Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2020


We analyzed over 27 places in South Dakota 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 South Dakota.

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Thinking of calling it quits on your career and retiring in the Mount Rushmore State? Don't retire just anywhere in South Dakota, because we've made a list of the absolute best places the state has to offer for retirement.

It turns out that the state that reared Bob Barker and Tom Brokaw has some pretty great places to live for some of their biggest fans. Why is South Dakota a good place to retire? For starters, it has the eighth lowest rent in America, so either your savings will last much longer or you'll have boatloads of extra cash on hand to enjoy your new work-free lifestyle. And if you're an outdoorsman or woman, the rugged terrain of the Black Hills and the Badlands is sure to delight you. Not to mention all the great fishing at spots like Pactola Lake. Oh and, of course, having Mt. Rushmore in your backyard helps get the family to visit and tick a national treasure of their to-see list all at the same time.

When choosing a great place to retire, you'll mostly want to stick around South Dakota's biggest cities. Almost half the cities you'll see on this are within an hour's drive of Sioux Falls, with Flandreau being the top choice for retirement among Sioux Falls suburbs. The city of Lead is the best of three Rapid City suburbs for retirees. Retiring just outside these cities is the best move because you get access to the airports and amenities that they offer, while paying less and having less crime.

Pack up your golf clubs and fishing rods, get ready to fall in love with chislic, and read on to learn the best places in South Dakota for retirement.

Why did Hot Springs take the top spot? And where are Sioux Falls and Aberdeen?

These are the places in South Dakota that are sure to put a lasting smile on your face in your golden years. Many of these cities also ranked well on our lists of safest and best family cities in South Dakota.

So how did we at HomeSnacks come up with this list of best places to retire in South Dakota? We started by narrowing down our search to 26 cities with a population of at least 2,000. Then we ranked those 26 cities by crime, affordability, weather, median age, and access to activities. Which city scored the all-around best for these categories? According to the data, Hot Springs is the best place to retire in South Dakota in 2020.

For a complete picture of how each of the 26 cities we looked at, check out the full list below.

For more South Dakota state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2020

Hot Springs, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,515
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $592
Distance to Closest Airport: 154 miles
More on Hot Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hot Springs is a city in and the county seat of Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,711. In addition, neighboring Oglala Lakota County contracts the duties of Auditor, Treasurer and Register of Deeds to the Fall River County authority in Hot Springs.

Lead, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,998
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $749
Distance to Closest Airport: 167 miles
More on Lead: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lead is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 3,124 at the 2010 census. Lead is located in western South Dakota, in the Black Hills near the Wyoming state line.

Sisseton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,486
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $598
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
More on Sisseton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winner, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,839
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $571
Distance to Closest Airport: 334 miles
More on Winner: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winner is a city in Tripp County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Tripp County. Winner also serves as the administrative center of neighboring Todd County, which does not have its own county seat. The nearest airport is Winner Regional Airport.

Winner was laid out in 1909, and named for the fact the town had emerged the "winner" as the county's most successful trading point.

Flandreau, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,438
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $550
Distance to Closest Airport: 176 miles
More on Flandreau: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,203
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $539
Distance to Closest Airport: 200 miles
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison is a city in Lake County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 6,474 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lake County and is home to Dakota State University.

Sturgis, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,772
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $512
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
More on Sturgis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sturgis is a city in Meade County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 6,627 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Meade County and is named after Union General Samuel D. Sturgis.

Canton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,392
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $639
Distance to Closest Airport: 192 miles
More on Canton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Beresford, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,235
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $660
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
More on Beresford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chamberlain, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,486
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $541
Distance to Closest Airport: 305 miles
More on Chamberlain: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mount Rushmore State for 2020

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 -- 381 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 2,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 26 places from across the state.

For these 26, 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 26, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Hot Springs, 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 South Dakota Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in South Dakota goes to Hot Springs.

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

  1. Sioux Falls
  2. Box Elder
  3. Tea

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In South Dakota?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Hot Springs 3,515 $592
2 Lead 2,998 $749
3 Sisseton 2,486 $598
4 Winner 2,839 $571
5 Flandreau 2,438 $550
6 Madison 7,203 $539
7 Sturgis 6,772 $512
8 Canton 3,392 $639
9 Beresford 2,235 $660
10 Chamberlain 2,486 $541

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.