One of the most important considerations for aging Americans is whether they can afford retirement.

According to a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, fewer than one in five workers are “very confident” they will have enough money to retire. This places a heavy focus on affordability in retirement locations.

Another big factor for many retirees is whether or not their retirement locale will offer enough to do. In WalletHub’s annual “Best Places to Retire” report, one of the factors considered is activities. This section receives a full quarter of the weight in a city’s final score.

“Many people are looking forward to retirement not as a time to kick back and relax, but as a time to indulge in all the recreational activities that were previously limited to weekends,” observed BenefitsPro reporter Marlene Satter.

When the activities score from the WalletHub survey was isolated, these cities ranked as the five best cities for retirement:

  1. Washington, D.C.

    With an activities score of 49 out of 100, D.C.’s activities for mind and body gave it the top position. It also is in a five-way tie for most recreation centers, senior centers, and museums per capita.

  2. San Francisco, California

    When you remove affordability from the equation, San Francisco ranks an easy #2 on the activities list. This is thanks to having the most museums per capita and plenty of outdoor activities.

  3. San Diego, California

    Also not a winner in the affordability category, San Diego scored high on the activities roster. Beautiful weather and plenty of things to do outside in the area make an active lifestyle easier. It also received a 70 out of 100 for healthcare.

  4. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Fort Lauderdale is probably the most affordable city in this list and has the most fishing facilities per capita in the survey.

  5. Seattle, Washington

    Seattle scored fifth on the activities list, but only scored a 43 for healthcare. Quality of life was also relatively low for retirees at 57 out of 100.

“From experience working with clients who are transitioning into retirement or are retired now, there are a variety of non-financial factors that should be incorporated into the decision about where to live,” observed president and founder of Flourish Wealth Management Kathy Longo. “It is a great benefit for a community to attract retirees because they would be getting a wonderful population of volunteers, leaders, and mentors.”

Categories | Article | Market & Trends
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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