Mapping out the best and worst cities for retirees

  • Arlington and Alexandria were ranked by Bankrate as the top two best cities to retire.
  • The 10 worst places to retire was dominated by West and East coast cities.
  • Cities were ranked by cost of living, crime, well-being, walkability, taxes, healthcare, weather and culture.

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The thought of retirees moving to states filled with sunshine after kids move out and the house gets empty is a common one -- but not everyone is built for California or Florida. Yes, both states remain popular destinations for the 55-plus crowd, but according to a recent report from, some of the best places to retire are small- to mid-sized cities like Franklin, Tennessee and West Des Moines, Iowa. Bankrate studied 196 cities, big and small, that had available data in all the categories considered to determine the best and worst cities to retire: cost of living, well-being, walkability, taxes, healthcare, weather and culture. Besides having a considerably high cost of living, Arlington, Virginia is the nation's best place to retire. And the second-best place? Nearby Alexandria. The top 10 held three different Tennessee cities, including Franklin at no. 3, Nashville at no. 6 and Murfreesboro at no. 10. All three have a reported low cost of living, good ...