Four Great U.S. Cities for Retirees

Jon Fesmire | November 19, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

The U.S. has many great cities for retirees. Yes, Florida and other warm states are especially popular, but we decided to highlight four cities with true seasons and lots to do. These cities are less frequently mentioned than some others, but we think they’re great for retirees.

If you’re retired, or about to retire, and are looking for a fun and pleasant place to settle down, consider these cities.

Kennewick, WA

Washington is a gorgeous, green state, and Kennewick is no exception. You’ll enjoy the seasons here, too, where summers do get hot, up to about 91 in the middle of the day, and winters cold, down to about 29 degrees at night. The greater Kennewick area in Washington has a population of 284,000 people, and 12% of those are over 65 years old.

Here, the average income for a household of people over 65 is $57,000, but the cost of living is 3% below the U.S. average. The median home price is $275,000, and the average rent is about $950, or just $825 for a one bedroom apartment.

What is there, though, to enjoy in Kennewick? This is Washington wine country, so consider visiting Badger Mountain Vineyards, Farmhand Winery, or one of the many others. There are more than 200 in the greater area! For something different take a ride on the Carousel of Dreams or take your grandchildren to the Playground of Dreams. Go fishing along the Columbia or Snake River, and stay in shape with hikes on the Sacagawea Trail.

Madison, WI

Another lovely city with recognizable seasons is Madison, Wisconsin. Summers get up to about 83 degrees during the day, so warm but not too hot, and down to about 14 degrees at night in the winter. Here, about 12.5% of the people are over 65 years old, and the average retiree household income is about $48,000. The cost of living is great, too, at nearly 8% below the national average.

Madison is a fairly large city with its population of 635,000. The median price of a home is $253,000, while the rent for a one bedroom apartment is about $1,025. There are also plenty of doctors and health care options.

Get out and learn a bit of Wisconsin history at the Wisconsin State Capitol Building, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, or visit one of the city’s many museums, like the Chazen Museum of Art. In fact, you’ll find plenty to do in Madison.

Provo, UT

The percentage of the population over 65 here, at 7.2%, isn’t as high as in the other cities on this list, but don’t let that dissuade you from considering Provo. Consider that the average income for a retiree household is $59,000. Yes, the mountainous area still has those classic seasons, with very warm summers getting up to 94 degrees, and cold winters getting down to 24 degrees at night. The median price of a home is $284,000, and the average rent for a one bedroom apartment is about $925.

There are plenty of medical clinics, hospitals, and doctors, to help you stay in good health. Plus, there’s plenty to do. Head over to Provo Canyon for a scenic hike, or catch a concert at the Covey Center for the Arts. If you like museums, be sure to visit the BYU Museum of Paleontology or the Provo Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.

Sioux Falls, SD

If you love genuine, distinguishable seasons like many Americans do, then you’ll probably enjoy living in Sioux Falls. Temperatures get up to about 85 degrees in the summer, and down to about 20 or lower in winter.

The economy in Sioux Falls is solid with a 2.5% unemployment rate, and while you may or may not want to take a part-time retirement job, a good economy generally translates to a pleasant place to live. About 12% of the population is over 65 years old, and the average 65+ household has about a $46,000 income. Plus, the cost of living in Sioux Falls is approximately 7% below the national average.

The median home value is $162,000, though you may find a place in a senior community with a lower cost. Another advantage of living in South Dakota is that the state has no income tax, and the sales tax is just 6.5%. There’s plenty to do in this city of 177,000. Visit beautiful Falls Park, take your grandkids to the Great Plains Zoo, or spend a few hours at the Butterfly House & Aquarium.

In any of these cities, you’re bound to have enjoyable, active retirement years.

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