Golden Years

San Antonio glitters among most affordable cities for retirees to spend their golden years

San Antonio glitters among most affordable cities for retirees

Retired couple
San Antonio's climate and public transit systems are just two of the reasons it's a great spot to retire. Getty Images

Americans are living longer than ever, making where they retire an important decision. A new study from active adult communities review site 55places.com places San Antonio among the most affordable cities to spend the golden years. 

Determining the top 20 cities involved analyzing a series of factors, including:

  • overall cost of living,
  • median home prices,
  • state tax laws,
  • local health care options,
  • availability of 55-plus communities,
  • and public transit. 

"Seventy-seven percent of active adults need their next home to be affordable," said Danny Goodman, COO and co-founder of 55places.com, in a release. "But a home within a certain price point is only half of the equation. The surrounding area — whether or not an active adult community is of interest — plays an integral role in quality of life, and nearby attractions and available establishments can greatly enhance that."

In terms of affordable retirement, San Antonio took the No. 13 spot, thanks in part to its low cost of living and income-to-home-price ratio. Other key factors, says 55places.com, are South Texas' climate, the city's solid public transit system, and San Antonians overall well-being. 

Another appealing factor, 55places.com says, is Texas' lack of state income tax, which applies to both Social Security and retirement income. (Though they are quick to point out the state's high property and sales tax can mitigate this.)

Along with San Antonio, Waco was the only other Texas city to make the list. The home to Baylor University and Fixer Upper ranked No. 10 on the list.

Many of the same factors that placed San Antonio on the list (climate, affordability), also showed up on Waco's hit list. The website also pointed to the city's college town vibe and convenient location halfway between Dallas and Austin as benefits to retirees.

Overall — and perhaps unsurprisingly — Florida took four of the top five spots for the best cities to affordably retire. Coming into at No. 1 was Sioux City, South Dakota, followed by Ocala, Florida at No. 2. Lakeland, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; and Daytona Beach, Florida took the third, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively.