20 Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in USA - InvestingChannel

20 Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in USA

In this article, we will take a look at the 20 best kept secret places to retire in USA. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis, you may go directly to 5 Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in the USA.

Moving for Retirement

Americans are moving to retire. As of 2022, 234,000 Americans moved for their retirement, a 4% increase from the previous year. The study by Hire a Helper analyzed U.S. Census Bureau Data to crunch these figures, assessing that 12% of them moved in search of cheaper housing. While cheaper housing was a top consideration, 12% also flocked to Florida for their golden years. Of these individuals, 9% chose some of the best places in Florida to retire on a budget, with Titusville and Melbourne being their top retirement destinations.

Apart from Florida, U.S News & World Report states that among the best places to retire in the United States are names like Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading and York in Pennsylvania, and Ann Arbor in Michigan. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, tops them all, bestowed with the honor of AARP best places to retire in 2023. Even though the city is colder in comparison to the best places Florida has to offer, it tops AARP’s list due to affordable housing, strong healthcare, and a high quality of life.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of retirement communities and walkable retirement towns that retirees can also consider within San Francisco, New York, and even Boston. Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD) and Sonida Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:SNDA) provide plenty of assisted and senior living options to choose from.

However, many retirees wish to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities altogether. 90% of adults wish to retire in the comfort of their own homes too. Usually, small towns attract such retirees that provide them the best amalgamation of affordability, healthcare, and high quality of life. As such, there are loads of best small towns to retire on a budget, such as Georgetown and Leander in Texas, Queen Creek in Arizona, and even Fort Myers in Florida that retirees can consider. Those looking for sunshine may also choose small towns to retire in the South, such as Abingdon in Virginia, Athens in Georgia, and Auburn in Alabama, which are often regarded as the best by seniors.

Many retirees are also considering cheap places to retire around the world such as Turkey, Morocco, and Malaysia. These individuals strive to stretch their retirement incomes in these countries. However, many other retirees are choosing to relocate based on factors such as climate, beaches, and recreational opportunities. While the world provides loads of options, there are plenty of great places to retire in the United States too. Florida, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, and Iowa offer plenty of options for retirees to consider.

Moreover, while states like Florida may be famous for retirement, many retirees are also searching for low-key retirement options where they can live in peace and quiet. Within these places, retirement communities such as those offered by Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD) and Sonida Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:SNDA) can offer them with great living options.

20 Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in USA f11photo/Shutterstock.com


In order to compile the list of the best kept secret places for retirement, we have done a deep analysis of the places that seniors across the United States who want to retire to a quiet place are talking about. Numerous forums were explored on Quora and Reddit, as well as websites such as Travel & Leisure, amongst others, to arrive at a comprehensive list of places that are low-key yet ideal for retirement. Places considered from our list had populations under 50,000, an affordable cost of living, adequate healthcare, as well as tolerable climate.

Healthcare and cost of living have been sourced from Sperling’s Best Places and Living Cost, while median home costs are sourced from Redfn and Zillow. Each place was separately ranked on these factors and an average was calculated to arrive at our scores. The places are then listed in an ascending order of high scores.

Here are the Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in the USA:

20. Eagle, Colorado

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Hiding in the Rocky Mountains, residents who choose Eagle as a retirement destination enjoy a truly unique experience. The town offers breathtaking views and numerous recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and even snow skiing. There are festivals, farmer’s markets, and ski resorts in the winter too. Retirees must have a good retirement income to live here, as cost of living is 40% higher than the national average.

19. Paso Robles, California

Insider Monkey Score: 4.5

Retirees living in Paso Robles like to keep the place under wraps for a lot of reasons. First, the small town has about 300 wineries and great options for dining. There are plenty of recreational opportunities including hiking, beaches, and the vast amount of culture. Residents also love it for its vast shopping opportunities, cafes and restaurants. There are a range of healthcare services and retirement communities as well. Cost of living is 35% above the national average while median home cost is around $645,000.

18. Fredericksburg, Texas

Insider Monkey Score: 5.5

Fredericksburg is a charming village that retirees will grow to love with its beautiful German architecture and wineries galore. Herb farms, bluebonnet fields, and peach groves span the area while downtown is bustling with antique stores, wine tasting rooms, boutiques, candy stores, and also art galleries. There is also a community theatre, farmers market, and military museums. Climate is subtropical, and cost of living is 2% above the national average.

17. Ashland, Oregon

Insider Monkey Score: 7

Engulfed with natural beauty and lots of recreational opportunities, Ashland is the perfect place for retirees looking for a low-key, secret place to retire. The residents hold a strong sense of community and overall, the city gives off an artsy mountain vibe. The city is also host to the famous and award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival that runs from February through October. Average cost of living in the city is higher than the national average. Median home price is $574,000, a 14% decline from the previous year.

16. Hendersonville, North Carolina

Insider Monkey Score: 7.5

Another gem city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains retirees will love is Hendersonville, North Carolina. With only a population of 15,000 people, the city is still under wraps even though it makes for a great retirement community. Not only does it have a renowned healthcare center in place, but is also famous for its mild four season climate, as well as cultural and educational activities. There are several national parks nearby, golf courses, and activities such as hiking, fishing, or even skiing for the active seniors. Cost of living is 1% above the national average while median home price is $365,000.

15. Hamilton, Montana

Insider Monkey Score: 8

Hamilton, Montana is a great small town to retire considering its affordability, culture, and comfort. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital provides quality medical care that can handle most medical emergencies and conditions. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, dining, and entertainment. The mountainous landscape provides plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, or even enjoying the fresh air. The city also has a vibrant art scene for artistic retirees. Cost of living is higher than the national average while median rents stand at  $2,200.

14. Petoskey, Michigan

Insider Monkey Score: 8.5

Standing high on the hill along the lake, Petoskey offers a wonderful location for retirees to call their home. The downtown overlooks the bay and offers spectacular views. There are also many shops, restaurants, and even a park. Retirees can choose to retire within the active communities that offer golf, tennis, and also skiing. Cost of living is 6% below the national average and the health care is adequate.

13. Seeley Lake, Montana

Insider Monkey Score: 9

Seeley Lake, Montana is another great places to retire for quiet. Retirees who choose to live here will enjoy a truly unique experience with ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Breathtaking mountain ranges and lush forests are perfect for camping, hiking, fishing, and even hunting. Since the population is under 1,500, the community is extremely well-knit and residents can enjoy a relaxed, rural lifestyle.

12. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Insider Monkey Score: 10

The Lehigh Valley is home to one of the best secret place to retire. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is loved for its scenic nature-scape and beautiful homes. The Poconos Mountains, McMichaels and Pocono Creeks, and the Delaware Water Gap are beautiful nature spots to explore. There is plenty of open space and the people are really friendly. The city also enjoys a humid continental climate with four seasons. Overall, cost of living is $2,015 which is well below the national average while median home cost is $350,000.

11. Solomon Islands, Maryland

Insider Monkey Score:10.5

Retirees who love the sea can retire to this charming seaside town called Solomon Islands. Located in Calvert County, the town offers lots of tourist attractions, fishing charters, and even sea food restaurants. There is also a beautiful river boardwalk, an iconic lighthouse, and numerous community events to keep residents busy. Cost of living for a single person averages $1,508 while home value averages at $406,187.

10. Bristol, Vermont

Insider Monkey Score: 10.5

Huddled between the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley, Bristol can be an ideal place for retirees. The peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery is a sight for sore eyes. However, winters can be particularly cold in Bristol. There is an old-style walkable downtown here lined with coffee shops, restaurants, and different clothing, gifts, and other stores. Cost of living is 1% above the national average and median home cost is just over $300,000.

9. Mequon, Wisconsin

Insider Monkey Score: 10.5

Beautiful parks, outstanding restaurants, and diverse attractions make Mequon, Wisconsin a great place for retirement. The small town’s proximity to downtown Milwaukee and Ozaukee County shoreline allows it to enjoy big city amenities while preserving its rural feel. Lying along Lake Michigan, residents can also enjoy numerous outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, and golfing.  Average cost of living in Mequon is $2,010 while median home price-range is around $590,000.

8. Savannah, Georgia

Insider Monkey Score: 10.5

Savannah, Georgia provides the best combination of quality life and affordable living. Known for its historic landmarks, cultural touchstones, plentiful recreational opportunities, and amazing food, retirees can’t help but fall in love with the place. Skidaway Island State Park offers wonderful hiking opportunities, dolphin tours, kayaking and more. There are numerous parks, historic sites, and cultural highlights as well. Moreover, the city has two major medical centers as well as two state of the art cancer centers. Cost of living in Savannah is $1,859 which is well below the national average.

7. Tarpon Springs, Florida

Insider Monkey Score: 10.5

Retirees love Tarpon Springs largely because of the Greek atmosphere it has to it. Started out as a winter resort, the city has four golf courses, a public marina, a performing arts center, aquarium, and also a cultural and recreation center. However, locals love it for its oceanfront beaches and the romantic Sunset Beach perfect for swimming, picnics, and launching boats. Every month, there is a free concert on the beach typically around the full moon to enjoy a musical night under the stars. Cost of living in the city is only 4% higher than the average, not a bad bargain for everything the city is offering. Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD) has a retirement community here called the Brookdale Tarpon Springs Assisted Living.

6. Astoria, Oregon

Insider Monkey Score: 12.5

Eclectic art scene, plenty of restaurants, and nice breweries make Astoria, Oregon a wonderful retirement destination. There is a beautiful river walk too, as well as a downtown. Winters can be tough in Astoria but summers are wonderful. There is plenty of outdoor recreation activities and the living is pretty affordable being 8% lower than the national average.

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Disclosure: none. The 20 Best Kept Secret Places to Retire in USA is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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