Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024

When considering the best places to retire in the United States, several factors come into play. For active adults seeking an ideal location for their golden years, cities like Daytona Beach, North Carolina, and the Washington DC metropolitan area stand out, but there are more award-winning places that offer mature living environments with affordable housing options. 

Beyond warm weather and welcoming communities, there are other aspects to consider when deciding where to retire. With this in mind, we have compiled a list that includes factors such as excellent health care facilities, lower tax rates, and affordable housing market that contributes to an overall lower cost of living, without compromising the high quality of life.

Read on to find out the best places to retire in the US with the best quality of life.

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life

Methodology

Due to “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life in 2024

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in the USA, we based our ranking on three criteria: housing affordability, number of health facilities nearby plus quality of life, and percentage of seniors (65 years and over).

Statistics come from Rockethomes’ average pricing in December 2023 and Zillow’s median rent for all bedrooms for January 2024. The number of Health facilities nearby refers to the place with the most number of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the target area. The percentage of seniors refers to the demographics of seniors residing in a specific neighborhood.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on health, pollution, green space and recreation, and climate. These factors played vital roles in determining the overall appeal of these retirement destinations.

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1. Myrtle Beach, SC

1. Asheville, NC - Best places to retire in the US
  • Population: 38,417
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,815
  • Median property buying cost: $314,679

Myrtle Beach is a coastal city in South Carolina, ideal for retirees. With a population of 38,417, 22.30% are seniors who enjoy its beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and the warm weather. In addition to other activities like golf, it’s no wonder this city is known as the Golf Capital of the World. Moreover, residents enjoy various festivals and events, such as the Sun Fun Festival, a tradition since 1951.

The cost of living in Myrtle Beach is low, and it is tax-friendly for seniors. There is no tax imposed on social security benefits, which means more disposable income. It also has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country. As of December 2023, the median property price is $314,679, and a 1-bedroom apartment rents for $1,815. It is common to find many retirement communities located nearby.

Retire at the beach (Jan 2024), Census Bureau (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Myrtle Beach, SC

2. Liberty, MO

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 30,775
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,260
  • Median property buying cost: $335,000

Liberty is an ideal retirement destination, combining a suburban atmosphere with modern amenities. It’s perfect for those seeking an affordable and serene environment with abundant parks, cultural events, and a moderate climate. The city’s population of 30,775 includes 14.60% of seniors benefiting from discount programs, such as a 15% reduction in water rates and a 50% discount on solid waste collection fees.

Liberty is tax-friendly for retirees, with no state income taxes on Social Security for those aged 62 or older with an annual income below $85,000 starting in 2024. Pensions are partially taxable, and there’s no inheritance tax. The property tax rate in Missouri is 0.97%, with property tax relief available for senior citizens. As of December 2023, Liberty’s median property price is $335,000, and a 1-bedroom apartment rents for $1,260.

Census.gov (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Liberty, MO

3. Cape Canaveral, FL

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 9,987
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,300
  • Median property buying cost: $350,000

Cape Canaveral is a city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast with a population of 9,987, where 33.40% are seniors who enjoy its beautiful beaches and perfect weather year-round. Influenced by NASA’s space history, it is known as the Space Coast. 

It is easy to walk around the beaches, engage in waterfront activities, and enjoy sunsets. Additionally, there are golf courses like The Savannahs Golf Course, or for those who prefer poker, the Victory Casino Cruise offers nighttime attractions, all within a calm and friendly community.

This place is attractive for retirees seeking a favorable tax environment. There is no state income tax, reducing the overall tax burden on residents, and making them increase their savings. While property prices can be relatively high, the quality of life compensates for this. In fact, as of December 2023, the median property price is $350,000 and renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs $2,300.

Census.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Cape Canaveral, FL

4. Spokane, WA

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 230,160
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,425
  • Median property buying cost: $384,482

Spokane is a city in eastern Washington state that offers sports opportunities year-round. In winters, residents enjoy activities such as skiing at resorts, while summers provide opportunities for fishing, boating, paddleboarding, and swimming in its lakes. The city boasts two significant state parks, Riverside and Mount Spokane, which are ideal for hiking. Spokane is easily accessible to the international airport, just a 15-minute drive from downtown.

The city’s lower cost of living makes it appealing for retirees, with large apartments being the prevalent housing type. As of December 2023, the median property price in Spokane is $384,482, while renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs $1,425.

Visit Spokane (Jan 2024), Census.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Spokane, WA

5. Ann Arbor, MI

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 119,875
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,000
  • Median property buying cost: $479,675

The city of Ann Arbor offers a lively atmosphere with museums, restaurants, upscale bars, and shopping, including Briarwood Mall. Home to the University of Michigan, it provides a variety of activities to enjoy around. The city is surrounded by natural areas such as Bird Hills and Oakwoods, complemented by 173 parks, where 92% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

Commuting is convenient with TheRide bus service and over 79 miles of bike lanes. Ann Arbor’s overall quality of life and proximity to amenities make it attractive to retirees seeking natural beauty. Housing options include single detached houses and apartments. As of December 2023, the median property price is $479,675 and 1-bedroom apartments rent for around $2,000.

Park Serve (Jan 2024), Census.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Ann Arbor, MI

6. Cedar Park, TX

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 77,642
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,295
  • Median property buying cost: $500,000

Cedar Park, a suburb just north of Austin, has a population of 77,642, with 10.90% being seniors. Offering 46 parks and 34 miles of trails, it’s an ideal place for retirees seeking an active lifestyle. With a 24-minute drive to Austin, residents enjoy a suburban feel, offering a refreshing escape from city life.

It provides different amenities, including the H-E-B Center, a sports arena for hockey games, and easy access to malls, grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. CapMetro manages public transportation, facilitating convenient commuting by bus and train. The housing options primarily include single detached houses and large apartments. As of December 2023, the median property price in Cedar Park is $500,000 and 1-bed apartments rent for around $2,295.

Cedar Park Texas (Jan 2024), Census.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Cedar Park, TX

7. Franklin, TN

Top 7 Best places to retire in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Population: 86,895
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,650
  • Median property buying cost: $840,705

Franklin, located just south of Nashville, blends the excitement of downtown with a quiet suburban feel, making it an ideal choice for retirees. The city offers charming Victorian architecture, and a rich history related to the American Civil War. 

Cool Springs adds a vibrant touch with its dining and shopping hub. Commuting is made easy by the Franklin transit bus, offering affordable fares of $0.50 for seniors. And it has a convenient location, just a 25-minute drive to downtown Nashville.

Outdoor enthusiasts in Franklin can explore large state parks like Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge and Timberland Park. With a population of approximately 86,895, 13.90% are seniors. The majority of housing consists of single detached houses. As of December 2023, the median home price is $840,705, while a 1-bedroom apartment rents for around $2,650.

Census.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)& Zillow (Dec 2023)

Franklin, TN

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Conclusion

In your quest to find the best places to live in the United States, it is important to acknowledge the varying costs of living across different states. The places highlighted in this article not only consider aspects such as affordable housing, high-quality healthcare, and abundant outdoor recreation, but they also involve a comprehensive look at the housing market, real estate trends, and the availability of social security benefits. 

By consulting this list, you can make an informed decision tailored to your preferences and that aligns with your lifestyle. If you are moving soon, don’t forget to explore in advance the best long distance movers in the USA to make your move as smooth as possible.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Franklin, TN
  2. Myrtle Beach, SC
  3. Cedar Park, TX
  4. Liberty, MO
  5. Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Cape Canaveral, FL
  7. Spokane, WA
  8. Fountain Hills, AZ
  9. Asheville, NC
  10. Lancaster, PA

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing pricesin the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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