These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana


We analyzed over 15 places in Montana 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 Montana.

But where exactly in Montana? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Montana 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 Havre don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Treasure State to retire:

  1. Havre
  2. Lewistown
  3. Sidney
  4. Laurel
  5. Livingston
  6. Belgrade
  7. Great Falls
  8. Lewistown
  9. Bozeman
  10. Billings

Why did Havre take the top spot? And where are Billings and Missoula? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Treasure State

To create our list of the best places in Montana to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Treasure State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 15 places from across the state.

For these 15, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 15, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Havre, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,668
Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 107 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,220
Havre ranked 1 overall thanks to its 3 place rank for cost of living and 10 place safety rank.

2. Lewistown

Lewistown, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,879
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 116 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,615
Lewistown ranked 2 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 3 place safety rank.

3. Sidney

Sidney, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,888
Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,562
Sidney ranked 3 overall thanks to its 3 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.

4. Laurel

Laurel, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,887
Cost Of Living: 106
Distance to Closest Airport: 175 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,323
Laurel ranked 4 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 5 place safety rank.

5. Livingston

Livingston, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,086
Cost Of Living: 101
Distance to Closest Airport: 131 miles
Crime Per 100k: 931
Livingston ranked 5 overall thanks to its 6 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.

6. Belgrade

Belgrade, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,625
Cost Of Living: 109
Distance to Closest Airport: 117 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,068
Belgrade ranked 6 overall thanks to its 12 place rank for cost of living and 7 place safety rank.

7. Great Falls

Great Falls, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,017
Cost Of Living: 99
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,613
Great Falls ranked 7 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 13 place safety rank.

8. Lewistown

Lewistown, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,879
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,615
Lewistown ranked 8 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 3 place safety rank.

9. Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 39,123
Cost Of Living: 117
Distance to Closest Airport: 125 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,039
Bozeman ranked 9 overall thanks to its 15 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.

10. Billings

Billings, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 106,979
Cost Of Living: 107
Distance to Closest Airport: 177 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,002
Billings ranked 10 overall thanks to its 11 place rank for cost of living and 14 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Montana goes to Havre.

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

  • Kalispell
  • Glendive
  • Missoula

For more Montana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Montana

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Havre 1 9,668 94 107 4,220
Lewistown 2 5,879 89 116 1,615
Sidney 3 5,888 94 40 1,562
Laurel 4 6,887 106 175 2,323
Livingston 5 7,086 101 131 931
Belgrade 6 7,625 109 117 3,068
Great Falls 7 59,017 99 3 4,613
Lewistown 8 5,879 89 94 1,615
Bozeman 9 39,123 117 125 3,039
Billings 10 106,979 107 177 5,002
Whitefish 11 6,542 116 10 3,729
Helena 12 29,142 104 68 4,443
Missoula 13 68,377 110 5 4,520
Glendive 14 5,167 102 89 3,502
Kalispell 15 20,629 106 7 5,022

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