20 Best Cities to Retire for 2024

Author: Ghazal Ahmed

Date: 23/2/2024

View article on Yahoo Finance

This article takes a look at the 20 best cities to retire for 2024. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on financial concerns and optimal locations for golden years, you may go to 5 Best Cities to Retire for 2024.

A Comprehensive Look at Financial Concerns and Optimal Locations for Golden Years

Does the average retiree appear to be increasingly fixated on cost of living concerns? Recent trends seem to suggest this, especially when considering that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) only recorded a modest 3.2% increase this year. While it’s understandable that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rises in accordance with inflation, retirees are experiencing the harsh reality that their living expenses have not kept pace with this seemingly standardized measure.

This news may be troubling to digest for those who have already retired, but the scenario for those who are on the way to their golden years is no different. According to a T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW) study, 64% of baby boomers have reported having moderate to high levels of stress regarding their retirement savings. With 2024 already marking the beginning of the “Peak 65 zone”, a period between 2024 and 2027 that will witness record levels of Americans hitting the age of 65, and social security funds set to deplete by 2034, the retirement scenario is seemingly poised for significant shifts and challenges.

A study by the Alliance for Lifetime Income (ALI) sheds light on these numbers, stating that the majority of Peak 65ers are worried about not having saved enough for retirement. While 66% are only worried about not having enough, 79% are in turn worried about the cost of healthcare during this period, a significant expense that needs to be taken care of by this demographic. Unfortunately, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Health Plans (IFEBP) has forecasted a sizable hike in healthcare costs this year, almost 7%, due to factors such as catastrophic health claims, chronic health conditions, and also rising prescription drug prices.

Considering these numbers, the more prudent choice for a potential retiree seems to be proactive. We at Insider Monkey believe even if you are 50 years old with no retirement savings, there is still a chance to catch up. With that said, many financial companies and advisors also recommend their lines of action for potential retirees to pursue:

“Having a plan in place will make it easier for you to track your progress during the year. Things will change throughout the year, but starting with a plan will help you stay focused. The most successful plans aren’t just written and filed away; they’re revisited regularly”

– Roger Young, CFP®, a thought leadership director with T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW).

Financial wellness programs and services such as those offered by T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW), The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW), and other firms can help potential retirees save optimal amounts for their retirement years. While focusing on retirement savings and starting with a plan is important, potential retirees should also focus on making a move when necessary. Of course, accounting for necessary factors such as cost of living, taxes, and even proximity to friends and family is important.

As such, some of the best states to retire in 2024 include the Carolinas, Mississippi, and Iowa. Revered for their tax-friendly environment and low cost of living, these states are ideal for retirees on a budget. However, not all the places in these states may be the most ideal for living. Some may have a low cost of living but lack health facilities, others may have a higher cost of living, yet many others may not have adequate amenities available to allow living a comfortable requirement. To help you land in the perfect retirement spot that offers the best balance of cost of living, health, and amenities, we have crafted a list of the best cities to retire.


To compile the list of best cities to retire for 2024, we have rounded down a list of best cities from US News Real Estate, Becker’s Hospital Review, Kiplinger, Fox Business, and Business Insider, to name a few. Next, we ranked them on factors such as cost of living, median home price, health, and livability. Median home prices have been sourced from Redfin, health ranks are from Becker’s Hospital Review, and livability scores are from Area Vibes.

Places were individually scored on each factor and their sums were added to generate a unique Insider Monkey Score. Finally, the places have been ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores. It must be noted that retirees should visit a certain destination, assess the local amenities and community, and determine how well the city aligns with their specific retirement goals and lifestyle preferences before making a decision.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Here are the best cities to retire for 2024:

20. Jacksonville, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 52    

Cost of Living Index: 95.7

Median Home Price: $290,000

Livability Score: 80

State Health Rank: 31

Sneaking onto the scene from our recently unveiled list of the most affordable places to retire in 2024, Jacksonville has proven to be more than just a budget-friendly retirement destination. This city is an all-rounder when it comes to health, taxes, temperatures, and proximity to the coast. The sunshine state of Florida doesn’t tax retirement income, making sure retirees receive their retirement dollars tax-free.

19. Durham, North Carolina
Insider Monkey Score: 54

Cost of Living Index: 98.8

Median Home Price: $391,000

Livability Score: 81   

State Health Rank: 32

Part of the Research Triangle Park, the highly educated university town of Durham is the ideal place for retirees who wish to embark on a journey of lifelong learning. Retiring in a university town has its unique set of perks, like a dynamic environment with many events and opportunities for intellectual stimulation. Additionally, the city has excellent healthcare facilities, a vibrant cultural scene, a mild climate, and delectable culinary delights.

18. Pensacola, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 55

Cost of Living Index: 89

Median Home Price: $290,000        

Livability Score: 79   

State Health Rank: 31

Pensacola doesn’t just cut it to our list of best cities to retire for 2024 because of its white-sandy beaches, but also because it provides an ideal combination of affordability and amenities. Since our last take on Pensacola as the best city in northern Florida to retire, the warm haven has improved 7 points in its livability rank as well.

17. Allentown, Pennsylvania
Insider Monkey Score: 57    

Cost of Living Index: 97.9    

Median Home Price: $223,000        

Livability Score: 78   

State Health Rank: 23

Allentown has previously been making rounds for being one of the most affordable places to retire in recent years. From its high-quality healthcare to its active lifestyle and obvious housing affordability, living in this city allows retirees to enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

16. Rochester, New York
Insider Monkey Score: 60    

Cost of Living Index: 88.6    

Median Home Price: $140,000        

Livability Score: 75   

State Health Rank: 27

The thought of retiring to an expensive state such as New York can be scary. Notorious for its cost of living and taxes, one inexpensive little New York gem is an exception to our list of best cities to retire for 2024.  Rochester is famous for its welcoming aura, renowned healthcare institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, its distinct seasons, and good quality of life.

15. Morgantown, West Virginia
Insider Monkey Score: 62    

Cost of Living Index: 89.8

Median Home Price: $340,000        

Livability Score: 82   

State Health Rank: 45

Our only West Virginia pick, Morgantown is hands down one of the best places to retire in the South. Beyond its affordability, the greenest city in the state prides itself on its robust healthcare institutions, diverse urban amenities, and a welcoming community-oriented atmosphere.

14. Akron, Ohio
Insider Monkey Score: 63    

Cost of Living Index: 80.8    

Median Home Price: $125,000        

Livability Score: 80   

State Health Rank: 36

For those on limited budgets, Akron can be their best bet. Situated in Ohio, this city is home to reputable healthcare facilities, a variety of cultural attractions, and lots of parks, scenic trails, and nature reserves.

13. Youngstown, Ohio
Insider Monkey Score: 65    

Cost of Living Index: 74.4

Median Home Price: $130,000

 Livability Score: 80  

State Health Rank: 36

For the retiree who wishes to enjoy the golden years at an affordable price point, Youngstown can be one of the best options to consider. Adequate health facilities, affordable housing, and a low cost of living make Youngstown one of the best cities to retire in 2024.

12. Syracuse, New York
Insider Monkey Score: 65    

Cost of Living Index: 87.4

Median Home Price: $150,000

 Livability Score: 78  

State Health Rank: 27

Boasting a surprisingly low cost of living as compared to the state average, Syracuse is home to reputable healthcare institutions, plentiful cultural attractions, and a university-town atmosphere conducive to lifelong learning.

11. Boise, Idaho
Insider Monkey Score: 66

Cost of Living Index: 119.6  

Median Home Price: $465,000

 Livability Score: 83  

State Health Rank: 20

Ranking 11th on our list of best cities to retire for 2024 is Boise, the only Idaho pick in our list. Boasting a mild climate, a walkable downtown, and an active lifestyle culture, the capital city is easily one of the best places to retire for active adults.

10. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Insider Monkey Score: 72

Cost of Living Index: 99.5    

Median Home Price: $240,000

 Livability Score: 82  

State Health Rank: 23

Lancaster has never been our best-kept secret, but it doesn’t fail to amaze those who are new to the town. Affordable housing, reasonable living expenses, and a great livability score make Lancaster one of the best cities to retire in 2024.

9. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Insider Monkey Score: 74    

Cost of Living Index: 105.5  

Median Home Price: $446,000        

Livability Score: 89   

State Health Rank: 26

Leafy Ann Arbor may not be appreciated for the cold, but things are perfect for a senior otherwise. With its accessible amenities, walkable downtown area, and an abundance of recreational opportunities, Ann Arbor emerges as a sensible choice for retirees in search of a destination that lets them enjoy their golden years without breaking the bank.

8. Ogden, Utah
Insider Monkey Score: 75    

Cost of Living Index: 107.2  

Median Home Price: $370,000

Livability Score: 83   

State Health Rank: 9

Especially popular with military retirees, Ogden happens to be near Salt Lake City, providing retirees with access to the amenities and cultural attractions of a larger city without having to live in a bustling urban environment. Reputable healthcare facilities, a four-season climate, and a welcoming community atmosphere make Ogden a nice place to retire in the US.

7. Madison, Wisconsin
Insider Monkey Score: 76    

Cost of Living Index: 103.4  

Median Home Price: $385,000

Livability Score: 81   

State Health Rank: 22

Next up on our list of best cities to retire for 2024 is Madison, Wisconsin. Not only does the city boast good healthcare facilities, but is also famous for having numerous avenues for physical activity. Active adults would especially love to come and live here. Other than that, the city also boasts a good livability score.

6. Fort Wayne, Indiana
Insider Monkey Score: 77    

Cost of Living Index: 82

Median Home Price: $191,000        

Livability Score: 83   

State Health Rank: 35

Do best and cheapest go together? Our rankings state that they do. Fort Wayne has been making rounds as one of the cheapest places across America to retire to, before moving on to be included here. Offering an ideal combination of affordability, cultural amenities, and a friendly community atmosphere, it is a great place to be in your golden years.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Cities to Retire for 2024.

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