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 Minnesota.
But where exactly in Minnesota? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Minnesota 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 Hibbing don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the North Star State to retire for 2018:
- Hibbing (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Grand Rapids (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Minnetonka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fairmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Albert Lea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- North Mankato (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mendota Heights (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eagan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rosemount (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Red Wing (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the North Star State
To create our list of the best places in Minnesota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the North Star State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 80 places from across the state.
For these 80, 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 80, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Hibbing, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 16,230Median Rent: $569
Distance to Closest Airport: 52 miles
Crime Per 100k: 973
More on Hibbing: Homes For Sale | Data
The town was founded in 1893 by Frank Hibbing, born in Hannover, Germany on December 1, 1856, and christened Franz Dietrich von Ahlen. His mother died when he was still in infancy and it was her name, Hibbing, which he assumed when he set out to seek his fortune in the New World. He first settled in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where he worked on a farm and in a shingle mill. Injured in a mill accident, he considered becoming a lawyer, but after deciding he was not familiar enough with the English language to make a legal career possible, he turned to timber cruising.
2. Grand Rapids
Population: 11,053Median Rent: $616
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,044
More on Grand Rapids: Homes For Sale | Data
Grand Rapids was founded as a logging town, as the Mississippi River provided an optimal method of log shipment to population centers. The predecessor of the Blandin paper mill opened in 1902.
Population: 51,651Median Rent: $1,216
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,544
More on Minnetonka: Homes For Sale | Data
Since the mid-19th century, Minnetonka has evolved from heavily wooded wilderness through extensive farming and thriving industrialization to its present primarily residential suburban character. The Dakota and Ojibwe Indians were the first people to settle in the area. They believed the land around Lake Minnetonka (minne meaning water and tonka meaning big) was the legendary home of an extinct race. The first recorded exploration of the area by European settlers was in 1822, when a group from newly constructed Fort Snelling made its way up Minnehaha Creek (then known as Brown’s Creek or Falls Creek) to the lake. In 1851, the Dakota sold the area including Minnetonka to the United States with the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. The first census, the Territorial Census of 1857, lists 41 households. Twenty-nine of the heads of households are listed as farmers. The occupations of the remaining twelve are associated with the operations of Minnetonka Mill and a nearby hotel.
Population: 10,311Median Rent: $580
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,182
More on Fairmont: Homes For Sale | Data
Fairmont was platted in 1857. The city was so named on account of its elevated town site. A post office has been in operation at Fairmont since 1858. Fairmont was incorporated as a city in 1902.
5. Albert Lea
Population: 17,775Median Rent: $621
Distance to Closest Airport: 85 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,969
More on Albert Lea: Homes For Sale | Data
The city is named after Albert Miller Lea, a topographer with the United States Dragoons, who surveyed southern Minnesota and northern Iowa in 1835, including the current site of Albert Lea. Captain Nathan Boone, a son of Daniel Boone, was the scout for Lea’s unit.
6. North Mankato
7. Mendota Heights
Population: 65,874Median Rent: $1,074
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,797
More on Eagan: Homes For Sale | Data
Eagan was named for Patrick Eagan who was the first chairman of the town board of supervisors. Patrick Eagan tamed a 220-acre (0.89 km2) parcel of land near the present-day town hall. Eagan (born 1811) and his wife Margaret Twohy (born 1816), emigrated from Tipperary, Ireland to Troy, New York where they married in 1843. They arrived in Mendota around 1853?1854, before settling in the Eagan area.
10. Red Wing
Population: 16,484Median Rent: $754
Distance to Closest Airport: 36 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,184
More on Red Wing: Homes For Sale | Data
In the early 1850s, settlers from Mississippi River steamboats came to Red Wing to farm in Goodhue County. They encroached on traditional territory of the Mdewakanton Sioux.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Minnesota goes to Hibbing.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- St. Cloud
- Brooklyn Center
For more Minnesota reading , check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Minnesota
|Inver Grove Heights||12|
|North St. Paul||30|
|White Bear Lake||33|
|West St. Paul||46|
|South St. Paul||53|
|St. Louis Park||63|