10 Best Places To Retire In Arizona For 2019


We analyzed over 37 places in Arizona to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Arizona.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Arizona.

Where exactly in Arizona is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Florence as the best place to hang up your cleats.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Arizona that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Florence don’t mind us spreading the word.

Why did Florence take the top spot? And where are Phoenix and Tucson?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Arizona state reading:

Florence, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 26,221
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 31)
Median Rent: $782
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
More on Florence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Florence is a town, 61 miles southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County of Arizona, United States. Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County, is one of the oldest towns in that county and is regarded as a National Historic District with over 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population of Florence was 30,770 at the 2015 census.

Somerton, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 14,866
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 11)
Median Rent: $620
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Somerton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Somerton is a city in Yuma County, Arizona, United States.

Somerton has an annual Tamale Festival that benefits students from the area who will be attending Arizona State University. More than 20,000 visitors attend the festival each year. The festival is put together by The El Diablito Arizona State University Alumni chapter.

Nogales, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 20,355
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 13)
Median Rent: $532
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Nogales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Nogales is a city in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The population was 20,837 at the 2010 census and estimated 20,407 in 2014. Nogales forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,027,683 as of the 2010 Census. The city is the county seat of Santa Cruz County.

Prescott, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 41,090
Rank Last Year: 40 (Up 36)
Median Rent: $854
Distance to Closest Airport: 82 miles
More on Prescott: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.

Review Of Prescott by HomeSnacks User

1 in 5 homes sits vacant in AZ because there are many people who have vacation homes. Northern AZ is amazing. I was born and raised in PHX and yes, the heat is crazy hot there and crime is bad in certain parts. I live in Prescott, AZ now, where 80% of the population here is from California so if it’s that bad why are they leaving Orange County in droves to come here- The weather here is amazing. Usually the lowest it gets in the winter is 40-50 during the day and 80’s-low 90’s in the summer. I live 2 minutes from several amazing lakes and mountain formations. Other areas of Prescott, AZ have acres and acres of Ponderosa pines. Very low crime.

1 in 5 homes sits vacant in AZ because there are many people who have vacation homes. Northern AZ is amazing. I was born and raised in PHX and yes, the heat is crazy hot there and crime is bad in certain parts. I live in Prescott, AZ now, where 80% of the population here is from California so if it’s that bad why are they leaving Orange County in droves to come here- The weather here is amazing. Usually the lowest it gets in the winter is 40-50 during the day and 80’s-low 90’s in the summer. I live 2 minutes from several amazing lakes and mountain formations. Other areas of Prescott, AZ have acres and acres of Ponderosa pines. Very low crime.

Douglas, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,764
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $558
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Douglas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Douglas is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States that lies in the north-west to south-east running San Bernardino Valley within which runs the Rio San Bernardino. Douglas has a border crossing with Mexico at Agua Prieta and a history of mining.

Apache Junction, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 37,775
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $790
Distance to Closest Airport: 27 miles
More on Apache Junction: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Review Of Apache Junction by HomeSnacks User

Cops are on watch alot and am very grateful. You’re allowed to have a gun for protection permitting you’ve no past record. Certain yrs the traffic is horrendous and- If you’re a woman – Don’t walk after dark anywhere foolishly without reason. Lock your doors at night. My husband is otr every 2 wks. I appreciate the police here. I sleep with my.22 by my bed.

Not alot of things close except malls for shopping.

Scottsdale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 234,495
Rank Last Year: 52 (Up 45)
Median Rent: $1,184
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
More on Scottsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, adjacent to the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” and as having “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.” Its slogan is “The West’s Most Western Town.”

Payson, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,297
Rank Last Year: 33 (Up 25)
Median Rent: $911
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Payson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Payson is a town in northern Gila County, Arizona, United States. Its location puts it very near to the geographic center of Arizona. Payson has been called “The Heart of Arizona”. The town is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest and has many outdoor activities year round. As of the 2010 census, the population of Payson was 15,301.

Chino Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,015
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 16)
Median Rent: $782
Distance to Closest Airport: 92 miles
More on Chino Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chino Valley is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 10,817.

Camp Verde, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,096
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $826
Distance to Closest Airport: 78 miles
More on Camp Verde: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Grand Canyon State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Arizona to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Grand Canyon State — 435 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 37 places from across the state.

For these 37, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 37, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Florence, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Arizona Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Arizona goes to Florence.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Flagstaff
  2. El Mirage
  3. Avondale

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Arizona?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Florence 26,221 $782
2 Somerton 14,866 $620
3 Nogales 20,355 $532
4 Prescott 41,090 $854
5 Douglas 16,764 $558
6 Apache Junction 37,775 $790
7 Scottsdale 234,495 $1,184
8 Payson 15,297 $911
9 Chino Valley 11,015 $782
10 Camp Verde 11,096 $826

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.