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 Iowa.
But where exactly in Iowa? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
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 Shenandoah don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Hawkeye State to retire:
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Hawkeye State
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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 67 places from across the state.
For these 67, 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 67, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Shenandoah, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population 2014: 5,079 Cost Of Living: 78
Distance to Closest Airport: 103 miles
Crime Per 100k: 945
Shenandoah ranked 1 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 4 place safety rank.
2. Storm Lake
Population: 10,743Cost Of Living: 84
Distance to Closest Airport: 109 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,494
Storm Lake ranked 2 overall thanks to its 25 place rank for cost of living and 39 place safety rank.
Population: 5,513Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
Crime Per 100k: 888
Algona ranked 3 overall thanks to its 22 place rank for cost of living and 3 place safety rank.
Population: 7,986Cost Of Living: 77
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,566
Perry ranked 4 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 41 place safety rank.
Population: 6,177Cost Of Living: 81
Distance to Closest Airport: 129 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,457
Estherville ranked 5 overall thanks to its 15 place rank for cost of living and 13 place safety rank.
Population: 6,321Cost Of Living: 78
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,863
Oelwein ranked 6 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 45 place safety rank.
Population: 5,253Cost Of Living: 92
Distance to Closest Airport: 112 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,941
Glenwood ranked 7 overall thanks to its 48 place rank for cost of living and 25 place safety rank.
Population: 5,526Cost Of Living: 86
Distance to Closest Airport: 60 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,538
Anamosa ranked 8 overall thanks to its 31 place rank for cost of living and 18 place safety rank.
Population: 5,955Cost Of Living: 87
Distance to Closest Airport: 100 miles
Crime Per 100k: 688
Independence ranked 9 overall thanks to its 34 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.
Population: 5,203Cost Of Living: 79
Distance to Closest Airport: 128 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,460
Cherokee ranked 10 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 14 place safety rank.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Iowa goes to Shenandoah.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Cedar Falls
For more Iowa reading , check out:
- A Hilarious Look At The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Iowa
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Iowa
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Iowa
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