The rankings are based off a variety of factors, including affordability and happiness.

After decades of working hard, life rewards you with retirement. For some, that's an approaching deadline, and for others, it's a distant dream. (And of course, there are the lucky ones already enjoying it.) Saving enough money to live off for the rest of your life is a major accomplishment, and it's something many Americans look forward to. And each year as we near retirement, we look forward to when U.S. News & World Report releases its best places to retire. Recently, the publication just announced its list for 2020.

Of course, there's a method to this roundup. According to its website, U.S. News evaluated the 125 largest metropolitan areas in the country, where the majority of the population lives, to see how these areas stood up to "Americans' expectations in retirement." Each city received an overall score that is made up of a weighted average of six indexes, and each index is scored on a 10-point scale. Those categories include affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and health care quality. To score each index, the site looked at a variety of surveys, rankings, and other data. After analyzing all these groups, here are the top 10 cities to retire in for the upcoming year.

  1. Fort Myers, FL
  2. Sarasota, FL
  3. Lancaster, PA
  4. Asheville, NC
  5. Port St. Lucie, FL
  6. Jacksonville, FL
  7. Winston-Salem, NC
  8. Nashville, TN
  9. Grand Rapids, MI
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
exterior of colorful residence in fort myers,florida
Credit: LUNAMARINA/Getty Images

The number one city, Fort Myers, which also happens to rank 35 on U.S. News' list of best places to live, received an overall score of 7.6. The city has a population of around 700,000 people, with the median age being about 48 years old. (In fact, more than half of the population is at least 45 years old or older.) The median home price is a little more than $219,200, and the median monthly rent is slightly above $1,000.

Though probably unsurprising to most people, the state of Florida occupies four of the top 10 rankings. This could be for a variety of reasons, like not having a state income tax, but it can probably be attributed to the state's year-round pleasant weather. (For example, the tropical climate in Fort Myers usually has temperatures ranging from 64 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.) Two cities that are probably more surprising to people are Grand Rapids and Lancaster, which aren't often thought of as retirement communities. The former had an overall score of 7.4, and the latter was given an even 7.0.

With such close scores for the top spots, any one of these places seems like a pretty great place to settle down.


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