can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, ziplining, and snorkeling, among other exciting outdoor activities.
The average annual downpour is about 20″ (508mm).
Florida, also known as the ‘Sunshine State,’ is another large and densely inhabited state in the United States that has attracted many retirees due to its pleasant warm climate. This naturally endowed state occupies 65,757 square miles (170,311 square kilometers) and has a current population of 21,944,600.
Florida’s enviable climate has seen its rise into one of the US’s top retirees’ destinations. Most retirees looking forward to doing away with their winter gear during their golden years see this sunshine state as an ideal destination.
Florida boasts a tropical and subtropical climate in most of its regions when we talk of enviable climate. Summer temperatures are uniform throughout this state, with the highest temperatures rising to slightly above 32°C (90°F). In contrast, the freezing temperatures are short-lived and often occur in the far south cities, such as Miami.
However, some cities such as the Florida Keys rarely experience snow or frost. Florida’s west coast is prone to frequent lightning strikes during summer. Additionally, hurricanes (tropical cyclones) strike this state regularly, probably once a year. These tropical cyclones are likely to occur between June and November but aren’t so destructive.
The annual average temperatures in this tropical state vary from 20°C (68°F) in Tallahassee in the northern region to 25°C (77°F) at Key West in the southern part.
Even in winter, the prevailing weather remains pretty warm, especially in Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Key West, and Orlando. With these temperature variations, you don’t have to worry about keeping your house warm using an AC all day.
Rainfall is highest in summer, with drier conditions dominating the winter months. The average annual precipitation falls between 40″ (1,000mm) in Key West to about 62″ (1,575mm) in West Palm Beach. Most locales are sun-kissed 76% of the time all year round.
Arizona, also known as the Grand Canyon State, is another top retirement destination in the US known for its pleasant weather and alluring natural scenery. This iconic state occupies 113,990 square miles (295,233 square kilometers) in the south-western quadrant of the United States and has a population of approximately 7,520,100.
When retirees think of Arizona, they picture themselves spending their golden years rocking in shorts and t-shirts, sunbathing, and enjoying various outdoor activities. However, despite being hot and dry most of the year, Arizona’s weather varies depending on your chosen location’s altitude.
For example, when folks in Central Arizona enjoy summer by sunbathing and splashing in warm water bodies from pools to lakes, their counterparts in the Northern quarter enjoy cooler daytime temperatures and crisper nights.
Either way, summers in both regions are ideal for outdoor life based on weather that seems fit for you.
Come winter, folks in the central and southern parts of this state enjoy mild but welcoming weather, while those in the northern part can’t get enough of the beautiful snow-covered mountain ranges ideal for outdoor skiing and other winter sports.
It’s not always clear blue skies in Arizona but a mere average of about 300 days all year round is enough to create perfect retirement weather for most retirees. Therefore, regardless of the time of the year, you’re sure to enjoy perfect outdoor life in various cities and towns within Arizona.
Some popular cities among retirees are Phoenix, Flagstaff, Yuma, Sedona, and Tucson.
Generally, Arizona’s climate ranges between arid and semi-arid in most regions, with the average annual precipitation ranging between 3″ (76mm) in Yuma in the south-western region to 40″ (1,016mm) in the White mountains around east-central Arizona.
California is one of the US’s famous states among tourists and retirees seeking an ideal location to spend their golden years. This golden state, located in the Pacific coast region, is home to a diverse population of approximately 39,613,500 people.
Choosing a retirement location with a perfect climate is one way to ensure you get to spend your golden years living comfortably. Like other vast states, California offers diverse weather conditions for you to choose the best as per your needs.
The southern region and the coastal areas exhibit a Mediterranean climate characterized by dry summers and slightly rainy winters. California’s location close to the ocean contributes to the desirable weather throughout its cities and towns, which feature warmer winters and cooler summers, mainly along its coastline.
You can’t beat the pleasant all-year-round coastal temperatures in cities such as Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Maria, Los Angeles, and Long Beach.
When it comes to precipitation, Northern California receives higher amounts of rainfall than the southern parts. As you move further inland, the climate changes to continental, with most regions experiencing colder winters and hotter summers.
Despite the pleasant weather in most areas, California is also home to some regions with extremely unfavorable weather conditions. For example, it’s here in California that you’ll find Death Valley, one of the hottest places on the planet. Additionally, the central valley region can sometimes get too foggy, making it unconducive for folks living here.
Generally, the skies are mostly clear for the better part of the year, and the average annual precipitation is about 20″ (508mm).
Before packing your bags to retire in California, it’s advisable to study the weather changes in your location of choice to avoid settling in areas of extreme weather conditions.
If you are looking for a perfect blend of weather and natural endowment, consider retiring in Georgia. This state to the United States’ southeastern region has over the years ripened into a peachy location, attracting retirees from different parts of the world, mainly due to its favorable weather.
Occupying an area of 59,425 square miles (153,911 square kilometers), Georgia is home to about 10,830,000 people.
The majority of the regions in Georgia have a humid, subtropical climate. Summers are typically hot and humid except for the highly elevated mountainous areas of the northeastern part.
On the coast and the western plains, the climate is mild and rainy while it’s arid and continental as you move further to the eastern inland. Due to the diverse topography, folks living in the mountainous regions experience colder weather compared to other areas.
Given the diversity of relief and climate in this state, you can choose a retirement region based on your personal preference. If you want to do away with your winter gear during retirement, you can choose to retire in Macon, one of Georgia’s hottest cities.
On the other hand, if you envision retiring in a snow-filled area ideal for ice skiing among other winter sports, Georgia’s mountain city will be your ideal new home.
Georgia, the peach state, boasts a high average annual rainfall of about 50″ (1270mm) and a 1″ (25.4mm) average amount of snow per year. When it comes to clear skies and sunny days, this peach state has approximately 218 sunny days per year.
This blend of sunshine and precipitation makes Georgia a rich agricultural land and creates a conducive outdoor environment. You’ll enjoy connecting with nature through the lush vegetation and forests, marvel at the wonders of nature, and connect with your peers in the national parks and amusement parks.
You won’t regret retiring in Georgia!
Tucked between water bodies, Delaware, also known as the Diamond State, is one of the smallest regions in the United States, occupying 2,489 square miles (6,446 square kilometers). However, its ideal location and favorable weather have seen it grow into one of the densely populated states with a current population of approximately 990,334.
Since retirees have different perceptions of their ideal retirement weather, this state offers diverse climatic conditions mainly based on a town or city’s position relative to the adjacent water bodies. Additionally, Delaware lies in the transition zone between the humid continental and humid tropical conditions, which further contributes to its diverse climatic conditions.
Most regions in this state experience mild to cold winters and warm to hot summers. Either way, the prevailing temperatures are not at their extremes, making the region ideal for any retiree seeking conducive weather.
The state’s mean annual temperatures range between 12°C (54°F) in New Castle in the Northern part to 14°C (54°F) in regions along the Atlantic coast, for example, in Southern Delaware.
Additionally, the average sunny days per year is 202 days. They are enough for you to sunbathe and enjoy splashing, swimming, and snorkeling in the various rivers and other water bodies within the state. Also, don’t forget the amazing beach life in this diamond state.
As for the annual precipitation, the mean yearly average statewide is about 45″ (1,143mm), which exhibits a large inter-annual variability. For the snow lovers, the annual amount of snow received here is approximately 13″ (330mm).
This cosmopolitan state accommodates retirees from different parts of the world. Therefore, you’re likely to bump into a retiree from your native country or state.
As the name suggests, South Carolina, also known as the Palmetto State, lies in the United States’ southeastern part, just below North Carolina.
This beautiful state occupies 32,020 square miles (82,932 square kilometers). Like many regions in the United States’ eastern region, this state is densely inhabited, with about 5,277,830 people from different parts of the world.
When we talk of a perfect climate, Palmetto State boasts an inviting humid subtropical climate featuring mild winters and hot summers. This ideal weather for retirees comes from the perfect combination of South Carolina’s low altitude, proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, and the relatively warm Gulf stream.
The summer temperatures can be hot and humid throughout the state, with the winter temperatures being a little bit milder except for the coastal regions. During winter, the coastal areas can record average daytime temperatures of about 16°C (60°F).
However, the further you move inland towards the famous Appalachian, things tend to change, and winter temperatures here can drop to the freezing point.
While the summer temperatures seem to be steady in the entire state at an average of about 32°C (90°F), winter temperatures vary from one location to the other.
When it comes to precipitation, rainfall is the most common and is evenly distributed throughout the state, with minimal snow, hails, and sleet cases. The average amount of rainfall per year lies at about 48″ (1,219mm), with annual snowfall amounting to 1″ (25.4mm).
The sunny days where you can comfortably bask in the sun or sunbathe are approximately 216 per year. Therefore, you’ll have ample time to get natural vitamin D while maintaining an active retirement life engaging in outdoor sports and other activities.
Charleston is one of the places with perfect weather for retirees in this state. Regardless of where you choose to retire within South Carolina, you’ll experience pleasant weather most days all year round.
Therefore, if average temperatures and moderate precipitation are what you need, consider retiring within South Carolina’s territorial boundaries. Besides the welcoming climate, we can’t overlook the ethnic diversity in this state, which reduces the chances of racial discrimination and language barriers.
Right above South Carolina lies North Carolina, commonly known as the Old North State. This state occupies approximately 53,819 square miles (139,391 square kilometers), with a current diverse population of 10,701,000.
The Old North State’s climate ranges from continental conditions in the mountainous regions to subtropical in the southeastern corner. However, most areas in this state exhibit a humid subtropical climate and are dominated by sultry summers and short, mild winters.
Like other vast states, the relative elevation of an area above sea level has a lot to do with temperature variations across the state. Here, regions close to the mountains are the coolest, while those along the coast are relatively warmer even during winters.
The pleasant coastal temperatures are influenced by the warm ocean currents from the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean.
The average annual temperatures show slight variations throughout the Old North State. For example, the eastern region records an average yearly temperature of 19°C (66°F), while the Central part records 16°C (60°F). As you move to the mountain ranges, the annual temperature drops significantly to about 13°C (55°F).
On average, there are about 213 sunny days in the Old North State all year round.
Similarly, the annual precipitation here also varies from one region to the other. In the coastal areas, the annual rainfall ranges between 46 to 54″ (1,170 to 1,370mm). Additionally, in Piedmont (plateau region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic ocean), the annual precipitation ranges between 44 to 50″ (1,120 to 1,270mm).
Lastly, the mountainous regions receive pretty high precipitation, recording an annual average between 40 to 80″ (1,015 to 2,030mm).
In a nutshell, the Old North State records an average annual rainfall of 48″ (1,219mm) in most regions and about 4″ (102mm) of snow per year. Heavy snow and severe storms are rare in North Carolina, but hurricanes and tornadoes have been reported along the coast and inland, respectively.
Therefore, the retirement destination you choose determines the relative weather conditions you’re likely to receive.
Tucked away in the deep south and south-central region of the United States is the beautiful state of Louisiana, also known as the Sugar, Pelican, or Creole state.
Sugar State rests on 52,375 square miles (135,651 square kilometers) of land and has a current population of approximately 4,627,000, comprising people from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Its location close to the Gulf of Mexico and at the mouth of the famous Mississippi-Missouri river valley contributes to its subtropical climate coupled with shades of continental weather.
Louisiana experiences long, hot, and humid summers with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and heavy downpours. During summer, humidity is the most predominant feature than temperature, thus yielding sultry summer days. On the other hand, winters here are short and mild.
The high humidity in summer makes the prevailing heat feel high, recording about 48.9°C (120°F). The southern region records daytime highs above 18.9°C (66°F) during winter, while the northern parts see colder days, often below 15°C (59°F).
The nights are cold, occasionally recording temperatures below the freezing point with average low temperatures lying between 2.8°C (37°F) in the North to 7.8°C (46°F ) in areas near the Gulf.
Although the temperatures here may drop below the freezing points, retiring in Louisiana gives you about 216 days of uninterrupted sunshine throughout the year.
Pelican State receives generous amounts of downpour all year round, with the annual averages varying between 48″ (1,219mm) in the North to 75″ (1,905mm) in the far south. This range brings the overall annual rainfall averages in the entire state to approximately 60″ (1,524mm).
Louisiana rarely receives snow and sleet, making rainfall the main form of precipitation. If you want to experience abundant sunshine while living in Louisiana, consider retiring in areas along its coast. You will enjoy the sun even during winter.
Some of the cities that create ideal retirement destinations are New Orleans, Metairie, and Lafayette.
Although the prevailing weather varies within states and cities in the US, you’re sure to get pleasant all-year-round weather in most regions.
Since the notion of perfect weather varies from one retiree to the other, you can choose a state from our list based on your personal preference. The popular states include:
However, before packing your essentials and relocating to any of these states, studying the prevailing weather in summer and winter is important. Ensure you understand the temperature and precipitation ranges and their impact on how you want to spend your golden years.