Four Florida cities make the top 20, including the top spot

With year-round sun, relatively affordable housing and no state tax, Florida is the best place to retire.

Sarasota takes the top spot, according to a study from U.S. News & World Report. This Florida city is best in the country due in large part to nonstop sun and beaches. The unemployment rate is low at 4.5 percent, residents are paying less than $1,000 in monthly rent, and annual salaries are just a hair over $40,000.

Lancaster takes the second spot. This Pennsylvania town has low housing costs, low unemployment rate, and great healthcare quality. San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Mich., and El Paso, Tex. round out the top 5.

Texas has two of the top 5 spots, but four in the top 10 (and Dallas-Fort Worth is number 11). McAllen (number 6) has affordable housing while Austin (number 9) has a lot of job openings. U.S. News says about 50 people move to Austin every day.

U.S. News and World Report surveyed pre-retirees (45-59 years old) and retirees (60 years of age and older) about what they find to be the most important part about where they retire. The study measured housing affordability, taxes, job market, quality of healthcare, desirability and how happy residents are living there.

If you’re looking for a quieter place to move in your golden years, small cities like Fayetteville, Ark. (number 14 overall) and Santa Rosa, Calif. (number 53) make the list. These places have less than 500,000 residents and are experiencing rapid growth economically.

For those looking for cheap rent and low housing costs, Grand Rapids is best, followed by Pittsburgh. But Greenville, S.C. is also on the list, and so is Des Moines, Iowa. Don’t discredit “flyover states” — they have plenty of cheap housing. The closer you head to a coast, the more you’re likely to pay, which won’t help when you’re in your retirement years and possibly not working as much.

Moving for retirement? Make sure your bank account is ready

If you want to move when you hit retirement age, you should probably make sure you can afford it first.

Most Americans aren’t ready for retirement. They care more about vacations than they do about retirement. We don’t care about retirement as much as we say we do, because we haven’t saved enough for our golden years by the time we hit retirement age.

Not having enough money for retirement hurts more than just our bank accounts. It’s the biggest source of financial stress for Americans. Most Americans don’t believe they will have enough cash saved for comfortable golden years. Even more so, most are planning to work in retirement because they don’t believe they will be able to afford not to. They probably should, considering that the world is running out of retirement money.

It’s unfortunate, but most Americans agree with science: we aren’t good with our money because we don’t get how it works all the time. Whether it’s basic money knowledge like savings or monitoring spending with a budget or more advanced topics like stocks and bonds, we don’t know enough about how to handle money to make the best decisions about our financial futures.

Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Credit & Debt, Family, Retirement

401k, income, save money

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Article last modified on November 3, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Surprise, Surprise: Florida Is the Best Place to Retire - AMP.