You finally get to choose where you want to live. Not somewhere because of work. Not because of the kids and school. It’s time to retire and pick a place to enjoy for a few decades.
Now you need to find the metro area that will make you happy.
We know this is a big decision. Other “best places” lists set the rules on what makes a place “best”. It’s their criteria, their dollop of subjectivity. With MarketWatch, you decide what’s most important to you. Select everything from your desired weather, cultural amenities, financial considerations and the size of the metro area with our new tool, and we’ll give you 10 spot-on, customized suggestions of metro areas that fit you best.
Wondering where everyone else is retiring? The reality is that while many people might fantasize about a big move, most stay within their own state. The Census Bureau estimates that only 348,000 people moved last year for retirement reasons.
Those that do go elsewhere, however, tend to go to the South and West. According to personal finance site SmartAsset’s analysis of Census Bureau data on where people 60 and older moved, the net migration of those 60 and older is highest to Florida.
Given the warm weather, relatively low property prices and absence of state income tax, Florida’s popularity isn’t surprising. But is it the right choice for you? And if so, where in Florida should you go? MarketWatch will help you find the spot.
Narrow it down a bit more, to individual cities, and none in Florida make the top 10. (Two made the list a year earlier.) This time, the list of most popular cities is dominated by options in Nevada and Arizona. A surprise just outside the top 10? Philadelphia.
10 most popular cities where retirees are moving
Based on the total number of people over 60 moving into the state minus those moving out, in 2016
1. Henderson, Nev.
2. San Antonio, Texas
3. Scottsdale, Ariz.
4. Mesa, Ariz.
5. Las Vegas, Nev.
6. Gilbert, Ariz.
7. Surprise, Ariz.
8. Raleigh, N.C.
9. Eugene, Ore.
10. Peoria, Ariz.
So where should you retire? MarketWatch used a range of data, starting the government’s metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area and then adding on amenities, tax considerations and more. Pick what’s most important to you, and find out where it points you.
While we can’t pick the neighborhood or suburb for you (at least not yet) and you’ll still have to do some on-the-ground legwork, you can turn to Realtor.com, owned by MarketWatch parent News Corp. NWS, +1.20% to see what your living options might look like.
This tool is just the beginning. We know this doesn’t include all of the criteria you weigh in making your decision on where to move. So use the comments section to leave your suggestions on what we should add. If you have a good data source, include that, too.