Houston makes list of top 20 most affordable places to retire

by Kerrie Kennedy

Home prices, taxes, health care, climate. These are all important considerations when deciding where to retire.

To help with the decision, 55places.com put all the factors together and came up with a top 20 list. The most important data points were cost (cost of living, median home values, median income and home prices), state taxes, transit score, walk score, volunteer opportunities, clime and 55+ community selection.

The list ranges from traditional retirement destinations to bigger northern cities to some surprising places out west.

At the top of the list was Boynton Beach in Florida. Known as the “land of five minutes,” because everything is five minutes away, Boynton Beach drew top scores for its short commute times, beautiful beaches and outdoor spaces, abundance of water sports, plentiful restaurants and shopping and plethora of 55+ communities.

There are few cities in the U.S. with more 55+ communities than Boynton Beach. Many of the homes there are priced below $100,000, although higher price points and more luxurious communities are available.

Coming in at No. 14, Houston received high scores for its museums, outdoor recreation opportunities and abundant, affordable suburbs. Houston is also home to 24 master-planned communities with resort-style amenities; 17 of them are age-restricted.

Dallas-Fort Worth claimed the No. 4 spot on the list, singled out for its big city amenities, including its large parks, sports teams and museums. Dallas also offers an array of retiree communities. Several of the area’s most popular communities are larger neighborhoods built into master-planned communities while others are smaller, more tight-knit communities for people who just need a clubhouse and some company.

Corpus Christi nabbed the No. 6 spot, thanks to its low home prices and location on the Gulf of Mexico, allowing residents to enjoy a year-round average temperature of over 70 degrees.

Coming in right after Houston, San Antonio made the No. 15 spot, thanks to its charming Riverwalk, low home prices and abundant restaurants. San Antonio is also home to 16 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities priced from the low $200s to high $400s.

Wrapping up the haul for Texas is Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley area, which came in at No. 16. A short drive to the coast where beaches, fishing and boating are available, Harlingen also offers a charming downtown area full of restaurants and antique shops. It also hosts Jackson Street Market Days, a collection of local art, live music, and food, on the first Saturday of every month.

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