While cost of living and close proximity to family are two of the most crucial factors to consider when it comes to deciding where to retire, it's also important to choose a place where you can enjoy an active lifestyle.
With that in mind, SmartAsset, a personal finance advice website, today released their rankings of the best cities for enjoying an active retirement. They looked at the 575 largest cities in the U.S., considering factors such as availability of gyms and athletic complexes, as well as walkability.
"The benefits of an active retirement are manifold. There are obvious health advantages, for example," said SmartAsset data editor Nick Wallace. "Regular exercise can help stave off heart disease, one of the most common medical problems facing many seniors ... An active retirement may also allow retirees to pursue a passion."
Cities in sunny California and Florida made the list, thanks to ample opportunities (and weather) for walking, biking, fishing and enjoying water sports. But the top three cities were actually in the mid-Atlantic region, including two in Maryland.
"Maryland is not a state typically associated with retirement, so it was interesting to see both Bethesda and Rockville rank in the top five cities. Though, looking at the numbers, both cities are quite conducive to an active retirement. For example, Bethesda has the 28th-highest concentration of seniors of any U.S. city, at 18.1 percent, along with the 18th-highest concentration of golf courses according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau," Wallace told The Huffington Post in an email.
Check out the top cities below and head over to SmartAsset to see the full rankings and methodology.