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 Iowa.
Where exactly in Iowa is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Boone as the best place to hang up your cleats.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Iowa 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 Boone don’t mind us spreading the word.
Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.
For Iowa state reading:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Iowa
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Iowa
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Iowa
- Best Places To Retire In America
Boone is a city in Des Moines Township, and county seat of Boone County, Iowa, United States. It is the principal city of the Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area comprise the larger Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 12,661 at the 2010 census.
Fort Madison is a city and a county seat of Lee County, Iowa, United States along with Keokuk. Of Iowa’s 99 counties, Lee County is the only one with two county seats. The population was 11,051 at the 2010 census. Located along the Mississippi River in the state’s southeast corner, it lies between small bluffs along one of the widest portions of the river.
Oskaloosa is a city in and the county seat of Mahaska County, Iowa, United States. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it was a national center of bituminous coal mining. The population was 11,463 in the 2010 census, an increase from 10,938 in the 2000 census.
Newton is the county seat and most populous city in Jasper County, Iowa, United States. Located 30 miles east of Des Moines, Newton is in Central Iowa. As of the 2010 Census, the city population was 15,254. It is the home of Iowa Speedway, Maytag Dairy Farms, and the Iowa Sculpture Festival.
Bettendorf is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Bettendorf is the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. state of Iowa and the fourth largest city in the “Quad Cities”. It is part of the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 33,217 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to be 35,505 by July 2015. Bettendorf is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Davenport and the Illinois cities of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island. The Quad Cities has a population estimate of 382,630. In 2011, Bettendorf was named U.S. 95th Best Town by CNNMoney.
Clinton is a city in and the county seat of Clinton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 26,885 as of 2010. Clinton, along with DeWitt, Iowa, was named in honor of the sixth governor of New York, DeWitt Clinton. Clinton is the principal city of the Clinton Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is coterminous with Clinton County. Clinton was incorporated on January 26, 1857.
Clive is a city in Dallas and Polk counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 Census the population is at 15,447. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clive is known for its Greenbelt Park and trail system running through the entire community. Clive serves as the axis of the western Des Moines suburbs, being located between Urbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines along the major transportation corridors of I-35, I-80 and I-235. The City of Urbandale is to the north to northwest, the City of West Des Moines is to the southeast to southwest, the City of Waukee in Dallas County is to the west.
Pella is a city in Marion County, Iowa, United States, with a population of 10,352 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. Founded by immigrants from the Netherlands, it is forty miles southeast of Des Moines. Pella is the home of Central College, as well as several manufacturing companies, including Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company.
Keokuk is a city and a county seat of Lee County, Iowa, United States, along with Fort Madison. It is also the most southerly city in Iowa. The population was 10,780 at the 2010 census. The city is named after the Sauk chief Keokuk, who is thought to be buried in Rand Park. It is located in the extreme southeast corner of Iowa where the Des Moines River meets with the Mississippi. It is located at the junction of U.S. Routes 61, 136 and 218. Just across the rivers are the towns of Hamilton and Warsaw, Illinois, and Alexandria, Missouri.
Spencer is a city in the state of Iowa, and the county seat of Clay County. It is located at the confluence of the Little Sioux and Ocheyedan rivers. The population was 11,233 in the 2010 census, a decline from 11,317 in the 2000 census. Spencer has a notable Clay County Fair, held annually in September, which averages more than 300,000 visitors each year.
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Hawkeye State for 2019
To create our list of the best places in Iowa to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Hawkeye State — 1002 cities and towns.
We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 34 places from across the state.
- 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 34, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Boone, 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 Iowa Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Iowa goes to Boone.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Council Bluffs
- North Liberty
- Cedar Falls
For more Iowa reading, check out: