Retirement might have you wondering if you have enough money saved up, when you should start taking social security or how to plan for medical expenses. However, something people don’t often think about where they should retire – and more specifically, where the safest place to retire is.
Security Choice® is here to help you determine that. We’ve analyzed 495 cities or major metro areas in the United States. Then, we ranked the top 100 safest cities to retire using multiple criteria to find the safest cities to retire.
Midwest is Best?: The Midwest isn’t a common choice for retirement, but 11 of the top 20 safest cities to retire (and 42 of the top 100) came from the Midwest in our rankings. Read more below and find out why the region ranked so well.
Low Population is Key Factor: The average population of the cities we studied is 181,958; but the average population of the top 100 safest cities is just 85,116. Even lower is the average population of our top 20 (77,929).
Florida is a Popular – and Safe – Choice: 4 of the top 20 (and 9 of the top 100) safest cities to retire come from the Sunshine state. Several of these cities have extremely low crime rates and the highest populations of 65-plus year old residents in the country.
Who Struggled?: 26 states didn’t have a city in the top 100 – including California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington.
Top 20 Safest Cities to Retire
1. Venice, Florida
Located near Sarasota, more than 52% of this beach paradise’s residents are age 65 and above, making it a top retirement destination. At a crime rate of just 1.8%, it’s also one of the top 40 lowest ranking cities for crime in the U.S. Retiring in Venice means residents can enjoy 31 municipal parks, central downtown shopping and a very affordable cost of living.
2. Tyler, Texas
Tyler is home to an astoundingly safe community with a crime rate of just 0.6%, which is the second lowest of all cities we analyzed based on the 2016 FBI Crime Data. With no state income tax and limited sales tax, this community is also perfect for retirees looking for a low cost of living.
3. Naples, Florida
Naples is on the rise as a retirement community, with a 15% increase in 65-plus year-old residents from 2010 to 2015. Multiple award-winning golf courses and luxurious beaches draw in retirees to Naples, but a violent crime rate of just 0.09% – one of the top 25 lowest in the U.S. – means it’s one of the safest choices as well.
4. Midland, Michigan
Midland may not have the warm winters of a Florida or Texas retirement destination, but its numbers don’t lie: Midland has a crime rate of just 1.3% and Michigan is tied for first in the nation with an average retirement age of 62 years old. The city even sponsors several senior services, including counseling, health and fitness, Meals on Wheels and more.
5. Farmington Hills, Michigan
Farmington Hills is another community that benefits from Michigan’s early retirement age. Plus, both a low violent crime rate at 0.09% and healthy growth in its 65-plus population in the past five years (+17% from 2010) make Farmington Hills another strong Michigan retirement destination.
6. Novi, Michigan
Michigan’s third community in the top six is Novi, and it’s also one of the top 15 safest cities in America in terms of crime rate (1.2%). Its 65-plus population is on the rise in Novi (+17% from 2010) and the city is home to several different retirement communities, such as Fox Run, Brookdale and Waltonwood Twelve Oaks.
7. Prescott, Arizona
Prescott boasts a warm climate and a 34% population of residents age 65 years old and above. Nearby is the Prescott National Forest and several golf destinations, and the city is among the top 25% safest cities in America in terms of crime rate.
8. Des Plaines, Illinois
Des Plaines, Illinois ranks as one of the top 10 cities in the U.S. for low crime rate at just 1.0%. Since this Chicago suburb has a population of more than 60,000 residents, there’s a lot for retirees to explore around the city. It boasts five golf courses, hundreds of restaurants, a theater and a historical society.
9. Livonia, Michigan
Michigan’s fourth city in the top 10 on our list is Livonia, a suburb of Detroit. With a crime rate in the lowest 16% of the nation and a 65-plus population that’s third highest of any Michigan city, Livonia is a safe and affordable choice to retire.
10. North Port, Florida
With a crime rate of just 1.5%, North Port is in the top 5% of safest cities in the U.S. And thanks to its 22% of residents that are 65 years old and above, the city is yet another popular destination to retire. Housing costs are extremely affordable as well, and it’s just a stone’s throw away from the beaches.
11. Henderson, Nevada
Nevada is ranked as the top state for prevention laws against elder abuse. Better yet, Henderson has the lowest crime rate out of any major city in Nevada. Henderson residents have just a 24-minute drive to some of Las Vegas’s best casinos – but without any of the traffic or noise. Also, Forbes recently issued it a Top 25 Suburb to Retire.
12. State College, Pennsylvania
State College makes the list as the top city to retire in Pennsylvania, and with a crime rate that’s fourth lowest in the United States (0.9%). As one of the most popular college towns in the U.S., there’s plenty of opportunity for retirees to enjoy outdoor recreation, as well as a variety of Nittany Lion sporting events. Since 2010, State College’s 65-plus population has grown by 11%.
13. Waukesha, Wisconsin
The #1 safest city for women, Waukesha, Wisconsin, makes number 13 on our safest cities to retire list. With a low average retirement age at 63 years old and a 1.7% crime rate (one of America’s lowest 34 cities), it’s a great choice for a safe and early retirement.
14. Arlington Heights, Illinois
One of the lowest 10 crime rates in the nation helped put Arlington Heights on the map for safest retirement cities. This Chicago suburb is home to several of the state’s best retirement communities, such as Church Creek Senior Living and The Moorings of Arlington Heights.
15. Carmel, Indiana
Carmel ranks as Indiana’s safest city to retire with the nation’s second lowest violent crime rate at just 0.03%. Carmel’s 65-plus population is on the rise (+23% from 2010), and with a vibrant Art & Design District and bicycle trails, it’s a strong combination of a safe, cultured and active community.
16. Cedar Falls, Iowa
Cedar Falls is rated as Iowa’s safest city by 2016 FBI Crime Data, and there’s plenty to do in the community, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and exploring its numerous outdoor trails.
17. West Lafayette, Indiana
Indiana’s second city in the top 20 is also one of America’s safest with a crime rate of just 1.1% – and it’s a cheap option with cost of living lower than the national average.
18. Troy, Michigan
One of America’s lowest violent crime rates at 0.09% makes Troy a safe option for retirement. Plus, the city’s retirees can get plenty of use out of special community features, including a 127,000 square-foot community center and the Troy Family Aquatic Center.
19. Port St. Lucie, Florida
Home to spring training for the New York Mets, Port St. Lucie is also known for its low crime rate (1.5%) and a quick drive to the beach. Renown attractions such as the PGA Village at Saints Municipal Golf Course make this community an excellent destination choice to retire if you’re a golf lover.
20. Rocky Mount, North Carolina
North Carolina’s safest city, Rocky Mount, has a crime rate of just 2.0% and is one of the state’s top 65-plus populations at 15.8%. If you love eastern North Carolina’s vinegar-based barbecue and a two-hour drive to the beach, it’s a perfect – and safe – spot for your retirement.
Top 100 Safest Cities to Retire
|19||Port St. Lucie||FL||81.41|
|37||Fond du Lac||WI||80.14|
|49||West Des Moines||IA||79.20|
To establish 2018’s safest cities to retire, we evaluated 495 cities on six weighted categories. We took city level data from the 2010 Census Data, FBI City Crime Data in 2016, Average Retirement Age in State, and States with Best Elder Abuse Protection Laws, we assigned an overall “Safest City to Retire” score.
|50%||FBI City Crime Data in 2016|
|10%||Average Retirement Age in State|
|10%||% of City Age 65+ (2010 Census)|
|10%||Cost of Living in City (2010 Census)|
|10%||Healthcare Costs / City (2010 Census)|
|10%||States with Best Elder Abuse Protection Laws|
Each of these metrics were weighted on a 100-point scale, with the lowest score represented as 0 and highest as 100. If a city wasn’t represented in any of these data sources, it was excluded from this analysis.