Albuquerque : New mexico


What It Is Like to Retire in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with 564,559 (2020 Census) residents - many of them retirees. It was the 6th fastest growing city within the U.S in 2007. The city is set in a unique place near the mountains.  Albuquerque is a vibrant college town, home to the University of New Mexico.

Old Town provides an interesting shopping and tourist destination. Albuquerque is trying hard to make the downtown an interesting destination. The city and surrounding area provide many outstanding recreation activities in the adjacent Sandia Mountains, including skiing.In 2009 Topretirements wrote a special feature on New Mexico retirementPhoto of Bernalillo County Courthouse in Albuquerque courtesy of Wikipedia and AllenS (public domain).

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by


Where to Retire in Albuquerque and Home Prices

Albuquerque is popular with retirees because of its dry climate and beautiful scenery.  As a result many active adult communities are available within the area.  There are several neighborhoods within and around the town with beautiful homes and streets. Rio Rancho is a fast growing community within the Albuquerque MSA that is the home to several master planned communities. Placitas is another area that at least one Topretirements visitors has chosen as her best place to retire. See link at top left for Albuquerque Active Communities.
The median sale price of homes was $321,700 in the 1st quarter of 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors.


What Is Special about Albuquerque

The Sandia Mountains. University of New Mexico and its 18,000 students. Old Town. Outstanding mountain recreation and scenery and nearly 300 parks. Great climate. Old history. Petroglyph National Monument. The Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest aerial passenger tramway in the world, ascending to the Sandia Mountains from the city. Very rich cultural infrastructure. Balloon Fiesta Park hosts the famous International Balloon Fiesta every year, along with hundreds of other events.

What Is Not Special about Albuquerque

Having to drive everywhere and traffic. Rampant growth

Who Will Like Retirement in Albuquerque

Outdoor people and those who love living in the mountains or high desert. Many military people retire here because of the bases in the area (Kirtland Air Force Base).

Local Economy Is Driven by

Construction, Kirtland Air Force Base, tourism, Sandia National Laboratories, University of New Mexico

Climate and Physical Environment

Albuquerque is at an altitude of between just under 5,000 feet and almost 7,000 feet - one of the highest American cities.  The Sandia Mountains are here and the Rio Grande River runs through it. Albuquerque is in central New Mexico.  Winters tend to have daily high temperatures in the 40's and 50's, dropping into the 20's or 30's at night. Occasional snows usually melt by day's end.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Albuquerque is home to 300 visual arts, music, dance, literary, film, ethnic, and craft organizations, museums, festivals and associations. These include National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico as well as various companies for  the ballet, theatre, and symphony. The University of New Mexico offers many cultural opportunities. Bubonicon is an annual science fiction conference. Other events include the gathering of nations pow-wow, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and the New Mexico State Fair.


The crime rate in Albuqueque is well above the national average.

Medical Facilities

Albuquerque is amply supplied with more than 10 hospitals including Lovelace Medical Center, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, and a VA Hospital.


Transportation options include Amtrak, Greyhound, a new commuter rail system (New Mexico Rail Runner Express), 2 interstate highways, and 2 airports. The major airport, Albuquerque International Sunport, is only 3 miles from town. ABQ Ride provides bus transportation.

Valuable Links

Visit Albuquerque

Guide to New Mexico retirement communities

Wikipedia page for Albuquerque


What people are saying about Albuquerque

Love Albuquerque!
We love New Mexico! I'm reading the other posts and wonder, What's up! Bad traffic?! Bad weather?! Bad healthcare?! We've had no issues. We love our time here. Albuquerque, we think, has the nicest weather in the southwest - a bit of all 4 seasons, but always sunny. People here very friendly. We immediately made great friends, found an inexpensive beautiful new home in, so far, a very nice and safe neighborhood; we enjoy walking, enjoy the year-round sunshine and very temperate weather; we enjoy that we can be "outdoors" in just 10 minutes walking along the river or hiking a trail in the mountains; we can often golf 11 months out of the year; we enjoy that this "city" doesn't have the sprawl or traffic of Denver, Phx, or Dallas. Yes, there's busy express ways like anywhere else. And yes, Albuq has crime. After living back east, in which the "cities" absorb all the crime statistics and the suburbs appear to be very crime-free . . . as Albuq is one big city, not divided into smaller towns, it gets a bad rap for the entire area. Yes, there's parts of town we don't frequent, and we're very cautious, and we're not out past mid-nite when it seems all this crime is taking place, but we've never felt unsafe. When we watch the news at night and see a lot of crime. I can say the same for every city when we watch their news. Here's a tip - don't watch the news!! Our health care has been very good. Granted we don't have major health issues, but we get good checkups and our meds are thoroughly reviewed. If some big health issue comes up, and we don't feel comfortable here, then, yes, we can take an hour flight to a bigger city and get the second opinion and advanced care. But overall we've found excellent doctors, and care. And, we'll stick with the wonderful dry weather and year-round sunshine, over the damp moist humidity and perpetual cloudy winters. We have some allergies, but for heavens sake we don't blame it on Albuquerque. The weather, everywhere, is changing. These poor plants thought spring was here in January. Again, we focus on being responsibly healthy, rather than rely on the Doctors to fix every ailment. This is a very healthy environment. Plus there's great Naturopathic - alternative care for that extra bit of health data. New Mexico is a poor State, right down there next to Mississippi. We all knew this when we arrived. There's no silicon valley, mega corporate complexes and high rises, billionaire neighborhoods, or private clubs. And on the racist scale, it's very low (from what we're used to), most likely due to the diversity of the population. We feel welcome everywhere we go here. What is here is a very Enchanting atmosphere. We talk to most everyone. We rarely wait in line for fine dining (no more "hour and half wait" for a table ); dining out is lovely and diverse and inexpensive; there's a very artistic and very diverse cultural atmosphere in which there's always something interesting going on. Santa Fe is 45 mins up the road, and we feel we've left the country. Our kids love to come out and bring their kids as they can go to a baseball game and get a great seat and not pay a fortune for tickets. Or go for walks in the forest or the desert to chase lizards, and they feel they have the entire place to themselves. And they can go skiing an hour away. Yes, there's lots of needed improvement. And yes, it's all in the news, good and bad, those reporting the bad news and those making a difference. We're here to enjoy, and make a difference. We feel very much at home and a part of this area, even after a few short 4 years. Just my opinion. Come join us!
Posted by lidman on April 23, 2017
Albuquerque is like Breaking Bad
After almost giving away my home, I finally got out of The Land of Entrapment. This city is dangerous and getting more lethal my the day. The gangs, formerly functioning in the south side of town, have expanded into all parts of town over the past several years, have no fear of law enforcement and find the liberal judicial system to be almost a joke. Arrested gang members actually laugh and scoff at the TV cameras as they\'re being put into patrol cars and make comments about being bonded out shortly, and that\'s typically the way it plays out. Going into downtown ABQ at night is asking for trouble, and violence, often lethal, has become the norm down there. Car jackings, tire slashing, and home invasions are the current gang rage. Law enforcement is doing their best, but with a force that\'s understaffed by nearly 200 officers, the street force is woefully lacking and frustrated from having to find and arrest repeat offenders on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. While ABQ could have tremendous potential because of the typically comfortable weather and scenic terrain, the prevalent crime overshadows these attributes and causes law abiding citizens to remain close to home and rarely going out in the evenings. In effect, it\'s more of an ongoing defensive posture than a comfortable way of life. If you\'re seriously considering moving to Albuquerque, or anywhere else in New Mexico, I strongly encourage you to review the crime statistics before making a final decision because your life could depend on it, and the Chamber of Commerce will only tell you to sell you.
Posted by Desert Dude on August 10, 2016
After 25 years here, including nearly six in retirement, my wife continue to feel mixed about living here. We love the hiking/bicycling, our favorite restaurants and the fact our kid lives six miles away. We don\'t love the crime, and the medical care seems questionable. With major issues we\'ve felt no choice but to go to a major city with good medical care and rely on Houston TX. While we really enjoyed the dry air the first 20 years we were here, it now exacerbates our sinus issues. It\'s surprising how many people we know with allergy and/or sinus issues that are no especially minor. Of course, another down side to all that dry air is that forest fires are a hazard during the spring and early summer. Away from the fires, the smoke can get nasty at times. Although this is not an expensive place to live by most measures (its all relative, right?), there are really no breaks for seniors in New Mexico unless you\'re very poor, blind or disabled. Property taxes aren\'t extremely high, but higher than the facts on the right side of the page suggest. Present property taxes are roughly 1.35 to 1.4 percent of the appraised value, so roughly $2700 to 2800 for a $200k house. And, because of the present law that doesn\'t allow taxes to be increased by more than (roughly) 3 percent per year, if you purchase a house that is presently appraised a lot lower than the purchase price, expect the taxes to increase substantially once the house is re-evaluated. We call that \"tax lightning.\" In my opinion, New Mexico does have a lot to offer in the way of scenery, culture and climate. An individual has to weight what is important to them and decide...but Albuquerque is worthy of \"a look.\"
Posted by mrgoodwx on December 26, 2012

Leave a Comment

To comment you must be a registered member of

Login Here


Create Your Free Membership Account

Suggest a community we want to know about your top retirement spots
Please note that all contributions to Topretirements may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit it here. By submitting content and/or photographs here you agree to give the rights to use them in any manner without cost or attribution.You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource (see Project:Copyrights for details). DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Copyright © 2006-2022 All Rights Reserved.