U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking of top retirement communities could have almost said, “Pick any town in Fla.” Seven Fla. metros are in the top 10: Sarasota (No. 1), Fort Myers (2), Port St. Lucie (3), Naples (4), Ocala (6), Miami (9) and Melbourne (10).
WASHINGTON – U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new lists evaluate the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and desirability.
In the “Best Places to Retire” category, Florida metro areas stood out with seven out of the top 10 slots and 13 of the top 25 slots.
“After a prolonged period of staying at home, people are taking a critical look at where they live, and many are looking to find a place they can feel happier, afford more or pursue new opportunities,” says Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The Best Places rankings can help people examine the details they consider important in a larger community.”
This year, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated for both sets of rankings from 125 to 150, to provide a broader and more accurate reflection of where Americans can live and retire.
Best places to retire
U.S. News & World Report’s announcement of top retirement destinations says it’s “dominated by Florida metro areas, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability.”
An increase in Desirability and Job Market scores lifted Sarasota from No. 2 last year to No. 1 this year – but it overtook another Florida city, Fort Myers, which became No. 2. And while Port. St. Lucie’s Housing Affordability score decreased slightly, increases in Desirability, Job Market and Health Care scores helped it jump two places to No. 3.
Miami also saw a decrease in Housing Affordability, but it broke into the top 10 this year, jumping five places to No. 9 thanks to Desirability and Job Market score increases.
The top 25 places to retire also includes three Texas communities, and two places each in Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“Moving to a new place for retirement can reduce your cost of living and improve your quality of life,” says Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire includes information about housing costs, access to quality hospitals and the strength of the job market, which can help you find a retirement spot that will meet your needs.”
The 2020-2021 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.
2020-2021 Best Places to Retire – Top 25
- Fort Myers
- Port St. Lucie
- Lancaster, Pa.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Asheville, N.C.
- Myrtle Beach, S.C.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Manchester, N.H.
- Daytona Beach
- Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Houston, Texas
- Charlotte, N.C.
- San Antonio, Texas
U.S. News & World Report is a global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives.
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