Best Places To Retire In Illinois For 2020


We analyzed over 201 places in Illinois to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Illinois.

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What do 1.5 million Illinoisans above the age of 65 know that the rest of America does not? They know that the Land of Lincoln has some of the best places to call home if you are looking to retire.

That's right. There is more to Illinois than da' Bears and a good 'ol fashioned horseshoe, there are super safe, super affordable places for people looking to spend their retirement years in the Midwest. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has taken the guessing out of the equation: we did the research and created a list of the top ten best places in Illinois to retire for 2020.

How'd we determine the best places to retire in Illinois? Well, we know that when people are searching for the best places to retire, they are also looking for things like convenience and an economy that protects their bottom line; and folks, Illinois' best places to retire have all that and then some. To identify Illinois' top ten, we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 195 cities. We looked at important factors like cost of living, crime, amenities, rent and distance to closest national airport for every place with over 10,000 residents.

We discovered that people in this demographic are starting to move to bigger cities so that they have better access to public transportation, healthcare options, and programs designed especially for them. This trend is happening in Illinois, and this is why we find most of the state's best places to retire centered around Chicago. But, there are other areas in this flyover state that are just great. So definitely give places like Waterloo and Columbia a second look.

So, where are the best places to retire in Illinois? Keep reading.

Why did Palos Hills take the top spot? And where are Chicago and Aurora?

Now, HomeSnacks is not your just your average website. We've had more than 50 million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our best of the best rankings, including this feature by Patch.com. So, yes, we know what we're talking about.

So, what's the best place to retire in Illinois for 2020? According to the latest data, Palos Hills is the best place to retire in the Prairie State for 2020.

To see how your favorite places in Illinois compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Illinois state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Illinois For 2020

Palos Hills, IL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,443
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,055
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Palos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waterloo, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,268
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $842
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Waterloo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waterloo is a city in Monroe County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,811 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Monroe County.

Palos Heights, IL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,534
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,370
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Palos Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Palos Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Palos Heights students can readily commute to Moraine Valley Community College in nearby Palos Hills. Moraine Valley serves the local residents through classes, seminars, lectures, concerts, plays, and other activities. Trinity Christian College is also located in Palos Heights.

Lemont, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 16,935
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $974
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
More on Lemont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and is a suburb of Chicago. The population was 16,000 as of the 2010 census. Lemont is home to Argonne National Laboratory and other heavy industrial sites.

La Grange, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,632
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 11)
Median Rent: $1,176
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on La Grange: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Grange, a suburb of Chicago, is a village in Cook County, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 15,550 at the 2010 census.

Hinsdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 17,654
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,887
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on Hinsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Highland Park, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 29,731
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 12)
Median Rent: $1,735
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
More on Highland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Highland Park is a suburban city in Lake County, Illinois, United States, about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,763. Highland Park is one of several municipalities located on the North Shore of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Des Plaines, IL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 58,694
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,093
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Des Plaines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Des Plaines is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 58,364. It is a suburb of Chicago and is just north of O'Hare International Airport. It is located on, and named for, the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city just east of its downtown area.

La Grange Park, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,491
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $1,171
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on La Grange Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Park Ridge, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 37,764
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,412
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Park Ridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Park Ridge is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States, and a Chicago suburb. The population was 37,480 at the 2010 census. It is located 15 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. It is close to O'Hare International Airport, major expressways, and rail transportation. It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area, bordering three northwestern neighborhoods of Chicago's Far North Side

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Prairie State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in Illinois to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Prairie State -- 1364 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 195 places from across the state.

For these 195, 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 195, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Palos Hills, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Illinois Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Illinois goes to Palos Hills.

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

  1. Round Lake Beach
  2. Dekalb
  3. Montgomery

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Illinois?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Palos Hills 17,443 $1,055
2 Waterloo 10,268 $842
3 Palos Heights 12,534 $1,370
4 Lemont 16,935 $974
5 La Grange 15,632 $1,176
6 Hinsdale 17,654 $1,887
7 Highland Park 29,731 $1,735
8 Des Plaines 58,694 $1,093
9 La Grange Park 13,491 $1,171
10 Park Ridge 37,764 $1,412

How Is The Area In ?

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.