These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky


We analyzed over 73 places in Kentucky 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 Kentucky.

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

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Kentucky 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 Highland Heights don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Bluegrass State to retire:

  1. Highland Heights
  2. Bellevue
  3. Dayton
  4. Elsmere
  5. Fort Thomas
  6. Flatwoods
  7. Williamsburg
  8. Campbellsville
  9. Radcliff
  10. Monticello

Why did Highland Heights take the top spot? And where are Bowling Green and Owensboro? 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 Bluegrass State

To create our list of the best places in Kentucky to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Bluegrass State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 73 places from across the state.

For these 73, 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 73, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Highland Heights, 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. Highland Heights


Population 2014: 7,152
Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,048
Highland Heights ranked 1 overall thanks to its 24 place rank for cost of living and 8 place safety rank.

2. Bellevue

Bellevue, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,933
Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,370
Bellevue ranked 2 overall thanks to its 24 place rank for cost of living and 39 place safety rank.

3. Dayton

Dayton, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,382
Cost Of Living: 78
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,756
Dayton ranked 3 overall thanks to its 3 place rank for cost of living and 62 place safety rank.

4. Elsmere


Population 2014: 8,451
Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,283
Elsmere ranked 4 overall thanks to its 24 place rank for cost of living and 21 place safety rank.

5. Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,250
Cost Of Living: 96
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 756
Fort Thomas ranked 5 overall thanks to its 67 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.

6. Flatwoods

Flatwoods, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,483
Cost Of Living: 80
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
Crime Per 100k: 494
Flatwoods ranked 6 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.

7. Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,260
Cost Of Living: 79
Distance to Closest Airport: 145 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,463
Williamsburg ranked 7 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 10 place safety rank.

8. Campbellsville

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,126
Cost Of Living: 81
Distance to Closest Airport: 111 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,649
Campbellsville ranked 8 overall thanks to its 13 place rank for cost of living and 45 place safety rank.

9. Radcliff


Population 2014: 22,939
Cost Of Living: 85
Distance to Closest Airport: 109 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,558
Radcliff ranked 9 overall thanks to its 31 place rank for cost of living and 25 place safety rank.

10. Monticello

Monticello, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,163
Cost Of Living: 79
Distance to Closest Airport: 112 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,206
Monticello ranked 10 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 20 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Kentucky goes to Highland Heights.

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

  • Pikeville
  • Richmond
  • Danville

For more Kentucky reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Kentucky

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Highland Heights 1 7,152 83 11 1,048
Bellevue 2 5,933 83 10 3,370
Dayton 3 5,382 78 11 4,756
Elsmere 4 8,451 83 5 2,283
Fort Thomas 5 16,250 96 11 756
Flatwoods 6 7,483 80 89 494
Williamsburg 7 5,260 79 145 1,463
Campbellsville 8 11,126 81 111 3,649
Radcliff 9 22,939 85 109 2,558
Monticello 10 6,163 79 112 2,206
Henderson 11 28,840 82 112 3,626
Lebanon 12 5,594 83 107 2,020
Owensboro 13 58,000 84 115 4,093
Erlanger 14 18,370 86 3 2,961
Vine Grove 15 5,296 87 110 1,491
Lawrenceburg 16 11,014 87 71 826
Villa Hills 17 7,359 102 3 801
Hillview 18 7,785 86 88 2,119
Wilmore 19 5,995 91 81 1,150
Shively 20 15,450 79 85 4,517
Paducah 21 25,046 81 105 5,741
Covington 22 40,712 80 8 4,634
Fort Mitchell 23 8,209 104 5 1,559
Berea 24 14,209 88 102 2,322
Mayfield 25 10,091 77 89 2,953
Cynthiana 26 6,388 83 50 3,804
Jeffersontown 27 26,862 91 75 2,501
Russellville 28 6,998 79 50 3,115
Paris 29 9,746 87 62 2,636
Edgewood 30 8,665 101 6 1,708
Shelbyville 31 14,558 91 65 2,095
Cold Spring 32 6,093 94 12 2,576
Corbin 33 7,051 82 149 3,701
Newport 34 15,467 81 9 6,575
Florence 35 31,038 89 4 4,968
Alexandria 36 8,654 97 16 2,172
Madisonville 37 19,807 82 95 2,080
Harrodsburg 38 8,359 81 88 3,385
Mount Washington 39 11,956 92 84 1,012
Bardstown 40 12,833 81 95 2,906
Elizabethtown 41 29,464 89 113 3,767
Franklin 42 8,563 83 41 3,737
Georgetown 43 30,349 94 57 3,288
Frankfort 44 27,389 88 59 4,074
Elizabethtown 45 29,464 89 128 3,767
Glasgow 46 14,152 82 73 3,377
Princeton 47 6,274 77 95 2,837
La Grange 48 8,283 102 58 1,617
Independence 49 25,638 93 9 842
London 50 8,062 87 136 3,535
Somerset 51 11,311 83 132 6,020
Winchester 52 18,363 88 76 4,775
Taylor Mill 53 6,682 89 9 1,017
Shepherdsville 54 11,573 85 92 2,929
St. Matthews 55 17,686 95 76 4,076
Ashland 56 21,551 82 94 5,220
Hopkinsville 57 32,507 86 66 3,454
Elizabethtown 58 29,464 89 47 3,767
Murray 59 18,375 87 97 3,161
Fort Wright 60 5,726 97 7 3,248
Hazard 61 5,453 85 146 6,308
Nicholasville 62 28,483 92 80 3,942
Georgetown 63 30,349 94 86 3,288
Maysville 64 8,951 84 54 3,943
Oak Grove 65 7,522 85 56 3,988
Versailles 66 8,908 91 69 5,017
Morehead 67 6,896 88 88 2,305
Bowling Green 68 60,660 89 59 5,174
Mount Sterling 69 7,030 88 78 5,206
Leitchfield 70 6,781 80 96 3,834
Danville 71 16,471 89 97 2,823
Richmond 72 32,706 89 93 4,173
Pikeville 73 7,313 94 158 7,972

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