Press release from U.S. News and World Report:
U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new lists evaluate the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and desirability.
Boulder, CO debuted on the Best Places to Live list ranking at No. 1, while Denver, CO held at No. 2, and Austin, TX fell from the top spot to No. 3. On Best Places to Retire, Florida metro areas took a majority (13) of the top 25 rankings and swept the top three: Sarasota moved up a spot to No. 1, followed by Fort Myers at No. 2, and Port St. Lucie landed at No. 3.
Metro areas that ranked in the top 25 of both 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire include Charlotte, NC; Sarasota, FL; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Grand Rapids, MI; and Nashville, TN. Ann Arbor, MI and Naples, FL, which debuted in the rankings this year, also placed in the top 25 for places to live and retire.
“After a prolonged period of staying at home, people are taking a critical look at where they live, and many are looking to find a place they can feel happier, afford more or pursue new opportunities,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The Best Places rankings can help people examine the details they consider important in a larger community as they seek a house with a bigger yard or a spot that makes it easier for the whole family to quarantine safely together.”
This year, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated for both sets of rankings from 125 to 150, to provide a broader and more accurate reflection of where Americans can live and retire.
BEST PLACES TO RETIRE
This year’s 25 Best Places to Retire is dominated by Florida metro areas, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability. Increases in Desirability and Job Market scores lifted Sarasota from No. 2 last year to overtake Fort Myers for the No. 1 spot for 2020-2021. And while Port. St. Lucie’s Housing Affordability score slightly decreased, increases in Desirability, Job Market and Health Care scores helped it jump two places to No. 3. Miami, FL also saw a decrease in Housing Affordability but still broke into the top 10 this year, jumping five places to No. 9 thanks to Desirability and Job Market scores increases. The top 25 places to retire also includes three Texas communities, and two places each in Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“Moving to a new place for retirement can reduce your cost of living and improve your quality of life,” said Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor forretirement. “The Best Places to Retire includes information about housing costs, access to quality hospitals and the strength of the job market, which can help you find a retirement spot that will meet your needs.” The 2020-2021 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability 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. 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.