When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not 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 West Virginia.
Where exactly in West Virginia is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Grafton as the best place to hang up your cleats.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in West Virginia 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 Grafton don’t mind us spreading the word.
Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.
For West Virginia state reading:
- 10 Best Places To Live In West Virginia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia
- Best Places To Retire In America
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mountain State for 2019
To create our list of the best places in West Virginia to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Mountain State — 399 cities and towns.
We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 22 places from across the state.
- 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 22, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Grafton, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Grafton is a city in – and the county seat of – Taylor County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 5,164 at the 2010 census. Both of West Virginia’s national cemeteries are located in Grafton. Mother’s Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908 and the city is home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Grafton was one of the first places to observe Memorial Day in the United States. Grafton originally developed as a junction point for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, serving numerous branches vital to the local coal industry.
Moundsville is a city in Marshall County, West Virginia, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia metropolitan area. The population was 9,318 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County. The city was named for the nearby ancient Grave Creek Mound, constructed 250 to 100 BC by indigenous people of the Adena culture.
Moundsville was settled in 1771 by English colonists Samuel and James Tomlinson. Fostoria Glass Company was headquartered in Moundsville from 1891 to 1986. The retired West Virginia State Penitentiary operated in Moundsville from 1867 to 1995.
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling’s major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.
New Martinsville is a city in Wetzel County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 5,366 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Wetzel County.
Weirton is a city in Brooke and Hancock counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located primarily in Hancock County, the city lies in the northern portions of the state’s Northern Panhandle region. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 19,746. It is a principal city within the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 124,454 residents, and by extension part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area.
Fairmont is a city in Marion County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 18,704 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marion County.
Oak Hill is a city in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States and is the primary city within the Oak Hill, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The micropolitan area is also included in the Beckley-Oak Hill, WV Combined Statistical Area. The population was 7,730 at the 2010 census. Country singer Hank Williams was discovered to be dead while the car in which he was a passenger was stopped in Oak Hill, and Oak Hill is generally accepted to be his place of death.
Bluefield is a city in Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 10,447 at the 2010 census. It is the core city of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area, which has a population of 107,342.
Morgantown is a city in and the county seat of Monongalia County, West Virginia, situated along the banks of the Monongahela River. With a permanent population of 31,073 per the 2015 U.S. Census estimates, Morgantown is the largest city in North-Central West Virginia. The Morgantown metropolitan area has a population of 138,176, and is the 3rd largest in West Virginia. West Virginia University adds several thousand seasonal residents to the city and surrounding area from September through May. Morgantown is best known as the home of West Virginia University and the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system.
Buckhannon is the only incorporated city in, and the county seat of, Upshur County, West Virginia, United States, and is located along the Buckhannon River. The population was 5,639 at the 2010 census. Buckhannon is home to West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia Strawberry Festival, held annually on the third week of May. The city is located 115 miles northeast from the capital city of Charleston and 140 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In West Virginia Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in West Virginia goes to Grafton.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Retire In West Virginia