Looking for a great place to retire? Look no further than the Lone Star State.
In recent years, Texas has consistently ranked among states with the most desirable cities in which to spend one’s golden years. And those rankings go far beyond obvious assets such as balmy weather, bluebells and friendly people.
In fact, U.S. News & World Report recently chose six Texas cities among its top 12 retirement locations nationwide in 2018, with San Antonio coming in hot at an impressive No. 3 overall.
“It is no wonder there are many best places to retire in Texas,” states Topretirements.com. “Low costs, plenty of space, warm weather, exciting cities, lively college towns, charming small towns and hundreds of interesting active adult communities are just some of the reasons why. And having no state income tax is another big plus.”
While the state notches the third largest elderly population nationwide, it remains one of the youngest overall. That’s partly because the growing economy has led to an out-of-state migration pattern considered optimal for a financially sound future; in fact, reports the Texas Demographic Center, countries, states and municipalities across the world are also trying to attract more working-age adults who can boost their economies.
With all that in mind, here are some Texas cities recently identified as top choices for retirees:
- Niche.com recently named Richardson in Dallas County as its No. 1 selection based on factors including weather, crime rates, current residents 65 and older, housing costs, available doctors and access to amenities such as restaurants, golf courses and exercise facilities. The city’s population is 106,123, its median home value is $197,100 and its median household income is $72,427. “Lots of new construction is bringing in new jobs, new housing and new retail,” notes one resident. “There are plenty of parks, two recreation centers, trails and dog parks.”
- Ranking the town of Fredericksburg in first place is Retirement Watch USAS, which uses criteria very similar to Niche.com, but limits selections to populations of fewer than 100,000. Fredericksburg, 78 miles west of Austin in hilly central Texas, boasts a modest 10,530 residents, 31 percent of whom are already retirees. The town enjoys low housing costs, low property tax rates, low crime rates, great amenities and scads of indoor and outdoor activities for retirees. Bonuses: Cultural arts featuring numerous galleries and studios, indoor and outdoor theater, live music and a wine country culture featuring agritourism, wine tasting and tours.
- Coming in at second place with Niche.com is Tyler in Smith County, population 100,806. “From places like the zoo and the rose garden to fancy restaurants such as Jules and even live entertainment during dinner … there is something for everyone,” one commenter notes. “Downtown has old buildings and brick streets as well as museums to entertain the hungry mind.” The median home value is $134,500, the median household income $42,840.
- Evaluating elements such as housing affordability, the job market, health care, retiree taxes and overall happiness (based on resident surveys), U.S. News & World Report ranked the town of El Paso second most impressive city for retirees. Bordered by the Rio Grande River and next to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the bustling city of 683,080 people is financially viable for many, with median monthly housing costs of $376 for retirees whose mortgages have been paid.
- Retirement Watch likes Kerrville, population 22,347, as a runner-up. Located 60 miles northwest of San Antonio, the town offers a 27-percent concentration of retirement-age folks. Features include the many parks populating the Guadalupe River, the Texas Official State Arts & Crafts Fair and the 18-day Kerrville Folk Festival, which draws from across the globe. The culture includes museums, theater and the Symphony of the Hills featuring the Kerrville Symphony Orchestra. Median monthly housing: $732/month.
- Coming in third at Retirement Watch is Granbury, population 7,978 — 27 percent of whom are retirement age. The small town offers multiple amenities a convenient 50 miles southwest of metro Fort Worth. Fun fact: Legend points to historical ties to David Crockett, Jesse James and John Wilkes Booth. Median monthly housing cost: $897.
- In third place, U.S. news likes McAllen at the southern tip of Texas across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico. Retirees with paid-off homes spend an attractive median $347 monthly on housing, with the median home value for those 60 and older coming in at $76,300.