Want to Leave the Big City? These Are the Best Suburbs for Retirement

Learn which suburbs are best to enjoy your post-employment years.

Despite the increase in working from home and telecommuting, many people need to live close to their jobs to minimize their commute time — even if they dream of leaving the city to live in the suburbs. But, when you hit retirement, you’ll like have the option to finally move to a neighborhood you’ve been dreaming about.

If you’re ready to leave the big city, consider retiring in one of the places that made GOBankingRates’ list of the best suburbs for retirees. The study looked at suburbs with at least 1,000 households and ranked them based on taxes, living expenses, retirement income and livability. It also considered whether the state taxes Social Security benefits, as well as property tax rates. Living expenses included overall costs of living and the price to buy or rent a home. The retirement income categories analyzed how many people were receiving Social Security and retirement income, and how much they were receiving.

Not surprisingly, some of the best places to retire in this study include southern suburbs: Timber Pines, Fla., a suburb of Tampa, took the top spot, followed by Green Valley, Ariz., outside of Tucson, and Sunset Beach, N.C., which is part of the Myrtle Beach, S.C., metropolitan area.

Ultimately, the study identified 20 locales across the country.

©@ GOBankingRates

Among communities on the list, Dennis, Mass., has the lowest number of households with just under 1,200. The four suburbs with more than 10,000 households are all warm-weather suburbs: Laguna Woods and Lincoln, Calif., and Green Valley and Sun City, Ariz., with the latter having the most with over 23,000 households. Sun City also has the lowest cost of living, making it a cheap place to retire.

The suburbs on the list have a wide range of percentage of households receiving Social Security income. At the bottom is Perryville, Md., with barely 30 percent of residents receiving benefits, and Garden Ridge, Texas, which had just over 35 percent of residents receiving Social Security.

At the other end of the spectrum, Timber Pines, Fla., had the highest portion at 92 percent, followed by Sun City, Ariz., and Green Valley, Ariz., both of which exceeded 85 percent.

Here’s a complete look at the 20 best suburbs for retirement:

RankSuburbStateUrban CenterMean Income – All Households% of Households with SS IncomeMean Income –  Households with Social Security Income%  of Households with Retirement IncomeMean Income – Households with Retirement IncomeCost of Living IndexHome PriceProperty Tax Rate
1Timber PinesFloridaTampa$56,97492$23,85358.3$26,32291.7$159,9001.047%
2Green ValleyArizonaTucson$59,31785.1$22,00555.1$30,18595.7$198,9901.052%
3Sunset BeachNorth CarolinaMyrtle Beach$70,99277.4$24,25253.7$32,252100.5$324,9000.603%
4Fairfield HarbourNorth CarolinaNew Bern$65,90368.4$23,37652.3$32,719103.1$189,9000.713%
5Sun CityArizonaPhoenix$46,04085.2$20,67349.7$21,47390.8$169,9000.802%
6Pecan PlantationTexasDallas$97,90261.7$23,77548.2$36,05298.8$279,9001.194%
9Bermuda RunNorth CarolinaWinston-Salem$108,55855.4$22,28728.3$26,90096.5$167,4500.718%
10Olympia FieldsIllinoisChicago$116,77951.7$18,05443.6$49,963109.8$185,0002.009%
11Lady LakeFloridaOrlando$49,50167.4$20,48238.8$25,047103.8$229,4501.116%
12MesquiteNevadaLas Vegas$57,92758.4$20,39039.4$29,327101.7$275,0000.966%
13Laguna WoodsCaliforniaLos Angeles$56,24382.6$19,36434.4$28,073130.4$329,0000.715%
14Fort WashingtonMarylandWashington, DC$120,05137.7$18,01441.6$43,616118.9$322,4501.382%
15SappingtonMissouriSt. Louis$84,73847.6$20,76529.5$22,579100.1$289,9001.406%
16Garden RidgeTexasSan Antonio$142,23535.1$22,30346.9$43,077136.6$470,0001.397%
19Blue BellPennsylvaniaPhiladelphia$156,90439.6$26,31222.6$40,522145.6$449,0001.481%


Need help find the perfect place to retire? Click through to see some of the most luxurious retirement communities in the U.S.

Methodology: GOBankingRates included suburbs with between 1,000 and 50,000 households for this study. Each suburb was scored on (1) mean income, all households, sourced from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey; (2) percentage of households with Social Security income, sourced from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey; (3) mean Social Security income, sourced from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey; (4) percentage of households with retirement income, sourced from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey; (5) mean retirement income, sourced from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey; (6) cost of living index score, sourced from Sperling’s Best Places; (7) median home listing price, sourced from Zillow’s January 2018 data; and (8) property tax rate, sourced from Tax Foundation. All factors were scored evenly.