Social Security

10 Best Cities to Retire in Texas in 2021

Texas is known for oil, barbecued meat, and ranches, but the state has many things to offer retirees.

Stephanie Faris

Published March 8th, 2021

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Texas may not be the most tax-friendly state for retirees, but it does have a low cost of living.
  • A warm climate and plenty of bustling towns make it popular with many retirees.
  • Some cities are more historic in nature, while many others are more geared toward families and suburban life.

Texas is known for oil, barbecued meat, and ranches, but the state has many things to offer retirees. Although you will find a relatively low cost of living in some areas, it’s important to note that both sales taxes and property taxes are higher than many states.

Typically, Texas’s lack of an income tax makes up for those tax hikes. But you’ll get a break on Social Security tax in many states that do have a state income tax, so the benefits won’t be that notable. But there are many other reasons to move to the state, as described below.

Dallas

Dallas

  • CITY POPULATION: 1,343,573
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 10.3%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $34,479
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

Dallas has a little bit of everything, from restaurants to dining options. But what makes it one of the best places to retire in Texas is its relatively low housing prices. The city is also home to UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the top hospitals in the country.

Austin

Austin

  • CITY POPULATION: 978,908
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 8.9%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 3% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $43,043
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

If you like live music, you can’t go wrong with Austin, which is rich in live music venues. But what makes it one of the best retirement communities in Texas is its many parks and walking trails. You’ll also find all the dining and shopping you need both downtown and in the surrounding suburbs.

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg

  • CITY POPULATION: 11,496
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 29.1%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 5% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $33,577
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

History lovers often choose Fredericksburg for a Texas retirement. You’ll find plenty to do, from touring the Pioneer Museum to taking in the many landmarks and historic buildings. It does attract a decent tourist population, but this also means you’ll have plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.

Port Arthur

  • CITY POPULATION: 54,280
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 12.7%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 9% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $19,563
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

This Gulf Coast town is one of the best cities to retire in Texas if you’re looking for a beachfront community. In addition to being ideal for beach lovers, Port Arthur is also a suburban town packed with amenities.

McAllen

  • COUNTY POPULATION: 143,268
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.2%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 24% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $23,246
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

If you’re looking for one of the cheapest cities in Texas, consider McAllen, a populous city close to the Mexico border. You’ll get year-round warm weather and access to all the amenities that come with living in a larger town.

San Antonio

San Antonio

  • CITY POPULATION: 1,547,253
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 12%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 14% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $25,894
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

Best known for its Riverwalk, San Antonio is among the best towns to retire in Texas for its history. In fact, it’s the oldest city in the state. You’ll get a low cost of living and warm climate, along with easy access to medical care.

Houston

Houston

  • CITY POPULATION: 2,320,268
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 10.5%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $32,521
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

As Texas’s largest city, Houston is a great option if you want to make sure you have access to everything. It’s one of the best retirement communities in Texas, though, due to its healthcare industry. Among the many medical centers is Houston Methodist, a top-ranked hospital statewide.

El Paso

El Paso

  • CITY POPULATION: 681,728
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 12.7%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 10% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $22,734
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

El Paso is often ranked as the cheapest place to retire in Texas, but it also gets high marks for the overall happiness rating of its residence. You’ll get access to high-quality healthcare, recreation, and cultural attractions.

Amarillo

Amarillo

  • CITY POPULATION: 199,371
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.5%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 14% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $28,274
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

Another city confirming why the answer to “is Texas a good place to retire?” is “yes” is Amarillo. Quality healthcare and cultural attractions make it popular with retirees. Active adults will also love the parks and gyms throughout the city.

Killeen

  • CITY POPULATION: 151,666
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 6.2%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 13% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $22,876
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Moderately Tax Friendly

If you’re looking for the cheapest place in Texas to live, another consideration is Killeen. Nearby Fort Hood has one of the largest military bases in the U.S. Although many of the activities are geared toward families, two senior centers ensure retirees have plenty to do.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of affordable cities in Texas, giving you a wide range of options. Since each person’s retirement needs are unique, though, it’s best to assess your own financial situation. Retirable can help set you up with a plan for achieving your retirement goals no matter where you decide to live.

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Author

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a writer for a credit card processing service and has written about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on Money Under 30, The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, E-commerce Insiders, and GoBankingRates.

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