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8 Great Small Towns to Retire In

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
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Are you looking to relocate in retirement? If so, don’t limit your choices to only big cities. Whether you want a lower cost of living, beaches, mountain views or just a slower pace, small-town living has a lot going for it.

We’ve narrowed the long list of small-town retirement options to eight great small towns with a 2020 U.S. Census population of around 30,000 or less.

From tiny, close-knit communities to bigger towns with a growing population, small-town living could be just what you need to retire comfortably.

Here’s the rundown on great small towns to retire in and what each has to offer.

Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida
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Population: 28,000

This small town located on Florida’s Atlantic coast boasts numerous beaches and parks and a cost of living that’s around 5% lower than the national average.

With no state income tax and a population that’s about 26% age 65 and older, Vero Beach appeals to retirees seeking a laidback retirement lifestyle surrounded by natural beauty.

If Vero Beach doesn’t sound like your ideal retirement town but you’re attracted to the Sunshine State, check out “The 25 Best Cities to Retire in Florida” for plenty more options.

Coos Bay, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon
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Population: 16,000

Looking for an affordable coastal town in the Northwest? Located on a protected bay of the Pacific Ocean, Coos Bay is surrounded by verdant forests and state parks, offering lots of outdoor recreation activities for active retirees.

People over 65 make up around 22% of this small town’s population — compared with 16.5% of the national population — according to the Census Bureau.

Housing costs for a beach town are affordable, too, with the typical home value at around $335,000, which is slightly lower than the typical value nationwide, according to Zillow. And the cost of living in Coos Bay is nearly 16% lower than the national average.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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Population: 22,000

This walkable seaport town on the Atlantic Coast boasts unique shops and restaurants, historic buildings, cultural offerings and close proximity to dozens of other scenic New England towns. Outdoor lovers can enjoy boating, biking, kayaking and golfing.

The typical home value is steep at around $650,000. But New Hampshire has no state income tax on most types of earnings (only on dividend and interest income), and you can save with tax-free shopping just across the Piscataqua River in nearby Kittery, Maine.

Coolidge, Arizona

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona
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Population: 13,000

Travel + Leisure picked this desert town as one of the best small towns in the U.S. to retire in. If you love desert living, warm and sunny winters (and you can tolerate brutally hot summers), this small town is about 60 miles from Phoenix’s sprawling metropolis and all of its big-city drawbacks.

The typical home value is around $270,000 — far less than the $425,000 in Phoenix — according to Zillow data. Another selling point: Coolidge’s cost of living is about 12% lower than the national average.

To learn about other retirement destinations with mild climates, check out “10 Great Warm and Sunny Places to Retire in the U.S.

Morgantown, West Virginia

West Virginia University
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Population: 30,000

This college town in northern West Virginia made Kiplinger’s list of top small towns for retirement, thanks in part to the educational and social opportunities for people over 50 offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at West Virginia University. Members pay $30 annually to receive discounts on community events and field trips, among other benefits.

The typical home value in Morgantown is affordable, at around $250,000, according to Zillow. The cost of living in this small town is also about 10% lower than the national average.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
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Population: 2,200

Retirees looking for a low cost of living and natural beauty will find both in this tiny town.

Eureka Springs is known for its colorful Victorian homes and more than 60 natural springs. There’s also no shortage of art galleries and festivals in this town that is home to roughly 300 working artists.

Your retirement income can stretch a long way in this quaint community. The cost of living in Eureka Springs is about 17% lower than the national average, and the typical home value is only about $230,000.

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hendersonville, North Carolina
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Population: 15,000

Is being surrounded by mountain vistas on your retirement agenda? Then check out this small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Outdoor lovers can take in mountain views, hike to waterfalls and explore 12,000 acres of wilderness in Dupont State Recreational Forest. You’ll also find a wide selection of wineries, breweries and cideries in and around this town famous for its many apple orchards.

Silver City, New Mexico

Silver City, New Mexico
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Population: 10,000

People age 65 and older make up about 20% of Silver City‘s population — compared with 16.5% of the national population — according to the Census Bureau.

Retirees seeking culture will find plenty of music and arts events in this little town. With an average temperature of 54 degrees and an average of 300 sunny days a year, Silver City has pleasant weather most of the year.

Silver City’s typical home value is only about $200,000, according to Zillow. And the cost of living is 20% lower than the national average to help your retirement savings last longer.

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