The destination city of the retreat depends on its criteria

Picturesque Brittlebank Park by the Ashley River in Charleston. (Credit: Daniela Duncan/Getty Images)

Charleston, SC has taken first place on WalletHub’s new list of best and worst places to live. But for those looking for a retirement city that ticks the boxes for affordability, warm weather, and social opportunity, GOBankingRates says Des Moines, IA is the place to be.

WalletHub and GOBankingRates are the latest organizations to rank the best cities for retirees based on a variety of factors, including affordability.

Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights, one of the industry experts cited by WalletHub, said the biggest mistake seniors make when planning for retirement is not considering a goal or of a calling.

Kung added that she also sees a lack of consideration for how close driving is to her family, or at least the convenience of the airport.

“As hospitalizations and long-term care needs arise, family members often have to come in to help,” she said.

Friendliness of retirees

WalletHub compared the “retiree friendliness” of more than 180 cities across 46 key metrics related to affordability, activities, quality of life, and health care to rank the best and worst states for retirement. in 2022.

No. 1 Charleston and No. 2 Orlando reversed the spots on last year’s WalletHub list as the best retirement cities. They were followed this year by No. 3 Cincinnati; No. 4 Miami; and No. 5 Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

California topped the list of “worst” cities for retirees, with No. 178 Stockton, No. 179 Rancho Cucamonga (No. 178 last year) and No. 180 San Bernardino. Newark, NJ, (#175 last year) came in at #181, and Bridgeport, CT, (#176 last year) came in as the worst city at #182.

If the cost of living is the most important factor in a retirement city, it’s worth noting that Texas won three of the top five spots: Brownsville, No. 1; Laredo, No. 2; and Amarillo, No. 4. Fort Smith, AR, came in at No. 3 and Jackson, MS, is at No. 5.

In contrast, the cities with the highest cost of living were dominated by California – San Jose and San Francisco – and Hawaii – Pearl City and Honolulu. All of these cities are tied with New York for the most expensive cities, at No. 165.

Seniors looking for recreational opportunities and access to senior centers will find what they are looking for in Philadelphia; Chicago; Honolulu; and Washington, DC, all tied for first place. Cities with the fewest opportunities for socializing and recreation included No. 97 Madison, WI; No. 98, Durham, North Carolina; No. 99 Saint-Louis; No. 100 Lexington-Fayette, KY; and No. 101 Kansas City, MO.

The cities with the highest population of older adults were No. 1, Pearl City, HI; No. 2, Scottsdale, AZ, and No. 3, Cape Coral, FL. The states with the youngest populations were No. 182, Irving, TX; No. 181, Fontana, Calif.; and No. 180, West Valley City, UT.

Middle-income gems

Meanwhile, GOBankingRates ranked cities based on average 2022 rent prices, cost of living and healthcare index scores to come up with a list of the 12 best places to retire for 2,000 $ per month or less – attractive features for a growing population of middle-income seniors. adults. Eligible cities had to have at least 10% of their population over the age of 65, meet a livability score for cost of living, and offer moderately temperate weather conditions.

Des Moines, IA, tops the personal finance website’s list with the lowest rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $760. The city offers a slightly cooler climate, with an average high temperature of 61 and an average low temperature of 41. Health care costs, however, are higher, at an average of $495 per month.

Abilene, TX claimed the No. 2 spot for its bustling retirement community; 15% of the population is aged 65 or over. A one-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $767, and monthly healthcare costs are higher, falling to an average of $499. The average high temperature is 76 degrees.

Jeffersonville, IN, came in at No. 3 for field trip opportunities. The city has the lowest monthly healthcare costs, at an average of $358, and a one-bedroom apartment rents on average for $792 per month.

Rounding out the top five cities are College Station, TX, at No. 4 for warm weather, and Norman, OK, for affordable living.

The remaining cities to make the list were No. 6 Baytown, TX; #7 San Angelo, TX; No. 8 Huntsville, AL; No. 9 Longview, Texas; No. 10 Roanoke, Virginia; Temple No. 11, Texas; and No. 12 Pittsburgh.

About John Tuttle

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