Albuquerque : New mexico

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What it's Like to Retire in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with 522,000 residents - many of them retirees. It was the 6th fastest growing city within the U.S in 2007. The city is set in a unique place near the mountains.  Albuquerque is a vibrant college town, home to the University of New Mexico.

Old Town provides an interesting shopping and tourist destination. Albuquerque is trying hard to make the downtown an interesting destination. The city and surrounding area provide many outstanding recreation activities in the adjacent Sandia Mountains, including skiing. In 2009 Topretirements wrote a special feature on New Mexico retirementPhoto of Albuquerque at dusk courtesy of Wikipedia and Asaavedra32.

Where to Retire in Albuquerque and Home Prices

Albuquerque is popular with retirees because of its dry climate and beautiful scenery.  As a result many active adult communities are available within the area.  There are several neighborhoods within and around the town with beautiful homes and streets. Rio Rancho is a fast growing new community within the Albuquerque MSA that is the home to several master planned communities. Placitas is another area that at least one Topretirements visitors has chosen as her best place to retire. See link at top right for Albuquerque Active Communities.
The median sale price of homes was $193,500, in the second quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors.


What is special about Albuquerque

The Sandia Mountains. University of New Mexico and its 18,000 students. Old Town. Outstanding mountain recreation and scenery. Great climate. Old history. Petroglyph National Monument. The Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest aerial passenger tramway in the world, ascending to the Sandia Mountains from the city. Very rich cultural infrastructure.

What is not special about Albuquerque

Having to drive everywhere and traffic. Rampant growth

Who will like retirement in Albuquerque

Outdoor people and those who love living in the mountains or high desert. Many military people retire here because of the bases in the area (Kirtland Air Force Base).

Local economy is driven by

Construction, Kirtland Air Force Base, tourism, Sandia National Laboratories, University of New Mexico

Climate and Physical Environment

Albuquerque is at an altitude of between just under 5,000 feet and almost 7,000 feet - one of the highest American cities.  The Sandia Mountains are here and the Rio Grande River runs through it. Albuquerque is in central New Mexico.  Winters tend to have daily high temperatures in the 40's and 50's, dropping into the 20's or 30's at night. Occasional snows usually melt by day's end.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Albuquerque is home to 300 visual arts, music, dance, literary, film, ethnic, and craft organizations, museums, festivals and associations. These include National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico as well as various companies for  the ballet, theatre, and symphony. The University of New Mexico offers many cultural opportunities. Bubonicon is an annual science fiction conference. Other events include the gathering of nations pow-wow, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and the New Mexico State Fair.


The crime rate in Albuqueque is well above the national average.

Medical facilities

Albuquerque is amply supplied with more than 10 hospitals including Lovelace Medical Center, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, and a VA Hospital.


Transportation options include Amtrak, Greyhound, a new commuter rail system (New Mexico Rail Runner Express), 2 interstate highways, and 2 airports. The major airport, Albuquerque International Sunport, is only 3 miles from town. ABQ Ride provides bus transportation.

Valuable Links

Guide to New Mexico retirement communities
Wikipedia page for Albuquerque
Albuquerque Craigslist

What people are saying about Albuquerque

Albuquerque is like Breaking Bad
After almost giving away my home, I finally got out of The Land of Entrapment. This city is dangerous and getting more lethal my the day. The gangs, formerly functioning in the south side of town, have expanded into all parts of town over the past several years, have no fear of law enforcement and find the liberal judicial system to be almost a joke. Arrested gang members actually laugh and scoff at the TV cameras as they\'re being put into patrol cars and make comments about being bonded out shortly, and that\'s typically the way it plays out. Going into downtown ABQ at night is asking for trouble, and violence, often lethal, has become the norm down there. Car jackings, tire slashing, and home invasions are the current gang rage. Law enforcement is doing their best, but with a force that\'s understaffed by nearly 200 officers, the street force is woefully lacking and frustrated from having to find and arrest repeat offenders on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. While ABQ could have tremendous potential because of the typically comfortable weather and scenic terrain, the prevalent crime overshadows these attributes and causes law abiding citizens to remain close to home and rarely going out in the evenings. In effect, it\'s more of an ongoing defensive posture than a comfortable way of life. If you\'re seriously considering moving to Albuquerque, or anywhere else in New Mexico, I strongly encourage you to review the crime statistics before making a final decision because your life could depend on it, and the Chamber of Commerce will only tell you to sell you.
Posted by Desert Dude on August 10, 2016
After 25 years here, including nearly six in retirement, my wife continue to feel mixed about living here. We love the hiking/bicycling, our favorite restaurants and the fact our kid lives six miles away. We don\'t love the crime, and the medical care seems questionable. With major issues we\'ve felt no choice but to go to a major city with good medical care and rely on Houston TX. While we really enjoyed the dry air the first 20 years we were here, it now exacerbates our sinus issues. It\'s surprising how many people we know with allergy and/or sinus issues that are no especially minor. Of course, another down side to all that dry air is that forest fires are a hazard during the spring and early summer. Away from the fires, the smoke can get nasty at times. Although this is not an expensive place to live by most measures (its all relative, right?), there are really no breaks for seniors in New Mexico unless you\'re very poor, blind or disabled. Property taxes aren\'t extremely high, but higher than the facts on the right side of the page suggest. Present property taxes are roughly 1.35 to 1.4 percent of the appraised value, so roughly $2700 to 2800 for a $200k house. And, because of the present law that doesn\'t allow taxes to be increased by more than (roughly) 3 percent per year, if you purchase a house that is presently appraised a lot lower than the purchase price, expect the taxes to increase substantially once the house is re-evaluated. We call that \"tax lightning.\" In my opinion, New Mexico does have a lot to offer in the way of scenery, culture and climate. An individual has to weight what is important to them and decide...but Albuquerque is worthy of \"a look.\"
Posted by mrgoodwx on December 26, 2012
Medical Care for People on Medicare
We are finding that most doctors in Albuquerque will not accept patients who are on Medicare. In fact, the doctor I had previously left the state because he no longer wanted to deal with Medicare. The Urgent Care clinics are overloaded and provide very mediocre care. Albuquerque is definitely not a place to get sick in!
Posted by momsy254 on December 26, 2012

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  • State: NM
  • Environment: Urban,Suburban,College Town,Mountain,Outdoor Oriented,
  • City Population: 100,001+
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

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Albuquerque retirement communities
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1. Rating: 4.2/5 ( 13 votes cast)

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2. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 12 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
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3. Rating: 2.9/5 ( 14 votes cast)

4. Culture:
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4. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 11 votes cast)

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5. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 9 votes cast)

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6. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)

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7. Rating: 2.6/5 ( 12 votes cast)

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8. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 12 votes cast)

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9. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 10 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
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10. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 10 votes cast)


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