Which of These ‘Best Cities for Retirement’ Do We Want to Move to Right Now?

Photo credit: Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0.

Bankrate has a new chart listing the best and worst cities for retirement, and if you’re like me, that means you’re going to spend the next 10 minutes looking up every city you’ve ever lived and every city you’ve ever dreamed of moving to.

Where Are The Best And Worst Cities To Retire? | Bankrate.com

The cities are categorized along eight metrics: cost of living, crime, well-being, walkability, taxes, healthcare, weather, and culture. Seattle, for example, scores “very high” on cost of living and “low” on taxes, and is ranked 54th on the list of 196 cities. (NYC ranks 187th.)

The best city for retirees, according to Bankrate’s data, is Arlington, Virginia—even though it, too, has a “very high” cost of living. (Thirty of the 196 cities get the “very high” ranking.) Second is Alexandria, Virginia, nine miles south of Arlington and just as expensive.

Coming in third is Franklin, Tennessee, with a population of 69,000, a low cost of living, and low crime and taxes. It also has a high emphasis on culture and a strong healthcare system. The only problem? Not walkable. (Let’s hope Google pushes out those robot cars really quickly.)

As you scroll down the list—or Ctrl+F your favorite cities—you’ll probably start looking for a place that has the perfect combination of elements you value. Maybe “low cost of living,” “low taxes,” and “good healthcare,” or “low cost of living,” “walkable,” “lots of culture.” It’s going to be hard to find a city with everything on your list, but when you find something close, you’ll probably ask yourself whether you should go ahead and move there now instead of waiting for retirement. (That’s what I did, anyway.)

But Bankrate’s chart doesn’t include the social cost of moving—leaving behind family, friends, professional networks, and so on—and it doesn’t include any information on jobs. (I guess they’re assuming retirees won’t ever need or want employment again.)

Still. Who else briefly fantasized about packing it all in and heading to Franklin, Tennessee?

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