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 South Dakota.
But where exactly in South Dakota? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in South Dakota 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 Vermillion don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Mount Rushmore State to retire:
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mount Rushmore State
To create our list of the best places in South Dakota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Mount Rushmore State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 15 places from across the state.
For these 15, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living
- Low crime
- Things to do (As measured by population density)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 15, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Vermillion, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 10,697Cost Of Living: 92
Distance to Closest Airport: 187 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,505
Vermillion ranked 1 overall thanks to its 6 place rank for cost of living and 7 place safety rank.
2. Belle Fourche
Population: 5,677Cost Of Living: 90
Distance to Closest Airport: 177 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,550
Belle Fourche ranked 2 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 3 place safety rank.
Population: 26,979Cost Of Living: 93
Distance to Closest Airport: 182 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,312
Aberdeen ranked 3 overall thanks to its 7 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.
Population: 6,830Cost Of Living: 86
Distance to Closest Airport: 200 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,522
Madison ranked 4 overall thanks to its 2 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.
Population: 22,645Cost Of Living: 95
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,682
Brookings ranked 5 overall thanks to its 11 place rank for cost of living and 4 place safety rank.
Population: 6,652Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,570
Sturgis ranked 6 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 9 place safety rank.
Population: 9,350Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 188 miles
Crime Per 100k: 278
Brandon ranked 7 overall thanks to its 14 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.
Population: 14,513Cost Of Living: 90
Distance to Closest Airport: 212 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,431
Yankton ranked 8 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 12 place safety rank.
Population: 12,982Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 247 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,865
Huron ranked 9 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 10 place safety rank.
Population: 21,795Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 192 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,514
Watertown ranked 10 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 8 place safety rank.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in South Dakota goes to Vermillion.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more South Dakota reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In South Dakota
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In South Dakota
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In South Dakota
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In South Dakota