The Punchline

Fargo, Pittsburgh make "Best Retirement Places" list

Katharine Crnko Mar 25, 2011


When considering places to retire to, one usually thinks of warmer climates — like Florida and Arizona. Not Nebraska and North Dakota.

But according to a Forbes magazine’s list of the 16 Best Places to Retire, some of the U.S.’s colder cities are gaining popularity amongst aging Americans.

When making the list, Forbes considers factors such as living costs, taxes, crime rates, driving conditions, availability of doctors and outdoor activities, according to a report from Reuters. Several famed retirement destinations — such as Miami, Fla., Honolulu, Hawaii, and San Diego, Calif. — did not make the cut.

“If money was no object, would this be your list?” said Janet Novack, the executive editor who oversaw the research. “Maybe not. But these are places that we think are convivial around the country because they do well on all our factors or because they only have one or two negatives.”

And according to William P. Barrett on, the list’s main focus was the bottom line.

“[The list] considers a wide range of factors but focuses especially on two bottom-line issues — tax burden and cost of living,” says Barrett. “That’s why you won’t see any locations in the highest-tax, highest-cost states like California, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.”

Here’s Forbes’ Top The Best Retirement Places, in alphabetical order.

  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Salt Lake City, Ut.
  • San Antonio, Tex.
  • Tuscon, Ariz.

Only five cities on the list — Tucson, Ariz., Albuquerque, N.M., Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., and San Antonio, Tex. — are in the southern region of the U.S.

And some cities — including Salt Lake City, Ut., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Fargo, N.D. — are known for their long, snowy winters.


For more from Forbes magazine, check out their Top Retirement Places slideshow, and their 2011 Retirement Guide, which includes other lists such as the Best Cities For An Active Retirement and the Best Foreign Retirement Havens.

You can learn more about planning for your retirement at Marketplace’s Getting Personal and Makin’ Money blogs.

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