Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in New Mexico.

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If you're nearing the end of your career or have already retired and are looking for a change of scenery, consider the Land of Enchantment for your golden years.

There are plenty of things that make New Mexico a greater place for retirement. Whether you're a connoisseur of eye-popping sunsets, a UFO-enthusiast, or just a lover of chilies both red and green, New Mexico has loads to keep you satisfied during your work-free years. Combine that with being among the states with the lowest rent in America, and you'll have even more expendable cash on hand to enjoy all New Mexico has to offer. If you want to see the best sunsets in a state already known for them, White Sands National Monument is a must-visit, while if you're trying to get away from the sun, going down into Carlsbad Caverns might be more your speed.

So where should you lay down your briefcase in New Mexico? Well, if you'd like to live next door to George R.R. Martin and Val Kilmer, Los Alamos is your best bet. Whereas if you're trying to see Julia Roberts out on Main Street, you'll have to retire in Taos. If you've always had "going to a rodeo" on your bucket list, Ruidoso is the place to be. Whatever your priorities are in retirement, this list has options, both near and far from New Mexico's better-known cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

New Mexico will leave you enchanted no matter where you decide to retire, but these are the places that will offer the absolute most to retirees.

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

It wasn't easy to narrow down the best spots to retire in New Mexico. But by looking for the places with low cost of living and crime rates, combined with the best weather, activities, and access to the airport, we determined where folks can find the most fulfillment in their retirement.

What's the best place to retire in New Mexico for 2020? According to the latest data, Ruidoso is the absolute best place in the state for retirees.

If you're a little worried that New Mexico is too far from the family, be sure to look for overlap between this list and our list of best cities to raise a family. It could just be a win-win for every generation.

Didn't see the city you were looking for in the top ten? Check out the list below to see how each city ranked for retirement.

For more New Mexico state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2020

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,757
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $694
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

4
/10

Population: 6,145
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $570
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.

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,968
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $490
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

4
/10

Population: 9,063
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $657
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.

Las Vegas, NM

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,341
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $601
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.

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,544
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,052
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

8
/10

Population: 12,373
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,007
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.

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,368
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Rent: $596
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
More on Anthony: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taos, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,021
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $642
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.

Belen, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,106
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $680
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
More on Belen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belen is the second most populous city in Valencia County, New Mexico, United States, after its county seat Los Lunas. The population was 7,152 in 2015 census data.

Review Of Belen by HomeSnacks User

Belen is not a bad place. Try roswell my hometown where lots of crime and shootings. Example a kid shooting in a school- Glad i moved to belen for sake of my kids.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Land Of Enchantment for 2020

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 29 places from across the state.

For these 29, 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 29, 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. You can download the data here.

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. Farmington
  3. Albuquerque

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Ruidoso 7,757 $694
2 Raton 6,145 $570
3 Truth Or Consequences 5,968 $490
4 Grants 9,063 $657
5 Las Vegas 13,341 $601
6 Corrales 8,544 $1,052
7 Los Alamos 12,373 $1,007
8 Anthony 9,368 $596
9 Taos 6,021 $642
10 Belen 7,106 $680

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.