Scottsdale : Arizona


What It Is Like to Retire in Scottsdale

When many affluent people think of Arizona, the first town that comes to mind is Scottsdale. The New York Times referred to it as the Miami South Beach of the west.  This fast-growing and well-to-do town was one of the first suburban outgrowths of Phoenix. Its setting in the desert  by the McDowell Mountains is spectacular. So is the infrastructure that has been built up - everything from luxury hotels to green golf courses to world class art and shopping is readily available.

Where to Retire in Scottsdale and Home Prices

There are many active adult communities in the area, including neighboring Paradise Valley.  Or you can live in one of the many fine neighborhoods or developments.  Surprisingly, there are some affordable communities in Scottsdale. For more about the area see the website
The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price to be $354,700 in the Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale area during the fourth quarter of 2020, a 20.1 % increase from a year earlier, and prices in Scottsdale proper will be higher than that.


What Is Special about Scottsdale

Scottsdale is an extremely affluent community with low crime rate and every kind of cultural and recreational attraction. Shopping and hotels are world-class. The Arizona Biltmore Hotel is a tourist attraction, and so is Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's former winter home, studio, and school.

What Is Not Special about Scottsdale

It is very expensive, and ungodly hot in summer

Who Will Like Retirement in Scottsdale

For the most part, very affluent people live here, including many retirees.  People who like the arts, shopping, and golf and tennis will find much to like here.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism is a major driver of the Scottsdale economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Scottsdale runs north south and is east of Phoenix, east of Paradise Valley and south of newer Carefree. It is next to the McDowell Mountains and the desert scenery is wonderful.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Scottsdale Community College and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture are just 2 of the institutions of higher learning in Scottsdale, let alone the Phoenix metro.  Wright's Taliesin (home and studio) is one of the top cultural tourist attractions in the West. Scottsdale's performing arts district features the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, which hosts musicals and plays. There are more than 125 art galleries in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Gallery Association sponsors a weekly Art Walk. Scottsdale celebrates its cowboy heritage with the Scottsdale Jaycees Parada del Sol.



Crime in Scottsdale is consistently lower than the national average.


Medical Facilities

There are at least 2 hospitals in Scottsdale (Scottsdale Healthcare has 2 locations) and dozens of others in the metropolitan area. Scottsdale's concentration of well-off retired people means that the area has been a magnet for doctors, every specialty is amply represented.


Scottsdale is about 15 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. There is metro bus service

Valuable Links

Taliesin West
Arizona retirement guide
Wikipedia for Scottsdale

What people are saying about Scottsdale

Heat in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is roughly 30 miles, from north to south. The central and southern parts enjoy the same weather and temps as Phoenix in the fall, winter and spring, and the same heat in the summer. There are a number of communities in the northern part of Scottsdale, though, that are a higher elevation -- roughly 1,250 feet higher -- that in the summer will generally be cooler by 5 to 7 degrees than the more southern locales. It\'s not one-size-fits-all. This is a world-class city, but many retirees -- roughly half in our community (Terravita) -- are snowbirds. Perhaps another quarter travel in the summer, and the remainder are here year-round. The latter group has developed strategies for dealing with the heat -- when to go out, when not to, where to exercise, when to shop. You learn fast during your first summer! The rest of the year, for eight months, the weather is glorious -- dry, comfortable and sunny, virtually every day.
Posted by elafreniere on July 18, 2018
summer heat?
So, how hot is it? Obviously, I can read the averages, but I\'d like to hear from folks who live there and how they deal with the summer temperatures. Do you really have to stay indoors all the time? We\'re looking at buying a retirement home in Desert Mountain, but I\'m worried about the summer heat. I\'ve lived in Dallas and the summers were awful with the humidity! And we loved the summers in Santa Fe, but it has long winters and a woeful lack of medical care. We are outside people (hikers, bikers, boaters)and don\'t want to be stuck in the house for any longer than we have to during the year. Thanks!
Posted by annalivi on February 04, 2016
Is Scottsdale still a great place to retire?
For most of my adult life one of the most recognizable names in Arizona is Scottsdale. It connotes a very prosperous community to me. I am wondering if with all of these new towns - Peoria, Gilbert, Surprise, etc. - maybe these are better places to retire. Perhaps less expensive and not so over-developed? Any insight would be appreciated.
Posted by lindabird on January 28, 2009

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