Tempe : Arizona


What It Is Like to Retire in Tempe

Tempe is a college town on the southeast side of Phoenix with a population of over 160,000. In addition to Arizona State University (ASU Sun Devils) there is a significant corporate presence. Tempe is one of the more interesting parts of the Phoenix area in which to live, in that is a streetscape with bars and restaurants to explore. Tempe also has an area called Tempe Town Lake, where concerts, festivals and other events are held. Photos courtesy of Wikipedia (skyline by Schwnj).

The Mill Avenue shopping district is one of the more interesting places in the city, because it offers a variety of restaurants and shops. Many are geared to the thousands of ASU students who inhabit the immediate area. Most people of retirement age would not want to live in the vicinity of this mega-university, but many people enjoy visiting Tempe's downtown and taking in the vibrant atmosphere, made more interesting by the presence of the students.

Tempe offers one of the most exciting New Years celebrations in the country. All of downtown is fenced off and, for a modest admission charge, you can enjoy a variety of entertainment ranging from bands to dancers to bmx bike demos, as well as two fireworks displays and, usually, a major concert by a band that most people will have heard of.


Where to Retire in Tempe and Home Prices

The farther south you travel in Tempe, the newer the neighborhoods you find. Like most of the state, Tempe was hit hard by the real estate bust, which has created some real opportunities for buyers.  Retirees should note that Tempe is not a city with many 55+ communities. If you want to live in Tempe, you will most likely be the kind of people who like the ability to interact with neighbors of all ages. For retirees who want to live in the community itself, there are plenty of good places at most price points. The median price of a home in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale was $295,400 in the 4th quarter of 2019, according to the NAR. The Zillow Home Value Index in Tempe was $315,280 in early 2020, with Zillow calling it a "Very Hot" market at this time.


What Is Special about Tempe

The presence of ASU makes this a college town and a fun place to live and visit. The mountains and desert are near, and Tempe Town Lake is also a nice addition.  Tempe is above average in walkability when compared to other communities.


What Is Not Special about Tempe

It is pretty darn hot here in the summertime.   For conservative oriented people, living in a liberal college town could be frustrating.


Who Will Like Retirement in Tempe

Folks who like the idea of living in a college town in the desert, where outdoor activities are plentiful will probably like Tempe.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Arizona State University and its 54,000 students are a major factor in the local economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

Tempe is about 12 miles southeast of Phoenix, although they tend to run together.  The average January temperature is in the mid 50s whereas the average July temperature is 90. It is typical to have 3+ months of 100 degree days.  It is dry heat, but it is still hot!


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Mill Avenue area has many restaurants and shops. Those include two Irish bars/restaurants, a sophisticated brew pub, a couple of popular Mexican restaurants, some other enthic restaurants, and sandwich shops that round out the food offerings in this part of town. The presence of ASU means there are many cultural activities for Tempe residents to enjoy. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed ASU Gammage Auditorium seats 3,000 and offers a variety of plays, Broadway shows and other forms of entertainment throughout the year. Tempe has a very active senior center that is part of a municipal complex that also includes recreation facilities and a modern town library.



The crime rate is almost exactly equal to the national average.


Medical Facilities

There are acute care medical resources in adjacent Mesa and Chandler, plus major hospitals and specialists of every description in the Phoenix area.



There is the METRO light rail system to Phoenix, as well as some free shuttle bus service near the ASU campus. Phoenix Sky Harbor is a major airport.  Tempe has a high Walk Score of 61.6 from walkscore.com.


Valuable Links

Wikipedia page on Tempe

Tempe Tourism


What people are saying about Tempe

worst place to retire
[b:46ec07a016]stay away from the meadows mobile home park in my opinion they are trying to steal the homes right ouUT from under you so they can rent them for more profit. [/b:46ec07a016]
Posted by roseberman on April 06, 2015

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