The 10 best places to retire in Texas
The 10 best places to retire in Texas
The 10 best places to retire in Texas
Texas is the second-most populous state in the U.S. and is home to nearly 30 million people. Over the past decade, Texas has become increasingly popular for businesses and young professionals. But it’s long been a popular destination for retirees, thanks to characteristics like its low tax rates, warm weather, and affordable housing.
Are you considering retiring to Texas? To help you find your next home, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best places to retire in Texas, along with what makes them so attractive.1
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Hollywood Park, Texas
Hollywood Park is a relatively small Texas town with a population of just 3,300, as of the most recent census.2 It’s a part of Bexar County and the San Antonio metropolitan area. While small towns aren’t for everyone, Hollywood Park’s low population is a part of what makes it so appealing for some retirees, especially those who are looking for a home where they can get to know their neighbors and feel a sense of community.
Hollywood Park is a great option for retirees who want to feel safe in their new homes. The town’s total crime rate is 33% lower than the national average. The property crime rate is 23% lower than the national average, while the violent crime rate is an impressive 85% lower than the national average. Other things the town has going for it include its many amenities, its high livability rating, and its excellent schools.
That being said, the town also has some downsides to consider. Hollywood Park’s cost of living is about 32% higher than the national average. While the cost of goods is only slightly higher than the rest of the country, housing prices are more than 100% higher, making it difficult to find affordable housing, which can be a problem for retirees.
Katy, Texas is another city that retirees can consider moving to within the Lone Star State. Katy has a population of about 24,000 people, as of the latest census data. Katy is a part of the greater Houston metropolitan area, meaning residents can enjoy the benefits of living in a small city, while also enjoying everything the nearby bigger city has to offer.
Katy is highly ranked in several areas, including its livability rating, amenities, housing, and schools. Katy’s housing prices are about 10% lower than the national average, making it easy for retirees to find affordable places to live. The overall cost of living, while slightly higher than the rest of Texas, is a few percent lower than the national average.
Like most places, Katy does have some downsides. Its total crime rate is about 43% higher than the national average, while property crime is about 61% higher. The good news is that violent crime is quite low — it’s about 46% below the national average. That being said, Texas generally has a higher crime rate than the rest of the country, so Katy’s crime rate isn’t as high compared to the rest of Texas as it is compared to the rest of the country.
Fredericksburg is a city in Gillespie County in Texas. Despite being the county seat, it has a low population of just 11,000, according to the latest census data. Fredericksburg is located right in the center of Texas. And while it’s not located in a metropolitan area, it’s less than two hours from both Austin and San Antonio.
Fredericksburg has plenty of things going for it. It has a high livability rating, many amenities for residents, and a low crime rate. The total crime rate in Fredericksburg is about 56% lower than the national average. Property crime is 51% lower than the national average, while violent crime is 82% lower.
That being said, Fredericksburg does have some downsides. First, Fredericksburg has a low household income compared to the rest of the country (though this may not be an issue for retirees). The city also has a high cost of living compared to both the rest of Texas and the rest of the country. The overall cost of living is about 6% higher than the national average, while the cost of housing is about 23% higher.
Livingston is a small town in Polk County Texas, with a population of less than 6,000, based on the latest census data. The town is located in the western part of the state sitting on the large Lake Livingston and just outside Sam Houston National Forest. Livingston isn’t in a metropolitan area, but it’s just over an hour from the city of Houston.
Livingston’s biggest perks are its many amenities and its cost of living. The total cost of living in Livingston is about 12% lower than the national average. And while the price of goods is slightly higher than the rest of the country, housing prices are considerably lower. The city also has an unemployment rate that’s below the national average, and while household incomes are also lower than in other areas, it’s less problematic for retirees.
A major downside to consider before moving to Livingston is its crime rate. Livingston has a crime rate that’s about 123% higher than the national average. The property crime rate is about 146% higher than the national average. The good news is that violent crime is only 8% higher than the national average. While high violent crime isn’t ideal, it’s not nearly as high as property crime.
McAllen, Texas is a large city in Hidalgo County, sitting at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley just north of Mexico. It shares a border with the Mexican city of Reynosa. According to the latest census data, McAllen has a population of about 144,000.
McAllen has many things going for it, including its high livability score, many amenities, low cost of living, and low crime rate. McAllen has a cost of living that’s about 20% lower than the national average. Housing, in particular, is 32% lower, making it easy for retirees in the city to find affordable housing. While incomes are low and unemployment is above-average in McAllen, that may not be a problem for retirees.
As we mentioned, McAllen also has a low crime rate. The total crime rate is about 14% lower than the national average. More specifically, property crime is 1% lower than the national average, while violent crime is an impressive 78% lower.
Richmond, Texas is a small city in Fort Bend County, with a population of about 12,000, according to the latest census data. It’s located in the Houston metropolitan area, just southwest of the big city. Richmond is known for its rich history dating back to the 1800s, including its beautiful historic homes.
Richmond makes a great place to retire in Texas for several reasons. The city has a high livability score and many amenities for retirees to enjoy. It also boasts a low cost of living. The overall cost of living in the city is about 12% lower than the national average. And while the cost of goods and services is just slightly higher, the cost of housing is an impressive 40% lower. This is great news for retirees looking for a home with affordable housing.
The biggest disadvantage that Richmond has going for it is its crime rate. It’s not all bad news — Richmond has a total crime rate and a property crime rate that are lower than the national average. However, violent crime in the state is higher than the national average, which could make some retirees wary.
Woodway is a small city in McLennan County, Texas, and has a population of about 9,500, according to the latest census data. The city is located in the central part of the state, just south of Waco and about halfway between Austin and Dallas. Being so close to a much larger city in Waco, Woodway residents enjoy the perks of both small-town and big-city living.
Woodway has plenty of things going for it, including a high livability score, many amenities for retirees, and very low unemployment. Woodway also boasts an impressively low crime rate. The overall crime rate is about 55% lower than the national average. The property crime rate is about 52% lower, while the violent crime rate is about 66% lower.
The downside that Woodway residents have to contend with is high costs. Some expenses, such as groceries, transportation, and healthcare, are low compared to the rest of Texas, as well as the rest of the country. However, housing is 13% higher than the rest of the country, and about 36% higher than the rest of Texas.
Olmos Park, Texas
Olmos Park is a very small city in the San Antonio metropolitan area. The city has a population of just 1,800 people. It’s known for being the home to wealthy local business people, along with its large estates and park-like appearance.
One of the biggest selling points of Olmos Park is its low crime rate. The city’s total crime rate is about 26% lower than the national average. Property crime rates are 14% lower than the national average, while violent crime is an impressive 90% lower.
One of the most noteworthy characteristics of Olmos Park, as we’ve alluded to, is its wealth. The city boasts an average household income that’s 127% higher than the national average, and even more impressive when compared to Texas’s average income. The city also has an unemployment rate and poverty rates that are practically non-existent.
Of course, these benefits come at a cost. The overall cost of living in Olmos Park is about 48% higher than the national average, while housing is a startling 168% higher.
Kerrville is a city in Kerr County Texas that has a population of about 24,000 people. While the city isn’t located within a metropolitan area, it’s only about an hour from San Antonio and two hours from Austin. The city has plenty to offer, including its outdoor recreation and its strong arts culture.
Kerrville also makes for an attractive place to retire. The city boasts a high livability score, many amenities for retirees, a low crime rate, and a low cost of living. Kerrville has an overall crime rate that’s 45% lower than the national average. It has a property crime rate that’s 48% lower than the national average, and a violent crime rate that’s 30% lower.
As we mentioned, Kerrville also has a low cost of living compared to both the rest of the country and the rest of Texas. The overall cost of living is about 7% lower than the national average, while the cost of housing is about 15% lower.
Kerrville does have a few downsides, but they may not be a problem for retirees. The city has an average household income that’s below the national average, and its schools also have subpar ratings.
Texas has plenty of things to offer its retirees, including its low cost of living, low taxes, and warm weather. Overall, the state has a few disadvantages, including its above-average crime rate and below-average income. That being said, every state has its downsides, and when you look at the characteristics of the cities on our list, it’s easy to see why they make such appealing places to retire.
1 AreaVibes, 2023.
2 U.S. Census Bureau, 2023.
Empower's freelance contributor reviewed data from U.S. Census Bureau and AreaVibes, and ranked cities throughout Texas based on cost of living, crime rate, cost of healthcare, median home value, amenities score, and percent of the population above 65. The list was then narrowed down to the above-listed locations, which ranked well in the most categories. This for informational purposes only and is not a guarantee of future results.
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