Genuine List of the Best Places to Retire in 2020

Retirement represents one of the key life events that people throughout the world get to experience. However, choosing the best places to retire has become more difficult as retirees are no longer bound to their home countries.

Generally speaking, you want to pick a place that suits your personality, is affordable, and perhaps close to loved ones and friends.

That’s not a hard and fast rule, and perhaps you’d like to live out your days in sunnier climates or experience the joys of starting from scratch.

To help you in your journey, we’ll outline and analyze five of the best places to retire in the US.

Could one of these spots be the right place for you? Do you like a bustling, busy city, or somewhere with a more relaxed pace of life?

Read through our top picks for the US before making up your mind. Moreover, for those who are yearning for an adventure or a fresh new start, we’ve included five picks for those looking to retire outside America.

Best Places to Retire in the US

Before continuing, it’s important to point out that research showcases US retirees prefer locations that fit the following criteria:

  • Affordable and high-quality healthcare that is readily available
  • Preferably low population, in suburban or rural areas
  • Similar median income to their own
  • Fun activities and hobbies to undertake
  • Close to attractions and close to friends and loved ones
  • Good taxation framework
  • Nature-oriented locations
  • Similar demographics

As such, we believe that places that fit at least five of these criteria can be classified as some of the world’s best cities to retire in today.

Denver, Colorado

Denver has often been referred to as one of the best cities for US-based retirees, thanks to its numerous facilities, good healthcare, tourist attractions, and satisfactory taxation framework. It offers residents a high quality of life, lots of opportunities, and a low-density environment. For retirees who become frail, Denver has outstanding nursing homes.

Quality of Life

When it comes down to the quality of life, Denver is located in one of the top places to retire in the US. Citizens have access to superior healthcare, which is also affordable under the right insurance. Research has shown that the elderly population participates in numerous activities that enrich the spirit while living an active and healthy lifestyle.

In case you are an early retiree, keep in mind that Denver offers high employment, alongside economic stability, according to many job statistics. This means that the city offers a plethora of opportunities for those who are considering working again later on.

Denver isn’t too crowded for retirees with a total population of 2.8 million and a fairly low density. It’s also essential to mention that it offers high-quality road infrastructure, which makes transportation a breeze.

Lastly, it’s known for superior nursing homes that offer better services than other US regions. These aspects make it one of the best retirement cities in US.

Things To Do

Granted that it’s a larger city, retirees will find numerous fun activities and hobbies to undertake. Denver features a community for just about all hobbies, thus making it the perfect place for making new friends and taking up new hobbies.

Thanks to its geographic location, Denver is close to numerous attractions that are worth visiting, especially if you enjoy traveling and seeing new places. Several national parks are located in its vicinity, so it’s also the best place to retire for those who enjoy hiking trails.

Cost of Living

Currently, the median income of people between 45 and 64 is situated at roughly $84K per year. This allows for a lifestyle where people of this age can enjoy good housing, traveling, food, and healthcare. If your current income is situated between $65K-$100K, living in Denver will not represent a financial burden, thus also allowing you to continue saving.

However, do keep in mind that the retired cost of living is roughly 9.9% above the national average, yet we think that the benefits outweigh the slightly higher costs. As such, if these costs don’t represent an issue, Denver may be a suitable answer to the question, where is the best place to retire in the USA?


From a housing point of view, Denver is more expensive when compared to some of the other locations listed below due to its larger population, yet it is very much worth it. At this time, numerous properties are available for either purchase or rent. Therefore, anyone that fits within the median income can make a downpayment on a new property.

Kapaa, Hawaii

If your heart is intertwined with the breeze of the sea, then Hawaii represents an excellent option for you. It offers a tropical climate and wonderful beaches, granted that’s what you’re looking for. Many people class it as one of the best places to retire in the world. Below, you’ll learn why.

Quality of Life

When it comes down to the quality of life, you can expect nothing but the best, especially if you are a fan of the sun and enjoy living the beach life. The area has a relatively low total population and overall density, situated at only 72,000 people. Kappa itself has an even lower population of roughly 11,000 residents, pitting it among the top 10 places to retire in the US, especially for those who like to have more space for themselves.

All services are readily available, including healthcare. However, it is vital to keep in mind that because of its small size, you cannot expect great infrastructure since Hawaii is only an island. As such, if you wish to travel more or be near the mainland USA, you might want to pick a different place.

General healthcare in Hawaii is okay, as the island offers several nursing homes and hospitals where you can get quality treatment. While it might be one of the best places to retire in US, it isn’t suitable for those who wish to be well-connected with other states.

Things To Do

In particular, Kapaa and Hawaii have been blessed with a multitude of natural wonders, parks, beaches, and hiking trails. Therefore, there is always something interesting to do for the adventurer inside you. Kapaa is also known for offering a great shopping village that features restaurants, street vendors, and even farmer markets. Do keep in mind that there are many tourists and that Hawaii is fairly remote. If you’ve lived in the continental United States all your life, it’s different enough to qualify as one of the best places to retire abroad.

Cost of Living

Here is where the trouble is. Despite tax-friendly policies for the elderly, Hawaii is very expensive. In general, you can expect a cost of living that is 67.5% above the national average. However, the median income of residents between 45 and 64 is situated at roughly $83,000 per year.

With this sum, most people live good lives without lacking anything. However, you can expect to afford less when compared to some of the other retirement-friendly regions in the United States, which is why it didn’t top the list of best places to retire in America.


Housing options are available in Kapaa and Hawaii, although being quite expensive. At the moment, there are hundreds of properties available for rent and sale, each with its own unique design and location.

However, given the small size of the island and the growing demand, housing is quite expensive. That said, you must determine whether you can afford to live in this area before making a decision.

The housing situation is understandable as Hawaii is crowded, thanks to its appreciation and praise as the best place to retire in USA.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville might be a suitable choice for those that prefer big, affordable cities with numerous metropolitan attractions.

Quality of Life

This city is bound to be the right fit for most types of people, given that it offers good quality of life at affordable rates. The infrastructure is great, which means that you are well-connected to the rest of the US, whereas there is nothing to complain about the healthcare options being offered.

The city is blessed with the southern charm (so it might not be one of the best retirement locations for liberals), thus making it a great choice if you’ve grown up in a southern area or if you’ve always wanted to experience it firsthand. As a metropolitan destination, you can expect a larger population – currently situated at 1.3 million.

Things To Do

What makes Louisville a great place to live? The sheer number of things to do. In Louisville, retirees have numerous options for fun and interesting activities. We’ve got to mention the Kentucky Derby, alongside the numerous cool shows that can be viewed at the Kentucky Center for Arts, which is much appreciated by both young adults and seniors.

Since it is a metropolitan area, there are numerous other events that take place. That said, retirees lead an active life in this city and will find it one of the best places to retire in the United States.

Cost of Living

After Hawaii’s high cost of living, we can finally talk about an affordable area. The median income is situated at $65,000 per year. This allows you to live a healthy and active lifestyle, with good housing. The taxation framework for retirees is considered as one of the best throughout the United States.

Lastly, we must also mention that the retired cost of living is situated at 6.8% lower than the national average, thus allowing you to afford a superior quality of life. From a monetary standpoint, Louisville is certainly one of the best places to retire in USA in 2020.


Louisville has it all. From cheap, rentable, and purchasable houses starting at the $200K price tag, all the way up to $20-million properties, you can definitely find something you fancy.

Portland, Maine

Portland is well-appreciated as a destination for retirees, granted that it offers enough space. It also features people who lead active lifestyles, alongside a variety of cool activities.

Quality of Life

As it is well-connected, you can expect a superior quality of life, hence why it’s dubbed as one of the best places to retire in USA, granted that you could find just about anything that is of interest within the state of Maine. With this in mind, affordable healthcare is readily offered, as there are numerous hospitals and nursing centers situated throughout Portland.

Its population is only 522,000, so the city isn’t too crowded. The percentage of retirees living in the region is situated at 30.2%. Therefore, you can also find one of the best retirement communities in the US, thus allowing you to make new friends as well.

Things to Do

The area features great outdoors, so it is perfect if you enjoy hiking or visiting natural parks. There are also numerous choices for other fun activities, shopping, and dining. From farmer markets to Portland’s unique boutiques, you can find it all. Lastly, we must also mention that there are numerous beaches in the area, so if you fancy the ocean’s breeze, this is definitely a good choice.

What makes this the best place to retire in the US is the location. It is also situated near the Canadian border, so you can find cities like Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa close-by. New Scotland is also very close by. That said, there’s a lot to see for the adventurer within you.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is slightly higher as the median income of people aged between 45 and 64 is situated at $77,000. Additionally, the retired cost of living is considered to be situated at 17.1% above the national US average, meaning that the region is less affordable.

However, with an income between $65-$100K, you can do just about everything Portland has to offer, hence why we consider it as one of the best places to retire.


Since the cost of living is higher, you can expect more expensive housing. However, Portland offers numerous choices starting at low prices all the way up to millions of dollars. Good, solid communities are present throughout the region, while housing in apartment complexes is also readily available for lower prices.

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette should definitely be on your best retirement places list as it’s another cheap place to retire. It also offers retirees access to a rich history, unique foods, and wonderful nature attractions.

Quality of Life

Generally, you can expect a great quality of life if you pick Lafayette as a place to retire. Keep in mind that the location is known for its fresh air, numerous activities, but also good healthcare, great food, and fairly good infrastructure.

Lafayette is a small city, which makes it less crowded when compared to some of the other locations featured on this list. As such, it has a total population of 488,000 residents, and around 30% of retirees live in this region. It also made our list of the best places in US to retire a couple years back.

Things to Do

This region is well-appreciated by several hobby communities, granted that it offers several opportunities to undertake new, exciting activities. For instance, bird watching is highly-popular here, given that over 240 species have been spotted so far.

Additionally, the area also features the great outdoors, meaning that there is a lot to do for the adventurer inside you. Do keep in mind that since the city is quite small, you won’t get much of the lifestyle that urban areas supply. Of course, this is an advantage if you’re looking to disconnect.

Cost of Living

At the moment, it is believed that the retired cost of living in this region is situated at roughly 8.5% below the national average. It’s one of the best places for retirees to live in, thanks to it being so affordable.

The median income of retirees is situated around the $55,000 mark, thus making it very affordable for just about everyone. With an average income, you can expect to enjoy everything that Lafayette has to offer, while also leaving you with some wiggle room for further traveling in nearby areas. Healthcare, food, and other services are well-priced as well, so it’s one of the nicest options for retirees.


The housing situation here is also worth appreciating. With this in mind, retirees can find a plethora of houses and apartments available for rent and purchase. The overall low cost of living also means that prices are more than affordable, so you can definitely find a property that suits your style.

Best Places to Retire Overseas

Retiring overseas is a whole different story, since it entails a lot more preparation, alongside the ability to adapt to huge cultural changes.

Depending on where you come from, moving to a different country may require you to go through several steps. This means that you’d need to get a visa, register with the local government, or simply buy a house and move in right away.

In this part of the article, we will discuss different countries that offer great flexibility. Below, you’ll find some of the best countries to retire for US citizens.


The first country that we’d like to list for retirees is Panama. It is close to the US, and it does not involve complicated procedures.

Quality of Life

To kick things off, Panama offers a high-quality life that just about anyone can be satisfied with, as long as they are fans of the tropical climate. According to these retirement stats, Panama scores very well on the 2020 Annual Global Retirement Index, features low taxes, has a large English-speaking population, and features excellent healthcare.

It ranks as one of the best places to retire overseas for affordable and efficient health care. If you decide to move to Panama City, you can expect an active lifestyle with great city events, awesome food, and good infrastructure.

Things To Do

Firstly, Panama offers numerous beaches that are not crowded where you can relax every day. Panama has often been referred to as a region fuelled by culture. Therefore, there’s always something exciting to do.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is reasonably cheap, as anyone with an income above $50K on a yearly basis can lead a comfortable life in this region. As you may already know, the tax policy here is very lax, as there is no income tax whatsoever. There are several reports of retirees referring to Panama as one of the best places to retire in the world on social security.


Panama features a variety of cool homes and apartments available for purchase and sale. Depending on the location and size of the home, prices can vary from $100,000 up to a few million.

Rent is also relatively cheap, granted that a condo featuring ocean view can be rented for roughly $1,500 on a monthly basis, thus making it much cheaper when compared to many US cities.


On the other side of the globe, we have Thailand — a country surrounded by beautiful culture, numerous tourist attractions, beaches, mountains, and nature. It’s no surprise that it’s seen as probably the best place to retire in the world.

Quality of Life

The quality of life in Thailand largely depends on what you can afford. While the cost of living is extremely cheap, getting access to high-quality healthcare or organic foods can cost a little more. The infrastructure for the main cities is solid, but you cannot expect anything on par with the United States or European countries.

Things To Do

If we were to list all the things to do here, we’d probably have to write a book. Thailand is well-known for its wonderful beaches, great outdoors, active lifestyle, and numerous tourist attractions.

Traveling is extremely cheap, so retirees can most likely afford to visit a new place each weekend with ease, which is why many consider it the best place to retire in the world on a budget. There’s a common misconception that Thailand is always hot and only suitable for those who enjoy tropical climates. There are numerous regions where the temperatures are lower and where you can enjoy the highlands without worrying about heat strokes.

Cost of Living

Here is where things get even more interesting. Thailand is cheap from an Asian point of view, but even cheaper if you come from Europe or the United States. An income of at least $50K will afford you all the necessities while also giving you a lot of leftover money for luxurious traveling, quality healthcare, and fine dining.

If you don’t have a large income, Thailand is, without a doubt, one of the best places to retire in the world on a budget.


The housing situation is also in favor of anyone on a budget. A high-quality apartment can be rented out for around $400, whereas more luxurious properties are more expensive but still cheaper when compared to an apartment in a US city.

Buying a house in a foreign place like this might seem difficult, but it is not the case here, especially with all the agencies that are more than happy to assist with the process. Prices vary depending on what you are looking for, but you can get a property in your name for as little as $60,000.


This country is perfect for those who would rather move to or remain in Europe in a region that offers comfortable temperatures, alongside high quality of life, cheap cost of living, and a plethora of things to do for retirees. Many people see Portugal as one of the best places to retire in Europe.

Quality of Life

With this in mind, if you choose to move to the capital city of Lisbon or one of Portugal’s bigger cities such as Porto, you can get access to great infrastructure, cheap and high-quality healthcare, alongside an active lifestyle and tasty food. Portuguese citizens are known for being welcoming to tourists, but even more welcoming to expats and retirees coming from other countries.

It is important to keep in mind that knowing Spanish or Portuguese would be a big plus if you choose to live in areas that are less metropolitan. However, if you stick to the big cities like Lisbon and Porto, English will serve you just fine, especially since they are considered one of the best retirement cities in Portugal.

Things To Do

Portugal is well-connected, and there are thousands of activities you might want to try out. The culture is absolutely stunning, so you’ll most likely learn something new every day. Additionally, Portugal also boasts a variety of hobby-centers communities, thus making it easy for retirees to find friends linked by fun activities. Traveling around the country is easy and quite cheap, thanks to the great infrastructure. What’s more, Portugal features a variety of tourist attractions due to its rich history.

Cost of Living

Many studies indicate that Portugal is one of the cheapest European countries to live in, which is a fantastic reason for many to dub it as one of the best places to retire on a budget. The cost of living does not compare with some Eastern European countries, yet it’s certainly the cheapest in the West.

With this in mind, with a monthly income of $2,500, you can lead a comfortable lifestyle that affords you quality healthcare, good and organic food, housing, but also the ability to practice hobbies and travel occasionally.


The housing situation is also great. Renting or purchasing a property is surely going to be fairly expensive in the city center. However, moving roughly 20-30 minutes away from it is a decision that will likely yield you 50% lower prices for buying or renting a house.

The market boasts all types of properties, from one-bedroom homes up to million-dollar properties featuring beach views and fruit orchards.


Peru has often been referred to as one of the best places for retirement. With ideal destinations, tropical climate, natural wonders, interesting cuisine, and low cost of living, Peru is a dream of many retirees.

Quality of Life

If you choose to move to Peru, you can expect a quality of life that’s proportionate to what you can afford. Having a higher-than-average income will buy you great food, quality healthcare, and the ability to travel throughout this marvelous region.

Do keep in mind that Peru isn’t classed as a fully-developed country yet. Therefore, there are some aspects worth pointing out. Some of the cities and rural areas are not ideal for retirees coming from the West, whereas there are some regions where the transportation infrastructure is lacking, hence why people select other countries from the best places to retire list.

However, moving to one of the bigger cities will ensure that you get access to everything you need, including high-quality nursing homes.

Do keep in mind that temperatures can get quite high, so you need to adapt to the heat.

Things To Do

The list here is huge, so we’ll only list a few of the main activities that you can be part of in Peru. Firstly, you can visit Machu Picchu, a wonderful tourist attraction that many have classed as paradise. Also, Peru features miles of beaches, great food, numerous hobby communities, a very interesting fauna, hiking trails, exotic fruits, and more. Thankfully, there’s always something new to try, so you’ll never get bored here, thus making it one of the most comfortable and best places to live for seniors.

Cost of Living

One word to describe the cost of living in this country is — cheap. An income of $2,000 a month can buy two persons a very comfortable lifestyle, with good housing, good food, and good experiences.


Thanks to the low cost of living, the housing situation is also favorable to retirees. With this in mind, depending on what you are looking for, you can rent out a property from only a few hundred dollars a month up to several thousands. Buying a home is also much cheaper than many of the destinations featured on this list.

That said, from a financial standpoint, Peru is one of the best places to retire, especially if you’re on social security.


Last but not least, we would also like to recommend Spain as a suitable retirement location. It has a warm climate, fun activities, numerous tourist attractions, great infrastructure, and connection to the rest of Europe.

Quality of Life

Spain boasts a very high quality of life, especially in large cities like Madrid and Barcelona, although the cost of living is higher in urban areas. Regardless of where you choose to live in Spain, the chances are that you’ll get easy access to good transportation infrastructure, a positive taxation policy, alongside good and affordable healthcare.

Living on the coast is also a wonderful experience. After all, who wouldn’t want to stare at the ocean all day? Let’s also keep in mind that you can easily travel throughout Europe from Spain, further expanding your horizons. This makes Spain one of the best places to retire outside US.

The country is also famous as a safe destination with a low crime rate.

Things To Do

Spain features a great cuisine, rich culture, numerous tourist attractions, natural wonders, and of course, friendly nationals who are happy to welcome retirees from abroad. You can also find communities for most of the world’s hobbies and sports with ease.

The only problem might be the language barrier, yet this seldom proves to be an actual challenge. Keep in mind that Spanish nationals are very well-educated, meaning that most people can understand and fluently speak English.

Cost of Living

While Cities like Madrid and Barcelona topped the list of the top 10 best places to retire in the world, they are very expensive. Choosing to live here would entail a monthly income of at least $3,000 for a comfortable lifestyle. If this is outside your budget, don’t cut Spain off the list since there are numerous other regions (both urban and rural) where the cost of living is significantly lower.


Generally, in a coast town, a one-bedroom apartment usually costs around $100,000, whereas larger homes tend to cost $200,000+. Renting is also possible – you can expect to pay $1,000+ in larger cities and roughly $500 for a small apartment in other cities/towns. Numerous options are available, and we are sure that you can find your dream home here.

Things to Consider About the Best Places to Retire

When choosing where you want to spend the rest of your days, we believe it is important to list several aspects.

You might want to consider the implications of moving to a foreign country, as it is not easy to learn a new language or adapt to the nation’s cultures. Your social priorities might decide on a location, so you might also consider if you’re an adaptable person or not.

And last but not least you might want to reconsider the retirement savings you have accumulated. Some places may require a lot more money than initially expected, so it’s best to be prepared for any worst-case scenario.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)