The 20 Best Small Towns in the U.S. for Retirees

Retirees should consider numerous factors when choosing where to spend their golden years. Fortunately, they can find affordable housing, healthcare, and vibrant cultural activities in many small towns across the country.
Falls Park on The Reedy, Greenville, South Carolina
Falls Park on The Reedy, Greenville, South Carolina / John Coletti/Photodisc/Getty Images

Retirement comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. If you’re leaving the workforce, you may be looking for a change of scenery that better reflects your new lifestyle. For the best small towns in America for retirees, check out this list. 

When determining the best places to retire, HGTV weighed numerous factors, including cost of living, public safety, healthcare, and tax rates. Because retirees have plenty of free time to spend, they also looked for locations with activities such as outdoor recreation, live music, and sporting events. They limited the list to towns with populations under 100,000, so if you prioritize a quiet, slow-paced lifestyle in your golden years, these places have what you’re looking for. 

Nearly every region of the U.S. is represented on the list. At the top is Greenville, South Carolina, which includes natural attractions like Paris Mountain State Park and Falls Park on the Reedy in addition to a vibrant culinary scene. 

Behind it is Iowa City in Iowa. The same features that make it a great spot for local college students also make it a welcoming home for retirees. No matter their age, residents can occupy their time with activities like lectures, live shows, museum tours, and sporting events. Lawrence, Kansas; Roanoke, Virginia; and Carmel, Indiana were also named desirable towns for retired folks. 

You can read the full list below. If you’re more interested in states than specific towns, you can find the best (and worst) states to retire in here

The 20 Best Small Towns to Retire

  1. Greenville, SC
  2. Iowa City, IA
  3. Lawrence, KS
  4. Roanoke, VA
  5. Carmel, IN
  6. Franklin, TN
  7. Eagle, ID
  8. Cedar Park, TX
  9. Liberty, MO
  10. Catalina Foothills, AZ
  11. Charlottesville, VA
  12. Bozeman, MT
  13. Burlington, VT
  14. Easton, MD
  15. Cheyenne, WY
  16. Morgantown, WV
  17. Richland, WA
  18. Portland, ME
  19. Pittsfield, MA
  20. Fayetteville, AR

[h/t CNN]