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


We analyzed over 116 places in Minnesota 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 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:

  1. Hibbing (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Grand Rapids (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Minnetonka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Fairmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Albert Lea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. North Mankato (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Mendota Heights (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Eagan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Rosemount (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Red Wing (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Why did Hibbing take the top spot? And where are Minneapolis and St. Paul?

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

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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.

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1. Hibbing

Hibbing, Minnesota

Source: Public domain’

Population: 16,230
Median 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

Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Population: 11,053
Median 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.

3. Minnetonka

Minnetonka, Minnesota

Source: Public domain’

Population: 51,651
Median 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.

4. Fairmont

Fairmont, Minnesota

Population: 10,311
Median 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

Albert Lea, Minnesota

Population: 17,775
Median 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

North Mankato, Minnesota

Population: 13,451
Median Rent: $801
Distance to Closest Airport: 62 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,159
More on North Mankato: Homes For Sale | Data

7. Mendota Heights

Mendota Heights, Minnesota

Population: 11,231
Median Rent: $1,097
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,780
More on Mendota Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

8. Eagan

Eagan, Minnesota

Population: 65,874
Median 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.

9. Rosemount

Rosemount, Minnesota

Population: 23,099
Median Rent: $1,137
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 935
More on Rosemount: Homes For Sale | Data

10. Red Wing

Red Wing, Minnesota

Population: 16,484
Median 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
  • Rogers
  • Brooklyn Center

For more Minnesota reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Minnesota

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Hibbing 1 16,230 $569 52 973
Grand Rapids 2 11,053 $616 68 2,044
Minnetonka 3 51,651 $1216 12 1,544
Fairmont 4 10,311 $580 105 2,182
Albert Lea 5 17,775 $621 85 1,969
North Mankato 6 13,451 $801 62 1,159
Mendota Heights 7 11,231 $1097 4 1,780
Eagan 8 65,874 $1074 5 1,797
Rosemount 9 23,099 $1137 11 935
Red Wing 10 16,484 $754 36 3,184
New Brighton 11 22,233 $879 12 2,433
Inver Grove Heights 12 34,757 $990 8 2,528
Northfield 13 20,405 $754 29 1,112
Chaska 14 25,078 $1020 19 1,204
Fergus Falls 15 13,310 $599 125 3,876
Owatonna 16 25,580 $725 54 2,541
Bloomington 17 85,080 $999 5 3,510
Stillwater 18 19,142 $981 22 2,230
Edina 19 49,976 $1280 6 1,922
Marshall 20 13,616 $615 129 1,579
Duluth 21 86,164 $752 5 4,803
Faribault 22 23,530 $717 40 2,511
Richfield 23 35,912 $898 3 2,773
Golden Valley 24 21,040 $1176 10 2,015
Willmar 25 19,641 $661 91 2,387
New Hope 26 20,819 $902 13 2,002
Eden Prairie 27 63,206 $1237 11 1,210
Austin 28 24,841 $707 84 2,644
Hutchinson 29 13,891 $771 56 2,116
North St. Paul 30 12,102 $797 14 2,288
Columbia Heights 31 19,689 $938 11 2,382
Alexandria 32 13,185 $717 125 2,859
White Bear Lake 33 24,992 $974 16 2,556
Crystal 34 22,777 $976 12 2,203
Anoka 35 17,325 $870 24 3,613
Cloquet 36 12,047 $668 16 5,511
Hastings 37 22,501 $830 20 2,404
Plymouth 38 75,105 $1187 15 1,407
Worthington 39 13,036 $648 145 1,664
Lino Lakes 40 20,758 $1127 20 1,055
Apple Valley 41 50,602 $1119 9 2,397
Farmington 42 22,226 $930 15 1,039
Woodbury 43 66,699 $1399 14 2,076
Roseville 44 35,254 $924 9 5,344
Shakopee 45 39,656 $1170 14 2,171
West St. Paul 46 19,779 $858 6 5,435
Moorhead 47 41,321 $750 77 2,516
Lakeville 48 59,786 $1224 13 1,097
Winona 49 27,372 $612 95 3,105
Champlin 50 23,929 $1130 21 1,370
Rochester 51 111,396 $847 70 2,442
Blaine 52 61,210 $1077 19 2,925
South St. Paul 53 20,281 $850 8 3,545
Hopkins 54 18,077 $961 9 2,334
North Branch 55 10,157 $872 45 1,998
Maple Grove 56 66,969 $1374 19 1,838
Burnsville 57 61,158 $1045 8 2,907
Oakdale 58 27,956 $1038 14 3,205
Minneapolis 59 404,670 $898 6 5,489
Mounds View 60 12,708 $869 15 3,407
Coon Rapids 61 62,159 $1066 20 3,038
Cottage Grove 62 35,632 $1170 15 1,641
St. Louis Park 63 47,486 $1051 8 2,634
St. Peter 64 11,567 $850 52 1,443
Maplewood 65 39,678 $1021 13 4,672
Mankato 66 40,900 $790 61 3,523
Elk River 67 23,743 $1009 35 2,030
Brooklyn Park 68 78,823 $900 16 3,473
St. Paul 69 297,160 $865 7 3,964
Buffalo 70 15,927 $911 37 2,115
Fridley 71 27,447 $904 14 3,818
Sartell 72 16,442 $885 70 1,952
Sauk Rapids 73 13,334 $671 66 2,572
Ramsey 74 25,329 $1313 28 1,397
Forest Lake 75 19,208 $975 28 3,623
Brainerd 76 13,440 $683 100 5,558
Bemidji 77 14,664 $690 87 7,426
Brooklyn Center 78 30,785 $930 13 3,885
Rogers 79 12,284 $1251 130 1,603
St. Cloud 80 66,770 $722 64 4,602

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