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 and Waco — both about 90 minutes away from Austin — among the most affordable cities to spend the golden years.
In terms of affordable retirement, Waco took the the No. 10 spot followed by San Antonio at No. 13 spot.
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."
Waco garnered a top 10 ranking thanks in part to its low cost of living and income-to-home-price ratio. Other key factors, says 55places.com, are Central Texas' climate, Waco's college town vibe, and convenient location halfway between Dallas and Austin — all added benefits to retirees.
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.)
Many of the same factors that placed Waco on the list (climate, affordability), also showed up on San Antonio's hit list. The website also pointed to the city's solid public transit system and San Antonians overall well-being.
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.