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


We analyzed over 29 places in New Mexico 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 Mexico.

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

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.

Here are our top ten places in the Land of Enchantment to retire for 2018:

  1. Ruidoso (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Raton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Las Vegas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Truth Or Consequences (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Grants (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Corrales (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Los Alamos (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Sunland Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Roswell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Taos (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in New Mexico.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Land of Enchantment

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’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.

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1. Ruidoso

Ruidoso, New Mexico

Source: Public domain’

Population: 7,833
Median Rent: $824
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,961
More on Ruidoso: Homes For Sale | Data
In December 2006, 7% of eligible voters approved a $12.6 million bond issue to finance the expansion and modernization of the local wastewater treatment plant which was built in 1982. In 2011, construction was completed on a $36 million wastewater treatment plant. This state-of-the-art facility utilizes membrane technology to achieve discharge standards within regulatory guidelines. The plant was designed to accommodate future growth. The average daily volume is 1.6 million gallons. The plant can currently process up to 2.7 million gallons per day.

2. Raton

Raton, New Mexico

Population: 6,348
Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,213
More on Raton: Homes For Sale | Data
Ratón is the Spanish term for ‘mouse’ (literally ‘small rat’). The Raton Range and Raton Peak are located immediately north of the town. The Raton Range is a 75-mile-long (121 km) ridge that extends east from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Raton Pass and the Raton Basin are also named for the Raton Range.

3. Las Vegas

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Population: 13,570
Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 163 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,949
More on Las Vegas: Homes For Sale | Data
Las Vegas was established in 1835 after a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government. The town was laid out in the traditional Spanish Colonial style, with a central plaza surrounded by buildings which could serve as fortifications in case of attack. Las Vegas soon prospered as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. During the Mexican-American War in 1846, Stephen W. Kearny delivered an address at the Plaza of Las Vegas claiming New Mexico for the United States. In 1877 Las Vegas College, the precursor to Regis University, was founded in Las Vegas by a group of exiled Italian Jesuits. In 1887, Las Vegas College moved to Denver whereupon the name was changed.

4. Truth Or Consequences

Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico

Source: Public domain’

Population: 6,157
Median Rent: $500
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,735
More on Truth or Consequences: Homes For Sale | Data
The first bath in the area was built at ‘John Cross Ranch’ over Geronimo Springs in the late 1800s. However, major settlement did not begin until the construction of Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir in 1912; the dam was completed in 1916. Elephant Butte Dam was a part of the Rio Grande Project, an early large-scale irrigation effort authorized under the Reclamation Act of 1902. In 1916, the town was incorporated as Hot Springs. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.

5. Grants

Grants, New Mexico

Source: Public domain’

Population: 9,263
Median Rent: $539
Distance to Closest Airport: 204 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,022
More on Grants: Homes For Sale | Data
Grants began as a railroad camp in the 1880s, when three Canadian brothers ? Angus A. Grant, John R. Grant, and Lewis A. Grant ? were awarded a contract to build a section of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad through the region. The Grant brothers’ camp was first called Grants Camp, then Grants Station, and finally Grants. The new city enveloped the existing colonial New Mexican settlement of Los Alamitos and grew along the tracks of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.

6. Corrales

Corrales, New Mexico

Population: 8,474
Median Rent: $866
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,191
More on Corrales: Homes For Sale | Data
The village was selected as #19 in CNN Money’s list of the 100 best places to live in 2007.

7. Los Alamos

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Population: 11,733
Median Rent: $933
Distance to Closest Airport: 205 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,338
More on Los Alamos: Homes For Sale | Data
Los Alamos is built on the Pajarito Plateau between White Rock Canyon and the Valles Caldera. The first settlers on the plateau are thought to be Keres speaking Native Americans around the 10th century. Around 1300, Tewa settlers immigrated from the Four Corners Region and built large cities but were driven out within 50 years by Navajo and Apache raids and by drought. Both the Keres and Tewa towns can be seen today in the ruins of Bandelier National Monument and Tsankawi.

8. Sunland Park

Sunland Park, New Mexico

Source: Public domain’

Population: 15,588
Median Rent: $634
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 949
More on Sunland Park: Homes For Sale | Data
Sunland Park was formed when the unincorporated communities of Anapra, Sunland Park, and Meadow Vista voted to incorporate as Sunland Park on July 13, 1983.

9. Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico

Population: 48,407
Median Rent: $709
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,046
More on Roswell: Homes For Sale | Data
The first nonindigenous or Hispanic settlers of the area around Roswell were a group of pioneers from Missouri, who attempted to start a settlement 15 miles (24 km) southwest of what is now Roswell in 1865, but were forced to abandon the site because of a lack of water. It was called Missouri Plaza. It also had many Hispanic people from Lincoln, New Mexico. John Chisum had his famous Jingle Bob Ranch about 5 miles (8 km) from the center of Roswell, at South Spring Acres. At the time, it was the largest ranch in the United States.

10. Taos

Taos, New Mexico

Population: 5,735
Median Rent: $636
Distance to Closest Airport: 221 miles
Crime Per 100k: 8,875
More on Taos: Homes For Sale | Data
The Taos Pueblo, which borders the town of Taos on its north side, has been occupied for nearly a millennium. It is estimated that the pueblo was built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., with some later expansion, and the pueblo is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire 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:

  • Gallup
  • Clovis
  • Hobbs

For more New Mexico reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In New Mexico

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Ruidoso 1 7,833 $824 65 2,961
Raton 2 6,348 $573 191 3,213
Las Vegas 3 13,570 $573 163 3,949
Truth Or Consequences 4 6,157 $500 68 3,735
Grants 5 9,263 $539 204 3,022
Corrales 6 8,474 $866 179 1,191
Los Alamos 7 11,733 $933 205 1,338
Sunland Park 8 15,588 $634 11 949
Roswell 9 48,407 $709 4 5,046
Taos 10 5,735 $636 221 8,875
Alamogordo 11 31,201 $788 69 3,605
Deming 12 14,582 $581 48 4,869
Socorro 13 8,760 $603 121 6,164
Carlsbad 14 28,079 $820 63 4,594
Lovington 15 11,559 $704 72 2,915
Aztec 16 6,354 $719 276 3,415
Artesia 17 11,817 $676 31 5,492
Santa Fe 18 82,927 $964 182 4,290
Portales 19 12,275 $739 90 4,252
Bernalillo 20 8,676 $733 180 5,520
Las Cruces 21 101,459 $757 8 4,966
Bloomfield 22 7,565 $722 281 2,974
Belen 23 7,184 $752 158 9,173
Los Lunas 24 15,271 $931 164 5,795
Rio Rancho 25 92,966 $1114 184 2,651
Albuquerque 26 556,859 $816 173 8,040
Farmington 27 44,067 $808 286 4,878
Hobbs 28 36,863 $832 77 5,740
Clovis 29 39,461 $794 94 6,609
Gallup 30 22,523 $690 234 9,119

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