If you are searching for the best places to retire in Arizona for 2018-2019, this guide should help! Furthermore, SLS Communities has great retirement locations in many exciting areas of Arizona. Thousands of retirees flock to Arizona each year to enjoy the moderate climate, escape the snow, and enjoy a state that has dedicated communities, towns, and cities for retirement age Americans.
We have found a wide variety of places for you to look at when considering your retirement options in Arizona. This list contains something for every senior. If you are looking for a suburban location close to all the major conveniences and facilities we’ve got you covered. But if you are after a more rural, country setting, where you can enjoy the great outdoors in peace, we have options for you too!
Our list looks at a number of factors, the kind of community it is, does it have a diverse population or is it more senior oriented, what is it like to live there, what can you do when you live there, how close is it to amenities and so on.
In short, we hope it will give you a snapshot of what these places will be like should you choose to live there.
An exciting and vibrant planned retirement community just west of Phoenix, Sun City has the reputation of being perhaps the most senior oriented city in the state. It features great stores, from the well-known chains to small boutiques, a wide array of medical professionals and facilities geared for the senior. Also, in many areas licensed golf carts can travel on roads! With nearly three-quarters of the city being of senior age or above, you will feel right at home with many social clubs and sports like pickleball, bowling and golf.
Sun City West
Sun City West has grown quickly and established itself as one of the top 25 places in the nation to retire too and with good reason! Like Sun City, it was planned and built with the senior in mind. Although not quite as large as Sun City itself, it combines a cozy feel with easy access to everything in Sun City. Not that you will run out of things to do in Sun City West that offers a wide variety of sports and lots of different social clubs for various interests.
Situated in the northern suburbs of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the popularity of Peoria continues to grow every year with seniors looking for a place to live close to all the major amenities and convenience of a major city (it’s only 11 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.) It’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful desert mountain landscape in the nation. With an average low in winter of 55 degrees and an average summer high of 95 degrees, it is an ideal climate for many seniors looking to relocate!
With a population of just over half a million, Tucson continues to grow and is a great option for seniors wanting to be part of bustling city life. The city itself is a combo of the very modern and old western charm and flavor. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, it is a favorite with outdoor lovers. The city is a popular destination for lovers of the arts with many theatres and galleries and if you are looking to for a city where you can enjoy the company of younger people, it is home to the University of Arizona!
Situated on the Arizona-Mexico border, Nogales is blessed with a cooler summer climate that most of Arizona. An average daily high of just 77 degrees makes it ideal for seniors looking for a more temperate climate. It is a favorite place for walkers and hikers as the trails are not as extreme as other areas in the state. Being a border town, it will help if you can speak Spanish or be familiar with Mexican culture to take full of advantage of what Nogales has to offer.
One of the most historic towns in Arizona, Prescott, less than two hours from Phoenix, yet at an elevation of nearly 5500 feet has maintained its small town feel despite a population of around 40,000. Whiskey Row (the main strip for nightlife) dates to frontier times. Increasingly popular with baby boomers, Prescott offers a cooler climate than Phoenix with older even historic, housing available downtown and modern retirement complexes available on the outskirts.
Yuma is known as just about the sunniest and driest spot in the USA. They get less than three inches of rain per year and over 330 days of sunshine! The city predates the 1849 California Gold Rush and much of the architecture of the city reflects that era. Lying on the banks of the Colorado River, Yuma has long been a US Army base and today still has a strong military community. Many seniors love Yuma as the cost of living is reasonable and there are many top-notch RV and mobile home communities.
Prescott Valley is the younger brother of Prescott. A planned community originating in the 1960’s it has now expanded and virtually joined at the hip with Prescott as suburbs creep ever closer to each other. It is slightly cheaper than Prescott for seniors to live, especially as you go further east towards Humboldt-Dewey and Mayer, but with most local amenities still in Prescott, a car is essential. Prescott Valley is very senior friendly with many activities and groups to interest the senior.
Located in the western suburbs of Phoenix, this small community (less than 6000) has an increasing senior population and may be ideal for seniors looking to permanently relocate to Arizona. Most people in Litchfield Park own their home and the community is known for embracing traditional American values. With an air force base near by, it has a patriotic vibe. Although local senior oriented amenities are fewer, everything is just a short car ride away in Phoenix.
One of the wealthiest cities in the country for its size, Scottsdale is home to many rotating arts festivals and fashion shows throughout the year and many seniors call the place home. It is also home to many private golf and country club communities, as well as being the home of The Phoenix Open (now sponsored by Waste Management.) Scottsdale is also home to many corporations and small businesses. Scottsdale is not the most affordable area in Arizona but has a lot to offer if it is within your budget.
Situated in the heart of the east valley, the growing population of Mesa (fast approaching 500,000) has made it one of the most diverse and affordable cities in Arizona with a wide range of housing options and communities for nearly every taste. Seniors enjoy having access to shopping close by from the major brand stores to independent small businesses, as well as access to nearly all forms of medical care. Mesa is a diverse community, upbeat and friendly, therefore welcoming to the active senior.
East of the east valley and nearly 60 miles from Phoenix, the city of Florence situated along US Route 60 is gradually becoming a more popular destination with seniors. A low cost of living is slightly offset by the fact you will have to drive to Apache Junction and Mesa for major grocery and big box stores. There is also a lack of dining options in the area. That said, the Sonoran Desert views are spectacular, and it is a few degrees cooler than the phoenix metro area.
Sierra Vista enjoys a great year round climate and the cost of living is below average for Arizona!. Of course, being the hummingbird capital of the United States, if birdwatching is one of your hobbies then you are going to find joy in being surrounded by all sorts of birds that are not common in other areas of Arizona.
The closest airport is a 68-mile drive, but it’s still closer than some other locations on the list. But, to balance things out, there are many things to keep busy with. In warmer months, the Sierra Vista Aquatic Center is available for locals, which is known as The Cove by many. There are also the therapy spas, lap pools, and wave pool available.
With just over a population of 28,000, Kingman offers many amenities for being a smaller place. This is the location of the International Route 66 Festival, which is an event that lasts four days with a parade, car show, and much more. Also, just off the historic road is The Roadrunner Café, which continues to provide great breakfasts to locals and travelers.
Although, if you are interest in traveling by airport, you will have a 102-mile road trip ahead of you, which will likely take you down the historic route.
Just outside Tucson, Sahuarita is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona. With Tucson only twenty minutes away there are plenty of great dining and shopping options as well as medical professionals and facilities available for the active senior.
It is ranked as one of the safest cities in Arizona and there are many festivals and attractions for fun, including the annual Fiesta Sahuarita. Because Sahuarita has a high standard of life and a rapidly increasing population the cost of living is increasing but there are no property taxes. There are not as many retiree specific amenities as some cities but there are plenty of parks and over 17 miles of local trails.
Green Valley is one of the most affordable senior friendly cities in Southern Arizona. Situated just 20 miles south of Tucson, over 80% of the community is age restricted and golf carts are legal to be driven on the streets. It is becoming very popular with active seniors because there are more than a dozen recreation centers, golf courses, swimming pools, fitness centers and a thriving arts and entertainment community.
A big reason for Green Valley’s increased popularity is the climate. The average year round temperature is just under 69 degrees Fahrenheit. The dry warm climate is also popular for those with arthritis. With Tucson less than a half hour drive away, there are plenty of shopping choices and medical options within easy reach.
Situated in far northern suburbs of Phoenix, Cave Creek, at an elevation of just over 2200 feet is increasingly popular with seniors. People have lived in the area for over 1400 years but Cave Creek came of age in the 1950’s and 60’s and still has a lot of the post WW2 charm with a big helping of old west architecture and street lay outs. Seniors are moving to the Cave Creek area as it is slightly cooler than Phoenix, the landscape is more of a lush desert with beautiful views of Black Mountain. The cost of living is slightly less than Phoenix, too!
All the conveniences of the big city are just a short drive away. With low crime rates and great dining options, Cave Creek will only continue to grow in popularity.
Paradise Valley is truly one of the most luxurious but also most expensive places to retire to in Arizona. The average property price is pushing $1.5 million dollars and the average household income is approaching $200,000 per annum. There are twelve very upscale resorts in Paradise Valley offering fine dining, spas and golf. High end shopping abounds in Paradise Valley an nearby Scottsdale. With phoenix close by, Paradise Valley is also a hub for arts and entertainment and the wealthy local population ensures all kinds of medical doctors are available.
It is also very warm indeed. With temperatures often over 100 degrees for extended periods during the day in summer time and goes down to an average of 54 in January. Crime rates are about half the national average meaning it is a very safe place to live.
Cottonwood is a small town located in Central Arizona, the scenery is pretty and it is geared more for the outdoor country lifestyle than towns and cities in more suburban areas. Traditional it its outlook, Cottonwood is probably best suited to independent seniors. Although it is a small town (population under 13,000) the nearby Verde Valley Medical Center is an award winning facility.
Cottonwood has the advantage of being very walk able, though temperatures often top 100 degrees in summer time. There are lots of activities geared for seniors however and plenty of music options and festivals throughout the year. The largest city of note is Prescott, nearly 60 miles away so there will be a bit of a drive if you want certain shopping options.
In the heart of Mohave County, Golden Valley is a quiet town but close enough to the cities of Kingman and Bullhead City to have everything the senior needs within a short drive. It is a very affordable place to live with average house prices less than $125,000. The temperatures in winter are mild and in the summer time somewhere between the mid 70’s and mid 90’s with the occasional high in excess of 100 degrees.
Golden Valley is situated in the desert and there are still plenty of undeveloped areas in the city and its surroundings. if you are looking to buy land and develop it, Golden Valley is definitely worth checking out. It is definitely a place for the active senior who enjoys rural life and is not dependent on having large shopping, dining and medical facilities on their doorstep.
Locations That Still Need Enriching
Each cactus has barbs of its own, and Arizona provided some among these great havens for retirees. El Mirage was ranked at the bottom of the list, with very poor scores in both weather and amenities, with an average summer temperature of 95 degrees. Trailing close behind was Marana, with few amenities for retirees, and a higher crime rate. While Avondale is a pretty location, it also came in the bottom of the list due to extreme summer temperatures and the crime rate.
With these locations aside, there is a lot that Arizona has to offer. For those that are seeking adventure or simply wanting to relax on the pool side, this state is able to shine some light on your golden years.
SLS Retirement Communities
We have 4 locations open and another location under construction in the state of Arizona which offer a variety of services and living arrangements. From independent living to fully assisted living we compliment our services with highly sought after amenities including memory care. See below for the locations we currently have available.