Fixed Income Strategies

Retirees are packing their bags for these 10 cities

Robert Daly | Getty Images

Although more and more Americans approaching retirement are opting to age in place where they are, it's no secret that many other retirees, in classic style, look to relocate once they've left their careers behind.

"Some seek a lower cost of living, while others want beautiful scenery, warm weather or both," said financial technology company SmartAsset, which has released its third annual study analyzing the migration patterns of people over the age of 60.

There are no huge surprises for 2018 — apart from the fact that no city in Florida broke the Top 10 for overall inbound retiree arrivals, despite the fact the Sunshine State — with a net migration of 84,663 retirees — remains the top state attracting retirees. Arizona, with four cities in this year's Top 10, only attracted 28,614 in total, by way of comparison.

By CNBC's Kenneth Kiesnoski. Source: SmartAsset
Posted 15 May 2018

10. Peoria, Arizona

Trilogy at Vistancia active lifestyle community in Peoria, Arizona.
Bob Davidson Photography | Getty Images

Peoria, Arizona — not that other Peoria, in Illinois — is the 10th-most-popular destination for retirees, found SmartAsset, with a net influx of 1,046 people. U.S. Census Bureau data says 1,384 seniors came to Peoria, located in the northern part of the Phoenix metro area, and 338 emigrated. The median home cost comes in at just under $1,200 per month, more than in nearby Mesa but less than in Scottsdale or Gilbert.

Source: SmartAsset

9. Eugene, Oregon

Downtown Eugene, Oregon, from Skinner Butte.
GarysFRP | Getty Images

Eugene, Oregon, takes ninth place. The city saw a net influx of retirees of just fewer than 1,100. One downside to moving to Eugene is that the median home there is worth $267,000, some $60,000 more than the national average.

Source: SmartAsset

8. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone | Getty Images

Some 2,015 seniors relocated to Raleigh, SmartAsset found. North Carolina is only "moderately friendly" to retirees in terms of taxes, the firm said, but the weather is nice all year — perhaps taking the chill out of tax time each April 15.

Source: SmartAsset

7. Surprise, Arizona

City Hall, Surprise, Arizona
Venske | Wikipedia

It's no — ahem — surprise Arizona is home to several cities in this retirement roundup, thanks to its year-round "dry" heat and lack of tax on Social Security income. After accounting for retirees coming and going, Surprise — spring-training stomping grounds for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers — ended up with a net gain of 1,131 retirees. That's only 18 more than Raleigh, ranked at No. 8.

Source: SmartAsset

6. Gilbert, Arizona

Source: Gilbert Town Hall

Coming in at No. 6 is another Arizona locale: Gilbert. Gilbert is probably better for the slightly wealthier retiree, according to SmartAsset. Census Bureau data prices the average home in Gilbert at more than $1,400 per month and $300,000-plus in value. Retirees looking to buy the average home here will need $60,000 up front for a down payment, calculates SmartAsset.

Source: SmartAsset

5. Las Vegas

The Las Vegas strip.
Gavin Hellier | Getty Images

In SmartAsset's most recent tally, 4,387 retirees had decided to make Las Vegas their new home, more than compensating for the 3,100 or so who moved on to greener pastures. This left Sin City with a net influx of 1,320 seniors. And no wonder: Not only is Las Vegas the ultimate adult playground; Nevada — with low property taxes and no levy on retirement income — is also one of the nation's best states to retire in from a tax perspective.

Source: SmartAsset

4. Mesa, Arizona

Andrew Penner | E+ | Getty Images

SmartAsset finds that Mesa remains "a solid option" for retirees interested in the Phoenix metro area, with a median home cost of less than $1,000. The city topped this ranking last year but has dropped to No. 4, thanks to an uptick in seniors leaving. According to the data, just under 2,300 retirees emigrated from the city, the second most in SmartAsset's Top 10.

Source: SmartAsset

3. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona
KingWu | Getty Images

Famed for its resorts, golf courses, galleries and culinary scene, swanky Scottsdale is a destination of choice for not only seniors but new residents of all ages, not to mention vacationers. Ranked only in the Top 25 last year, this year Scottsdale shoots up to No. 3, thanks to a net influx of 1,834 retirees (up from just 773 last year). Living in Scottsdale is slightly more expensive than it is in other Arizona cities, the survey found, as the median house costs more than $1,300 per month.

Source: SmartAsset

2. San Antonio

San Antonio is another newcomer to the retirement city Top 10. "After tallying up all the coming-and-going seniors, San Antonio was left with a net increase of 2,306 seniors," said SmartAsset. That may be due to Texas having no state income tax or tax of any kind on retirement income, either. But San Antonio has other things going for it as well, including good weather and lots of cultural and culinary assets.

Source: SmartAsset

1. Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada

Debuting in the Top 10 at an impressive No. 1 spot for 2018, the city of Henderson, Nevada, saw net immigration of 2,341 seniors, with 3,191 coming to town and 850 calling it quits.

"Nevada is one of the friendliest states for retirees, which may partially explain why Henderson was such an attractive destination," writes SmartAsset. "Nevada is considered a friendly retirement state because it has no income tax."

Source: SmartAsset