The 7 Best Places to Retire in 2021 in the US

The 7 Best Places to Retire in 2021 in the US

Hannah Warren

by Hannah Warren
Contributing Writer

December 15, 2020
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The 7 Best Places to Retire in 2021 in the US

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Preparing to retire? It’s time to think about where you want to live. Read this list of best places to retire for inspiration!

2020 has been a difficult year for us all, but it has helped us to think about the quality of life we want in the future. If you're approaching retirement age, or are starting to think seriously about the next sage in your life, looking for the best places to retire is a natural next step.

Where you choose to retire will dictate everything about your home life, from how much your bills cost, to the climate you live with, and the forms of entertainment available. Do you want to live in a college town or somewhere further from the action? To help you decide, we'll give you an overview of the top 7 retirement spots so you can start narrowing down your search.

Naples, Florida

Thinking about retiring to Florida? You're certainly not alone. The Sunshine State offers a high quality of life, efficient cost of living, and fantastic health care quality – and that's particularly true in Naples.

Naples is on the coast of the Mexican Gulf, has high-end dining and shopping to offer, along with the ability to boast being the Healthiest City in America. If you see yourself on golf courses, boating, shopping, dining, walking, and living in the safest city in Florida, Naples is for you.

  • Metro Area Population: 22,039
  • Median Age: 66.2
  • Taxes: No state income tax
  • Median Home Price: 349,543 (1,549 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 90F
  • Average Winter Temp: 75F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 54 inches
  • Extreme Weather: As expected for Florida, risk of tornadoes and extreme storms, but significantly lower than much of the state
  • Political Leaning: 62% Republican in the last election

Savannah, Georgia

If you love history and southern charm, Savannah is one of the best cities to look at. There are over 300 years of history, it's extremely pedestrian-friendly, and there will never be a shortage of things to do outside the house. You'll find art exhibits and historic tours, markets, independent stores, music festivals, and a different restaurant to eat at each day of the year.

If you love history and southern charm, Savannah is one of the best cities to look at.

If the architecture isn't enough to sway you, then the beach might be. Just 20 minutes from downtown, it's the perfect place to read and take a dip in the heat of the summer. The cost of homes and living here is also at an affordable price.

  • Metro Area Population: 145,862
  • Median Age: 32.4
  • Taxes: Progressive income tax
  • Median Home Price: 191,404 (1,152 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 90F
  • Average Winter Temp: 62F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 49 inches
  • Extreme Weather: Risk of flooding and tornadoes, but less risk for tornadoes than the rest of Georgia
  • Political Leaning: 58% Republican in the last election

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

If Texas life appeals to you and you're looking for somewhere close to big cities so you can easily travel, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is a great choice. It's a great place for those of all ages, so you definitely won't feel like you have to slow down just because your working life has ended.

Dallas is (normally) home to a ton of live music and sporting events, so you'll never be short of things to do. People are friendly and won't look at you twice if you prefer to wear cowboy boots when you head to the store.

If you like a healthy dose of outdoor pursuits while staying centrally located, living in Dallas-Fort Worth gives you the freedom to easily go hunting, hiking, or traveling. You can go south to Mexico if you like your vacations hot or travel north to Colorado to ski or see some snow.

  • Metro Area Population: 7,255,028
  • Median Age: 34.7
  • Taxes: No state income tax
  • Median Home Price: 255,033 (1,085 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 95F
  • Average Winter Temp: 34F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 36 inches
  • Extreme Weather: About average for this area of the south (risk of tornadoes, hail and thunder, flooding, and heatwaves)
  • Political Leaning: About 50-50 Democrat & Republican

Grand Rapids, Michigan

The cities in the south and on the coasts get the most attention thanks to the warm climate, but what about locales for those who like to experience all four seasons? Grand Rapids has a rich culture, with art galleries, museums, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries, parks and gardens, and more.

Grand Rapids has all the necessities of a city with a small-town charm. If you're happy to drive, head out to the nature trails to see wildlife and stretch your legs. The air here is crisp, clean, and you get to experience the beauty of all seasons.

  • Metro Area Population: 200,217
  • Median Age: 31
  • Taxes: 1.50% income tax
  • Median Home Price: 201,705 (1,120 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 80F
  • Average Winter Temp: 32F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 37 inches
  • Extreme Weather: Tornado events are higher than average for the state
  • Political Leaning: About 50/50

Laguna Beach, California

Prefer the west coast? If so, and you've got some money saved for a higher quality of living, Laguna Beach should be on your list. The natural level of beauty here is breathtaking, and you'll struggle to find it anywhere else.

The best thing about Laguna Beach is the attitude. People here are relaxed and are more worried about life experiences than keeping up with the Jones'. You can find any style of home here, from beach-side villas to mountain-side homes. The sense of community is strong, and people really care about one another.

There's plenty of history to explore, beautiful beaches to stroll down, and top-rated restaurants.

  • Metro Area Population: 22,991
  • Median Age: 51.8
  • Taxes: 9.3% income tax
  • Median Home Price: 2,418,044 (2,257 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 78F
  • Average Winter Temp: 68F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 14 inches
  • Extreme Weather: Some risk of earthquakes and tornadoes
  • Political Leaning: Around 60% Democrat

Boise, Idaho

As the state capital city, Idaho has a lot going on and is a great place to move to if you want to spend a lot of time outside. It's got great medical infrastructure, the climate is temperate, and the crime rate is low. People are friendly, the air is clean, and the city's food and wine culture is definitely something to talk about.

The natural beauty is stunning outside the city, with wide-open spaces, rivers, and snow-capped mountains. The architecture is pretty, the city is clean, and it offers a great mix of the chain stores you love with independent stores you can fall in love with.

  • Metro Area Population: 228,790
  • Median Age: 36.2
  • Taxes: Progressive income tax
  • Median Home Price: 354,900 (1,279 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 82F
  • Average Winter Temp: 41F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 13 inches
  • Extreme Weather: Risk low
  • Political Leaning: Leaning Republican

Port Orchard, Washington

Port Orchard is one of those magical cities that offers the best of all worlds. With lush greenery, a small-town feel with plenty of coffee shops and restaurants, it offers you the best that suburban life has to offer.

Drive for just a short time, and you can hike the national forests, such as Marmot Pass and elsewhere in the Olympic Peninsula. Alternatively, take the ferry across the sound, and you can be in Seattle in an hour. There, you have access to all the benefits Seattle has to offer, and you can still return home at night to your quiet home. What's not to love?

  • Metro Area Population: 14,389
  • Median Age: 35.7
  • Taxes: No income tax
  • Median Home Price: 398,130 (1,452 pm if renting)
  • Average Summer Temp: 72F
  • Average Winter Temp: 45F
  • Average Annual Rainfall: 47 inches
  • Extreme Weather: Risk very low
  • Political Leaning: Leaning Democrat

Honorable Mentions

  • Port St. Lucie, Florida. One of the top 25 places by many publications, you'll find affordable housing both to purchase or rent just a short drive from Miami or Orlando.
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan. Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is an offbeat retirement destination with access to Detroit that is filled with culture of its own.
  • Fort Myers, Florida. Consistently topping the charts at US News & World Report, Fort Myers has a dog-friendly downtown and a metro area that's sized just right for retirement.
  • Asheville, North Carolina. Great weather with a notable art and music scene.

Even if you aren't near age 65 yet, thinking about where you'd like to retire in the United States is worth giving some thought. Any of these places could offer you the perfect retirement spot, but it all depends on your preferences and needs. If you're looking for more inspiration, especially if you're thinking of living away from a major city, see our list of the best places to retire in 2020.