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The Best Places to Retire in a Pandemic

Covid-19 is a game-changer when it comes to deciding where to retire. This list factors in places with the best health care infrastructures.

The pandemic, along with a volatile political and economic climate, has most people rethinking a lot of things. For those on the brink of retirement, the decision of where to retire isn’t as simple anymore as a sunny beach and low taxes. 

With coronavirus, access to good health care becomes more critical than ever, because an overwhelmed health care system isn’t much good to anyone. Even for those who evade the virus, delaying routine health care can have detrimental effects, so a local medical system that is resilient and responds well in the pandemic is an important consideration even for healthy retirees.

To compile this list of affordable places to retire while maintaining the best quality of life in light of Covid-19, WalletHub compared the retiree-friendliness of 182 U.S. cities (the 150 most populated cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state) across four key dimensions using a variety of data sources:

 • Affordability (25%) Taxes, cost of living, etc.

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 • Activities (25%) This includes a range of activities available, from theaters, museums and art galleries to golfing, fishing, book clubs and bingo halls

 • Quality of Life (25%)This includes factors such as walk score, elderly-friendly labor market, transit, weather and crime

 • Health Care (25%) which includes WalletHub's best health infrastructure for coronavirus, life expectancy, availability of doctors and dentists, home care facilities and suicide rates.

This list includes a majority of warm, affordable and traditional retirement spots punctuated by a few northern towns with hard winters.

Based on WalletHub’s study, these are the best places to retire in a pandemic, and includes each city's individual rankings on affordability, activities, quality of life and health care.