13 Vibrant and Safe U.S. Cities that Retirees Love

Retirement should be safe, fun, and full of life. These cities check all the boxes.
Updated June 1, 2023
senior couple walking on the city street at winter day

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Retirement is an exciting time in life. 

You've worked hard for many years — and hopefully had enough time to grow your wealth. Now, you've finally reached an age where you can enjoy life in a more leisurely manner.

Once you retire, you are no longer tied to your place of employment. For many people, that means it is time to start looking for a new place to call home.

When thinking about where to settle down, a fun and safe city might be near the top of your wishlist. Here, we set out to find cities with low violent crime rates and thriving communities with a range of amenities.

Following are 13 of the safest and most vibrant cities to retire to in the U.S.

Do you dream of retiring early? Take this quiz to see if it's possible.

State College, Pennsylvania

Margaret/Adobe aerial view of State College PA

Population: 163,681

Home of Penn State University, State College boasts a lower violent crime rate than the median among U.S. cities. That's true of each city on this list.

You’ll love State College's buzzing atmosphere thanks to the college scene. And you will find yourself right at home if you’re a college sports enthusiast.

Glens Falls, New York

RedBridge/Adobe aerial view of Montour Falls

Population: 124,339

Glens Falls is situated near the scenic Adirondack Mountains. It is a charming city with a rich history and abundant natural beauty.

The city offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and skiing. With a vibrant arts scene, diverse dining options, and a welcoming community, Glens Falls provides a perfect balance of small-town charm and outdoor adventure.

Naperville, Illinois

Jacob/Adobe aerial view of the Chicago Suburb of Naperville

Population: 148,754

Naperville is a suburb of Chicago. It's a safe and welcoming city that offers a high quality of life and top-ranked schools, beautiful parks, and a buzzing downtown area.

Residents enjoy a range of recreational activities and plentiful dining options.

Wausau, Wisconsin

Jacob/Adobe aerial view of the Wausau Skyline in Wisconsin

Population: 162,956

Wausau is nestled along the Wisconsin River in the picturesque heart of the state. It offers a blend of natural beauty and urban amenities.

Known for outdoor recreational opportunities and a friendly community, Wausau offers a lovely atmosphere with a range of activities for residents and visitors alike.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe cambridge massachusetts skylines in front of water during dawn

Population: 2.4 million

Cambridge is a vibrant city renowned for its prestigious universities, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The city offers a rich intellectual and cultural environment, with numerous historic sites, museums, and art venues. It is known for its innovative spirit and lively blend of academic pursuits, technology, and creative industries.

Cambridge has a higher cost of living than many other places on this list. But if you have a high level of financial fitness, it is worthy of consideration as a place to retire.

Note: Cambridge has less violent crime than the national median, but its rate of property crime is above the median. Consider investing in a home security system to prevent theft.

Yonkers, New York

demerzel21/Adobe Glenwood Power Plant - Yonkers New York

Population: 206,680

Yonkers is located just north of New York City and offers a unique blend of suburban living and urban amenities.

Known for its rich history, Yonkers boasts a diverse population, picturesque Hudson River views, and a range of cultural attractions.

Residents enjoy access to parks, shopping centers, and convenient access to nearby Manhattan.

The Villages, Florida

Creative Studio 79/Adobe aerial view of Apopka-Altamonte Springs

Population: 132,914

The Villages is a unique retirement community known for its active and engaging lifestyle.

Located not too far from Orlando, you’ll find an abundance of amenities here, including numerous golf courses, recreational centers, and social clubs.

The community creates a welcoming and fulfilling environment full of retirees.

Wenatchee, Washington

Myk Crawford/Adobe bridge over Columbia River

Population: 120,654

Nestled near the stunning Cascade Mountains, Wenatchee is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

With the Columbia River flowing nearby, Wenatchee offers abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. The city also boasts a thriving arts scene, local wineries, and a warm community spirit.

Note: Wenatchee, though fairly free of violent crime, has a rate of property crime higher than the national median. Once again, consider a home security symptom to deter theft.

Frisco, Texas

Nryan5714/Wirestock Creators/Adobe aerial shot of Dallas Cowboys

Population: 227,528

Frisco is a rapidly growing city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that offers a dynamic blend of suburban and urban living.

Known for its top-rated schools, world-class sports facilities, and thriving business community, Frisco provides residents with a high quality of life. You will find diverse shopping and dining options and various recreational activities.

McKinney, Texas

Xtreme Heights/Adobe sunset over downtown McKinney Texas

Population: 214,302

McKinney is located just north of Dallas and combines historic charm with modern amenities.

With its beautifully preserved downtown square, funky arts scene, and excellent schools, McKinney offers a friendly atmosphere. Residents enjoy a range of recreational activities and dining options in this rapidly growing city.

Portland, Maine

Wangkun Jia/Adobe Portland Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Population: 539,924

Portland is located along the rugged coast of New England. It exudes coastal charm and cultural richness.

Known for its picturesque waterfront, historic Old Port district, and renowned seafood culinary scene, Portland offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, arts and music, and a thriving craft beer culture.

Glendale, California

Taya/Adobe downtown Glendale California skyline

Population: 184,906

Glendale sits at the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley. It has a well-regarded arts and entertainment scene.

You will also enjoy its proximity to Griffith Park, which is often compared to Central Park in New York.

Santa Clarita, California

Jacob/Adobe aerial view of Santa Clarita California

Population: 217,003

Santa Clarita is located in the picturesque Santa Clarita Valley. It offers a perfect blend of suburban living and natural beauty.

With its pristine parks and scenic hiking trails, Santa Clarita provides residents with a high quality of life and a lot of fun activities. The city also boasts top-rated schools and a thriving entertainment industry.

Bottom line

Dragana Gordic/Adobe woman in her home is dressed for business

Finding a city with a super-low crime rate is a key consideration for retirees seeking a safe and peaceful environment.

Whether seeking historic charm or a great arts scene, retirees can pick a place on this list to settle down and enjoy their golden years with peace of mind and a sense of security.

Whether you plan to retire early or years from now, the cities on this list are good candidates to call home.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.