10 Best Places To Retire In Wisconsin For 2019


We analyzed over 75 places in Wisconsin to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Wisconsin.

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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 Wisconsin.

Where exactly in Wisconsin is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Two Rivers as the best place to hang up your cleats.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Wisconsin 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 Two Rivers don’t mind us spreading the word.

Why did Two Rivers take the top spot? And where are Milwaukee and Madison?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Wisconsin state reading:

Two Rivers, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,409
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 31)
Median Rent: $630
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
More on Two Rivers: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Two Rivers is a city in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 11,712 at the 2010 census. It is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. The city’s advertising slogan is “Catch our friendly waves” as it is located along Lake Michigan.

Cedarburg, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,516
Rank Last Year: 131 (Up 129)
Median Rent: $833
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
More on Cedarburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cedarburg is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located about 20 miles north of Milwaukee and near the shores of Lake Michigan. The city is bordered by the village of Grafton to the east and the Town of Cedarburg elsewhere. The population was 11,412 at the 2010 census.

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 23,663
Rank Last Year: 133 (Up 130)
Median Rent: $1,320
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
More on Mequon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mequon is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 23,132 at the 2010 census.

Cudahy, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,321
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 16)
Median Rent: $769
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Cudahy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cudahy is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, North America. The population was 18,267 at the 2010 census.

Manitowoc, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 33,183
Rank Last Year: 34 (Up 29)
Median Rent: $634
Distance to Closest Airport: 34 miles
More on Manitowoc: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2010 census, Manitowoc had a population of 33,736, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities. The city’s sister city is Kamogawa, Japan.

Marinette, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,836
Rank Last Year: 33 (Up 27)
Median Rent: $684
Distance to Closest Airport: 48 miles
More on Marinette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Marinette is a city in and the county seat of Marinette County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the south bank of the Menominee River, at its mouth at Green Bay, part of Lake Michigan; to the north is Stephenson Island, part of the city preserved as park. During the lumbering boom of the late 19th century, Marinette became the tenth-largest city in Wisconsin in 1900, with its peak population of 16,195.

Monroe, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,771
Rank Last Year: 62 (Up 55)
Median Rent: $662
Distance to Closest Airport: 91 miles
More on Monroe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kaukauna, WI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 15,791
Rank Last Year: 94 (Up 86)
Median Rent: $787
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Kaukauna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kaukauna is a city in Outagamie and Calumet counties, Wisconsin, United States. It is situated on the Fox River, approximately 100 miles north of Milwaukee. The population was 15,462 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Appleton, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Waupun, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 11,337
Rank Last Year: 71 (Up 63)
Median Rent: $681
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
More on Waupun: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waupun is a city in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 11,340 at the 2010 census. Of this, 7,864 were in Dodge County, and 3,476 were in Fond du Lac County. In Fond du Lac County, the Town of Waupun abuts the city of Waupun.

Chippewa Falls, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 13,939
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 16)
Median Rent: $697
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
More on Chippewa Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,661 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Badger State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Wisconsin to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Badger State — 773 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 75 places from across the state.

For these 75, 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 75, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Two Rivers, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Wisconsin Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Wisconsin goes to Two Rivers.

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

  1. Madison
  2. Eau Claire
  3. La Crosse

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Wisconsin?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Two Rivers 11,409 $630
2 Cedarburg 11,516 $833
3 Mequon 23,663 $1,320
4 Cudahy 18,321 $769
5 Manitowoc 33,183 $634
6 Marinette 10,836 $684
7 Monroe 10,771 $662
8 Kaukauna 15,791 $787
9 Waupun 11,337 $681
10 Chippewa Falls 13,939 $697

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.