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For some retirees, a car can easily become a burden when living on a fixed monthly budget. Even if your vehicle is paid off entirely, the associated costs, such as gas, insurance, and maintenance, could set you back hundreds of dollars each month. Along with the costs of maintaining a vehicle, some folks look towards a retirement that includes less stressors and a simpler way of living. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 5 best U.S. cities to retire that won’t require you to have a car.
Thanks to both walkability and public transit, Miami is one of the best cities in the United States to live in without a car. Miami already has a large population of retirees and therefore has the infrastructure to support an aging population—free public transit, plenty of hospitals, and relatively affordable housing in certain areas. The city is vibrant enough that there’s always plenty of entertainment to be found both in and out of the ocean. Florida also has no state income tax, which will free up more funds to put towards the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about.
Portland’s public transit system includes buses which visit almost all of its suburbs and a light rail system into the city’s downtown area. “Honored Citizens” over the age of 65 can buy a one-year photo pass to access this transit system for only $308—that’s around $26 a month. That’s arguably cheaper than the running cost of gas for a month. Aside from the cheap transit, Portland offers a lot of other amenities for the retired. The city also boasts easy walking access to its restaurants, music, volunteer programs, and outdoor vistas.
The City of Brotherly Love is one of the oldest in the U.S., and that’s why it’s so easy to get around without a car. That’s not to say the city hasn’t evolved with the times, though. There’s plenty to attract strong and healthy retirees, like the largest annual 10-mile race in the country, the Broad Street Run. If ditching your car doesn’t mean you’re taking up running, there’s plenty of other amazing cultural assets in the city, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and historical sites like Independence Hall, ready to be shared with visiting grandchildren and family. Best of all, public transit is free for seniors in this city too.
Minneapolis is a great haven for those ready to get out from behind one wheel and hop on two—biking, that is. The city is one of the nation’s top-rated for bike-ability. It also ranked highly as a retirement destination in one recent study by Wallethub, which cited the city’s recreation options and health care system as some of the most compelling reasons to retire here. The city has a coordinated system of recreation centers with options for all ages, plus tons of art museums and lovely lakes to explore.
Boston’s across-the-river neighbor is easier to navigate on all fronts, especially without a car. It was ranked the 13th-best US city for retirement by Bankrate.com in 2015, largely due to its walkability and healthcare system. Harvard’s hometown does a good job of keeping everything just around the corner from all its residents. The ebb and flow of university students adds to the growing appeal of Cambridge, presenting a variation of city activity throughout the different seasons of the year.
One thing many of these cities have in common is a high average cost of living. You might not have the funds on hand to make the transition to a better quality of life, even though in the long run you’ll save and have greater happiness. One option to increase your available funds might be a life settlement. If you have a life insurance policy you no longer, want, need or can afford to keep, visit our calculator to see if you qualify to recoup the benefits of the policy and spare yourself the monthly payments into the premium.