12 Worst U.S. Cities to Retire in 2024 (and Why)

We usually think about the best cities for retirement, but what about the WORST ones?


Considering retiree’s needs, there are a lot of great places for retirement in the United States, but there are also some that you should strictly AVOID.

Not all cities provide good healthcare system or an affordable and practical lifestyle for our golden years. Most of the cities tend to be either very luxurious or very poor. Even though we usually spend our time thinking about the best options for retirement, I believe we should also consider the places that need to be avoided. Nobody wants to spend their life as a retiree in a city where healthcare lacks resources or the costs of living are way too expensive.

So, which are considered the worst cities in the U.S.? Let’s find out!

Worst Cities to Retire
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We did some research and here are The WORST 12 U.S. Cities To Retire In 2024:

1. Kahului, Hawaii

Hawaii has the second-highest income tax in the country. Kahului is a wonderful city but is not ideal for retirement considering the high taxes and the high home costs. Also, the 82% young population makes the city a bad idea for retirees, because, as you probably already guessed, less than 18% of the population is over 65.

Even though Hawaii doesn’t tax Social Security benefits, those won’t be enough to sustain you in Kahului.

2. Beverly Hills, California

An average home value is around $6 million, so glamorous Beverly Hills is one of the worst places to retire in the United States. With such an amount of money, you can easily spend your life as a retiree while traveling and exploring the world’s most beautiful places.

3. Newark, New Jersey

An average home costs around 500,000 dollars, and the city doesn’t provide retirement-friendly activities. Also, it has a very poor hospital system, making living there for retirees even harder.

If the money or health system doesn’t represent a problem for you, Newark also has a few advantages, such as the airport and easy access to New York City.

4. Detroit, Michigan

Even though you can find Detroit among the good cities for retirement in the U.S., because of the low taxes applying to Michigan State, it isn’t a strong enough reason to live there as a retiree.

The city ranks poorly in both its health system and the quality of life, which are two significantly more important aspects.

Worst Cities for Retirement in U.S.
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5. Vancouver, Washington

Compared to the rest of the country, Vancouver has an above-average cost of living. The housing market is expensive, with an average price of under $500,000. Its advantages are not powerful enough to transform it into an ideal city for retirement.

6. Bridgeport, Connecticut

The city has a great health care system, which is essential for retirees. The only problem is caused by the young population and the almost inexistent retirement-friendly activities.

Also, don’t forget that Connecticut has some of the highest taxes in the country.

7. Baltimore, Maryland

With housing and groceries above the national average, Baltimore is not a friendly place for retirees. However, it has an advantage. It does have access to the Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Medical College health systems.

8. Wichita, Kansas

The home prices in Wichita are around $200,000, and the cost of living is 9% lower than the national average. The problem is that the city has a very low quality of life because of its bad healthcare system and poor activities.

9. Lubbock, Kansas

Here are some advantages for someone living in Lubbock: housing is 16% below the national average and the cost of living is 10 below the national average.

The reason why you can find Lubbock on this list is because it has a very bad healthcare system and it also has a lack of activities for retirees.

10. Miami, Florida

The average home price is almost $2 million in Miami. It’s also a loved place by tourists, which makes it even more expensive. Miami isn’t a good idea at all for retirees who want to save, travel, or find new hobbies.

Worst Cities to Retire in U.S.
Image by LG Media Group from Shutterstock

11. Wilmette, Illinois

Chicago retirees would be very happy to escape the city and live as retirees in the charming town of Wilmette. The problem is that Wilmette’s property taxes are the second-highest in the country. You’ll pay over $800,000 to buy a house, but you will still pay a lot for the taxes.

We recommend you visit Wilmette, but don’t consider it a good city for retirement.

12. Lynnwood, Washington

Lynnwood has access to impressive Pacific Northwest landscapes, but it doesn’t make it a good place for retirement. The costs of living in Lynwood are very high and it has just a 16% population over 65 years old.

Stay close to your loved ones

Where is your family living? Before taking into consideration any other factors, you should first make sure you are going to retire near your family. Spending time with your family and loved ones is the most important thing. Even more important than good healthcare because most of our problems tend to come from poor mental health. Living near your family members will not only boost your energy but also significantly improve your well-being and mental health. With your loved ones around, we guarantee you’ll get the best treatment.

Stay active and find new hobbies

If your age is getting closer and closer to retirement, you should feel blessed and lucky. Retirement represents the perfect time to take care of yourself and find new activities you enjoy. For example, you can start painting, reading, or even traveling, depending on your wishes. Set yourself free, and don’t be scared of this new period of your life that is going to be amazing.

On Amazon, you can find an irreverent, outrageous, and funny guide to life after work. The guide contains 101 things to do in retirement. It’s a perfect gift for your friends or family but it can also be read by anyone who loves life and laughter:

“No more morning commutes, no more idiotic bosses, no more stressful deadlines! You are not officially off the clock, and the world is your oyster. If your kids aren’t worried about what you are up to, then you are probably not doing it right.”

According to its reviews, it will make you laugh so hard. You should purchase it immediately if you don’t feel inspired enough and don’t know what to do in the next chapter of your life.

Why should you move for retirement?

If you have specific requirements, it’s a great idea to move to a place where your needs can be easily satisfied. Retirement brings into your life the moment when you can choose what kind of lifestyle you prefer. Do you want to be more active, or do you just want to relax? Do you want to move by the sea or live in the center of a big city? Once you analyze every aspect and decide what you would enjoy more, you’ll be one step closer to an amazing time as a retiree.

A lot of people feel the need for change when retiring, and that is why moving to a new city is a popular choice in the golden years. Most of the new retirees want to move to a retirement-friendly neighborhood in a smaller house. This will free up resources for other activities and new hobbies.

If we convinced you to move out of your city, you can also read this article on the same topic: 6 Clear Signs You Should Move for Retirement.


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