If you can’t bear another cold and snowy winter, consider heading south for your retirement years. These retirement spots have mild winter temperatures, as well as many amenities retirees need, according to a
U.S. News analysis of 100 metropolitan areas that included data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. These are the southern U.S. cities that scored the highest on the U.S. News Best Places to Retire 2019 ranking. Consider spending the winter or the entire year in these southern cities.
Fort Myers, Florida
Located on the Caloosahatchee River near Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers is an ideal place to spend your retirement years fishing or boating. Fort Myers has short and mild winters, with average January temperatures ranging from 54 to 75 degrees, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data collected over 30 years. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both built winter estates in the area to enjoy the pleasant winters. However, summers can be hot and humid, with temperatures frequently climbing into the 90s in July. Spending your winters in Fort Myers comes with a median home price of $233,100.
The picturesque sandy beaches bring many retirees to the Sarasota area. This Gulf Coast Florida city has warm and dry winters. The average temperature ranges from 52 to 71 degrees in January and seldom drops below freezing, but the area heats up and has high humidity in the summer. The median home price is $239,100 among people age 60 and older, according to Census Bureau data. There’s no state income tax in Florida, so retirees who continue to work get to keep more of their paychecks.
This state capital city is known for its unique quirky culture and is a hub for tech jobs. The city is also a college town, and residents age 65 and older are eligible for up to six tuition-free credit hours at the University of Texas–Austin. Winter temperatures only occasionally drop below freezing, with January temperatures ranging from an average low of 42 degrees to an average high of 62 degrees. The summer season sizzles, with an average high of 96 degrees. Housing costs can be high, and retirees have a median home value of $283,500.
The music scene draws many people to this melodious city, and there any plenty of amenities that make retirees likely to stay in town. Highly regarded health care is available at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is No. 17 on the U.S. News Best Hospitals Honor Roll. The median home value is $234,000 among people age 60 and older, and retirees who have paid off their mortgage have a median of just $429 in monthly housing costs. It does occasionally snow in Nashville, and average January temperatures range from 28 to 47 degrees.
San Antonio, Texas
The low housing costs make it easy to relocate to San Antonio. The median home value among those age 60 and older is just $161,800, according to Census Bureau data. Retirees who work part-time will appreciate that there is no state income tax in Texas. Summers are long, hot and humid, with an average high of 95 degrees in July. Winters in San Antonio are cool, but only occasionally freezing, with average January temperatures ranging from 41 to 63 degrees.
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Sports fans will find plenty of teams to root for in Dallas, including the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and Stars. Dallas has an unusually low cost of living for a large metro area. The median home price among retirees is $200,500, and rent costs people age 60 and older a median of $993 per month. Temperatures in January range from an average low of 37 degrees to an average high of 57 degrees. The Dallas metro area, which also includes Fort Worth, has sweltering summers, where the temperature frequently tops 90 degrees.
Waterfront property is abundant is this inland Florida city named for its many lakes. Winter weather is consistently pleasant and ranges from an average low of 50 degrees to an average high of 74 degrees in January. But watch out for the sultry summers with an average high temperature of 94 degrees. Retirees in Lakeland need to factor air conditioning bills into their retirement budget. Fortunately, housing costs are low. The median home costs just $146,500 among people age 60 and older. Retirees have median monthly housing costs of $1,140 with a mortgage, $410 among homeowners who are mortgage-free and $826 if they rent.
El Paso, Texas
Located on the western tip of Texas, the long summers blaze with an average high of 95 degrees. Winter offers a respite from the heat, and the temperature fluctuates between an average low of 33 degrees and an average high of 58 degrees. Home prices in the El Paso metro area are among the lowest in the country, costing retirees a median of $107,600. Homeowners age 60 and older pay a median of $990 per month with a mortgage, which drops to $384 monthly among those who are mortgage-free. The median rent for retirees is just $621 per month.
Daytona Beach, Florida
The home of NASCAR and several large motorsports events, Daytona Beach is a dynamic beach retirement spot. A home in this metro area near the Atlantic coast costs a median of $185,300 among people age 60 and older. Monthly homeownership costs are a median of $1,174 among homeowners with a mortgage and $426 for retirees who have paid off their home. The median rent among people age 60 and older is $924 per month. Winter temperatures fluctuate between an average of 47 and 68 degrees in January. Summers are warm, with an average high of 90 degrees.
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
The research triangle is named for its three research universities: Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, which provide jobs and amenities to the community. Health care is available at Duke University Hospital and the University of North Carolina Hospitals. The metro area that includes Raleigh and Durham has four seasons, with short winters and humid summers. While the average low temperature does dip below freezing in January, the average January high temperature is 51 degrees. The median home price among retirees is $240,600.
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The 10 Best Places to Retire in the South originally appeared on usnews.com