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The 10 best cities for retirement in America

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Shutterstock via FindTheBest

Looking to settle down, empty nesters? Choosing a place to retire sounds easy — everyone has a dream city where they’ve always wanted to live. Sometimes, though, it isn’t as simple as packing up and moving to that beachfront property you’ve always dreamt of.

And maybe it shouldn’t be.

After all, retirement will (hopefully) represent a big chunk of your lifetime. It’s important to live somewhere that satisfies all your care, community and transportation needs while still having enough culture and entertainment options to keep you happy.

FindTheHome has you covered in your search for “happily ever after.” The site’s data experts created a Retirement Index for every county across the U.S. based on five factors scaled from 1-100.

    • Care Score (quality of local hospitals, nursing homes and home health centers)

 

    • Entertainment Score (amount of universities, recreational facilities, libraries and parks per capita)

 

    • Convenience/Transportation Score (WalkIQ and grocery stores/restaurants per capita)

 

    • Community Score (high percentage of population over age 65 with college degrees)

 

    • Housing Score (market health score, median sale price, HPI forecast, high percentage of properties with rent under $1,500/month)

 

This list contains the community in every state with the best Retirement Index. The states are ordered from the lowest score to the highest score. Unsurprisingly, the top community is in Florida. But there are several surprising entries in the top five, including one Orange County that’s not in California.

#10. Albemarle County, VA

 

Population: 100,636

Most Populous City: Hollymead

Retirement Index: 97.72

Care Score: 87.5
Housing Score: 83.9
Convenience Score: 87.7
Entertainment Score: 61.6
Community Score: 85.5

#9. Hamilton County, IN

 

Population: 282,977

Most Populous City: Carmel

Retirement Index: 97.72

Care Score: 88.8
Housing Score: 83.3
Convenience Score: 87.0
Entertainment Score: 62.0
Community Score: 85.1

#8. Jefferson County, WA

 

Population: 29,882

Most Populous City: Port Townsend

Retirement Index: 97.89

Care Score: 85.1
Housing Score: 86.8
Convenience Score: 90.0
Entertainment Score: 61.0
Community Score: 84.9

#7. Newport County, RI

 

Population: 82,545

Most Populous City: Newport East

Retirement Index: 98.21

Care Score: 94.7
Housing Score: 84.6
Convenience Score: 87.3
Entertainment Score: 60.8
Community Score: 84.5

#6. Washtenaw County, MI

 

Population: 348,560

Most Populous City: Ann Arbor

Retirement Index: 98.30

Care Score: 92.9
Housing Score: 85.6
Convenience Score: 88.8
Entertainment Score: 61.5
Community Score: 84.6

#5. Grafton County, NH

 

Population: 89,166

Most Populous City: Lebanon

Retirement Index: 98.39

Care Score: 81.7
Housing Score: 86.6
Convenience Score: 89.8
Entertainment Score: 80.0
Community Score: 83.3

#4. Beaufort County, SC

 

Population: 165,354

Most Populous City: Hilton Head Island

Retirement Index: 98.40

Care Score: 85.3
Housing Score: 81.8
Convenience Score: 85.6
Entertainment Score: 80.0
Community Score: 84.2

#3. Orange County, NC

 

Population: 136,057

Most Populous City: Chapel Hill

Retirement Index: 98.61

Care Score: 95.0
Housing Score: 83.8
Convenience Score: 87.5
Entertainment Score: 64.0
Community Score: 85.3

#2. Barnstable County, MA

 

Population: 215,449

Most Populous City: Barnstable

Retirement Index: 99.06

Care Score: 90.7
Housing Score: 85.7
Convenience Score: 88.9
Entertainment Score: 69.8
Community Score: 84.9

#1. Martin County, FL

 

Population: 147,786

Most Populous City: Palm City

Retirement Index: 100.00

Care Score: 92.5
Housing Score: 93.8
Convenience Score: 95.1
Entertainment Score: 69.6
Community Score: 83.9

Explore More Places on FindTheHome