Tucson : Arizona


What It Is Like to Retire in Tucson

Tucson, Arizona (population 542,000, elevation 2,375 ft.) has been one of the fastest growing retirement communities in the country for a long time, and with good reason. Like Anacin, it offers a combination of ingredients to solve retirees problems - it is warm in winter, blessed with sunshine almost 300 days per year, has beautiful surroundings, and has ample land for development. At 233 performing arts dates per year, it also has one of the nation’s highest numbers of arts performances. It retains a distinctive relaxed, western flavor (Tombstone is nearby), and it celebrates outdoor life due to its climate and location. The University of Arizona has a large and beneficial impact on the city. The downtown has many areas and is undergoing careful redevelopment. Photo of bottom mountain with flowers by Molly Brady.

See our Blog article: "Why We Retired in Tucson", contributed by Harv, which has generated many member comments. Here is a practical mini-guide to Arizona retirement for even more.


Where to Retire in Tucson and Home Prices

The housing choices for retirees are among the most varied and economical of any place in the U.S. There are over 25 adult retirement communities with more built every year (see Active Adult Communities link at top right). Mobile home parks are plentiful and offer a low cost housing alternative. There are many condos and private homes in neighborhoods that are perfect for retirees.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median selling price of a home in Tucson was $360,300 during the 1st quarter of 2022, which is a 22.3% increase from a year earlier.


What Is Special about Tucson

Saguaro National Park, A city that caters to retirees, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Arizona's 2nd most popular tourist attraction, Grand Canyon being #1), More than 25 adult retirement communities, University of Arizona, Gateway to the mountains and Mexico, Tucson gets high marks for environmental sustainability, Bicycle friendly, Award-winning Public bus system, and is above average in walkability when compared to other communities.


What Is Not Special about Tucson

Traffic can become intense,  the summer heat is oppressive,  dry heat is better than humid, but when anyplace gets over 100, it's hot!


Who Will Like Retirement in Tucson

Tucson attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a bustling city in the beautiful state of Arizona. Many are attracted to the outstanding array of retirement community choices that are available.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is vital and diverse. It is primarily driven by health care, education, hospitality services, manufacturing, retail, professional and scientific (high-tech is very big here). But those days are fleeting fast as businesses are leaving the area for more tax friendly locals. This creates a greater tax burden on residents with each passing year.

Climate and Physical Environment

Tucson is located in the Sonoran desert in southern Arizona, 60 miles north of Mexico and 120 miles from Phoenix. It 's on the Santa Cruz River, which is a dry river bed for most of the year. Tucson is surrounded by 5 minor mountain ranges and the Coronado National Forest is northeast. Most of the year is dry, with the rains mostly coming in summer. Average July high is 101, January low is 42.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are many festivals throughout the year, such as the Rodeo Parade, Tucson Meet Yourself, Folk Festival, All Souls Procession, etc. The University of Arizona has an art and a photography museum. The Tucson Museum of Art concentrates on the arts of the Americas. The Arizona-Sonoran Museum is non-traditional and focuses on animals and plants of the desert. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Opera Company are important culturally, as is the Arizona Theatre Company.


Crime in Tucson tends to be at least double the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are at least a dozen hospitals in Tucson, at least there were until some of them had to shut down because of operating costs and other financial issues...


Tucson International Airport Amtrak Sun Tran (award-winning public bus system), Old Pueblo Trolley,  Biking – there are many trails and Tucson is bicycle-friendly, but there in NO integrated transportation system in and around the city. If you need to get somewhere you must have a vehicle or be prepared to pay a high price for a taxi service. Traffic has become a nightmare along with potholes.  Tucson's walkability is about average compared with other cities.


Valuable Links

Tucson AZ

Tucson on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Tucson

One of my brothers recently moved to Tucson and he wants me to join him there. I am a widowed 77 year old in very good physical & mental shape. I am going to visit him in a few weeks to get the feel of the place. If I do move I would want to live in a reasonably priced(under 200K, 2 bedroom house). Can anyone recommend a community that fits the bill so I can check it out when I visit. Norm
Posted by normcee26 on February 23, 2016
The mountains, canyons, and desert that surround Tucson are full of interesting plants and wildlife. Hiking and wildlife watching here has really changed my life. I live at the base of the Tortolita Mts on Dove Mountain. I walk most mornings along a roadside trail. It is fabulous for birdwatching and lots of beautiful desert plants. I explore the nearby mountains - Tortilitas, Santa Ritas, Catalinas. So fabulous! So much to see and do here. Even in summer, I head to the high elevations in the mountains where the temps are 10 degrees or more cooler. Or, just get up early for a walk or hike. The weather here is ideal 9 months of the year.
Posted by michelef on August 21, 2015
Living in Tucson is great. I love the sun. I love the people I have met. Best yet it is just a great place, culural activities of all kinds abound and we have great restuarants.
Posted by Tricialf on June 20, 2012

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