Less than half of Americans plan to work past the age of 62 according to a 2022 survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A study by SmartAsset found Arizona cities to be the most affordable for early retirees.
To determine the best places for early retirement, SmartAsset compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across four categories: tax friendliness, elderly care, affordability and livability. Each city was ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 based on their scores in each of the four categories.
Four of the top 10 cities are located in Arizona, each being very tax friendly. The effective income tax rate is estimated to be less than 19% on average in all four cities and Arizona does not tax capital gains.
Gilbert ranks as the top city for early retirement. Across the 14 individual metrics that SmartAsset considered, including average effective property tax rate, home value-to-income ratios, retirement homes per 100,000 residents and violent crime rate, Gilbert ranks in the top five cities for three of them. It has the fifth best-average housing costs relative to income (19.35%) and ranks third best for its low violent crime and property rates (109 and 1,077 per 100,000 residents, respectively).
Just 10 miles away from Gilbert, Chandler ranks as the second-best city for early retirement. Across the four categories, Chandler ranks 12th best in tax friendliness and 13th best in elderly care. The average cost of a silver health insurance plan in Chandler is roughly $8,600 (16th best) and there are 11.19 retirement homes available for every 100,000 residents (13th best), giving it a high elderly care score. Chandler is also relatively affordable. Housing costs relative to income fall below 20% (seventh best).
Scottsdale ranks as the fourth best city for early retirement. It scored as the 15th best in tax friendliness and the 14th best in elderly care. The city also scored fourth best for average effective property tax rate (0.52%). Under the elderly care category, Scottsdale ranks 13th best for the number of retirement homes per capita, which is roughly 11 for every 100,000 residents, and 16th best for the average annual cost of a silver health insurance plan which is roughly $8,600. Scottsdale also had the sixth best housing costs relative to income (19.72%) and the eighth best violent crime rate of 179 per 100,000 residents.
Mesa, the third-most populous city in Arizona, ranks as the seventh best city for early retirement. It received high scores in elderly care and tax friendliness. Mesa residents can expect to pay roughly $8,600 annually for a silver health insurance plan, which makes the city the 16th best in that individual metric. There are also about 11 retirement homes for every 100,000 residents (13th best) and three medical facilities for every 1,000 residents in Mesa. Under tax friendliness, the average effective property tax rate of 0.53% is the seventh-best.
See the full report here.