Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire For 2020


We analyzed over 21 places in New Hampshire to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in New Hampshire.

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Looking for a rock solid place to retire in the Granite Place? You're in the right place, because we've found the top spots in New Hampshire to spend your golden years.

Luckily, there's a wide array of places to choose from, so whatever your retirement priorities are, there's definitely something for you. If you want to live in the middle of the action, Concord is the place to be, while if you always imagined retiring beside the sea, Portsmouth or Hampton are your best bets. Or if you'd like to be near the bigger cities like Manchester and Nashua, but still have apple orchards aplenty, then Londonderry is calling.

Interestingly, some of the top best cities to raise a family in New Hampshire are also featured on this list. That means that none of these cities will be age-segregated retirement hubs, but rather thriving communities where youth and experience are appreciated in equal measure.

Florida may have New Hampshire beat in terms of heat, but if natural beauty is your thing, it's certainly hard to top New Hampshire's rugged landscape (especially in autumn). And if you don't feel up for the often wild and steep trails in White Mountain National Forest, there's always the option to drive up Mountain Washington (and get the bumper sticker for proof). Even if you're just reading a book by the side of the Merrimack River, you can't help but appreciate the nature in New Hampshire.

Without further ado, let's turn to the absolute best places to retire in New Hampshire.

Why did Berlin take the top spot? And where are Manchester and Nashua?

So there you have it: these places are the cream of the crop in New Hampshire once you've called it quits on working. And not just then; more than half the cities on this list are also among the best places to live in New Hampshire overall, so they're objectively desirable at any stage of life.

How did we determine the best places to retire? For starters, we only looked at cities with a population of at least 5,000, which left us with 24 cities to rank. We then pulled data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights and looked specifically for spots with a low cost of living and crime rate, combined with plenty to do and good weather. We then ranked each of these places for each criterion, with the lowest number being the best.

But which of these cities is the absolute best place to retire in New Hampshire? According to the data, Berlin is the #1 spot to spend your golden years.

For more New Hampshire state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire For 2020

Berlin, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,382
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $726
Distance to Closest Airport: 75 miles
More on Berlin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Berlin is a city along the Androscoggin River in Cos County in northern New Hampshire, United States. The population was 10,051 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Cascade. Located on the edge of the White Mountains, the city's boundaries extend into the White Mountain National Forest. Berlin is home to the Berlin and Cos County Historical Society's Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center, Service Credit Union Heritage Park, the Berlin Fish Hatchery, and the White Mountains Community College, member of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Review Of Berlin by HomeSnacks User

This town is absolutely gorgeous. Great scenery, biking trails, hiking trails, lakes, and many other sightings. Although there are many people unemployed and doing drugs in town and many drug bust happening all the time. The PD absolutely s***s and works on the most useless things that they can and take forever to get where they need to be. The school system is horrible and has barely any funding to the point where 6-8th grade needs so come into our high school and teachers need to move from classroom to classroom by week with a rolling cart as there aren't enough rooms. Berlin has alot of potential but there's not enough job opportunities and too many people using welfare and foodstamps.

A few of my favorite places are the four wheeling trails, the lakes, our "outdated" restaurants that add some class and a vintage feel that I love. It has it flaws but it's really not as bad as it's cracked up to be.

Exeter, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,070
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,216
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
More on Exeter: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town's population was 14,306 at the 2010 census. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood. Home to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private university-preparatory school, Exeter is situated where the Exeter River feeds the tidal Squamscott River.

Durham, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,101
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $917
Distance to Closest Airport: 46 miles
More on Durham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Durham is a town in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,638 at the 2010 census. Durham is home to the University of New Hampshire.

Hampton, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,235
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,201
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hampton is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,976 at the 2010 census. Located beside the Atlantic Ocean, Hampton is home to Hampton Beach, a summer tourist destination.

Franklin, NH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,586
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $840
Distance to Closest Airport: 69 miles
More on Franklin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Franklin is a city in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,477, the lowest of any of New Hampshire's 13 cities. Franklin includes the village of West Franklin.

Milford, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,168
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $1,152
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
More on Milford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Milford is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States, on the Souhegan River. The population was 15,115 at the 2010 census. It is the retail and manufacturing center of a six-town area known informally as the Souhegan Valley.

Newport, NH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,019
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $859
Distance to Closest Airport: 90 miles
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 21,778
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,233
Distance to Closest Airport: 46 miles
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is the only city in the county, but only the fourth-largest community, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census. As of 2016 the estimated population was 21,485. A historic seaport and popular summer tourist destination, Portsmouth was the home of the Strategic Air Command's Pease Air Force Base, later converted to Portsmouth International Airport at Pease with limited commercial air service.

Laconia, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,342
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $914
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
More on Laconia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Laconia is a city in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 15,951 at the 2010 census, and an estimated 16,470 as of 2016. It is the county seat of Belknap County. Laconia, situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake, includes the villages of Lakeport and Weirs Beach. Each June for nine days beginning on the Saturday of the weekend before Father's Day and ending on Father's Day, the city hosts Laconia Motorcycle Week, also more simply known as 'bike week', one of the country's largest rallies, and each winter, the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby. The city is also the site of the state's annual Pumpkin Festival since 2015, having organized it after its former home of Keene rejected it due to riots in their neighborhoods in 2014. The city also includes one of the colleges of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Hudson, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,591
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,217
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
More on Hudson: Real Estate | Data

Hudson is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. It is located along the Massachusetts state line. The population was 24,467 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 24,645 in 2013. It is the ninth-largest municipality in the state, by population.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Granite State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in New Hampshire to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Granite State -- 97 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 24 places from across the state.

For these 24, 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 24, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Berlin, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In New Hampshire Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in New Hampshire goes to Berlin.

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

  1. Manchester
  2. Hanover
  3. Lebanon

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Berlin 10,382 $726
2 Exeter 9,070 $1,216
3 Durham 11,101 $917
4 Hampton 9,235 $1,201
5 Franklin 8,586 $840
6 Milford 9,168 $1,152
7 Newport 5,019 $859
8 Portsmouth 21,778 $1,233
9 Laconia 16,342 $914
10 Hudson 7,591 $1,217

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.