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Tampa Tops List of Best and Worst Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

October 3, 2014 — Among the hundreds of “Best Places to Retire” lists we come across every year, once in a while we see one that has some merit to the way the list was developed. When we saw WalletHub’s recent list of the Best and Worst Places to Retire, we were impressed.

The website analyzed the 150 largest cities in the U.S. against 25 different criteria. Those included health care, affordability, weather, ability to find a job, activities, quality of life… among others. Most of the top cities were in the Southeast, Texas, and Midwest. Most you will be familiar with, but a few you might not, such as 2 of the Texas cities: Grand Prairie (a large suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth), and Plano (city just north of Dallas). Overland Park, Kansas is a suburban city south
of Kansas City.

Bringing up the bottom of the list were places like Philadelphia, Newark (NJ) and Providence (RI).

Here were their top 10 (Note that Kansas was the only state to break into the hegemony created by Florida, Texas, and Arizona):

Old Tampa

Tampa, Florida. Large city midway down FL’s west coast.
Grand Prairie, Texas. Suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth.
Orlando, Florida. You probably know where this is. Somewhat a surprising choice.
Saint Petersburg, Florida. Under-rated city just west of Tampa

Beautiful Scottdsale

Scottsdale, Arizona. Affluent suburb of Phoenix in a beautiful desert
Overland Park, Kansas. Just south of Kansas City
Port Lucie, Florida. A planned city on Florida’s east coast, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. The New York Mets have spring training here.
Cape Coral, Florida. Live on a canal in one of the most affordable places to live in a generally affordable, and low tax state
Plano, Texas. Suburban city north of Dallas
Peoria, Arizona. One of many cities radiating out north of Phoenix.

When looking at this list please remember that Wallethub only looked at large cities, not small or medium size towns. Here is where you can see rankings of all 150 cities.

The Wallethub feature has some interesting rankings by category, such as “Most Fishing Facilities per Capita” (Fort Lauderdale), “Best Weather Conditions” (Glendale, CA), and “Lowest Annual Costs of In-Home Services” (Brownsville, TX). The link also posts the worsts in these categories.

For further reading:
Topretirements 2014 List of 100 Most Popular Places to Retire
Worst States for Retirement for 2014
Topretirements Blog Category – Best States and Cities

Comments? Does this seem like a good list to you? Any city you really like (or dislike) for retirement? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on October 3rd, 2014


  1. Went to link of the study and I saw that weather was a double weighted variable. I searched for the word double..and when I read the comments I appreciated the one by Bert.

    by Elaine — October 4, 2014

  2. Henderson NV and Las Vegas NV are next to each other (geographically) but far apart on the list. Just seems odd.

    by John H — October 4, 2014

  3. I found it interesting that three of the top retirement areas didn’t even make the list, Myrtle Beach, Asheville, and The Villages. I guess they don’t have enough golf courses or sunshine!!

    by Bill — October 5, 2014

  4. Not a single place of interest on the entire list for me. Some of their affordability rankings seemed to be off as well. I’d like to see more lists of towns in rural areas with smaller populations, away from urban areas…..far far away!

    by Stephen — October 8, 2014

  5. I must say I think this is one of the WORST “best places” lists I’ve seen. A couple of the places in Florida, such as St. Pete and Port St. Lucie, are probably worthy of inclusion, but those big-city Texas suburbs and ultra-hot climates??!! Not for me, thank you.

    by Lan Sluder — October 8, 2014

  6. I live in Phoenix 15 minutes North of Scottsdale. Scottsdale is quite expensive, but lovely as is most of Phoenix. You get much more for your money is you look at the surrounding areas. I bought brand new and love all the things we have to do here, and it only takes me a few minutes to get into Scottsdale to enjoy what they have there!!

    by Loralee — October 9, 2014

  7. Anyone already focused on Greenville SC?………..we have this area targeted as we’ve visited many times to visit son at Clemson, BUT know very little about the adult communities around.

    by mitch — October 10, 2014

  8. Anyone considering retiring overseas (Italy, Malta or Ecuador for example)? If so how has your experience been and can you make any suggestions as to how best to get started (short of traveling to each country for a 2-3 month trial (which we are considering doing once my wife retires). Thanks.

    by Bob Heath — October 10, 2014

  9. We are retired military living in NJ and planning to retire from 2nd jobs in 2016. Seriously looking at Delaware and interested in comments from others on the subject.

    by gracie66 — February 16, 2015

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