In this article, we will take a look at the best places to retire for active adults. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on new aging and best places to retire, you may go to 10 Best Places to Retire for Active Adults.
The baby boomer population, characterized by its significant size and influence, has faced numerous challenges over the years. Rising inflation levels, the aftermath of the 2008 recession, and the devastating impacts of the pandemic have created a daunting landscape for them, eroding their savings and profoundly altering their retirement plans. The University of Chicago estimates that the United States will have 16 million middle-income seniors by 2033. Jennifer Molinsky of Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies states that the number of affordable units needed for future seniors is quite "daunting."
Even though the need for housing is a significant challenge, the U.S. Census Bureau is convinced that this population will also bring significant opportunities in terms of infrastructure, institutions, and the economy. With a booming baby boomer population and U.S active adult (55+) community market size estimated to reach $805 billion by 2030, there is a promising opportunity for real estate developers and senior living community operators such as Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), Del Webb Corporation by PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), and Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD).
As such, a shortage of senior housing options, an overwhelming aging population, and a new vision for retirement is driving many real-estate developers to shift their focus from isolated urban retirement communities to an urban village model of housing. Also called "New Aging," such a model allows the recruitment of an age-diverse community, serving both younger and older renters in the process. Instead of providing the many services communities do in-house, this housing model tends to focus on local resources that nearby public programs offer, such as parks, malls, and hospitals. Not only will this give seniors a chance to "age in place," but it will also significantly drive down rent in the process.
Best Places to Retire
Prospective retirees are always searching for the best places to spend retirement years. As such, some of the best places for seniors to live in the United States include cities in Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and also the East Coast. Retirees love these places because of the ideal weather most of them boast, along with an affordable cost of living. Add in a tax-friendly environment; these places are clear winners in all aspects. No wonder Florida bags the status as the most popular state to retire to, with 21.2% of retirees within the state.
Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), Del Webb Corporation by PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), and Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD) offer some of the best retirement communities in these places, along with others throughout the United States. Del Webb Naples, Del Webb Ponte Vedra, and Del Webb Lakewood Ranch are some famous retirement communities from Del Webb Corporation by PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), while Brookdale Potomac, Brookdale Lake Ridge, and Brookdale Onley are some communities offered by Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD). Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) offers some of the best active adult retirement communities, such as in California, Florida, and South Carolina.
For those looking for popular retirement places outside of the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean have many options to consider. Some notable places on retiree's lists include Puerto Rico, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Some of the best places to retire in the world on a budget include Thailand, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Türkiye. You may also check out our article “Best Places to Retire in the World on Social Security" if you wish to check out options that can help you live on a fixed income outside of the US.
Copyright: halfpoint / 123RF Stock Photo
We have used several sources including Smart Asset, Retire Fearless, and Forbes to compile the list of best places to retire for active adults. After compiling the 30 best places from these lists, we ranked them based on the percentage of the senior population, walking and biking score, and the number of active retirement communities. The percentage of the senior population has been sourced from US Census Bureau, walk and bike scores from Walk Score, and retirement communities from 55 places.
Cost of living was not considered as a ranking factor. If you wish to explore affordable places to retire to, you may check out our article "Best Places to Live on Social Security Check Only". After ranking on each metric, individual ranks were added to get a total, with a maximum attainable score of 90. Places were then ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores.
Here are the best places to retire for active adults:
27. Boulder, Colorado
Insider Monkey Score: 20
Many factors contribute to a high quality of life for active retirees in Boulder, Colorado. Its location in the Rocky Mountains allows retirees to relish the outdoor life. An extensive network of hiking trails, cycling routes, and nature spots add to the active culture, with 11.8% of seniors choosing to live here. The city also has a good bike score, which means seniors can run their daily errands or explore the city on their bicycles. However, a chilly climate, a limited number of active retirement communities, and less than optimal walk score have contributed to a comparatively lower score for Boulder, Colorado.
26. Omaha, Nebraska
Insider Monkey Score: 22
Omaha, Nebraska, offers a diverse range of leisure activities and great dining and retail options. The healthcare system is also efficient, and 13.4% of retirees enjoy the active environment of the city. The city also has several parks, trails, and other outdoor spaces. Walking and biking infrastructure could be better, but several active senior living communities are in the city.
25. Boise, Idaho
Insider Monkey Score: 23
One of the best places to retire for active adults in Idaho is its capital city, Boise. A mild climate, an extremely walkable downtown, and an active lifestyle culture contribute to its popularity among retirees. It has an excellent biking score as well, and the residents also love to volunteer. The healthcare system is also quite robust, with 14.6% of seniors living here.
24. St. Paul, Minnesota
Insider Monkey Score: 24
St. Paul, Minnesota, provides many opportunities for seniors to stay active during their retirement years. The city is very walkable and bike-friendly, embraced with plenty of sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes. Home to 7.3% of seniors, there are a number of active adult retirement communities as well.
23. Hollywood, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 25
Home to pristine beaches, Hollywood, Florida, is more than just a stunning backdrop for seniors to relax in. The city is revered for its sandy coastline, perfect for walking and enjoying the many water sports. There are several parks, nature trails, and active adult retirement communities for seniors.
22. Denver, Colorado
Insider Monkey Score: 28
The Mile-High city of Denver is one of the best places for active seniors. The city offers numerous walking and biking trails, and residents love to explore the city on foot or on their bicycles. There are also many fitness centers and recreational activities that cater to 11.7% of seniors.
21. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Insider Monkey Score: 30
Retirees in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, love to enjoy the active adult environment it offers them. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, residents enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. The bike-friendly city also boasts numerous parks, green spaces, and trails for hiking, biking, etc.
20. Lexington, Kentucky
Insider Monkey Score: 31
The best place for an active yet peaceful retirement is Lexington, Kentucky. 13.5% of seniors live in the city. The "Horse Capital of the World" can be an exciting place to retire, especially for horse enthusiasts. The city also boasts scenic parks, trails, and lakes that residents enjoy.
19. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Insider Monkey Score: 32
Many retirees are considering Minneapolis, Minnesota, for their retirement years. The Chain of Lakes, Mississippi Riverfront, and Minnehaha Park are prominent outdoor spots for retirees to enjoy. Whether you wish to go fishing, birdwatching, or bike along the long trails with friends, there is something exciting for everyone.
18. Salt Lake City, Utah
Insider Monkey Score: 34
Apart from the breathtaking natural beauty Salt Lake City has to offer, the city is also a bliss for active adults. Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches are some national parks that retirees love to visit. Access to world-class ski resorts is a plus, and the city’s overall focus on an active lifestyle aligns with active retirement goals.
17. Gainesville, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 35
Retirees are attracted to Gainesville, Florida, because of its broad range of active retirement communities. The natural landscapes offer them a chance to explore the outdoors, which is a huge plus. The city boasts excellent walking and biking infrastructure as well, and 11.6% of seniors live here.
16. Boca Raton, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 37
Fantastic weather, beachfront areas, numerous parks, and heavenly nature preserves make Boca Raton an amazing choice for active adults. There are also exceptional golf courses in the city, adding to its attraction as an active retirement city. No wonder 26.3% of seniors live here.
15. Wilmington, Delaware
Insider Monkey Score: 40
Owing to its proximity to several natural attractions, Wilmington is one of the best places to retire for active adults. There are numerous pedestrian-friendly areas and well-maintained sidewalks for walking on foot, while the parks and preserves are ideal places for hiking and biking.
14. Boynton Beach, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 41
Active adults love to retire in Boynton Beach and with good reason. Beautiful weather, stunning Atlantic coastline, lush parks and trails, and the many golf courses grant them endless outdoor activities. Senior communities are also available for retirees who wish to lead an active lifestyle.
13. San Jose, California
Insider Monkey Score: 42
Incredible hiking opportunities, scenic landscapes, and a beautiful Mediterranean climate make San Jose, California, one of the best places to retire for active adults. Parks, lakes, and other coastal areas nearby add to the list of the many things that 13.2% of the senior population enjoys here. The city has good walkability and biking infrastructure as well.
12. Seattle, Washington
Insider Monkey Score: 43
Active adults love Seattle, Washington, for its national parks, waterways, and mountains. Seniors enjoy hiking, biking, jogging, and also picnicking in these areas. The city also boasts good walkability, extensive biking trails, and a mild climate which cooperates throughout the year.
11. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Insider Monkey Score: 45
Colorado Springs is home to 13.8% of the senior population. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, active adults get to hike, bike, and indulge in outdoor sports at iconic national landmarks such as Red Rock Canyon, Pikes Peak, and Garden of the Gods. Known as Olympic City, numerous sports events are held throughout the year that adults can also participate in.
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Disclosure: none. 27 Best Places to Retire for Active Adults is originally published on Insider Monkey.