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 Massachusetts.
But where exactly in Massachusetts? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Massachusetts 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 Hull don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Bay State to retire for 2018:
- Hull (Homes For Sale)
- Longmeadow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gloucester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newburyport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Maynard (Homes For Sale)
- Arlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Swampscott (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Wakefield (Homes For Sale)
- Lynnfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Winchester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Bay State
To create our list of the best places in Massachusetts to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Bay State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 69 places from across the state.
For these 69, 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 69, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Hull, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 10,437Median Rent: $1,199
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,015
More on Hull: Homes For Sale | Data
The Massachuset tribe called the area Nantasket, meaning ‘at the strait’ or ‘low-tide place.’ It is a series of islands connected by sandbars forming Nantasket Peninsula, on which the Plymouth Colony established a trading post in 1621 for trade with the Wampanoags. The town was first settled in 1622 and officially incorporated in 1644, when it was named for Kingston upon Hull, England. Roger Conant was in the area, after leaving the Plymouth Colony and before going to Cape Ann in 1625. Early industries included fishing, trade and salvaging shipwrecks. During the Revolutionary War, General Benjamin Lincoln oversaw the evacuation of Boston from here in 1778. In 1776 a fort called ‘Fort Independence’ (name transferred to the current fort in 1797) was built on Allerton Point, and in 1901 Fort Revere was built on the same site. In 1927 Fort Duvall was completed on Hog Island (now Spinnaker Island) armed with 16-inch guns, the largest ever deployed by the United States.
Population: 15,837Median Rent: $1,220
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 959
More on Longmeadow: Homes For Sale | Data
Longmeadow was first settled in 1644, and officially incorporated on October 17, 1783. The town was originally farmland within the limits of Springfield. It remained relatively pastoral until the street railway was built circa 1910, when the population tripled over a fifteen-year period. After Interstate 91 was built in the wetlands on the west side of town, population tripled again between 1960 and 1975.
Population: 29,546Median Rent: $1,009
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,022
More on Gloucester: Homes For Sale | Data
The boundaries of Gloucester originally included the town of Rockport, in an area dubbed ‘Sandy Bay’. That village separated formally on February 27, 1840. In 1873, Gloucester was reincorporated as a city.
Population: 17,837Median Rent: $1,143
Distance to Closest Airport: 31 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,171
More on Newburyport: Homes For Sale | Data
Newburyport was settled in 1635 as part of Newberry Plantation, now Newbury. On January 28, 1764, the General Court of Massachusetts passed ‘An act for erecting part of the town of Newbury into a new town by the name of Newburyport.’ The act begins:
Population: 10,526Median Rent: $1,110
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
Crime Per 100k: 845
More on Maynard: Homes For Sale | Data
Maynard, located on the Assabet River, was first settled as a farming community by Puritan colonists in 1600s who acquired the land comprising modern-day Maynard from local Native American tribe members who referred to the area as Pompositicut or Assabet. In 1651 Old Jethro (Tantamous) transferred land in what is now Maynard to Herman Garrett by defaulting on a mortgaged horse and mare, and in 1684 Tantamous’ son Peter Jethro, a praying Indian, and Jehojakim and ten others transferred further land in the area to the settlers. The area now known as Maynard was originally known as ‘Assabet Village’ and was then part of the towns of Stow and Sudbury. Residents of what is now Maynard fought in the Revolutionary War, including Luke Brooks of Summer Street who was in the Stow militia company which marched to Concord on April 19, 1775. In 1851 transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau wrote about his walk through the area in his famous journal. and he published a poem about Old Marlboro Road, part of which runs through Maynard. During the American Civil War, at least thirty-six residents of Assabet Village fought for the Union.
Population: 44,408Median Rent: $1,463
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
Crime Per 100k: 635
More on Arlington: Homes For Sale | Data
The Town of Arlington was settled by European colonists in 1635 as a village within the boundaries of Cambridge, Massachusetts under the name Menotomy, an Algonquian word meaning ‘swift running water’. A larger area, including land that was later to become the town of Belmont, and outwards to the shore of the Mystic River, which had previously been part of Charlestown, was incorporated on February 27, 1807 as West Cambridge. In 1867, the name ‘Arlington’ was chosen in honor of those buried in Arlington National Cemetery; the name change took effect that April 30.
Population: 14,250Median Rent: $1,313
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,375
More on Swampscott: Homes For Sale | Data
Swampscott was first settled in 1629 as the eastern part (Ward One) of Lynn, and was set off and officially incorporated in 1852. A beach town north of Boston, measuring 3 square miles (7.8 km2), and abutting Salem, Marblehead and Lynn, Swampscott was an important destination for the wealthy at the beginning of the 20th century. While Revere Beach, which lies just several miles down the road, has the honor of technically being America’s first public beach, Swampscott was the de facto first resort town. Lynn was the divider between the poor beach and the rich resort town. The name ‘Swampscott’ comes from the language of a local Native American tribe, and means ‘red rock’.
Population: 26,399Median Rent: $1,242
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,022
More on Wakefield: Homes For Sale | Data
Wakefield was first settled in 1638 and was originally known as Lynn Village. It officially separated from Lynn and incorporated as Reading in 1644 when the first church (First Parish Congregational Church) and the first mill were established. This first corn mill was built on the Mill River on Water Street, and later small saw mills were built on the Mill River and the Saugus River.
Population: 12,489Median Rent: $1,477
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 792
More on Lynnfield: Homes For Sale | Data
The town of Lynnfield was first settled in 1638 and was made a district separate from Lynn in 1782. It was later officially incorporated in 1814. Historically, Lynnfield functioned as two separate villages connected by one governing body: in Lynnfield Center resided a mostly agricultural population, while South Lynnfield was a crossroad situated amongst neighboring larger towns. During this time, the town had two inns, a granite rock quarry, a small carbonated beverage bottler, and various eating institutions.
Population: 22,491Median Rent: $1,571
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 755
More on Winchester: Homes For Sale | Data
The land on which Winchester now sits was purchased from Native Americans by representatives of the settlement of Charlestown in 1639, and the area was first settled by Europeans in 1640. In the early years of the settlement, the area was known informally as Waterfield, a reference to its many ponds and to the river which bisected the central village. In its second century, the area was referred to as Black Horse Village, after the busy tavern and hostelry in its center.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Massachusetts goes to Hull.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more Massachusetts reading , check out:
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Massachusetts
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Massachusetts For 2018
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Massachusetts