These are the Top Four Places to Retire in Texas

A north bound train waits for departure at Arapaho Station in Richardson, Texas.

A north bound train waits for departure at Arapaho Station in Richardson, Texas. The Dallas suburb is just one top place to retire in Texas. Photo by Richard Murphy/WikiCommons.

Planning on retiring? You have your pick of places to land, but, year in and year out, Florida and Texas are always rated the top places to retire. Why?

First, there’s the weather. There’s a reason so many people decide to be “snowbirds,” those who leave the northern tier of states to flock down to Florida and Texas during the winters. With temperatures averaging in the 50s and 60s, at the lowest, throughout the coldest winter months, there’s no place better to land.

Second, it’s cheaper to live. There’s no question the cost of living in most of Florida and Texas is cheaper than anywhere along the Eastern seaboard, New England or the Midwest. It’s definitely less expensive than living in California or Colorado.

You won’t go wrong if you decide to retire in either place, for all or part of the year. So how do you decide which community is best for you, especially in a huge state like Texas? Here are the top four places to retire in Texas, as ranked by Niche.com, which ranks schools and communities.

1. Richardson, Texas

Richardson tops the list as the best place in Texas to retire. Located near Dallas, Richardson is home to some of the country’s biggest companies, including GEICO, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AT&T, Samsung and Texas Instruments.

Richardson’s appeal to retirees centers on a low crime rate, lots of year round outdoor activities, great weather, access to world-class health care and the cost of housing. The median home price is $197,100, if you’re looking to buy; the national average is $178,600, Niche says. Rental rates in Richardson average $1,131, compared to the national rate of $928.

If you like living close to a big city, while living in a great suburban area, Richardson is the place for you.

2. Tyler, Texas

Tyler comes in second on the list of the best places to retire in Texas. It also comes in first as the best small community in Texas. If you love a tight-knit community, where everyone knows one another, without getting into each other’s business, Tyler is for you. At the same time, Tyler offers a wealth of entertainment, dining and arts activities, enough to keep even the most ardent city-dweller occupied.

If you love gardening, especially roses, you’ll want to be in Tyler. The Tyler Rose Museum is housed in a mansion built in 1859 and explores the history of the flower in Texas.

Tyler is in east Texas, equidistant from Houston, Dallas and Austin. With its median income of around $42,000, it’s easy to see why retirees love to be part of the Tyler community. The median home cost is $138,000, making housing very affordable for even the lowest retirement income.

3. Abilene, Texas

Abilene comes in a close third, after Tyler, in the race for top cities in Texas to retire. Abilene is in the Texas Panhandle, in north central Texas. A city rich in history, Abilene hits all the high notes for best places to retire.

Not only is Abilene the No. 3 place to retire in Texas, it ranks 20th in places to retire nationwide. Why? The cost of living is affordable, with housing costs much lower than the national average and the community is supportive and tight knit.

4. Harlingen, Texas

For our fourth pick, we’ve chosen Harlingen. Why?

Harlingen is in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Close to the border with Mexico, it offers an even lower cost of living than those cities who have won top marks as the best place to retire in Texas.

Unlike our other cities, Harlingen boasts a large population of snowbirds, more than most cities in Texas. The warm winter weather makes Harlingen perfect for the World Birding Center, a national wildlife refuge. Close by the World Birding Center is another protected wildlife area favored by several hundred species of butterflies.

Harlingen not only boasts a great economy for retirees, but its healthcare infrastructure is world class. Harlingen Medical Center is nationally recognized, as is the Regional Academic Health Center, an extension of the University of Texas’ Medical School.

While we’ve given you the top four places to retire in Texas, almost anywhere in Texas is great for retirees, especially if you’re interested in being in Texas only during the winter months. Pick your criteria and there’s a city or town in Texas perfect for you to spend winters, while the rest of your family and friends are freezing through the snowstorms farther north.
Laurie Leiker is a published author, business coach and consumer advocate. She spent 10 years as producer and on-air investigator for the Troubleshooter Tom Martino radio show in Denver, Colo., where she helped consumers get back more than $2 million in one year.

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