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What climate change? The top 5 retirement cities all have hot weather

By Jessica Hall

The best city for retirement offers bingo, fishing and a low crime rate

Four cities in Florida are among the top 10 cities for retirement, with Tampa taking the top spot, according to the latest ranking from WalletHub.

Despite issues like climate change and a high cost of living, Tampa offered other draws for retirees, such as being located in a tax-friendly state and having a variety of activities for older adults.

"Tampa ranks in the top 50 for affordability, which is not too bad," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Tampa also sits in the fifth spot overall for activities. It has the highest number of fishing facilities per capita and ranks seventh for the number of bingo halls per capita. It's also in the top 30 for quality of life, with a pretty low property-crime rate."

Read: It's official: This summer was the hottest on record

WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 45 key measures of affordability, quality of life, healthcare and availability of recreational activities. After Tampa, the other cities in the top five were Scottsdale, Ariz., and three other Florida locales: Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami.

Don't know where to retire? We have some suggestions

"Our study looked at four key factors: affordability, activities, quality of life and healthcare. The top cities tend to rank above 30 in their best categories and fall below 50 on at least one. For example, Scottsdale, which ranks second overall, has very good scores for activities, quality of life and healthcare, but it's not as affordable, landing in the 61st spot," Gonzalez said.

"As for the [cities at the] bottom of our rankings, every category has low scores, which means their conditions aren't quite a fit for senior citizens or those who plan to retire soon," Gonzalez said.

Stockton, Calif., ranked last on the list, along with Newark, N.J.; Bakersfield, Calif.; San Bernardino, Calif.; and Detroit.

Best cities to retire

1.   Tampa, Florida 
2.   Scottsdale, Arizona 
3.   Fort Lauderdale, Florida 
4.   Orlando, Florida 
5.   Miami, Florida 
6.   Casper, Wyoming 
7.   Denver, Colorado 
8.   Cincinnati, Ohio 
9.   Charleston, South Carolina 
10.  Atlanta, Georgia 

Worst cities to retire

173.  Baltimore, Maryland 
174.  Vancouver, Washington 
175.  Rancho Cucamonga, California 
176.  Wichita, Kansas 
177.  Bridgeport, Connecticut 
178.  Detroit, Michigan 
179.  San Bernardino, California 
180.  Bakersfield, California 
181.  Newark, New Jersey 
182.  Stockton, California 

Other highlights of the report included the following:

Pearl City, Hawaii, had the highest share of the population age 65 and older, at 25.5%, which was 3.2 times higher than Irving, Texas, the city with the lowest share of population that age, at 8%.

Brownsville, Texas, had the lowest adjusted cost-of-living index for retirees, at 75.39, which was 2.4 times lower than Honolulu and Pearl City, the cities with the highest number, at 182.16, WalletHub said.

Plano, Texas, had the highest share of workers age 65 and older, at 26.7%, which was 2.4 times higher than Gulfport, Miss., the city with the lowest share, at 11.1%.

St. Louis had the most home healthcare facilities per 100,000 residents, at 79.26, which was 28.8 times more than New York, the city with the fewest, at 2.75, according to WalletHub.

The best cities did not necessarily match a different WalletHub ranking of the best states in which to retire, which had Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Wyoming and Delaware in the top spots.

"It's mostly a matter of scale. While Virginia ranked first as the best state to retire overall, its cities are not at the very top of our list. That's because narrowing our report down to city level helped us look more in depth at all the conditions and facilities these areas have for senior citizens. Instead of using statewide data, we are able to utilize city specifics that are available," Gonzalez said. "We also divided the 'quality of life' category in two, giving more importance to recreation and fun activities for retirees within each city."

-Jessica Hall

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-09-23 1527ET

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