These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky For 2018


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 Glasgow don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Bluegrass State to retire for 2018:

  1. Glasgow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Danville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Somerset (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Ashland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Mayfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Madisonville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Paducah (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Fort Thomas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Lawrenceburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Hopkinsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Why did Glasgow take the top spot? And where are Bowling Green and Owensboro?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Kentucky.

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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 35 places from across the state.

For these 35, 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 35, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Glasgow, Kentucky

Population: 14,338
Median Rent: $601
Distance to Closest Airport: 73 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,480
More on Glasgow: Homes For Sale | Data
The city of Glasgow was established by the state assembly in 1799. The same year, the community was selected as the seat of a new county, owing to its central location, its large spring, native John Gorin’s donation of 50 acres (20 ha) for public buildings, and its being named for the Scottish hometown of the father of William Logan, one of the two commissioners charged with selecting the county seat. A post office was established in 1803, and the town received its city rights in 1809.

2. Danville

Danville, Kentucky

Population: 16,645
Median Rent: $652
Distance to Closest Airport: 97 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,066
More on Danville: Homes For Sale | Data
Within Kentucky, Danville is called the ‘City of Firsts’:

3. Somerset

Somerset, Kentucky

Source: Public domain’

Population: 11,415
Median Rent: $577
Distance to Closest Airport: 132 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,898
More on Somerset: Homes For Sale | Data
Somerset was first settled in 1798 by Thomas Hansford and received its name from Somerset County, New Jersey, where some of the early settlers had formerly lived. Somerset became the Pulaski County seat in 1802, and it was incorporated as a city in 1887. A significant Civil War battle was fought in January 1862, at Mill Springs (now ‘Nancy’) about 8 miles (13 km) west of Somerset, and a museum is at the site. A smaller battle was fought nearby at Dutton’s Hill in 1863. In 1875 tracks for the Southern Railroad were completed and Somerset saw a sudden population growth and an increase in industry. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, library services were provided by the pack horse library. The completion of Lake Cumberland in 1950 transformed Somerset from a sleepy rural community into one of the largest recreation centers in Kentucky, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors annually, especially between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.

4. Ashland

Ashland, Kentucky

Source: Public domain’

Population: 21,294
Median Rent: $611
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,395
More on Ashland: Homes For Sale | Data
Ashland dates back to the migration of the Poage family from the Shenandoah Valley via the Cumberland Gap in 1786. They erected a homestead along the Ohio River and named it Poage’s Landing. Also called Poage Settlement, the community that developed around it remained an extended-family affair until the mid-19th century. In 1854, the city name was changed to Ashland, after Henry Clay’s Lexington estate and to reflect the city’s growing industrial base. The city’s early industrial growth was a result of the Ohio Valley’s pig iron industry and, particularly, the 1854 charter of the Kentucky Iron, Coal, and Manufacturing Company by the Kentucky General Assembly. The city was formally incorporated by the General Assembly two years later in 1856. Major industrial employers in the first half of the 20th Century included Armco, Ashland Oil and Refining Company, the C&O Railroad, Allied Chemical & Dye Company’s Semet Solvay, and Mansbach Steel.

5. Mayfield

Mayfield, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,078
Median Rent: $585
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,502
More on Mayfield: Homes For Sale | Data
Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw people in 1818. Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is believed to have been the first settler, arriving in 1819 and building a log home on Mayfield Creek. In December 1821, Anderson was appointed county court clerk and moved about two and a half miles to the site that became Mayfield. According to Trabue Davis, the town’s name originates indirectly from a gambler named Mayfield, who was kidnapped about 1817 at a racetrack near what is now Hickman. He was carried to the site of today’s Mayfield, where he carved his name into a tree in hopes that someone would see it. He then tried to escape, but he drowned trying to cross what is now called Mayfield Creek. The future town got its name from the creek.

6. Madisonville

Madisonville, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,615
Median Rent: $626
Distance to Closest Airport: 95 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,932
More on Madisonville: Homes For Sale | Data
Madisonville was founded in 1807 and named for Secretary of State James Madison. It was named the seat of Hopkins County in 1808 and formally incorporated in 1810.

7. Paducah

Paducah, Kentucky

Population: 25,010
Median Rent: $602
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,213
More on Paducah: Homes For Sale | Data
Paducah was first settled as Pekin by James and William Pore c.1821. The community ? favorably located at the confluence of several waterways ? occupied a site previously noted as a Chickasaw trading center.[citation needed]

8. Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Source: Public domain’

Population: 16,317
Median Rent: $782
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 563
More on Fort Thomas: Homes For Sale | Data
Evidence suggests that on or around 1749, prior to settlement by Europeans, a large battle occurred between a band of Cherokee Native Americans and victorious Miami tribe and Shawnee tribe Native Americans in what is now the city of Fort Thomas. As many as 600 graves of slain warriors have been unearthed by archeologists there; although the battleground area has been thoroughly combed for artifacts and remains over the years, it is still not uncommon to find arrowheads and other artifacts from the past while gardening or hiking the woods and streambeds throughout the city. In 1887, a site was needed to house a United States Army post to replace Newport Barracks located in the adjoining city of Newport, Kentucky. Built in 1803, Newport Barracks replaced the smaller Fort Washington, located across the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio. That army post was located at the junction of the Licking and Ohio Rivers, but it was prone to flooding and flooded numerous times during the early 1880s. A new, less flood prone location was sought.

9. Lawrenceburg

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Population: 11,081
Median Rent: $717
Distance to Closest Airport: 71 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,001
More on Lawrenceburg: Homes For Sale | Data
The site of Lawrenceburg was settled in the early 1780s by a German immigrant named Jacob Kaufman and was first called Kaufman’s or Coffman’s Station. The post office was established as Lawrenceburgh on January 22, 1817, for William Lawrence, a local tavern owner. The community was incorporated as Lawrence in 1820 by the Court of Franklin County (of which it was then a part) but renamed Lawrenceburg in 1827. James Lawrence, a naval officer, is the namesake.

10. Hopkinsville

Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Source: Public domain’

Population: 32,442
Median Rent: $636
Distance to Closest Airport: 66 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,131
More on Hopkinsville: Homes For Sale | Data
The area of present-day Hopkinsville was initially claimed in 1796 by Bartholomew Wood as part of a 1,200-acre (5 km2) grant for his service in the American Revolution. He and his wife Martha Ann moved from Jonesborough, Tennessee, first to a cabin near present-day W. Seventh and Bethel streets; then to a second cabin near present-day 9th and Virginia streets; and finally to a third home near 14th and Campbell.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

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

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

  • Radcliff
  • St. Matthews
  • Berea

For more Kentucky reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Kentucky

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Glasgow 1 14,338 $601 73 3,480
Danville 2 16,645 $652 97 2,066
Somerset 3 11,415 $577 132 3,898
Ashland 4 21,294 $611 94 4,395
Mayfield 5 10,078 $585 89 3,502
Madisonville 6 19,615 $626 95 1,932
Paducah 7 25,010 $602 105 5,213
Fort Thomas 8 16,317 $782 11 563
Lawrenceburg 9 11,081 $717 71 1,001
Hopkinsville 10 32,442 $636 66 3,131
Frankfort 11 27,598 $697 59 4,340
Shelbyville 12 15,039 $780 65 1,529
Henderson 13 28,870 $620 112 2,850
Bardstown 14 13,026 $662 95 2,126
Mount Washington 15 14,088 $639 84 1,547
Elizabethtown 16 29,835 $728 128 1,823
Murray 17 18,726 $569 97 3,481
Jeffersontown 18 27,395 $888 75 2,442
Shively 19 15,625 $624 85 4,780
Erlanger 20 18,565 $823 3 1,885
Campbellsville 21 11,329 $573 111 3,716
Covington 22 40,766 $667 8 3,787
Independence 23 26,317 $952 9 657
Newport 24 15,321 $641 9 5,051
Bowling Green 25 62,824 $687 59 4,738
Richmond 26 33,583 $631 93 4,314
Winchester 27 18,395 $680 76 5,795
Florence 28 31,735 $871 4 4,619
Nicholasville 29 29,249 $807 80 3,791
Owensboro 30 58,685 $657 115 4,761
Georgetown 31 31,708 $786 86 3,078
Shepherdsville 32 11,869 $756 92 4,676
Berea 33 14,667 $664 102 3,068
St. Matthews 34 17,930 $948 76 4,690
Radcliff 35 22,806 $714 109 3,016

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