You have to consider a lot of things when you retire. If getting outside is important to you, then you want to look at the places with the best weather. When you want to minimize a fixed cost, then spending less on housing is essential. You’ll need to see the doctor, too, and a new WalletHub study shows these are the best retirement cities in America that have great health care options.
We added each city’s overall rank and its healthcare rank together. The cities with the lowest combined scores made the top 16. There are a few surprises along the way (No. 8 stands out to us), and every city in the top five made us raise our eyebrows a little.
16. Rapid City, S.D.
Combined score: 69
This city in western South Dakota is No. 42 in WalletHub’s overall ranking, and it’s lower than that for activities (No. 126) thanks in part to harsh winters, but it makes up for it with the health care. Rapids City comes in No. 27 for health care.
Next: It’s not just a cliche.
14. Pembroke Pines, Fla. (TIE)
Combined score: 65
It’s not just a cliche — Florida really is one of the best states for retirement, and Pembroke Pines is our first stop there. For the outdoorsy types, this city has four golf courses within the city limits and easy access to the Everglades. There aren’t many better places to be if you need to see a good doctor. Pembroke Pines is No. 45 for health care.
Next: We don’t have to go far to reach our next destination.
14. Miami (TIE)
Combined score: 65
The weather and the many activities for retirees help Miami rank No. 7 overall in the WalletHub study. The city is in the top-third, No. 58, for health care which is a plus when you’re a haven for retirees. One of the only downsides to retiring in Miami is the nightmare traffic.
Next: In the same boat as Miami and Pembroke Pines.
13. Tempe, Ariz
Combined score: 62
Just like Miami and Pembroke Pines, the two Florida cities we just visited, it’s not a cliche to say Arizona is a prime location for retirees. There are a couple of reasons Tempe is one of the best retirement cities in America. You get easy access to the big city with Phoenix nearby, but the health care is much better in the suburbs. Tempe ranks No. 52 for health care while Phoenix is ranked 112.
Next: Heading out west.
12. Salt Lake City
Combined score: 61
No matter how you look at it, Salt Lake City is one of the best retirement cities in America. The city proper is a great place for a successful retirement, and several suburbs are among the best places to live. Salt Lake City is No. 14 overall in the WalletHub rankings and No. 47 for health care.
Next: Get out and get active.
11. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Combined score: 53
Fort Lauderdale checks a lot of the boxes for what retirees are looking for. It’s No. 5 overall in the WalletHub study, and its plethora of activities (including fishing, where it’s one of the best in America) help it move up the rankings. The city is No. 47 for health care. The only drawback is that distracted drivers, hurricanes, and property crime make Fort Lauderdale one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.
Next: It’s really nice in one way.
10. St. Paul, Minn.
Combined score: 51
Retirees might not think St. Paul is so nice during the frigid winters, but it’s pleasant in another way. Minnesota’s capital is one of the nicest cities in the U.S. Coupled with the fact it’s No. 10 for health care makes St. Paul one of the best retirement cities in America.
Next: You have to take the bad with the good.
9. Richmond, Va.
Combined score: 44
Let’s get the unpleasantness out of the way early. Richmond is one of the most corrupt cities in the U.S., and the adjacent nuclear power plants make it a meltdown risk. But it’s still one of the best retirement cities in America. Its low taxes are great for retirees, and it’s No. 18 for retiree health care per the WalletHub study.
Next: A surprising standout bucking the state trend.
8. Missoula, Mont.
Combined score: 42
As a rural state, a lot of people in Montana don’t have easy access to decent health care. Missoula bucks the trend in a major way. It’s No. 4 in the health care rankings in the WalletHub study, which makes it one of the best retirement cities for great health care that you’re going to find.
Next: Two more stops in two familiar states before the surprising top five.
6. Scottsdale, Ariz. (TIE)
Combined score: 39
Take all the highlights of neighboring city Tempe (No. 13 on our list) and bump them up a notch, and you get Scottsdale. The Phoenix suburb offers some of the best quality of life for retirees, helped in part by being No. 1 for the highest percentage of people 65 and over. Scottsdale is No. 37 for retiree health care and No. 2 overall in the WalletHub rankings.
Next: Let’s be honest for a second.
6. Orlando, Fla. (TIE)
Combined score: 39
Be honest — you expected to see Orlando make our countdown of the best retirement cities in America, right? It’s affordable, has tons of activities (including the dream retirement job of working at Disney World), and has some of the best retiree health care in the United States.
Next: Starting a surprising top five.
5. Overland Park, Kan.
Combined score: 36
Overland Park kicks off a somewhat surprising top five, but don’t think of this city as some high plains outpost. It’s a Kansas City suburb, and it’s one of the best retirements cities you’re going to find. In addition to earning a high rank for health care (No. 8) in the WalletHub study, it’s friendly to people with disabilities.
Next: A city you might not have considered.
Combined score: 35
Most people probably don’t think of Pittsburgh as one of the best retirement cities in America, but it is. The low cost of living, low crime rate, and awesome health care from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Next: Another city from a state we visited earlier.
3. Sioux Falls, S.D.
Combined score: 19
After visiting Rapid City a few minutes ago, we’re back in South Dakota once again. Retirees don’t have easy access to tons of big city amenities (Omaha, Neb., is the closest big city and it’s 182 miles away), but Sioux City offers other perks. It’s No. 3 for retiree health care, it’s great for retirement employment, and it’s one of the most educated cities in America.
Next: One major drawback of this big city.
Combined score: 18
Denver ranks in the top 35 for the quality of life (35), activities for retirees (16), and health care (14) in the WalletHub study, and it’s No. 4 overall. The only drawback is the high cost of living, but even that’s getting more manageable. Surging home prices are finally starting to slow down, though the median home price is well into six figures.
Next: The best of the best.
Combined score: 16
No matter which side of the Mississippi River you prefer, both of Minnesota’s twin cities are among the best retirement cities in America. We visited St. Paul earlier, and now we head a few miles west. In addition to outstanding health care (No. 5), Minneapolis also offers tons of recreation options for the retirement crowd. Plus, it’s very affordable and has a low crime rate, two qualities that make it one of the best retirement cities in America.
All population figures are 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!