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10 Best Cities to Retire in Virginia in 2021

Retiring in Virginia means beautiful landscapes and reduced taxes.

Stephanie Faris

Published March 16th, 2021

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re trying to decide where to live in Virginia, there’s no shortage of appealing options.
  • The state’s rich history gives it plenty of attractions to keep retirees busy.
  • Lovers of the great outdoors might prefer the beach or mountains, but big-city, suburban, and small-town options are also available.

Retiring in Virginia means beautiful landscapes and reduced taxes. But the state does have a slightly higher cost of living than some areas of the country. If you can find a more affordable city with access to amenities, you may be able to enjoy the best of all possible worlds.

Before you plan your VA retirement, though, take some time to look around at the many options the state has to offer. You can retire to the beach, the suburbs, a small town, or the mountains. If you’re a history buff, the state has plenty to offer there, as well. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite Virginia towns to help you start your search.

Falls Church

  • CITY POPULATION: 14,617
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 14.1%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 63% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $72,325
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

This suburb of Washington, D.C. is one of the best places to retire in Virginia for those who like access to shops and restaurants. Anything you can’t find in Falls Church will be available in nearby D.C., which is a short 20-minute drive away.

Williamsburg

  • COUNTY POPULATION: 14,954
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 17.5%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 15% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $29,758
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

History buffs can’t go wrong with Williamsburg, which is one of the oldest cities in the country. But Williamsburg personifies the answer to the question, “is Virginia a good place to live?” You’ll get access to museums, antique shops, and restaurants, as well as a growing over-65 population.

Virginia Beach

  • CITY POPULATION: 449,974
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 14.8%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 10% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $37,776
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Beach lovers looking for the best cities to live in Virginia will likely gravitate toward Virginia Beach. Although the cost of living is higher than the national average, it’s still low when compared to other beachfront communities. You’ll get all the amenities typically found in a touristy area, including plenty of restaurants and shopping.

Abingdon

  • CITY POPULATION: 7,867
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 23.4%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 16% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $33,073
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

A bustling 65-plus population makes Abingdon one of the best towns in Virginia for retirees. There are plenty of activities, including both a senior center and Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center’s College for Older Adults.

Charlottesville

  • CITY POPULATION: 47,266
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 12.2%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 8% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $38,328
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

In addition to lower Virginia retirement taxes, Charlottesville also gives you plenty of culture. The charming downtown area includes art museums and a pedestrian mall, and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer all the outdoor recreation you could want.

Blacksburg

  • CITY POPULATION: 44,233
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 6.2%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 10% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $43,173
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

A growing population puts Blacksburg on the list of Virginia’s best places to live for some. The area is perhaps best known as home to Virginia Tech University, which gives you the amenities typically found in a college town without the chaos of the big city.

Alexandria

  • CITY POPULATION: 159,428
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.9%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 44% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $62,679
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Another Washington, D.C. suburb, Alexandria is on the list of best places in Virginia for waterfront living. The town combines history with big-city life, bringing buildings from the 1700s together with shopping and dining. Many of the residents work for the federal government, but the 65-plus community is a thriving one, as well.

Roanoke

  • CITY POPULATION: 99,143
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.9%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 12% below the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $27,006
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

History and culture make Roanoke a great location for your Virginia state retirement. The large 65-plus population means you’ll have plenty to do, including gatherings at community centers. Four hospitals and plenty of medical offices will help you keep your healthcare options open.

Lexington

  • CITY POPULATION: 7,446
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 15.1%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 4% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $19,047
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Less than an hour from Roanoke is this small town. A low cost of living and quiet lifestyle make this one of the best retirement communities in Virginia. The town is full of historical sights and cultural attractions to ensure you always have something to do.

Winchester

  • CITY POPULATION: 28,078
  • SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.4%
  • COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2% above the national average
  • PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $30,859
  • TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Winchester is one of the best towns to live in Virginia if you prefer to be close to D.C. and the airport. Although the town prides itself on its slower pace, the population is one of the fastest-growing in the area. Special events and cultural attractions will give you plenty to do.

Bottom Line

Is Virginia a good place to retire? That depends on your budget and preferences. But with so much to offer, the state has a little something for everyone. Since each person has different budget requirements, your retirement planning will be different from someone else. Retirable specializes in helping people come up with a plan that will ensure they’re well prepared for their later years.

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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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