These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire For 2018


We analyzed over 12 places in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire.

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

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in New Hampshire 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 Exeter don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Granite State to retire for 2018:

  1. Exeter (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Berlin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Durham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Hampton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Portsmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Laconia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Londonderry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Rochester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Concord (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Milford (Homes For Sale)

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

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

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 21 places from across the state.

For these 21, 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 21, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Exeter, New Hampshire

Population: 9,022
Median Rent: $1,091
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,185
More on Exeter: Homes For Sale | Data
The area was once the domain of the Squamscott Native Americans, a sub-tribe of the Pennacook nation, which fished at the falls where the Exeter River becomes the tidal Squamscott, the site around which the future town of Exeter would grow. On April 3, 1638, the Reverend John Wheelwright and others purchased the land from Wehanownowit, the sagamore. Wheelwright had been exiled by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a puritan theocracy, for sharing the dissident religious views of his sister-in-law, Anne Hutchinson. The minister took with him about 175 individuals to found the town he named after Exeter in Devon, England. Local government was linked with Massachusetts until New Hampshire became a separate colony in 1679, but counties weren’t introduced until 1769.

2. Berlin

Berlin, New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,154
Median Rent: $720
Distance to Closest Airport: 75 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,949
More on Berlin: Homes For Sale | Data
Around 11,000 years ago, small groups of Native Americans camped around the area of what is now called Berlin. In later years, the Eastern Abenaki tribes came to Berlin to mine rhyolite on Mt. Jasper.

3. Durham

Durham, New Hampshire

Population: 10,666
Median Rent: $938
Distance to Closest Airport: 46 miles
Crime Per 100k: 871
More on Durham: Homes For Sale | Data
Situated beside Great Bay at the mouth of the Oyster River, Durham was originally called ‘Oyster River Plantation’. It was settled in 1635 by pioneers who traveled up the Piscataqua River and across Little Bay to settle at the falls of the Oyster River.

4. Hampton

Hampton, New Hampshire

Population: 9,542
Median Rent: $1,179
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,179
More on Hampton: Homes For Sale | Data
First called the ‘Plantation of Winnacunnet’, Hampton was one of four original New Hampshire townships chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts, which then held authority over the colony. Winnacunnet is an Algonquian Abenaki word meaning ‘pleasant pines’ and is the name of the town’s high school, serving students from Hampton and the surrounding towns of Seabrook, North Hampton, and Hampton Falls.

5. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Source: Public domain’

Population: 21,458
Median Rent: $1,158
Distance to Closest Airport: 46 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,882
More on Portsmouth: Homes For Sale | Data
Native Americans of the Abenaki and other Algonquian languages-speaking nations, and their predecessors, inhabited the territory of coastal New Hampshire for thousands of years before European contact.

6. Laconia

Laconia, New Hampshire

Source: Public domain’

Population: 16,171
Median Rent: $888
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,588
More on Laconia: Homes For Sale | Data
A large Abenaki Indian settlement called Acquadocton Village once existed at the point now known as The Weirs, named by colonists for fishing weirs discovered at the outlet of the Winnipesaukee River. Early explorers had hoped to follow the Piscataqua River north to Lake Champlain in search of the great lakes and rivers of Canada mentioned in Indian folklore. About 1652, the Endicott surveying party visited the area, an event commemorated by Endicott Rock, a local landmark. A fort would be built at Laconia in 1746. But ongoing hostilities between the English, French, and their respective Native American allies prevented settlement until 1761, after which it remained for many years a part of Meredith and Gilford called Meredith Bridge.

7. Londonderry

Londonderry, New Hampshire

Population: 11,049
Median Rent: $1,186
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,009
More on Londonderry: Homes For Sale | Data
Londonderry lies in an area that was first known as ‘Nutfield’ because of the dense woods with nut trees. The town was settled in 1718 by Scots-Irish settlers, many of whom had left their homes in Londonderry in the Province of Ulster in the north of Ireland, and arrived in Boston in 1718 to start a new life without religious wars and persecution. In 1722, the town was chartered and given the name ‘Londonderry’.

8. Rochester

Rochester, New Hampshire

Population: 30,052
Median Rent: $932
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,696
More on Rochester: Homes For Sale | Data
Rochester was once inhabited by Abenaki Indians of the Pennacook tribe. They fished, hunted and farmed, moving locations when their agriculture exhausted the soil for growing pumpkins, squash, beans and maize. Gonic was called Squanamagonic, meaning ‘the water of the clay place hill.’

9. Concord

Concord, New Hampshire

Population: 42,634
Median Rent: $991
Distance to Closest Airport: 66 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,340
More on Concord: Homes For Sale | Data
The area that would become Concord was originally settled thousands of years ago by Abenaki Native Americans called the Pennacook.:65 The tribe fished for migrating salmon, sturgeon, and alewives with nets strung across the rapids of the Merrimack River. The stream was also the transportation route for their birch bark canoes, which could travel from Lake Winnipesaukee to the Atlantic Ocean. The broad sweep of the Merrimack River valley floodplain provided good soil for farming beans, gourds, pumpkins, melons and maize.

10. Milford

Milford, New Hampshire

Population: 9,136
Median Rent: $1,093
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,729
More on Milford: Homes For Sale | Data
Milford separated from neighboring Amherst in 1794. Like most towns named Milford in the United States, its name comes from the fact that it grew around a mill built on a ford?in this case on the Souhegan River.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

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

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

  • Manchester
  • Hanover
  • Keene

For more New Hampshire reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Exeter 1 9,022 $1091 42 1,185
Berlin 2 10,154 $720 75 1,949
Durham 3 10,666 $938 46 871
Hampton 4 9,542 $1179 41 2,179
Portsmouth 5 21,458 $1158 46 1,882
Laconia 6 16,171 $888 58 4,588
Londonderry 7 11,049 $1186 38 2,009
Rochester 8 30,052 $932 41 3,696
Concord 9 42,634 $991 66 2,340
Milford 10 9,136 $1093 47 1,729
Hudson 11 7,961 $1142 35 4,346
Dover 12 30,750 $1027 42 1,502
Derry 13 22,392 $1128 39 2,407
Claremont 14 13,022 $796 85 2,480
Nashua 15 87,279 $1155 36 1,568
Newmarket 16 5,597 $1099 48 821
Lebanon 17 13,528 $982 73 3,296
Somersworth 18 11,756 $988 39 3,342
Keene 19 23,537 $981 72 3,097
Hanover 20 8,482 $1435 68 1,662
Manchester 21 110,231 $1029 48 3,403

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