10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2019

We analyzed over 30 places in New Mexico to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in New Mexico.

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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 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 Mexico.

Where exactly in New Mexico is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Ruidoso as the best place to hang up your cleats.

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

Why did Ruidoso take the top spot? And where are Albuquerque and Las Cruces?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For New Mexico state reading:

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,833
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 28)
Median Rent: $824
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
More on Ruidoso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ruidoso is a village in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States, adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. The population was 8,029 at the 2010 census. The city of Ruidoso Downs and the unincorporated area of Alto are suburbs of Ruidoso, and contribute to the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area’s population of 21,223.

Raton, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,348
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 20)
Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
More on Raton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Raton is a city and the county seat of Colfax County in northeastern New Mexico. The city is located just south of Raton Pass.

Las Vegas, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,570
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 163 miles
More on Las Vegas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Las Vegas is a city in and the county seat of San Miguel County, New Mexico, United States. Once two separate municipalities both named Las Vegas, west Las Vegas and east Las Vegas, separated by the Gallinas River, retain distinct characters and separate, rival school districts. The population was 14,565 at the 2000 census. Las Vegas, NM is located 110 miles south of Raton, New Mexico, 65 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico, 122 miles northeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico, 257 miles south of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 326 miles south of Denver, Colorado.

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,157
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $500
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Truth Or Consequences: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Truth or Consequences is a city and county seat in Sierra County, New Mexico, United States. In 2012, the population was 6,411. It is commonly known within New Mexico as T or C. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,263
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $539
Distance to Closest Airport: 204 miles
More on Grants: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grants is a city in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States. It is located about 78 miles west of Albuquerque. The population was 9,182 at the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Cibola County.

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,474
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 26)
Median Rent: $866
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
More on Corrales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Corrales is a village in Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 8,329 at the 2010 Census. With proximity to the Rio Grande, the village was founded for agricultural purposes. The Rio Grande Bosque on the eastern edge of the village provides refuge for native animals and plants. The village fights hard to maintain its rural character in light of being surrounded by the rapidly expanding cities of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque.

Los Alamos, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,733
Rank Last Year:
Median Rent: $933
Distance to Closest Airport: 205 miles
More on Los Alamos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Alamos is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the birthplace of the atomic bomb–the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. The town is located on four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau, and has a population of 12,019. It is the county seat and one of two population centers in the county known as census-designated places ; the other is White Rock.

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,588
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Rent: $634
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Sunland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sunland Park is a city in southern Doa Ana County, New Mexico, United States, on the borders of Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua, with Ciudad Jurez adjoining it on the south and El Paso, Texas on the east. The community of Santa Teresa adjoins it on the northwest. The population of Sunland Park was 14,106 at the 2010 census and was estimated at 15,400 by the United States Census Bureau in 2014. Though it lies adjacent to El Paso, being in Doa Ana County makes it a part of the Las Cruces metropolitan statistical area. Las Cruces is 42 miles to the north.

Roswell, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,407
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Rent: $709
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Roswell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Roswell is a city in New Mexico. It is the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 48,411, making it the fifth-largest city in New Mexico. It is a center for irrigated farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also the home of New Mexico Military Institute, founded in 1891. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located a few miles northeast of the city on the Pecos River. Bottomless Lakes State Park is located 12 miles east of Roswell on US 380.

Review Of Roswell by HomeSnacks User

We love our new home state because houses are affordable and the people are wonderful. I agree what you described is Albuquerque. The mountains here are stunning. The climate is astonishing. NM is enchanting. Sorry you have not seen more of it.

Science abounds here. Space history, solar studies, and the Very Large Array.

Taos, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,735
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $636
Distance to Closest Airport: 221 miles
More on Taos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taos is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, incorporated in 1934. As of the 2010 census, its population was 5,716. Other nearby communities include Ranchos de Taos, Caon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, El Prado, and Arroyo Seco. The town is close to Taos Pueblo, the Native American village and tribe from which it takes its name.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Land Of Enchantment for 2019

To create our list of the best places in New Mexico to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Land Of Enchantment — 417 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 30 places from across the state.

For these 30, 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 30, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In New Mexico Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in New Mexico goes to Ruidoso.

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

  1. Gallup
  2. Clovis
  3. Hobbs

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Ruidoso 7,833 $824
2 Raton 6,348 $573
3 Las Vegas 13,570 $573
4 Truth Or Consequences 6,157 $500
5 Grants 9,263 $539
6 Corrales 8,474 $866
7 Los Alamos 11,733 $933
8 Sunland Park 15,588 $634
9 Roswell 48,407 $709
10 Taos 5,735 $636

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.