After deciding when to retire, deciding where to retire is the next step on the list.

Deciding where to retire is an exciting prospect for many soon-to-be retirees. It can feel very liberating to choose where to live independent of work commitments, which most often determine residency. Many "snowbirds" flock from all over the country to retiree hotspots with warmer climates like Florida or Arizona, but the best city to retire might be a lot closer to home. In fact, retiring in-state can be a very desirable option, particularly if remaining close to family or friends is a priority.

Even after deciding on a particular state as a retirement destination, selecting the community within it remains a crucial choice given the significant variation in the standard of living among cities. While it’s possible to find a handful of appealing retirement cities in every state, there are a select few that stand out from the rest for the exceptional quality of life they offer retirees. These cities strike the perfect balance between affordability, safety, and healthcare accessibility. From large urban centers to tranquil suburban communities, here are Insurify’s 2021 best cities to retire.

Selection process for Insurify's 2021 Best Cities to Retire

The data scientists at Insurify, a site to compare homeowners insurance, analyzed both proprietary and public data to identify the best cities to retire in 2021. They rated U.S. cities based on a composite score of factors comprising real estate affordability, life expectancy, accessibility to healthcare, low rates of property crime and violent crime, and driver and pedestrian safety.

Insurify’s research team referred to for statistics on real estate affordability. Cities with lower median home sale prices received a higher score. Life expectancy and healthcare accessibility statistics were provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Medical Association, respectively. Cities with a higher life expectancy received a higher score, as did cities with a higher proportion of primary care physicians to residents. Property crime and violent crime rates were compiled from the latest Crime in the United States report, published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Cities with lower rates of property crime and violent crime received a higher score.

Driver and pedestrian safety statistics for each city were obtained from Insurify’s database of over 4 million car insurance applications. Cities were evaluated for rates of at-fault accidents and failure to yield to pedestrian violations. Higher scores were awarded to cities with lower rates of these two violations.

Winners of Insurify's 2021 Best Cities to Retire Awards

Alabama: Oneonta

Alaska: Fairbanks

Arizona: Cottonwood

Arkansas: Texarkana

California: Port Hueneme

Colorado: Evans

Connecticut: Bristol

Delaware: Smyrna

Florida: Vero Beach

Georgia: Monticello

Hawaii: Hilo

Idaho: Kuna

Illinois: Elgin

Indiana: Connersville

Iowa: Marion

Kansas: Topeka

Kentucky: Vine Grove

Louisiana: Breaux Bridge

Maine: Auburn

Maryland: Frederick

Massachusetts: Woburn

Michigan: Midland

Minnesota: Moorhead

Mississippi: Starkville

Missouri: Fulton

Montana: Kalispell

Nebraska: Kearney

Nevada: Carson City

New Hampshire: Nashua

New Jersey: Bayonne

New Mexico: Rio Rancho

New York: Lockport

North Carolina: Clayton

North Dakota: Bismarck

Ohio: Findlay

Oklahoma: Edmond

Oregon: Lebanon

Pennsylvania: State College

Rhode Island: Cranston

South Carolina: North Augusta

South Dakota: Belle Fourche

Tennessee: Lenoir City

Texas: Floresville

Utah: Spanish Fork

Vermont: Vergennes

Virginia: Harrisonburg

Washington: Lake Stevens

West Virginia: Weirton

Wisconsin: Oshkosh

Wyoming: Rock Springs

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