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The 10 Best -- And 10 Worst -- Cities To Retire In America

You may be surprised by what city came out on top.

Forget pristine beaches and palm trees. The top city in the U.S. to retire is actually Arlington, Virginia, according to Bankrate.com's annual ranking of places for retirees, released Monday. Rounding out the top five are: Franklin, Tennessee, West Des Moines, Iowa, Sarasota, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona. 

The study, by the publisher of finance content, considered nine categories when crafting the list: cost of living, climate, healthcare cost and quality, taxes, crime, well-being, walkability and cultural vitality. A wealth of cultural opportunities, a strong sense of well-being among seniors and great healthcare are the main reasons why Arlington was ranked number one. 

“We found that smaller cities and suburbs fared the best,” said Bankrate.com analyst Jill Cornfield, in a release. “Most seniors prefer to live in these types of communities because they offer access to big-city amenities without as much hustle, bustle and crime.”

According to the study, Niagara Falls, New York, is the worst place to retire. It was dragged down by high taxes, a cold/snowy climate and an above average crime rate. Milford, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Troy, New York, and Worcester, Massachusetts, comprise the rest of the bottom five.

In March, Bankrate.com released its annual list of best states to retire. Wyoming nabbed the top spot, followed by South Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Virginia.

Of course, other evaluations have come up with other suggestions for retirees. For example, if you are one of those people who would prefer retiring abroad, a recent ranking of 96 countries revealed that Norway is the best place to grow older, followed by Sweden, Switzerland and Canada.

So where do you want to retire? Scroll down to see Bankrate.com's complete list of top 10 U.S. cities to retire. And go here to find out more about what makes these cities so special.

 

1. Arlington, Virginia

View of the skyline of Arlington, Virginia, at night.
View of the skyline of Arlington, Virginia, at night.

2. Franklin, Tennessee

Historic square in Franklin, Tennessee
Historic square in Franklin, Tennessee

3. West Des Moines, Iowa

View of Des Moines facing west toward downtown.
View of Des Moines facing west toward downtown.

4. Sarasota, Florida

Downtown Sarasota from the Ringling Bridge.
Downtown Sarasota from the Ringling Bridge.

5. Scottsdale, Arizona

Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona.

6. Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock is just outside Austin, the capital of Texas.
Round Rock is just outside Austin, the capital of Texas.

7. Glendale, California

Downtown Glendale's high-rise buildings.
Downtown Glendale's high-rise buildings.

 

8. Cape Coral, Florida

Waterfront properties in Cape Coral with access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Waterfront properties in Cape Coral with access to the Gulf of Mexico.

9. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Street view and church.
Charleston Street view and church.

10. Kendall, Florida

Residential area of Kendall.
Residential area of Kendall.
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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Forbes Best Places To Retire 2016