Three of the top four cities in which to retire are in Arizona, according to new research from

The Phoenix metro area ranked tops for retirement followed by Alexandria/Arlington, Virginia, and Prescott and Tucson, Arizona. Of the top five, 10 are located in either Arizona or Colorado — with Denver and Colorado Springs at the sixth and ninth spots.

“Deciding where to retire is a very personal choice,” said Chris Kahn,’s research and statistics analyst. “We ranked the cities on factors that matter most to seniors, but recognize that every city has its pros and cons that will be shaped by each individual’s personal experiences.”

The seven factors took into consideration when ranking 172 cities:

  • Local weather
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Health care quality
  • Tax burden
  • Walkability
  • Senior well-being — a measurement based on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

Others cities that made the top 10 include Des Moines, Iowa (5); Austin (7); Cape Coral, Florida (8); and Franklin, Tennessee (10).

The worst place for retirement is New York City, according to the findings. While New York ranked No. 1 for walkability and has a wealth of cultural activities for retirees, its high cost of living and high tax burden can make it a difficult place to live for people on a fixed income.

Of the top 10 worst cities for retirees, six are in the Northeast — with the other four being Little Rock, Arkansas; Oakland, California; Indianapolis and Cleveland.

“Just because a city ranks at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to spend your golden years,” Kahn said.

Investor appetite for independent senior housing is currently at a high, as property valuations continue to rise in the wake of attractive profits stemming from asset sales. In senior housing, large portfolios will account for a higher percentage of overall sales.

ROC Seniors Housing Fund Manager recently acquired a 14-property portfolio comprising a mix of independent living, assisted living and memory care units. The properties were located in Anaheim, Riverside, Culver City, Los Angeles, West Hills and Lompoc, California; Mustang and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Toledo, Ohio; Tomball, Texas; Elkins, West Virginia; and Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Senior Housing Properties Trust closed on 37 senior living communities for $763 million. The portfolio consists of roughly 3,500 units, one-third of which are independent living.

Berkadia recently arranged nearly $650 million in financing for the acquisition of a 32-property portfolio, which traded for a total of $850 million. Properties are located in California, Missouri, Texas and Washington, and comprise more than 4,000 units of independent living.

Email Erik Pisor.

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