Best Cities to Retire in 2020

Mature couple walking on the beach together.

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If nothing is tying you down to your current home, you might be looking for a place to start fresh once you officially retire. Some people prefer to look outside the United States but if you’re not looking to become an expat, the United States definitely has what you’re looking for.

The list below identifies the best cities to retire in 2020 along with the median home prices for each location.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Never heard of it? If you’re looking for a city that’s quiet, homey, and affordable, this former capital of Pennsylvania is for you. The median home price is only $198,500 and the city is surrounded by Amish farmland and has plenty of old warehouses. Lancaster is also seeing a revitalization as many of those warehouses and buildings are becoming trendy restaurants and bars.

Fort Myers, Florida

Everybody knows that retirees love Florida but if you’re considering a move to the sunshine state, where do you go? Give Fort Myers a look. Florida has no state income tax—an excellent thing for retirees who have sources of taxable income, but Fort Myers stands out above other Florida hotspots.

The median home price is $233,100 making it a perfect place for a winter home. It’s ideal for fishing, boating, and has a charming downtown complete with museums, historical sites, and plenty of social events.

Another city to consider—Sarasota, Florida. Sarasota and Fort Myers were virtually tied in our rankings.

Austin, Texas

If beaches don’t appeal to you and you don’t mind the big city feel, check out Austin. As the capital of Texas, there’s no absence of things to do, and as a major college town and tech hub, there are benefits that come with being retired. For example, at the University of Texas-Austin, seniors age 65 and older can enroll for up to six credit hours at no cost. The median home price is $283,500—a reasonable amount for big city living.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Michigan doesn’t get much love on the “best of” lists very often, but Grand Rapids is indeed an exception. If you’re an art lover, Grand Rapids invests heavily in the arts with the city transforming into a giant art gallery each fall. Median home prices for retirees are a mere $171,100. If you plan to live there all year, the winters are cold, but the summers are beautiful.

Nashville, Tennessee

Another artsy town, Nashville is, of course, known for its country music. Retirees will find plenty of performances at the Grand Ole Opry and other smaller venues. Its healthcare system is ranked #17 in the U.S., and there’s no absence of sports teams, colleges, and universities. Median home price is $234,000

Washington, D.C.

Despite a sticker-shocking median home price of $424,200, our nation’s capital is a hotspot among retirees. If you plan to continue working, you won’t have much trouble finding a government job, healthcare is top-notch in D.C., and many of the best-known attractions are free.

Phoenix, Arizona

If you’re a fan of the heat, you’ll love Phoenix. With summer temperatures topping 100 degrees but mild in the winter, this has become a well-known snowbird town. With a median home price of $236,900 and a sports team for just about everything, you’ll have no excuse to sit at home bored.

Portland, Maine

Residents of Portland love Portland, according to happiness scores. The food scene is unfairly overlooked, and as a college town, there’s plenty to see and do. Median home prices are an affordable $265,000 but watch out for the winters. The average January low is 13 degrees.

Portland, Oregon

Why not two Portlands on the list? Much like the Maine version, Portland Oregon has an excellent foodie culture but the city is best known in the retirement community for its incredible city park system, all of its paths and trails, and the climate is perfect for gardeners. The median home price for retirees is a bit higher than some of our other cities at $366,200 but nowhere near the highest.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a big city so you’ll pay big city prices for housing, but if you can afford the median home price of $425,800, you'll find that Boston lives up to the hype. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll find plenty of diehard fans rooting for the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins, a healthcare system ranked fourth in the country, and plenty of discounts for retirees.