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2016’s Best & Worst Cities to Retire

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After toiling in the workplace for decades, it seems only natural to expect financial security in the golden years. But not everyone can look forward to a cushy retirement. Americans are actually working more years compared with previous generations yet only grow further from financial freedom. In 2015, 21 percent of workers expected to retire at age 65, but only 9 percent actually were able to do so, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s latest Retirement Confidence Survey.

Why postpone retirement? Many blame the economy. Others point to “inadequate finances” as the other primary hurdle to retiring on schedule. Finally, high debt levels keep 56 percent of workers and 33 percent of retirees on the hamster wheel and prevent them from growing a nest egg.

It’s no wonder a fourth of American workers approaching retirement age haven’t socked away any cash. Among the employed participants in the EBRI survey, 40 percent cited cost of living and daily expenses as impediments to saving for retirement. So if simply making ends meet prevents workers from growing a nest egg for the future, what other options provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement? We suggest relocating to an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle.

To help you navigate your options, WalletHub’s analysts compared the retirement-friendliness of the 150 largest U.S. cities across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from the cost of living to the percentage of the elderly population to the availability of recreational activities. You can find the results, additional expert commentary and a detailed methodology below.


Best Cities to Retire Worst Cities to Retire
1 Orlando, FL 141 Fontana, CA
2 Tampa, FL 142 Rancho Cucamonga, CA
3 Scottsdale, AZ 143 Bakersfield, CA
4 Miami, FL 144 Wichita, KS
5 Sioux Falls, SD 145 Detroit, MI
6 Las Vegas, NV 146 Aurora, IL
7 Cape Coral, FL 147 Chula Vista, CA
8 Atlanta, GA 148 Newark, NJ
9 Minneapolis, MN 149 Worcester, MA
10 Los Angeles, CA 150 Providence, RI

Best vs. Worst

  • Laredo, Texas, has the lowest adjusted cost-of-living index for retired persons, 76.84,  which is 2.6 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest,  196.2.
  • Laredo, Texas, has the lowest annual cost of in-home services, $20, 592,  which is 3.3 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest,  $68, 640 per month.
  • Anchorage, Alaska, has the highest percentage of employed people aged 65 and older, 24.0 percent, which is 2.8 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest,  8.5 percent.
  • Scottsdale, Ariz., has the highest percentage of the 65 and older population, 21.1 percent, which is 3.5 times higher than in Fontana, Calif., the city with the lowest,  6.1 percent.
  • Yonkers, N.Y., has the lowest property-crime rate, 10.01 per 1, 000 residents, which is 8.6 times lower than in Spokane, Wash., the city with the highest,  85.59 per 1, 000 residents.
  • Miami has the highest number of home-care facilities, 35.30 per 100, 000 residents,  which is 18.2 times higher than in Des Moines, Iowa, the city with the lowest,  1.94 per 100, 000 residents.

For the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit:

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