The Best Places for Single Boomers to Retire

Many baby boomers will find themselves suddenly single in retirement, typically because they are widowed or divorced. Almost a third of men (31%) and more than half of women (55%) are unmarried at age 65 or older, most often due to the death of a spouse, according to Census Bureau data.

When choosing a location to settle down for retirement, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors.

“Cost of living, weather conditions, local community and access to quality health care are just some of the main factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best spot for your well-deserved retirement years,” says Mercedes Zach, travel expert at ASAP Tickets, says.

“This decision is especially important for single senior citizens who are looking to find new hobbies and people to spend their time with as well as cut on daily expenses,” she adds.

Single boomers might put more emphasis on communities and opt for more populated cities than the traditional beach retirement towns. Here’s a look at the 12 cities with the most seniors who are currently single:

1. New York.

2. Los Angeles.

3. Chicago.

4. Miami.

5. Philadelphia.

6. Dallas.

7. Washington, D.C.

8. Boston.

9. Detroit.

10. Houston.

11. Atlanta

12. San Francisco

[See: Retirement Spots With Year-Round Nice Weather.]

1. New York

The New York metro area, which includes Newark and Jersey City, is home to more single people age 65 and older than any other city. There are more than 1 million older residents who are currently unmarried. Some 61% of women and 33% of men age 65 and older are single. New York has an unusually high proportion of people who have never married, but many older residents are also widowed or divorced.

The biggest downside of retirement in New York is the high housing costs. However, the city’s extensive public transportation system can help those who live outside Manhattan to visit new places and meet new people.

2. Los Angeles

Retirement in Los Angeles

brings the excitement of living near the movie industry as well as prolific sunny weather and pleasant California temperatures. The area’s top-ranked medical centers also draw people to LA. Many people age 65 and older, including 59% of women and 33% of men, are currently single, often due to widowhood or divorce. About 9% of older people in the Los Angeles metro area, which includes Long Beach and Anaheim, have never been married. The high home prices can make it difficult to relocate to the area, but many people find the Mediterranean beaches and big city pleasures to be worth the cost.

3. Chicago

You will need to bundle up against Chicago’s winter chills, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to meet new people. Some 58% of women and 33% of men age 65 and older in Chicago are single. Many people in Chicago are unmarried due to the death of a spouse, including 32% of older women and 12% of older men. Divorce is also a common reason to be single at age 65 or older, including 11% of men and 16% of women. About 8% of seniors in Chicago have never been married.

4. Miami

Retirees are often drawn to Miami‘s beaches and warm winter climate. There are also plenty of single retirees in Florida.

“The No. 1 location that comes to mind when thinking of the most popular retirement destinations in the U.S. is Florida. With its favorable weather conditions and thriving social life, the sunshine state makes the perfect place for a forever home,” says Zach.

In the Miami metro area, which includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, 62% of women and 35% of men are unmarried. Many Miami seniors are widows (34%) and widowers (11%), and 19% of women and 14% of men are divorced. Some 8% of people age 65 and older in Miami have never been married.

Many people relocate to Florida for retirement, so you may be able to connect with other people who are new to the area. But if Miami is not your speed, Clearwater

, Tampa and St. Petersburg top Zach’s list of midsized Florida cities for retirees.

[See: The Best Places to Retire in Florida.]

5. Philadelphia

Pennsylvania‘s largest city can be a great place to meet other retirees. More than half of women (58%) and almost a third of men (33%) age 65 and older are currently single. Some retirees are single due to divorce, including 16% of women and 12% of men. A third of older women and 12% of older men are widows or widowers. About 8% of the retirees in Philadelphia have never been married. You may be able to meet other retirees by volunteering at the area’s many historic sites and museums. Located on the train line between New York and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is considerably more affordable than these larger cities.

6. Dallas

Rapidly growing cities can be great places to meet new people.

“Single boomers are going to be on the younger end of the retiree set and will definitely benefit from retiring to bustling cities with plenty of things to do and plenty of people to meet,” Ann Martin, director of operations at CreditDonkey, says.


is among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and has attracted 145,915 new residents over the past decade. Single women often outnumber single men in older age groups, and in Dallas, the proportion of single women (55%) is twice that of single men (28%) among those age 65 and older. The Dallas metro area, which also includes Fort Worth, has an unusually low proportion of seniors who have never been married (5%). Most older residents are single due to divorce or widowhood.

7. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital attracts residents and visitors from throughout the world, many of whom are hoping to make a difference. Retirees may continue to play a role in politics or policy or get involved at the area’s historic sites or museums. More than half of older women (57%) and more than a quarter of older men (29%) in Washington, D.C., are single.

While 30% of older women have experienced the death of a spouse, only 9% of older men are widowers in the metro area. Due to divorce, 17% of women and 10% of men are single. Some 8% to 9% of seniors in the District of Columbia have never married.

8. Boston

Boston’s many colleges and universities hold many benefits for retirees, including the ability to attend classes and events and take advantage of medical care and scientific research.

More than half of women (58%) and 32% of men age 65 and older are not currently married. However, only 10% of women and 8% of men in Boston

have never been married. Many older women are widows (31%) or divorced (15%). Smaller proportions of men are divorced (12%) or widowers (10%).

9. Detroit

Detroit’s live music scene provides excellent opportunities for a memorable night out.

Many retirees in Detroit

are currently single, including 60% of women and 34% of men. About 7% of people age 65 and older have never been married. Older men are often single because they are divorced (13%) or widowers (12%). More than a third (34%) of older women are widows and 18% are divorced.

[SEE: The Most Affordable Places to Retire.]

10. Houston

Houston is the second-fastest growing city in the U.S. after Phoenix, and it has added 224,751 new residents over the past decade. While many people come to Houston for the job opportunities, it can also be an attractive place to retire with an affordable cost of living.

“Houston is the best place for single boomers to retire,” Lillian Dodd, lead publisher and travel editor at The Hobby Kraze, says. “I recommend Houston because it is a desirable spot to retire. You can live in a large city with a low cost of living. Also, there are various attractive sights, especially for elderly people.”

Among people age 65 and older, 54% of women and 29% of men are currently single. Far more women (32%) than men (9%) are single due to the death of a spouse. In addition, 16% of women and 13% of men are divorced. About 5% of seniors in Houston have never been married.

11. Atlanta

Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing cities in the South. Among people age 65 and older, 57% of women and 31% of men are currently single. Most older women in Atlanta are single due to widowhood (30%) or divorce (19%). Men age 65 and older are more likely to be divorced (13%) than widowers (11%). Only 5% of men and 6% of women in Atlanta have never been married.

“(Atlanta) offers many of the same weather-related advantages as Florida and Arizona for retirees, and the Atlanta metro’s huge variety of suburbs means that there’s going to be a living situation perfect for anyone, whether they’re looking for convenient urban living, natural beauty or a well-established and insular retirement community,” Martin says.

12. San Francisco

You’ll find plenty of single retirees in the City by the Bay. More than half of women (56%) and almost a third of men (32%) age 65 and older in San Francisco

are currently single. The San Francisco metro area, which includes Oakland and Berkeley, has an unusually high number of older people who have never married. Single older women are often widows (29%) or divorced (17%). Older men are slightly more likely to be divorced (13%) than widowers (9%). San Francisco’s high-paying tech jobs draw many people to the area, but the astronomical housing prices can make it difficult to relocate on a budget.

More from U.S. News

The Best Places to Retire in 2022-2023

The Best Affordable Places to Retire Overseas in 2023

The 25 Best Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023

The Best Places for Single Boomers to Retire originally appeared on

Update 03/23/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up