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Surprise! Stay put for top retirement spots

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The "best cities for successful aging"

Think "retirement," and images of moving day—along with palm trees, golf courses and other signs of warmer climes—may spring to mind. But the fact is, 90 percent of Americans intend to age, and therefore retire, in place. That's according to research outfit the Milken Institute, which attributes the finding to AARP its Best Cities for Successful Aging 2014 report.

We take a look at the top five smaller and larger U.S. metropolitan areas pinpointed in the study as the best in which to grow old. None are Sun Belt cities, per se. If you already live there, lucky you. If you don't, there's likely still plenty of room, but beware: Coconut palms are in short supply.

Rankings of the 100 largest and 252 smaller U.S. cities were determined with a methodology that weighed eight indicator catergories: health care (16 percent), wellness (16 percent), financial factors (21 percent), living arrangements (9 percent), employment/education (10 percent), transportation/convenience (8 percent), community engagement (5 percent) and "general" (15 percent), which incorporated cost of living, crime rate, percentage of binge drinkers, employment growth, unemploymnet rate, income distribution, weather and number of fatal car crashes.

By CNBC's Kenneth Kiesnoski
Posted 24 December 2014

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