Looking for the best place to locate your next senior living community? Consider Charlotte, NC; Sarasota or Naples, FL; Dallas-Fort Worth; Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor, MI; or Nashville, TN.
All of those metropolitan areas ranked in the top 25 on both of U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire lists. The lists evaluate the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on healthcare quality, affordable housing, retiree taxes, affordability, job prospects, desirability, happiness and quality of life.
On the Best Places to Retire list, Florida metro areas took the majority of the top 25 rankings for its relatively affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability. Florida cities swept the top three spots, with Sarasota moving up a spot to No. 1 for its desirability and job market scores, followed by Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie.
Miami, which saw a decrease in housing affordability, jumped up five places to No. 9 thanks to desirability and job markets score increases. The top 25 places to retire also includes three Texas communities and two cities each in Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.
To calculate the best places to retire, U.S. News conducted a nationwide survey of individuals approaching retirement age (which the media outlet defined as 45 to 59) and those of retirement age (which was defined as 60 and older) to find out what matters most when people consider where to retire.
A common feature among the top 25 Best Places to Live was the prominence of engineering and technology jobs for both young and established professionals. Boulder, CO, debuted on the Best Places to Live list at No. 1, catapulted by its strong desirability, quality of life and job market scores. Denver held at No. 2 and Austin, TX, fell from the top spot to No. 3.
The pandemic and civil unrest may have affected how people perceive some areas. Minneapolis-St. Paul dropped from No. 6 on last year’s list to No. 22, and New York City fell 31 spots to No. 121, primarily due to significant drops in desirability scores for both metro areas.
“After a prolonged period of staying at home, people are taking a critical look at where they live, and many are looking to find a place they can feel happier, afford more or pursue new opportunities,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The Best Places rankings can help people examine the details they consider important in a larger community as they seek a house with a bigger yard or a spot that makes it easier for the whole family to quarantine safely together.”