Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement

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If the kids are gone and off to college and it’s getting to be too much of a pain to shovel the snow out of the driveway or keep the bedrooms dust-free, it might be time to downsize and retire. Retirement can look different from person to person, you may want to retire under the sun in Arizona, or you may want to take advantage of the affordable real estate in Florida. To help you narrow in on your new life, check out our guide to the best places in the U.S. to downsize in retirement.

Best Places in US To Downsize in Retirement for Real Estate

Naples, FL

Located on Florida’s gulf coast, Naples real estate might as well be the condo capital of Florida. This city is famous for its high-valued condo properties and its senior-focused culture. Condos in Naples go for a median price of $535K and make up well over half of all properties in Naples. Naples is home to nearly 100 golf courses, meaning you could feasibly golf in Naples for the rest of your life and discover something new about each course every time you play. If you’re trying to downsize in retirement to a condo, Naples, Florida is one of the best places for you.

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA is an idyllic, small city in a county dominated by farmland; in effect, it’s a rural paradise. Though you’re just a little over an hour from Philadelphia and Baltimore, you’ll feel like the big east coast cities couldn’t be further away. Lancaster, PA, has some of the most diverse real estate perfect for downsizing in retirement. Whether you’re trying to live in a small townhome near the city center or  a private farmhouse out in the countryside, Lancaster, PA, has it all. The median listing price for a single-family home in Lancaster is just over $500K, while condos go for about half of that price.

Southern Pines, NC

Tucked away in the central forests and farmland of rural North Carolina, Southern Pines is one of the less-known popular retirement spots in the U.S. Southern Pines is surrounded by a wealth of golf courses, state parks, and has a downtown area perfectly suited for post-game dinners or breakfast meet-ups with your friends. Real estate in Southern Pines is made up mostly of single family homes with two-to-three bedrooms, just large enough to accommodate the grandkids during Thanksgiving and Easter, but still manageable to take care of. Single-family homes in Southern Pines go for $470K, making this place one of the more lucrative.

Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement for Sports

Arlington, TX

In central Texas, football is instrumental to the athletic culture of virtually every community. If you downsize and retire to Arlington, TX, squeezed in between Dallas and Fort Worth, you’ll be in football heaven. The nearest NFL team is, of course, the Dallas Cowboys, while the local high school football teams are all famously competitive. If you want to go see a Texas Longhorns college football game, Austin is a short (by Texas standards), three-hour drive to the south. For baseball, you have the Texas Rangers, the Mavericks for basketball, and FC Dallas for soccer.

Boston, MA

Boston has the best of every world when it comes to sports. Fenway Park is a joy to visit, regardless of how the Red Sox are playing. The New England Patriots garner huge crowds from as far north as Maine and well into upstate New York. The Celtics games are always a blast, as is the local hockey team, the Boston Bruins. Downsize and retire to Boston and you could go to a different game virtually every day of the week nearly all year round.

Miami, FL

Sports don’t immediately come to mind when you think of Miami, but they should! Watching Miami’s NFL and college football teams (The Dolphins and Hurricanes, respectively) are always well worth the price of admission. Plus, by living so far south, you can go to the football games in the middle of winter and still wear shorts. In addition to football, the city’s basketball team, Miami Heat, offers thrilling games and has a great history of success in the NBA. Finally, Miami has more than its fair share of golf courses, and is a great port of call for yachtsmen who want to sail out to the Bahamas during the winter!

Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement For Travel

Atlanta, GA

When it comes to downsizing and retiring, why stay at home when you can finally go abroad with all the wisdom, maturity, and money collected over your life? Real estate in Atlanta, GA, is a great place to downsize and retire to for travel for two key reasons. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, and is a great airport for flights over to Europe and to Africa. You won’t have trouble finding a departure time that works for you at Atlanta, especially if you fly Delta. On the domestic side, Atlanta is well connected to the rest of the south via interstates I-85, 75, 16, 20, and US-400, so if you’d prefer to explore the region by car, you won’t have to drive an hour out of the way just to get to a fast road.


Chicago has three fantastic means of travel. The first is by flight. The O’Hare International Airport is the most well-connected airport in the world. You can fly virtually anywhere from O’Hare, and being almost central in the country, you can get anywhere within the United States and Canada within three hours by flight. Just like Atlanta, Chicago is exceptionally well connected by interstates, but unlike Atlanta, travelers in Chicago have a second option. Being right on Lake Michigan, Chicagoans can sail or motor boat all the way to the Atlantic Ocean if they want to without ever leaving the water. You could feasibly take a grand cruise and visit places like Detroit, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Quebec City by virtue of downsizing and retiring to Chicago.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles might be better known for its celebrity culture, but don’t underestimate its suitability as a good city to travel from. Both far south and far west in the U.S., Los Angeles is a great place for travelers looking to visit Asia and Australia, as well as South America. While flights over the Pacific Ocean are always going to be long, if you have friends and family on the far side of the world, living in Los Angeles will make visiting them, and them visiting you, all the more easier. Plus, you get to live in Los Angeles while you’re not traveling!

Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement For Nature

Salt Lake City, UT

Whether you’ve been hiking all your life or you’re looking for a great way to stay fit and active in retirement, real estate in Salt Lake City might be the best place for you. Salt Lake City sits at the foot of the Wasatch Range, known nationwide for skiing and snowboarding. Several unique ecosystems, like the alkali salt flats and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge are not far from the city center and have great visits all year round. Finally, Utah  has an amazing variety of national parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges to explore. We recommend taking a trip down to Moab in the off-season (March-April) or over to Zion National Park whenever you get the chance. There’s enough natural beauty in Utah to last you a lifetime.

Pensacola, FL

Whether you like to laze on the beach or catch Spanish mackerel and red drum in the surf, Pensacola, FL real estate is right up your alley. Pensacola is located in the Florida panhandle, widely considered some of the best fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico. Pensacola-proper is shielded by barrier islands from storms at sea, while the beaches on the barrier islands are as pretty as any you’ll find in Florida. If you consider yourself a beach person, Pensacola is the perfect place in the US to downsize in retirement.

Frederick, MD

Maryland real estate might be better known for Baltimore, but in reality, the state is so much more. With its panhandle to the west and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coasts in the east, you could hunt white-tail deer in the Appalachian Mountains in the morning and catch sheepshead by a seaside pier in the evening. Investing in real estate in Frederick, MD would put you right in the middle of the state, and it is a lot like Lancaster, PA, in its character, a small city among farmland, while being well connected to major urban centers like D.C. and Baltimore.

Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement For History

New Orleans, LA

There is no other city like New Orleans in the US. Nearly every nation in Europe, Africa, and the Americas has come together to make New Orleans what it is today, a true melting pot that every amateur historian can enjoy. With museums for voodoo, jazz, and the war of 1812 all within the city limits, you could dedicate every evening to learning the city’s history in person and still barely get your feet wet. If you’re interested in how the Caribbean and North America mesh together, consider downsizing and retiring to New Orleans.

Denver, CO

If the Old West tugs at your heartstrings, Denver real estate is a great place in the U.S. to downsize in retirement. Denver has a rich silver mining history, and for the longest time Denver was considered one of the roughest towns in the wild west. An added plus of living in Denver is that you’ll be equidistant to most of the major historical sights of the Old West. So if you’re looking to make road trips to Wounded Knee, SD, or the cliff villages of Mesa Verde, Denver will serve as a great starting point.

Williamsburg, VA

If you had to choose one state of the Union to study the history of the early U.S., it would have to be Virginia real estate. Retire and downsize to Williamsburg if you’re interested in exploring the earliest permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, the final battlefield of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown, and many of the major engagements of the Civil War, so many of which are just a few hours drive from Williamsburg. The oldest section of WIlliamsburg has been preserved and is a major tourist attraction and learning center. If you ever want to get a feel for the 18th century, it’s still very present in Williamsburg, VA.

New York, NY

The history of New York City is the history of every major political, economic, and cultural movement to arise in the Americas and the world at large. To some people, New York City is just Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, but look deeper and you’ll see history as surprising, twisted, and thought-provoking as in Rome, Cairo, and Mexico City. Go underground to the buried foundations of the old Dutch trading port, or head up into the skyscrapers and see how the Empire State Building was built. There are no limits to what you can learn in New York City in your retirement.

Best Places In US To Downsize in Retirement

We hope you have a better idea of all the best places in the U.S. to downsize in retirement. Whether you’re trying to see the world or fish from dawn to dusk, you’ll want to get in touch with a real estate agent and learn what to expect when moving from a house to a condo.

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