Over half of retirees never move, according to the Center for Retirement Research. Instead, they remain in the same home they lived in during their early 50s, also known as aging in place. If you’re of the mind to pull up your roots and head somewhere new in retirement, it makes sense to relocate somewhere where the cost of living won’t strain your budget — and you can also enjoy spending time outdoors.
For example, cities where the average home value or rent is lower than the national average and the average annual temperature ranges between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit would be ideal. With all of the places to move in the U.S., it could take a while to narrow down a list of retirement destination possibilities.
To help, here are twelve surprisingly affordable cities for retirees that also have great weather, with a number of them located in Florida and Arizona, but a few other unexpected states, as well. All weather data is sourced from Weather Spark.
- Livability Score: 84
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 20.93%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,719
Over the course of the year, Metairie’s temperature stays between 47°F to 91°F. The weather rarely goes under 35°F or above 96°F, making warm-weather activities available to retirees from late March to mid-May and from late September to mid-November.
Perry Hall, Maryland
- Livability Score: 85
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 16.93%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,611
If you are looking to retire in a cooler climate, but want to avoid as much snow as possible, Perry Hall is worth considering for your golden years. The snowless period of the year lasts for nearly 8 months, from late March to late November.
- Livability Score: 73
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 41.79%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,000
The cold season in Laughlin is nice and short, going only a little over 3 months, from mid-to-late November to late February, and averaging a daily high temperature that stays under 71°F.
- Livability Score: 82
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 22.87%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,352
There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Titusville, because the weather is great from mid-March to mid-May and from mid-October to early December. Make sure that wherever you plant roots in retirement, there is a pool nearby to soak up the year-round temperatures between 52°F and 89°F.
Oro Valley, Arizona
- Livability Score: 80
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 34.55%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,637
No need for a heater in Oro Valley, where temperatures can soar to 107°F in the hottest months. Thankfully, this region of Arizona is known for receiving significant rainfall for nine and half months out of the year, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches.
- Livability Score: 84
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 28.82%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,754
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the weather. Georgetown has summers that are long and hot while the winters in town are short, cold and windy. No matter the season, though, Georgetown skies are partly cloudy all year round.
Cary, North Carolina
- Livability Score: 90
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 12.46%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,615
The Southern part of the United States is known for heat and humidity, with Cary being no exception with its extreme seasonal variations and a muggier period usually extending from late May to early October. Don’t worry, though, as the temperature stays in the range of 32°F to 89°F all year long.
- Livability Score: 88
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 11.58%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,143
The wetter season in Lawrence goes for half the year, typically from March 31 to Sept. 26, with a greater than 27% chance of a given day being a wet day. The drier season lasts the other half of the year, from Sept. 26 to March 31. So if you like humid summers and arid winters, you might want to consider retiring in the center of America.
Bel Air, Maryland
- Livability Score: 89
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 19.03%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,715
The warm season in Bel Air lasts for 3.6 months, from May 29 to Sept. 16, with an average daily high temperature above 76°F. Usually, July is the hottest month with an average high of 84°F and low of 68°F, which still isn’t that hot if you like your weather on the cool side.
- Livability Score: 79
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 61.01%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $4,488
The 53°F to 89°F range is where the temperatures tend to stay for the ideal climate in Venice. The only thing to watch out for is the winter winds that kick in at the beginning and end of the year. Late February to mid May and late October to early December are typically warm weather months.
Sun City, Arizona
- Livability Score: 70
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 74.48%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $3,686
Winter is cool in Sun City, where it is mostly clear year round, while dry weather takes over in the spring and summer. Annual temperatures fluctuate between 43°F to 106°F, while rarely dipping under 36°F or going above 112°F.
The Villages, Florida
- Livability Score: 69
- Percentage of Population 65 or Older: 85.70%
- Total Monthly Cost of Living: $4,011
Summers in The Villages can be a bit long and hot, but mostly cloudy, while the winters are cool and short. The temperature usually goes from 47°F to 90°F yet is rarely below 33°F or above 94°F, making it ideal for those retirees who like it warmer.
Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
Methodology: To find surprisingly affordable cities with great weather for retirees, GOBankingRates analyzed U.S. cities for a variety of factors, including;  Grocery cost of living index,  Healthcare cost of living index,  Utilities cost of living index,  Transportation cost of living index,  Miscellaneous cost of living index, all sourced from Sperlings BestPlaces,  the livability index sourced from AreaVibes,  August 2023 average rent sourced from the Zillow Observed Rental Index,  total population,  population aged 65 and over, and  percent population 65 and over sourced from the U.S. Census American Consumer Survey, and the average expenditure costs by category sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey for people aged 65 and over. The cost of living indexes are multiplied by the national averages to find the average for each expenditure in every city. Combining the total cost of living with the cities’ average rental costs gives the total monthly cost to survive in each city. The livability index rates each city across a variety of factors including; pollution, climate, traffic, etc., and can be a good indicator for cities with great weather. The livability index was scored and weighted at 1.50, the percent population 65 and over was scored and weighted at 1.00, and the total monthly cost was scored and weighted at 1.25. All scores were combined and sorted to show the cities that are surprisingly affordable with great weather for retirees. All data was collected and is up-to-date as-of Oct. 13th, 2023.
Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for representational purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the locations listed in this article.
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