Best and worst cities for budget-minded retirees

Feeling a little financially insecure about retirement? That might just be a matter of where you live.

The cost of living for retirees in New York City is roughly twice the cost of living in Nashville, Tenn. And the chance of getting a paid job when you're 65 or older is three times greater for those who live in Plano, Texas, than those who call Fontana, Calif., their home.

Such are the results of a new study by WalletHub that aimed to rank the nation's 150 largest cities by how friendly they are to retirees. A big component of the analysis was financial. It took a look at taxes, the cost of living, the cost of in-home care and the chance of securing a retirement job. However, the survey also considered weather, crime, a city's access to hiking, golfing, fishing, volunteer opportunities, and clean air and water, not to mention the availability of doctors, dentists and hospitals.

Florida contributed more cities to the list than any other state, putting five into the top 10 places for retirees. Tampa ranked No. 1, thanks to high scores for affordability, recreation and quality of life. Orlando came in third, partly because of its excellent access to health care. St. Petersburg scored well for being a friendly place to work when you're over the age of 65. And Port St. Lucie and Cape Coral scored well on affordability and recreation.

The other top places to retire include Grand Prairie, Texas, noteworthy for quality health care; Scottsdale, Arizona, for great weather and recreational activities; Overland Park, Kan., for it's ease of work and health care facilities; Plano, Texas, and Peoria, Ariz., which both scored well for health care and quality of life.

On the other end of the spectrum was Providence, R.I., which has a high cost of living and relatively poor access to health care and recreational facilities. Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; New York City and Chicago weren't far behind, thanks to high costs of living, poor weather and limited opportunities for full or part-time work.

The inland California cities of Fresno and Stockton were also among the worst cities, thanks to few activities and limited access to health care.

Notably, no city landed on the list as the result of one factor alone. When it came to affordability, Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., would have scored as the nation's two most affordable cities. However, neither scored particularly well in the overall ranking largely because the number of doctors, dentists and hospitals per capita and other quality of life measures fell short.

For those who think they're likely to need in-home services, Texas is the place to be, according to WalletHub's report. Four Texas cities -- Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo and Corpus Christi -- were noted for having among the lowest costs in the nation for in-home care.

Best places to find recreation and senior centers are in Baton Rouge; Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va.

Cities with the best fishing were all in the Sunshine State, with the top five slots going to Fort Lauderdale, Miami, St. Petersburg, Cape Coral and Tampa, in that order.

Want to know where your city ranks and what factors landed it there? Check out WalletHub's report on the 150 best and worst cities for retirees.

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