These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Illinois


We analyzed over 285 places in Illinois to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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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 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 Illinois.

But where exactly in Illinois? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Illinois 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 Hanover Park don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Prairie State to retire:

  1. Hanover Park
  2. Orland Hills
  3. Wheeling
  4. Clarendon Hills
  5. Palatine
  6. Highwood
  7. Carol Stream
  8. Wheaton
  9. Buffalo Grove
  10. Streamwood

Why did Hanover Park take the top spot? And where are Chicago and Aurora? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 285 places from across the state.

For these 285, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 285, with the lowest number being the best.

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

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1. Hanover Park

Hanover Park, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 38,302
Cost Of Living: 100
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 984
Hanover Park ranked 1 overall thanks to its 135 place rank for cost of living and 53 place safety rank.

2. Orland Hills


Population 2014: 7,252
Cost Of Living: 116
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 551
Orland Hills ranked 2 overall thanks to its 230 place rank for cost of living and 12 place safety rank.

3. Wheeling

Wheeling, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 37,886
Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,435
Wheeling ranked 3 overall thanks to its 126 place rank for cost of living and 120 place safety rank.

4. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,548
Cost Of Living: 143
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 210
Clarendon Hills ranked 4 overall thanks to its 266 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.

5. Palatine

Palatine, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 69,015
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 954
Palatine ranked 5 overall thanks to its 216 place rank for cost of living and 48 place safety rank.

6. Highwood

Highwood, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,400
Cost Of Living: 135
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
Crime Per 100k: 685
Highwood ranked 6 overall thanks to its 260 place rank for cost of living and 23 place safety rank.

7. Carol Stream

Carol Stream, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,136
Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,063
Carol Stream ranked 7 overall thanks to its 208 place rank for cost of living and 62 place safety rank.

8. Wheaton

Wheaton, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 53,406
Cost Of Living: 127
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 745
Wheaton ranked 8 overall thanks to its 252 place rank for cost of living and 28 place safety rank.

9. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,613
Cost Of Living: 120
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 713
Buffalo Grove ranked 9 overall thanks to its 241 place rank for cost of living and 25 place safety rank.

10. Streamwood

Streamwood, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 40,746
Cost Of Living: 100
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,730
Streamwood ranked 10 overall thanks to its 135 place rank for cost of living and 151 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Illinois goes to Hanover Park.

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

  • Mount Vernon
  • Carbondale
  • Bartonville

For more Illinois reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Illinois

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Hanover Park 1 38,302 100 12 984
Orland Hills 2 7,252 116 14 551
Wheeling 3 37,886 98 10 1,435
Clarendon Hills 4 8,548 143 10 210
Palatine 5 69,015 112 11 954
Highwood 6 5,400 135 16 685
Carol Stream 7 40,136 110 12 1,063
Wheaton 8 53,406 127 13 745
Buffalo Grove 9 41,613 120 13 713
Streamwood 10 40,746 100 14 1,730
Westmont 11 25,236 115 11 1,180
Oak Forest 12 28,104 109 12 1,288
Mundelein 13 31,498 102 20 869
Carpentersville 14 38,128 92 22 1,631
Charleston 15 22,065 86 46 611
Winfield 16 9,368 118 14 448
Clinton 17 6,931 84 100 2,034
Bartlett 18 41,529 117 119 601
Park Forest 19 22,490 89 21 2,014
Warrenville 20 13,361 104 18 830
Midlothian 21 14,901 104 11 2,321
Posen 22 5,934 101 11 2,494
Lake In The Hills 23 28,926 104 25 542
Island Lake 24 8,033 95 25 970
Lindenhurst 25 14,412 104 30 416
Round Lake 26 18,399 101 27 945
Burbank 27 29,097 108 2 1,488
Round Lake Park 28 7,758 101 27 1,069
Normal 29 54,082 97 101 2,144
Deerfield 30 18,476 154 13 736
Cary 31 18,115 107 23 756
South Elgin 32 22,126 104 20 1,188
Stickney 33 6,810 106 2 1,262
Bartlett 34 41,529 117 18 601
Aurora 35 199,878 97 24 1,771
Round Lake Beach 36 28,048 89 29 2,485
Wilmette 37 27,345 175 11 1,323
Woodridge 38 33,227 112 15 1,233
Winnetka 39 12,366 227 12 832
Riverdale 40 13,278 90 11 4,300
Glen Ellyn 41 27,394 134 11 1,325
Lincoln 42 14,382 86 107 3,351
Crest Hill 43 20,444 96 23 1,291
Hoffman Estates 44 52,271 112 14 1,163
Harvey 45 25,225 89 13 6,101
Melrose Park 46 25,514 97 5 1,618
South Holland 47 22,123 101 15 2,002
Harrisburg 48 8,989 80 121 2,325
Bolingbrook 49 74,112 104 19 1,540
Spring Valley 50 5,441 87 12 1,286
Tinley Park 51 57,099 108 15 1,707
Cicero 52 84,423 94 4 2,513
Schiller Park 53 11,842 103 2 2,280
Bloomington 54 77,883 102 104 2,561
Northbrook 55 33,396 162 11 1,086
Lockport 56 25,063 105 19 1,236
Lyons 57 10,667 109 3 1,359
Elgin 58 110,906 97 21 1,999
Hazel Crest 59 14,102 98 14 3,864
Genoa 60 5,716 98 41 874
Darien 61 22,251 124 12 1,541
Moline 62 43,087 83 2 3,720
Elmwood Park 63 24,960 107 5 1,382
Downers Grove 64 49,372 128 13 1,381
La Grange Park 65 13,624 124 6 638
Lakemoor 66 6,576 94 29 623
Evanston 67 75,282 128 11 2,724
Glen Carbon 68 13,095 98 20 916
Oak Lawn 69 56,969 100 5 1,932
Hickory Hills 70 14,117 106 5 1,310
Swansea 71 13,870 93 24 1,665
Cahokia 72 14,905 74 16 3,495
Rock Falls 73 9,111 83 47 1,887
East St. Louis 74 26,697 74 15 7,723
Troy 75 9,931 98 25 1,248
Glenwood 76 9,040 101 18 2,289
Pinckneyville 77 5,600 82 72 321
Flossmoor 78 9,339 110 17 1,413
Brookfield 79 19,022 109 5 1,309
Wood Dale 80 13,882 108 3 1,145
Maryville 81 7,727 98 21 1,074
Waukegan 82 88,671 89 27 3,344
Park Ridge 83 37,511 137 3 1,234
Des Plaines 84 58,802 110 3 1,311
Alton 85 27,517 78 15 4,851
Naperville 86 144,108 138 20 1,212
Barrington 87 10,830 145 16 987
Monmouth 88 9,565 81 37 2,394
Glencoe 89 8,824 227 12 1,099
Bethalto 90 9,443 87 20 1,471
West Chicago 91 27,416 105 17 1,353
Chester 92 8,495 82 63 1,035
Palos Hills 93 17,584 113 6 756
Mascoutah 94 7,675 90 34 560
Highland Park 95 29,819 157 14 1,177
Paris 96 8,702 80 23 2,551
Berwyn 97 56,762 106 4 2,272
Lemont 98 16,376 132 14 1,086
Rock Island 99 38,888 80 4 2,653
Geneva 100 21,662 126 22 849
Homewood 101 19,642 106 16 3,090
Winthrop Harbor 102 6,744 100 32 830
Chicago Heights 103 30,410 95 19 3,663
Westchester 104 16,786 106 8 971
Geneseo 105 6,500 94 18 1,692
Country Club Hills 106 16,752 101 15 3,957
Mokena 107 18,804 119 18 1,116
East Alton 108 6,231 78 16 3,049
Joliet 109 147,786 91 27 2,356
Montgomery 110 18,780 97 29 1,496
Plano 111 11,371 93 38 1,011
Shorewood 112 16,186 109 30 895
Metropolis 113 6,466 77 107 4,794
Plainfield 114 40,641 107 27 868
Lincolnshire 115 7,270 149 15 646
Mchenry 116 26,803 97 31 1,328
River Grove 117 10,268 111 5 1,236
Grayslake 118 20,863 104 25 1,428
Mount Prospect 119 54,589 121 6 1,110
Dixon 120 14,963 85 59 1,644
North Aurora 121 16,927 106 25 1,441
Lake Zurich 122 19,849 127 17 1,586
Richton Park 123 13,718 104 21 2,733
Wood River 124 10,477 80 17 4,610
Columbia 125 9,889 98 21 1,102
La Grange 126 15,675 146 6 1,084
Hillsboro 127 8,371 84 56 1,027
Glendale Heights 128 34,436 100 9 1,559
Western Springs 129 13,066 159 7 352
O’Fallon 130 29,100 101 26 1,625
Collinsville 131 25,282 85 20 3,184
Algonquin 132 30,189 109 24 1,540
Kewanee 133 12,694 77 33 3,639
Edwardsville 134 24,464 97 20 1,430
Gilberts 135 7,256 109 25 413
Summit 136 11,367 108 3 2,788
Robinson 137 7,264 81 38 2,340
Woodstock 138 25,121 95 35 1,564
Sycamore 139 17,473 99 39 1,281
Vernon Hills 140 25,535 121 17 2,079
Worth 141 10,827 108 7 1,302
Orland Park 142 57,802 120 13 2,275
Huntley 143 25,200 110 30 853
Elmhurst 144 45,105 133 5 1,166
Galesburg 145 31,898 78 35 3,639
Homer Glen 146 24,322 124 16 707
Batavia 147 25,905 119 22 1,574
Marengo 148 7,451 100 40 1,113
Godfrey 149 17,911 90 16 1,859
Rolling Meadows 150 23,646 106 9 1,108
Steger 151 9,569 95 22 4,786
Bellwood 152 19,149 103 6 2,866
St. Charles 153 33,422 116 21 1,525
Canton 154 14,650 83 65 1,938
Chatham 155 12,131 102 73 865
Sterling 156 15,208 84 48 3,820
Milan 157 5,122 82 2 2,909
Mount Zion 158 5,830 89 86 617
Jerseyville 159 8,305 87 25 3,142
Pontoon Beach 160 5,804 87 15 2,446
Beardstown 161 6,336 80 87 1,467
Prospect Heights 162 16,344 109 8 1,089
Manhattan 163 7,017 107 27 741
Machesney Park 164 23,180 84 63 1,898
Northlake 165 12,368 108 4 2,118
Mattoon 166 17,906 83 56 2,105
Sandwich 167 7,513 98 43 1,317
Libertyville 168 20,398 140 21 1,353
Crystal Lake 169 40,598 102 28 2,202
Hampshire 170 6,053 106 32 330
Carlinville 171 5,615 83 45 3,045
Chicago 172 2,712,608 103 5 4,027
Washington 173 15,525 94 75 1,127
Harvard 174 9,829 91 48 1,149
Zion 175 24,292 89 33 4,063
Berkeley 176 5,219 107 6 1,686
Channahon 177 12,422 106 36 523
Hawthorn Woods 178 7,727 159 19 284
Frankfort 179 18,100 126 20 839
Peoria Heights 180 6,056 83 68 2,955
Arlington Heights 181 75,577 127 8 1,039
Addison 182 37,215 107 6 1,819
Lake Villa 183 8,860 112 31 846
Roselle 184 22,951 111 9 1,106
Niles 185 29,939 110 5 2,428
Decatur 186 75,088 78 55 3,435
Morton Grove 187 23,424 116 7 1,400
Riverside 188 8,915 137 4 1,761
Norridge 189 14,713 114 4 3,235
Macomb 190 19,193 87 68 1,844
Highland 191 9,738 90 37 1,971
Urbana 192 41,760 89 65 3,824
Northfield 193 5,332 193 10 1,725
Maywood 194 24,148 101 7 3,698
Highland 195 9,738 90 39 1,971
Fairview Heights 196 17,250 86 22 4,063
New Lenox 197 24,747 114 22 1,329
Lake Forest 198 18,914 214 18 777
Minooka 199 11,225 103 36 1,113
Rockford 200 151,290 82 62 5,451
Spring Valley 201 5,441 87 59 1,286
Chicago Ridge 202 14,410 106 5 4,247
Eureka 203 5,638 92 81 1,241
Roscoe 204 10,724 95 64 1,007
Shiloh 205 12,706 98 28 1,637
Champaign 206 82,848 93 68 3,475
Evergreen Park 207 19,924 113 5 2,991
Antioch 208 14,395 104 33 1,674
Braidwood 209 6,191 96 43 1,518
Pekin 210 33,928 87 76 2,360
Villa Park 211 22,073 107 7 2,333
Freeport 212 25,225 83 73 2,719
Crete 213 8,284 98 24 1,702
Bourbonnais 214 18,641 101 42 2,199
West Frankfort 215 8,247 78 97 1,952
Taylorville 216 11,761 83 79 1,402
Oswego 217 31,723 113 30 1,651
Silvis 218 7,525 82 6 3,614
Palos Heights 219 12,572 116 8 1,209
Jacksonville 220 19,315 85 68 2,785
Spring Valley 221 5,441 87 69 1,286
Campton Hills 222 10,908 144 26 330
Danville 223 32,483 81 50 6,852
Glenview 224 45,400 156 8 889
Mendota 225 7,161 89 68 1,689
Yorkville 226 17,980 109 35 973
Peoria 227 115,718 85 66 4,854
Watseka 228 5,463 83 69 3,294
Pana 229 5,601 81 81 2,160
South Beloit 230 8,129 87 65 1,955
East Moline 231 21,294 82 7 2,442
Streator 232 13,152 83 72 3,695
Matteson 233 19,097 107 19 5,026
Mount Carmel 234 7,155 82 75 2,417
Kankakee 235 27,145 89 47 5,352
West Dundee 236 7,367 115 24 2,470
Loves Park 237 24,435 84 61 2,995
Bradley 238 15,822 96 43 4,253
Hinsdale 239 16,898 203 9 1,047
Princeton 240 7,698 91 54 1,740
Morton 241 16,493 101 79 1,042
Mahomet 242 7,592 102 76 671
Quincy 243 40,782 83 97 3,808
Du Quoin 244 6,012 80 80 1,796
North Riverside 245 6,940 106 5 7,305
Rockton 246 7,461 92 67 1,782
Carterville 247 5,635 89 97 1,171
Decatur 248 75,088 78 90 3,435
Skokie 249 65,056 116 9 2,341
Forest Park 250 14,202 114 6 4,048
Chillicothe 251 6,181 91 63 1,925
Olney 252 8,997 81 65 3,478
Rantoul 253 13,214 82 73 3,223
Spring Grove 254 5,390 121 36 834
Willow Springs 255 5,692 118 7 597
Ottawa 256 18,992 93 63 2,643
Centralia 257 12,880 80 69 5,559
Lombard 258 43,853 112 9 2,070
Hoopeston 259 5,474 80 72 3,982
Oak Park 260 51,988 135 7 3,206
Colona 261 5,057 88 9 1,680
Broadview 262 7,956 106 7 5,266
Itasca 263 8,579 118 5 1,457
Gurnee 264 31,182 112 27 4,553
Pontiac 265 12,012 86 77 3,088
Morris 266 13,929 102 45 2,476
River Forest 267 11,211 161 7 2,336
Fairfield 268 5,080 80 93 2,755
Schaumburg 269 74,560 109 9 2,605
Flora 270 5,045 83 82 2,378
Peru 271 10,172 91 71 2,123
Vandalia 272 6,247 82 69 3,297
Springfield 273 116,815 87 81 5,806
Herrin 274 12,721 82 97 3,120
Alsip 275 19,385 108 8 3,110
Johnsburg 276 6,322 110 32 1,993
Effingham 277 12,428 89 70 3,709
Lincolnwood 278 12,653 127 9 3,501
Bloomingdale 279 22,208 118 9 2,620
East Peoria 280 23,225 91 73 3,130
Burr Ridge 281 10,678 183 9 983
Oak Brook 282 7,967 189 10 5,359
Bartonville 283 6,440 87 71 3,804
Carbondale 284 26,374 89 94 4,087
Mount Vernon 285 15,069 83 83 7,565

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