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 Texas.
But where exactly in Texas? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Texas 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 Azle don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Lone Star State to retire for 2018:
- Azle (Homes For Sale)
- Fredericksburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Benbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Southlake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dickinson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Santa Fe (Homes For Sale)
- Lockhart (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Angleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Denison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Alice (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Lone Star State
To create our list of the best places in Texas to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Lone Star State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 211 places from across the state.
For these 211, 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 211, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Azle, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 11,054Median Rent: $845
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,148
More on Azle: Homes For Sale | Data
The first recorded settlement at the site occurred in 1846, when a young doctor named James Azle Stewart moved into a cabin built by a Dutchman named Rumsfeldt. Other settlers came and established themselves near the local streams, Ash Creek, Silver Creek, and Walnut Creek. Stewart helped establish the first cemetery, Ash Creek. The oldest graves there are those of Dave Morrison (1849?1874) and W. P. Gregg (1833?1874). The first post office opened in 1881, and the town took the name of O’Bar, in honor of the man who obtained the postal service. A short time later in 1883, the name was changed at the request of Stewart, who donated the land for a townsite, in order to have the town named Azle. The community’s economy was based on agriculture. Multiple crops were grown, including wheat, corn, peanuts, sorghum, and cotton. Watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, plums, and pears were also produced. Dairy farming became important in the early decades of the twentieth century, when local milk products were sold to creameries in Fort Worth. The population of Azle grew steadily, and by 1920, the census recorded 150 residents. By 1933, State Highway 34 (later State Highway 199), had reached Azle from Fort Worth, greatly improving transportation capabilities between the town and the city. Also, Eagle Mountain Lake was formed by a dam on the Trinity River, east of Azle.
Population: 10,997Median Rent: $933
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,864
More on Fredericksburg: Homes For Sale | Data
The Vereins Kirche, the Pioneer Museum Complex, Pioneer Memorial Library, and other architecture.
Population: 29,101Median Rent: $1,287
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,426
More on Southlake: Homes For Sale | Data
The Southlake area was settled by pioneers in the 1840s, but was not incorporated as Southlake until 1956, four years after Grapevine Lake was finished. Before incorporation, the settlements of Whites Chapel, Dove, Union Church and Jellico made up present day Southlake. The area remained rural until the completion of the DFW International Airport in the 1970s. Due to the close proximity to the airport, Southlake became a boom-burb throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. As of 2012, Southlake’s population is almost at full capacity, with around 27,000 residents. The expected build-out population is projected around 34,000 residents.
Population: 19,583Median Rent: $754
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,558
More on Dickinson: Homes For Sale | Data
Dickinson is located on a tract of land granted to John Dickinson in 1824, and named after him. A settlement had been established in this area on Dickinson Bayou before 1850. The Galveston, Houston, and Henderson Railroad was built directly through Dickinson. This line was used in the American Civil War to successfully retake Galveston.
6. Santa Fe
Population: 12,839Median Rent: $926
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,705
More on Santa Fe: Homes For Sale | Data
In 1877, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was built through the western part of Galveston county. By the turn of the century, three small, unincorporated towns had formed along the railway: Alta Loma, Arcadia and Algoa. The Santa Fe Independent School District, named after the railway, was established shortly afterward to serve the area.
Population: 13,222Median Rent: $819
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,677
More on Lockhart: Homes For Sale | Data
The city of Lockhart is named after Byrd Lockhart, an assistant surveyor of Green DeWitt and reportedly the first Anglo to set foot in Caldwell County. Lockhart was the site of a victory of the Texans over the Comanche, at the Battle of Plum Creek in 1840. Lockhart was originally called ‘Plum Creek’ but the name was later changed to Lockhart.
Population: 19,245Median Rent: $794
Distance to Closest Airport: 34 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,234
More on Angleton: Homes For Sale | Data
Angleton was founded in 1890 near the center of Brazoria County and named for the wife of the general manager of the Velasco Terminal Railway. A bitter rivalry emerged between the town and nearby Brazoria for the location of the county seat; Angleton was chosen as the seat in 1896 and rechosen by county-wide election in 1913. The town was incorporated on November 12, 1912.
Population: 23,080Median Rent: $736
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,889
More on Denison: Homes For Sale | Data
Denison was founded in 1872 in conjunction with the Missouri?Kansas?Texas Railroad (MKT) or ‘Katy’ depot. It was named after the wealthy Katy vice president George Denison. Because the town was established close to where the MKT crossed the Red River (both important conduits of transportation in the industrial era), it came to be an important commercial center in the 19th century American West. In 1875, Doc Holliday had offices in Denison.
Population: 19,439Median Rent: $708
Distance to Closest Airport: 2 miles
Crime Per 100k: 7,093
More on Alice: Homes For Sale | Data
Alice originated from the defunct community of Collins, three miles to the east. Around 1880 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway attempted to build a line through Collins, which then had about 2,000 inhabitants. The townspeople were not amenable to selling their land to the railroad company; consequently, the railroad site was moved three miles west, and in 1883 a depot called Bandana was established at its junction with the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Railway. Bandana soon became a thriving cattle-shipping point, and application for a post office was made under the name Kleberg in honor of Robert Justus Kleberg. The petition was denied because a town named Kleberg already appeared on the post office list, so residents then chose the name Alice, in honor of Alice Gertrudis King Kleberg, Kleberg’s wife and the daughter of Richard King. The Alice post office opened for business in 1888. Within a few years the remaining residents of Collins moved to Alice, which was by then a thriving community.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Texas goes to Azle.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- College Station
For more Texas reading , check out:
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Texas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Texas
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Texas
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