WalletHub compared how friendly the 150 most-populated U.S. cities and at least two of the most-populated cities in each state were for retirees across four dimensions: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care. The website used 46 metrics to evaluate the four dimensions.
Each city’s weighted average across all metrics was used to calculate its overall score. WalletHub’s sample considered only the city, not the surrounding metro area. The analysis assumed retirees will rely on a fixed income.
Orlando’s overall score of 61.02 placed it at the top of the best-places-to-retire list. Tampa (60.17) was second, Miami (58.54) was fourth and Fort Lauderdale (58.31) was fifth.
Charleston, S.C., finished third (58.99).
Orlando ranked in the top 20 in two of the four dimensions: affordability (sixth) and activities (20th). It ranked 49th in health care and 70th in quality of life.
Tampa also placed in the top 20 in activities (14th) and affordability (18th). It ranked 47th in quality of life and 64th in health care.
Miami’s highest dimension ranking was sixth in activities. It finished 41st in health care, 48th in affordability and 106th in quality of life. Fort Lauderdale ranked 15th in activities, 29th in health care, 53rd in affordability and 72nd in quality of life.
Cape Coral (12th), St. Petersburg (13th), Pembroke Pines (15th), Port St. Lucie (25th), Hialeah (34th), Tallahassee (38th) and Jacksonville (57th) also made WalletHub’s list.
“Retirement is a long time. You are not choosing a place where you will live for a short period. Retirement is about one-third of your adult life,” said Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. “Therefore, where you live should have all the elements you would want to live well, not just walking the beach, golf course or even the occasional bike ride.”
Scottsdale, Ariz.; Casper, Wyo.; Minneapolis; Jackson, Miss.; and Denver rounded out the top 10 best places to retire.
Montgomery, Ala., ranked first in affordability; Washington, D.C., was first in activities; Fremont, Calif., ranked first in quality of life; and South Burlington, Vt., topped the health care rankings.