Identifying Your Ideal Retirement Spot: AARP Picks the 100 Most Livable Communities | SRES®

Identifying Your Ideal Retirement Spot: AARP Picks the 100 Most Livable Communities

SRES® Staff
lush trees around a calm gated pond

Searching for the ideal retirement venue can feel daunting, given that there are so many variables to consider.  

One starting point is new research from AARP's Public Policy Institute. It recently announced the 100 top-scoring livable communities across the U.S., a part of the AARP Livability Index™ Top 100. 

The AARP Livability Index uses 61 livability indicators to score every neighborhood and community in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those indicators include monthly housing costs and accessibility, transportation, environmental health, and opportunities for making social connections.

One valuable feature of the platform is the option to type in the zip codes of communities that interest you. The "How livable is your community" tool scores the communities you choose and allows you to make comparisons on features that matter most to you. 

If you’re unsure about specific cities, the Community Finder Quiz asks you about community characteristics such as size, housing budget, livability elements (environmental health, healthcare, safe transit, and so forth) that you value most. It then suggests neighborhoods that could fit your needs. 

This year's ten top-scoring communities by population size, in ranking order, include:

  • Very large communities (population 500,000+): San Francisco, CA; Ramsey County, MN; Dane County, WI; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Hennepin County, MN; Boston, MA; Multnomah County, OR; Salt Lake County, UT; and Montgomery County, MD
  • Large communities (population 100,000-499,999): Madison, WI; Cambridge, MA; St. Paul, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; Arlington County, VA; Rochester, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Chittenden County, VT; Olmstead County, MN; and Berkeley, CA
  • Mid-size communities (population 25,000-99,999): Portland, ME; Burlington, VT; South Portland, ME; La Crosse, WI; Belmont, MA; Somerville, MA; St. Louis Park, MN; Millcreek, UT; Roseville, MN; and Bozeman, MT
  • Small towns (population 5,000 to 24,999): Aspen, CO; Great Neck Plaza, NY; Orange City, IA; La Crescent, MN; Salida, CO; Pierre, SD; Pitkin County, CO; Falls Church, VA; Jackson, WY; and Falcon Heights, MN

If you're committed to aging in your community but want it to be more age friendly, AARP offers practical steps to start improving your city. Check out “Make Your Neighborhood More Livable. For additional topics on community improvement topics, such as bike audits, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and complete streets, visit AARP’s Livable Communities website.