The top 10 best places to retire

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Fort Myers, Florida.

Philippe TURPIN | Photononstop | Getty Images

There’s no place like home. Unless, of course, you are retired.

Lured by better weather, lower taxes or an improved quality of life, many older Americans consider relocating to stateS like Florida or the Carolinas.

To that end, U.S. News & World Report determined the best places to retire based on criteria such as housing affordability, taxes, health care and overall happiness, using data from sources including the Tax Foundation, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This year, Fort Myers, Florida, came in at No. 1, fueled by increases in health-care quality and a strong jobs market, followed by Sarasota, Florida. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was third, down from last year’s top position, in part because of a decrease in housing affordability.

The Sunshine State claimed four of the top 10 spots, according to the 2020 rankings released Tuesday.

Here are the top 10:

1. Fort Myers, Florida
Median home price: $219,200
Unemployment rate: 3.4%
Average annual rainfall: 53.2 inches

2. Sarasota, Florida
Median home price: $237,260
Unemployment rate: 3.3%
Average annual rainfall: 53 inches

3. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Median home price: $196,025
Unemployment rate: 3.4%
Average annual rainfall: 42 inches

4. Asheville, North Carolina
Median home price: $248,500
Unemployment rate: 3.2%
Average annual rainfall: 37 inches

5. Port St. Lucie, Florida
Median home price: $211,083
Unemployment rate: 4.1%
Average annual rainfall: 54 inches

6. Jacksonville, Florida
Median home price: $174,658
Unemployment rate: 3.3%
Average annual rainfall: 49.2 inches

7. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Median home price: $145,725
Unemployment rate: 3.7%
Average annual rainfall: 46.9 inches

8. Nashville, Tennessee
Median home price: $248,883
Unemployment rate: 2.8%
Average annual rainfall: 47.3 inches

9. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Median home price: $181,533
Unemployment rate: 3.1%
Average annual rainfall: 38.3 inches

10. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Median home price: $248,375
Unemployment rate: 3.5%
Average annual rainfall: 36.1 inches

“Deciding where to retire is an important part of your life plan,” Emily Brandon, a senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News, said in a statement. “When considering potential retirement spots, you should look for an affordable cost of living, proximity to health care services and a strong economy, especially if you plan to work part-time.”

U.S. News & World Report evaluated 125 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Here is the complete list of the best places to retire.

Still, most American retirees ultimately decide to stay put, and those who do move usually don’t go far, according to Rodney Harrell, director of AARP’s Livable Communities program.

More from Personal Finance:
Worried about health-care costs in retirement? Here are 4 ways to keep costs down
Nearly half of empty nesters still support adult children
How much money do you need to retire? Try $1.7 million

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