When it comes to choosing where to retire, today's seniors have a wealth of options in terms of location, types of housing and how much they'd like to spend during their retirement years, and Tucson consistently ranks among the best places in the country for retirees. Located in the Sonoran Desert and bordered by numerous mountain ranges, Tucson is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and over 13 percent of the population here is aged 65 and older.
1. The Weather Is Wonderful
Year round warmth is important for many seniors who struggle with achy joints and tired muscles, and lots of sunshine means plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities during your retirement years.
With an average of 350 days of sunshine annually, Tucson is one of the sunniest cities in the country, making it easy for seniors to enjoy time outdoors even during the winter. The summers here are hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees in June and July, while during the winter months, the minimum temps rarely dip below 37 degrees and daytime averages range from 65 to 74 degrees.
2. Homes Are Priced Below the National Average
As of August 2018, the median home value in Tucson was $181,000, which works out to $134 per square foot. That's significantly lower than the national average price of $218,000 and $150 per square foot.
The lower-than-average home prices in Tucson mean that seniors who own a home in another area can often sell their current property and purchase a well-appointed retirement home in Tucson outright, allowing them to live mortgage-free during their retirement years with money to spare.
3. Access To Quality Health Care
Tucson is home to more than a dozen hospitals, some of which have earned multiple five-star ratings on Healthgrades, including Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Tucson Medical Center and Banner-University Medical Center South.
There are also a number of specialty outpatient clinics here, including The Heart Center of Southern Arizona, the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute and the Center for Neurosciences. Additionally, the City of Tucson has an interdepartmental Senior Services Plan to ensure seniors have access to city-run services and wellness programs. City initiatives geared toward seniors include home safety checks by the Tucson Fire Department, accessible recreation classes and reduced fares for seniors who use the SunTran bus system.
4. Vibrant Retiree Community
An estimated 70,000 seniors aged 65 and over call Tucson home, which has led to the development of a strong, vibrant and diverse retiree community here. Facilities such as the Arizona Senior Academy, an affiliate of the University of Arizona, give seniors a welcoming space where they can pursue their interests, take classes and connect with other like-minded people.
Active seniors also appreciate the wide assortment of year-round activities that are available here, including the numerous golf courses, active arts programming and plentiful shops, museums and restaurants. There are three city-run dedicated senior centers which offer access to low-cost health programs, recreational activities, and volunteer opportunities.
5. Wide Range of Senior Living Options
Seniors who are looking for additional support or assistance with daily living activities have plenty of options in Tucson as well, with many assisted living facilities located within the city limits. A licensed real estate agent who specializes in the Tucson area is a great resource for retirees who want additional information about the area's housing market, new developments and things to consider when making a move to Tucson.
Retirement can bring about lots of changes, and it often gives seniors the freedom to live the lifestyle they've always wanted. Retirees who are looking to maximize their retirement budget without compromising the quality of life, access to health care or a sense of community should consider the value Tucson has to offer.