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Here Are the 7 Cities Where You Should—And Shouldn’t—Retire

USA, Virginia, Arlington, City skyline at duskUSA, Virginia, Arlington, City skyline at dusk
Arlington, VirginiaPhotograph by Henryk Sadura — Getty Images/

Can’t figure out where to move for retirement? Your personal preferences might be the answer.

BankRate.com, a personal finance site, looked at 197 U.S. cities and scored each based on nine categories: cost of living, climate, healthcare cost and quality, taxes, crime, well being, walkability, and cultural vitality.

BankRate then quantified the data, adding each of the scores up to decide which U.S. cities would be the best for retirement.

The unifying trend for these top scoring cities?

“We found that smaller cities and suburbs fared the best,” said Bankrate.com analyst Jill Cornfield in a statement. “Most seniors prefer to live in these types of communities because they offer access to big-city amenities without as much hustle, bustle and crime.”

Of course, some cities scored highest in one category, but couldn’t claim the title of “best city to retire in” since it lagged in other areas.

Miami for example, scored the highest for best weather. Portland has the best health care. New York City claims the title of most walkable city. Carmel, Ind., is best scored for its crime rate, and Memphis for its low cost of living.

BankRate has also released calculator to make recommendations based on personal preference.

“Best Place For” refers to the categories that the the city scored highest in relation to its six peers.

The Seven Best U.S. Cities For Retirees

7. Sarasota Fla.

Score: 3.85
Best Place For: Weather

6. Nashville, Tenn.

Score: 3.88
Best Place For: Low Taxes

5. West Des Moines, Iowa

Score: 4.07
Best Place For: Low Cost of Living, Health Care

4. Silver Spring, Md.

Score: 4.09
Best For: Well Being, Cultural Vitality

3. Franklin, Tenn.

Score: 5.81
Best For: Low Crime Rate, Low Taxes

2. Alexandria, Va.

Score: 6.44
Best For: Well Being, Cultural Vitality

1. Arlington, Va.

Score: 7.08
Best For: Walkability, Cultural Vitality, Well Being

Other cities however, can’t be recommended based on BankRate’s data.

 

“Worst Place For” refers to the categories that the the city scored lowest in relation to its six peers.

The Worst Seven U.S. Cities For Retirees

7. Troy, N.Y.

Score: -4.55
Worst Place For: Taxes

6. Buffalo, N.Y.

Score: -5.06
Worst Place For: Taxes

5. Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Score: -5.20
Worst Place For: Taxes

4. San Bernardino, Calif.

Score: -5.38
Worst Place For: Cost of living, Health Care Cultural Vitality

3. New Haven, Conn.

Score: -5.82
Worst Place For: Well Being

2. Milford, Conn.

Score: -6.09
Worst Place For: Well Being,

1. Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Score: -6.14
Worst Place For: Weather, Taxes, and Crime

According to a press release from BankRate, Niagara Falls ranks the lowest due to high taxes, a cold and snowy climate, and an above average crime rate.

Bakersfield, Ind. however, is the most culturally dead, according to the report. New York City claims the worst cost of living, while North Port, Fla. is the least walkable U.S. city.

BankRate based its scores off of data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Council for Community and Economic Research; FBI; HealthView Services; Gallup-Healthways; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Tax Foundation; WalkScore.com; Western States Arts Federation.