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 Sidney don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Treasure State to retire:

  1. Sidney (Photos)
  2. Great Falls (Photos)
  3. Havre (Photos)
  4. Lewistown (Photos)
  5. Lewistown (Photos)
  6. Laurel (Photos)
  7. Missoula (Photos)
  8. Livingston (Photos)
  9. Glendive (Photos)
  10. Helena (Photos)

Why did Sidney take the top spot? And where are Billings and Missoula?

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

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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 Sidney, 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. Sidney

Sidney, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,407
Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,435
Sidney ranked 1st overall thanks to it’s 3rd place rank for cost of living and it’s 2nd place safety rank.

2. Great Falls

Great Falls, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,479
Cost Of Living: 99
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,578
Great Falls ranked 2nd overall thanks to it’s 5th place rank for cost of living and it’s 13th place safety rank.

3. Havre

Havre, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,815
Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 107 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,156
Havre ranked 3rd overall thanks to it’s 3rd place rank for cost of living and it’s 10th place safety rank.

4. Lewistown

Lewistown, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,868
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,618
Lewistown ranked 4th overall thanks to it’s 1st place rank for cost of living and it’s 3rd place safety rank.

5. Lewistown

Lewistown, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,868
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 116 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,618
Lewistown ranked 5th overall thanks to it’s 1st place rank for cost of living and it’s 3rd place safety rank.

6. Laurel

Laurel, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,931
Cost Of Living: 106
Distance to Closest Airport: 175 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,308
Laurel ranked 6th overall thanks to it’s 9th place rank for cost of living and it’s 5th place safety rank.

7. Missoula

Missoula, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 70,117
Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,408
Missoula ranked 7th overall thanks to it’s 13th place rank for cost of living and it’s 12th place safety rank.

8. Livingston

Livingston, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,210
Cost Of Living: 101
Distance to Closest Airport: 131 miles
Crime Per 100k: 915
Livingston ranked 8th overall thanks to it’s 6th place rank for cost of living and it’s 1st place safety rank.

9. Glendive

Glendive, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,353
Cost Of Living: 102
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,381
Glendive ranked 9th overall thanks to it’s 7th place rank for cost of living and it’s 8th place safety rank.

10. Helena

Helena, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,102
Cost Of Living: 104
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,302
Helena ranked 10th overall thanks to it’s 8th place rank for cost of living and it’s 11th 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 Sidney.

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

  • Billings
  • Whitefish
  • Bozeman

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
Sidney 1 6,407 94 40 1,435
Great Falls 2 59,479 99 3 4,578
Havre 3 9,815 94 107 4,156
Lewistown 4 5,868 89 94 1,618
Lewistown 5 5,868 89 116 1,618
Laurel 6 6,931 106 175 2,308
Missoula 7 70,117 110 5 4,408
Livingston 8 7,210 101 131 915
Glendive 9 5,353 102 89 3,381
Helena 10 30,102 104 68 4,302
Belgrade 11 7,874 109 117 2,971
Kalispell 12 21,619 106 7 4,792
Bozeman 13 41,761 117 125 2,847
Whitefish 14 6,859 116 10 3,557
Billings 15 109,089 107 177 4,906

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