Santa Fe : New mexico


What It Is Like to Retire in Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, population 87,505 (2020 Census), is one of the top cultural destinations in the world.  Known for its art and music, Santa Fe was selected by Money Magazine as one of the  “Best Places to Live”.  The population growth of people aged 50+ has grown recently by 20%. 

Located at 7000 feet in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe offers a unique climate for active adults 55 plus – high enough to be near some good skiing, yet southern enough to have a year-round livable climate. It offers awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, canyons, and gorges. Plus it has a rich Indian and Spanish history – Santa Fe is the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. It was founded as the capital of New Mexico by Coronado in 1515.  Santa Fe has great museums and restaurants, in addition to being one of the art capitals of America. The city bills itself as the “City Different”.

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by thecityofsantafe

For more information on taxes see what it is like to retire in New Mexico


Where to Retire in Santa Fe and Home Prices

Santa Fe is a very desirable retirement community with a robust housing market. There are  55+ developments as well any number of affluent neighborhoods to live in. Average prices are quite high compared to the rest of the U.S. Zillow reports the median home value to be $584,002 in mid-2022.


What Is Special about Santa Fe

• Santa Fe Opera and its outside amphitheatre • Santa Fe Desert Chorale • Santa Fe Museum of Art and Museum of Art Laguna Gloria • Over 300 art galleries and over a dozen museums • Georgia O’Keefe Museum • Outdoor and wilderness activities of every description are very close. Santa Fe is one of Topretirements best retirement cities for arts (winning the Fine Arts category).


What Is Not Special about Santa Fe

 Santa Fe is so desirable that is has become expensive; with an altitude of 7000 feet newcomers might experience altitude sickness.


Who Will Like Retirement in Santa Fe

People who like living in the mountains and who enjoy the outdoors and a vibrant art scene.  Santa Fe has an international feeling to it.
Use this link for a page that explains the various types of retirement communities, and this one for what it is like to retire in nearby Utah


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and real estate are the drivers in Santa Fe. For help on finding other of the 100 best places to retire

Climate and Physical Environment

Santa Fe is in north central New Mexico, 58 miles to the northeast of Albuquerque. At 7000 feet,  the town has considerable altitude in the Rocky Mountains.  Winter temperatures are cold at night but warm up in the day.  The average summer temp is about 70 (F.) and 30 in January.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Santa Fe has a very rich cultural palette. The Santa Fe Opera venue is an amphitheatre in a gorgeous setting, it runs June through Augusts. There is an annual Chamber Music Festival along with other musical and performing arts organizations. Art is taken very seriously in Santa Fe as well – just think, Georgia O’Keeefe lived and worked here. Canyon Road, east of the Plaza, has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, and is a major destination for international collectors, tourists and locals.


The crime rate is above average in Santa Fe.

Medical Facilities

There are 2 hospitals in town, the PHS Indian Hospital and St. Vincent.


Albuquerque International Airport is 62 miles away. There is public bus service within town and local rail service within the region.  Dale Ball Trails is a 30 mile network of trails for walkers and bikers. As a walkable community, Santa Fe is about average when compared to other towns.


Valuable Links

Santa Fe


What people are saying about Santa Fe

Not for me
Santa Fe is a wonderful place to visit. We have been there often. The city has taken care to preserve its identity through restrictions on architecture. However, this \"look\" results in a sameness that, for us, is quite boring. I could never live there as it would be like residing in a touristy historical museum.
Posted by LS on September 26, 2017
great article about the santa fe scene
Dont miss this NY Times article about what Santa Fe is like
Posted by topretirementseditor on February 06, 2010

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