U.S. News Unveils the 2020 Best Places to Retire

Washington, D.C. – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2020 Best Places to Retire in the United States. The rankings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country’s 125 largest metropolitan areas – up from 100 last year – based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, desirability, health care and overall happiness.

Four Florida metro areas and two North Carolina metro areas rank in the top 10. Up from No. 2 last year, Fort Myers, Florida, tops the list due to increases in desirability, health care quality, job market strength and happiness. Sarasota, Florida, jumps from No. 3 to No. 2 this year, due to increases in desirability, health care and job market scores, despite falling in the areas of happiness and housing affordability. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, falls from No. 1 to No. 3 this year due to decreases in happiness and housing affordability.

In addition, two metro areas not previously ranked broke into the top five – Asheville, North Carolina, at No. 4, and Port St. Lucie, Florida, at No. 5. Both areas ranked high due to desirability and happiness scores; Asheville is also noteworthy for its affordable housing, while Port St. Lucie scored well for its retiree tax policy. Among the 10 most populous metro areas in the United States, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., only Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas cracked the 2020 Best Places to Retire top 10 – with all 10 of the largest areas scoring low in housing affordability.

“Deciding where to retire is an important part of your life plan,” says Emily Brandon, senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News. “When considering potential retirement spots, you should look for an affordable cost of living, proximity to health care services and a strong economy, especially if you plan to work part-time. The Best Places to Retire includes information about housing affordability, access to quality hospitals and job market strength that can help you find a retirement spot that will meet your needs.”

This year, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated from 100 to 125, to provide a more accurate reflection of where Americans can retire. The 2020 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, desirability, retiree taxes and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Survey respondents said happiness and housing affordability were their most important criteria when selecting a retirement spot. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

Best Places to Retire is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate channel, which provides rankings, tools and advice to help individuals navigate the housing market, from getting a mortgage and home value estimate to working with an agent to buying and selling a home.

2020 U.S. News Best Places to Retire Rankings – Top 10

  1. Fort Myers, FL
  2. Sarasota, FL
  3. Lancaster, PA
  4. Asheville, NC
  5. Port St. Lucie, FL
  6. Jacksonville, FL
  7. Winston-Salem, NC
  8. Nashville, TN
  9. Grand Rapids, MI
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX


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