Rochester : Minnesota


What It Is Like to Retire in Rochester

Rochester, Minnesota, is located in the southeastern part of the state on the Zumbro River, and is the county seat of Olmsted County. The town has a population of 111,402 (2014 census), and started out as a stagecoach stop between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa, during the 1860's. Rochester is known today as home of the world renowned Mayo Clinic, one of the largest and most respected medical facilities in the world, which brings millions of visitors to the city each year.

Several schools of higher education are also located in Rochester, including the University of Minnesota Rochester, Winona State, St. Mary's University, and the Mayo Clinic Medical School. The city has made several Top Ten lists the past few years that include Money's “Best Place to Retire”, US News and World Report's “Best Cities for Job Seeking Retirees”, and more recently, Forbes “25 Best Places to Retire in 2015”. named Rochester as its number one pick for 2016, for its health care, affordable housing, and entertainment options.  Although Minnesota is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", Olmstead County is one of the few in the state that has no natural lake.  Rochester is home however, to Silver Lake, a freshwater reservoir. 


Where to Retire in Rochester and Home Prices

The median home value in Rochester was $245,162 in early 2020, according to 


What Is Special about Rochester

Low cost of living, stellar health care, it's easy to get around the city by walking or biking.


What Is Not Special about Rochester

It's very cold during the winter months.


Who Will Like Retirement in Rochester

Those who want to live in a walkable college town with great health care, low crime, low cost of living, and volunteer opportunities would enjoy living here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

The Mayo Clinic is of course, the core of the economy. IBM has a large campus and manufacturing facility in Rochester.


Climate and Physical Environment

Rochester has four distinct seasons with very warm summers and very cold winters.  The average January temperature is only 17 degrees with July's average at 71.  It has about 30 inches of rain each year and 48 inches of snow.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The oldest cultural arts institution in Rochester is its Symphony Orchestra and Chorale which was founded in 1919; the town also boasts The Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, The Rochester Art Center, and the Rochester Civic Theatre; several cultural activities and events are hosted by the city and by the Mayo Clinic; Rochester has more than 3500 acres of parks and 85 miles of paved biked trails; Foodies would enjoy the Rochester Food Tour, which is a three-hour guided walking tour of the city during which you can learn about its history and architecture while sampling different cuisines.



The city has a low crime rate.


Medical Facilities

People from all over the world come to the Mayo Clinic for treatment as it is an integrated campus of top-notch facilities and physicians.  Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford have all been patients of the Mayo Clinic.



Rochester is serviced by a bus system and a subterranean walkway (called the "subway"), but it also offers a unique indoor skyway which connects the downtown with the University of Minnesota Rochester, and the Mayo Clinic, along with hotels and entertainment venues;  Rochester has an international airport; The city is definitely a bike friendly community as it has 45 lane miles of on-street biking, an off-street trails network, and bicycle parking throughout the town. 


Valuable Links

City of Rochester

The Rochester Symphony and Chorale


What people are saying about Rochester

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