The 50 worst US cities for retirement

Roman Babakin/ShutterstockBoston may be a great a college town, but it’s one of the worst places to live in retirement.
  • Certain US cities are the worst places to live when you retire, according to a recent ranking.
  • Choosing the best place to retire in the US means weighing affordability, quality of life, activities, and health care.
  • More than 20 of the 50 worst cities for retirement are in California.

Your golden years may be better spent in some places than others.

That’s according to a report from WalletHub, which ranked the 150 largest US cities for their suitability for retirement.

Unlike working years, retirement is often filled with trips to the doctor’s office and leisure time. In the twilight of life, reliable health care and low-cost happiness are important benchmarks when determining where to live.

Taking that into account, Wallethub scored each city on its list based on affordability, activities, quality of life, and health care. The four categories were weighted equally, and each city was given a total score and then ranked, with the lowest overall score designating the worst city. Wallethub used data for the city only, not the surrounding metro area.

Having a high score in one or two categories isn’t enough to stay off the list of worst places to live in retirement. Instead, having a balanced approach between the four measurements is important.

San Jose, for example, ranks in the top 10 for quality of life and the top 15 for health care, but still manages to be one of the 50 worst cities for retirement because of its relative lack of activities and affordability. California cities account for 22 of the 50 worst places to retire, likely due to the high cost of living in the Golden State.

Keep reading to see the worst places to retire in the US,according to Wallethub. We’ve included the total score for each city, out of a possible 100, as well as its individual ranking for each of the four categories.


50. Buffalo, New York

Total score: 45.26

Affordability: 85

Activities: 61

Quality of life: 84

Health care: 123


49. Arlington, Texas

Google Images

Total score: 45.16

Affordability: 46

Activities: 118

Quality of life: 68

Health care: 82


48. Glendale, California

Total score: 45.10

Affordability: 135

Activities: 99

Quality of life: 4

Health care: 37


47. Corpus Christi, Texas

Total score: 44.95

Affordability: 16

Activities: 74

Quality of life: 104

Health care: 147


46. North Las Vegas, Nevada

Total score: 44.84

Affordability: 22

Activities: 133

Quality of life: 37

Health care: 135


45. Tacoma, Washington

Total score: 44.65

Affordability: 95

Activities: 54

Quality of life: 136

Health care: 94


44. Boston, Massachusetts

Total score: 44.61

Affordability: 146

Activities: 24

Quality of life: 40

Health care: 65


43. Toledo, Ohio

Shutterstock

Total score: 44.32

Affordability: 39

Activities: 116

Quality of life: 131

Health care: 88


42. Spokane, Washington

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Total score: 44.27

Affordability: 96

Activities: 76

Quality of life: 105

Health care: 112


41. Santa Rosa, California

Total score: 44.11

Affordability: 143

Activities: 70

Quality of life: 10

Health care: 54


40. Anchorage, Alaska

Flickr Creative Commons

Total score: 44.04

Affordability: 120

Activities: 71

Quality of life: 82

Health care: 30


39. Irving, Texas

Total score: 44.03

Affordability: 46

Activities: 122

Quality of life: 78

Health care: 95


38. Norfolk, Virginia

Total score: 44.01

Affordability: 53

Activities: 78

Quality of life: 108

Health care: 117


37. Wichita, Kansas

Flickr via npelletier_photography

Total score: 43.94

Affordability: 105

Activities: 67

Quality of life: 121

Health care: 72


36. Mobile, Alabama

Total score: 43.70

Affordability: 14

Activities: 104

Quality of life: 135

Health care: 146


35. Garland, Texas

Total score: 43.56

Affordability: 46

Activities: 139

Quality of life: 47

Health care: 103


34. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Total score: 43.39

Affordability: 73

Activities: 100

Quality of life: 118

Health care: 105


33. Santa Clarita, California

Total score: 43.34

Affordability: 135

Activities: 112

Quality of life: 7

Health care: 62


32. Little Rock, Arkansas

Total score: 43.28

Affordability: 78

Activities: 81

Quality of life: 148

Health care: 111


31. San Jose, California

Total score: 43.27

Affordability: 145

Activities: 90

Quality of life: 6

Health care: 14


30. Newport News, Virginia

Total score: 43.05

Affordability: 53

Activities: 143

Quality of life: 85

Health care: 104


29. Columbus, Georgia

Total score: 42.91

Affordability: 25

Activities: 127

Quality of life: 86

Health care: 150


28. Garden Grove, California

Total score: 42.46

Affordability: 135

Activities: 120

Quality of life: 24

Health care: 38


27. Moreno Valley, California

Total score: 42.18

Affordability: 88

Activities: 149

Quality of life: 81

Health care: 127


26. Vancouver, Washington

Total score: 42.17

Affordability: 119

Activities: 110

Quality of life: 72

Health care: 61


25. Aurora, Illinois

Total score: 42.06

Affordability: 126

Activities: 106

Quality of life: 69

Health care: 71


24. Indianapolis, Indiana

Total score: 41.95

Affordability: 89

Activities: 82

Quality of life: 144

Health care: 107


23. Fremont, California

Total score: 41.56

Affordability: 149

Activities: 137

Quality of life: 3

Health care: 25


22. Riverside, California

Total score: 41.56

Affordability: 101

Activities: 131

Quality of life: 91

Health care: 97


21. Yonkers, New York

Total score: 41.46

Affordability: 147

Activities: 86

Quality of life: 38

Health care: 64


20. Oakland, California

cdrin/shutterstock

Total score: 40.67

Affordability: 148

Activities: 40

Quality of life: 130

Health care: 26


19. Anaheim, California

Total score: 40.53

Affordability: 140

Activities: 109

Quality of life: 49

Health care: 31


18. Baltimore, Maryland

Total score: 40.47

Affordability: 112

Activities: 59

Quality of life: 141

Health care: 125


17. Oceanside, California

Total score: 40.33

Affordability: 131

Activities: 103

Quality of life: 25

Health care: 96


16. Jersey City, New Jersey

Total score: 40.14

Affordability: 122

Activities: 96

Quality of life: 59

Health care: 119


15. Ontario, California

Total score: 39.92

Affordability: 100

Activities: 146

Quality of life: 99

Health care: 128


14. Oxnard, California

Total score: 39.79

Affordability: 121

Activities: 132

Quality of life: 53

Health care: 118


13. Santa Ana, California

Total score: 39.52

Affordability: 140

Activities: 84

Quality of life: 71

Health care: 58


12. Bakersfield, California

Wikimedia Commons/nickchapman

Total score: 39.23

Affordability: 91

Activities: 123

Quality of life: 96

Health care: 148


11. Chula Vista, California

Total score: 39.22

Affordability: 131

Activities: 142

Quality of life: 29

Health care: 73


10. Rancho Cucamonga, California

Total score: 39.09

Affordability: 115

Activities: 147

Quality of life: 63

Health care: 121


9. Fontana, California

David McNew/Getty

Total score: 39.00

Affordability: 97

Activities: 150

Quality of life: 89

Health care: 136


8. Modesto, California

Total score: 38.99

Affordability: 98

Activities: 140

Quality of life: 97

Health care: 144


7.Stockton, California

Total score: 38.79

Affordability: 93

Activities: 121

Quality of life: 126

Health care: 142


6. Fresno, California

Tupungato/Shutterstock

Total score: 38.68

Affordability: 94

Activities: 128

Quality of life: 119

Health care: 139


5. Detroit, Michigan

f11photo/Shutterstock

Total score: 38.41

Affordability: 90

Activities: 79

Quality of life: 149

Health care: 137


4. Worcester, Massachusetts

Total score: 36.63

Affordability: 114

Activities: 141

Quality of life: 126

Health care: 124


3. San Bernardino, California

Total score: 36.44

Affordability: 71

Activities: 148

Quality of life: 142

Health care: 138


2. Providence, Rhode Island

Total score: 32.31

Affordability: 133

Activities: 87

Quality of life: 146

Health care: 143


1. Newark, New Jersey

EQRoy/Shutterstock

Total score: 32.23

Affordability: 116

Activities: 108

Quality of life: 150

Health care: 145

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