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 Oklahoma.
But where exactly in Oklahoma? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Oklahoma 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 Miami don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Sooner State to retire for 2018:
- Miami (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bartlesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Muskogee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Claremore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Guthrie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Okmulgee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sapulpa (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Duncan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Choctaw (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sand Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Sooner State
To create our list of the best places in Oklahoma to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Sooner State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 37 places from across the state.
For these 37, 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 37, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Miami, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 13,631Median Rent: $670
Distance to Closest Airport: 73 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,327
More on Miami: Homes For Sale | Data
Miami began in an unusual way, compared to other towns in Indian Territory. Per the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture ‘… it was settled in a business-like way by men of vision who looked into the future and saw possibilities. It didn’t just grow. It was carefully planned.’
Population: 36,499Median Rent: $693
Distance to Closest Airport: 37 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,400
More on Bartlesville: Homes For Sale | Data
Jacob Bartles, son-in-law of Delaware chief Charles Journeycake, moved from Wyandotte County, Kansas, to Indian Territory in 1873. He settled first at Silver Lake, a natural lake south of the present city of Bartlesville. In 1874, he opened a trading post and post office on Turkey Creek, in what is now East Bartlesville. In the following year, he bought a grist mill on the Caney River and modified it to produce flour. Bartles then built a two-story general store and residence, and added a rooming house, a blacksmith shop and a livery stable. Other settlers soon moved into the immediate area, which was then called Bartles Town. In 1880, Bartles moved his Turkey Creek post office to this town. Bartles then provided the community with electricity, a telephone system and a water distribution system.
Population: 38,605Median Rent: $651
Distance to Closest Airport: 43 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,854
More on Muskogee: Homes For Sale | Data
French fur traders were believed to have established a temporary village near the future Muskogee in 1806, but the first permanent European-American settlement was established in 1817 on the south bank of the Verdigris River, north of present-day Muskogee.
Population: 18,999Median Rent: $791
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,158
More on Claremore: Homes For Sale | Data
Around 1802, bands of Osage Indians settled in this area of what is now northeastern Oklahoma. Black Dog was the chief of a band that settled at Pasona, where the city of Claremore later developed. He shared power with chiefs Clermont (aka Claremore), and Pawhuska. Clermont, named by French traders, settled with his band in a village known as Pasuga, meaning ‘Big Cedar’, which was located on an ancient platform earthwork mound in this area.
Population: 11,063Median Rent: $686
Distance to Closest Airport: 88 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,112
More on Guthrie: Homes For Sale | Data
Guthrie was established in 1887 as a railroad station called Deer Creek on the Southern Kansas Railway (later acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) running from the Kansas?Oklahoma border to Purcell. The name was later changed to Guthrie, named for jurist John Guthrie of Topeka, Kansas. A post office was established on April 4, 1889.
Population: 12,284Median Rent: $569
Distance to Closest Airport: 39 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,656
More on Okmulgee: Homes For Sale | Data
Okmulgee was founded in 1868, when the Creek Nation began restoring order after the Civil War. In 1869, a post office (originally spelled Okmulkee) was established, with Captain Frederick B. Severs as the first postmaster. The name of the post office was officially changed to the present spelling on November 15, 1883. The Creeks initially built a two-story log council house to serve as their capital. This building burned in 1878 and was replaced with a stone building that stands today. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as a local history museum.
Population: 20,546Median Rent: $777
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,642
More on Sapulpa: Homes For Sale | Data
The town was named after the area’s first permanent settler, a full-blood Lower Creek Indian named Sapulpa, of the Kasihta Tribe, from Osocheetown, Alabama. About 1850, he established a trading post near the meeting of Polecat and Rock creeks (about one mile (1.6 km) southeast of present-day downtown Sapulpa). When the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (later known as the Frisco Railroad) built a spur to this area in 1886, it was known as Sapulpa Station. The Sapulpa post office was chartered July 1, 1889. The town was incorporated March 31, 1898.
Population: 11,989Median Rent: $918
Distance to Closest Airport: 91 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,451
More on Choctaw: Homes For Sale | Data
Choctaw physically became a community in 1890, but was not given actual status as a town until 1893 when a territorial governor was appointed for Oklahoma. It officially celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1993. In 1950, Choctaw was in an agricultural area. It had a population of 355 in that year. Despite its name, the town has no cultural, historical or governmental ties to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The tribal headquarters and casino are located in the southeastern part of the state in Durant, Oklahoma, and the Choctaw Capitol Building and annual Labor Day Festival are in Tuskahoma, Oklahoma.
10. Sand Springs
Population: 19,509Median Rent: $767
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,536
More on Sand Springs: Homes For Sale | Data
The city was founded in 1911, by philanthropist Charles Page, a wealthy businessman in Oklahoma. He envisioned Sand Springs as a haven for orphans and widows. He helped found and develop Sand Springs as a model city that included all components of a total community.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Oklahoma goes to Miami.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Warr Acres
For more Oklahoma reading , check out:
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Oklahoma
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Oklahoma For 2018
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oklahoma
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Oklahoma