Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2020


We analyzed over 28 places in Maine to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Maine.

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If you've just wrapped up your career and are looking for the perfect place to retire in the Pine Tree State, you're in the right place. We've compiled a list of the best places for retirement in Maine to help make your choice.

You can't get any farther from Florida on the eastern seaboard than Maine, but that doesn't mean it's miles away in terms of retirement amenities as well. For starters, Maine is a lot safer than Florida; in fact, it's the second safest state in America, so you won't have to worry about crime in your golden years. Then there's the natural beauty. If swimming in emerald mountain springs by day and camping out near moose-frequented lakes by night sound likes your cup of tea, then Maine's Acadia National Park is sure to be a constant summer favorite in your retirement. And if after tackling all your career goals you need a new challenge, hiking Baxter State Park's Mt. Katahdin is sure to boost your sense of accomplishment. If you're more into the seaside than the mountainside, then Maine's iconic lighthouses will add a little extra to the normal coastal skyline. Places like Old Orchard Beach are great for a summer day out with the family (there's even an amusement park) while Sandy Point Beach is the place to be for some hard-earned rest and relaxation.

So where should you move in Maine if you want to have the best retirement experience? Many of the cities on this list are located close to Portland, with Yarmouth being the best of the 'burbs for retirement. If you want to be close to the sea and a quaint little town for boutique shopping, we'd recommend Kennebunk. Ellsworth is the best of the Bangor suburbs for retirement, with the added bonus of being the city closest to Acadia National Park on this list. You'd better practice speaking Canadian if you're about to move to Caribou or Presque Isle, because you've practically left the U.S. at that point.

So where is the best place to start enjoying lighthouses, lobsters, and blueberry pancakes in your years of retirement? Take a look below to find out.

Why did Yarmouth take the top spot? And where are Portland and Lewiston?

Maine has a lot going on for retirees, and the cities you see above are the best of the best when it comes to planning your retirement. Incidentally, several of these cities are also on our list of best cities for families in Maine, so be sure to consult that if you need some ideas for getting the kids and grandkids up for a visit.

How'd we come up with this list? First, we narrowed our search down to the 27 cities in Maine with a population of at least 5,000. Second, we looked at data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights. Finally, we ranked each of the 27 cities according to crime, affordability, median age, weather, and access to things to do. Which city passed each of these categories with flying colors? According to the data, Yarmouth is the best place to retire in Maine for 2020.

Look below to see a complete list of how Maine's 27 cities of 5,000 people or more compare in terms of retirement goodies.

For more Maine state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2020

Yarmouth, ME

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,608
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,141
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Yarmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.

Caribou, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,749
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $597
Distance to Closest Airport: 84 miles
More on Caribou: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Caribou is the second largest city in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. Its population was 8,189 at the 2010 census.

Belfast, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,696
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $812
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Belfast: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belfast is a city in Waldo County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,668. Located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Penobscot Bay, Belfast is the county seat of Waldo County. The seaport has a wealth of antique architecture in several historic districts, and remains popular with tourists.

Ellsworth, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,960
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $770
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
More on Ellsworth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ellsworth is a city in and the county seat of Hancock County, Maine, United States. The 2010 Census determined it had a population of 7,741. Ellsworth was Maine's fastest growing city from 2000-2010, with a growth rate of nearly 20 percent. With historic buildings and other points of interest, Ellsworth is popular with tourists.

Kennebunk, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,809
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $985
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Kennebunk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kennebunk is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 10,798 at the 2010 census. Kennebunk is home to several beaches, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the 1799 Kennebunk Inn, many historic shipbuilders' homes, the Brick Store Museum and the Nature Conservancy Blueberry Barrens, with 1,500 acres of nature trails and blueberry fields.

Orono, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,474
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Rent: $905
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Orono: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,320
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $849
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Bath: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 8,514 at the 2010 census, and 8,357 as of 2013, the population has had a change of -10.2% since 2000. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County, which includes one city and 10 towns. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th-century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend. It is commonly known as "The City of Ships." Bath is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Greater Portland.

Old Orchard Beach, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,809
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $873
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Old Orchard Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brunswick, ME

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,244
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $803
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
More on Brunswick: Real Estate | Data

Brunswick is a town in Cumberland County in southern Maine, United States. The population was 20,278 at the 2010 United States Census. Part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area, Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, The Theater Project, and the Maine State Music Theatre. It is also home to Mid Coast Hospital, one of Maine's newest full-service hospitals. It was home to Naval Air Station Brunswick which was permanently closed on May 31, 2011.

Presque Isle, ME

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,162
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $591
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
More on Presque Isle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Presque Isle is the commercial center and largest city in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,171 in 2015 as estimated by the US Census, a decrease from the count of 9,692 in the 2010 Census. The city is home to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College, Husson University Presque Isle, Northern Maine Fairgrounds, The Aroostook Centre Mall, and the Northern Maine Regional Airport.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Pine Tree State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in Maine to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Pine Tree State -- 132 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 27 places from across the state.

For these 27, 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 27, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Yarmouth, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Maine Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Maine goes to Yarmouth.

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

  1. Auburn
  2. Biddeford
  3. Waterville

For more Maine reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Maine?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Yarmouth 5,608 $1,141
2 Caribou 7,749 $597
3 Belfast 6,696 $812
4 Ellsworth 7,960 $770
5 Kennebunk 5,809 $985
6 Orono 9,474 $905
7 Bath 8,320 $849
8 Old Orchard Beach 8,809 $873
9 Brunswick 15,244 $803
10 Presque Isle 9,162 $591

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.