The Best Places to Retire in Texas

·6 min read

Best cities to retire in Texas

America's second-most populous state is a haven for retirees. Whether you're seeking warmer weather, affordable housing, lower taxes or engaging leisure activities, you will be able to find it somewhere in the state of Texas. Many cities in Texas have ample job opportunities for retirees looking to launch a second career and top doctors and hospitals that can help manage health conditions, according to a recent U.S. News analysis of the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan areas as potential retirement spots. The study included data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. A bonus for retirees: Texas doesn't have a state income tax. Here are the best cities to retire in Texas:

10. Beaumont

Population: 395,174

Share of population age 60+: 21%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,343

Median monthly rent: $857

Beaumont is located in southeastern Texas along the Neches River near the border with Louisiana. Sabine Lake is an ideal spot for salt water fishing, and the lake connects to the Gulf of Mexico. Beaumont is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Houston, which gives retirees access to big-city amenities and health care options, but has a lower cost of living than Houston. Beaumont's low housing costs make it easier to live well on a modest retirement income.

9. El Paso

Population: 840,477

Share of population age 60+: 17%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,235

Median monthly rent: $837

El Paso is one of the most affordable places to retire in the country. The median home price is among the lowest of any metro area in the U.S. This western Texas city is located directly across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. The 26,627-acre Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban park in the nation and is located completely within the city limits of El Paso. You may be able to spot pictographs and petroglyphs made by Native Americans that are thousands of years old.

8. McAllen

Population: 855,176

Share of population age 60+: 15%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,149

Median monthly rent: $734

The McAllen metro area, which includes Edinburg and Mission, is located at the southern tip of Texas. A modest retirement income is usually enough to pay for housing. McAllen is the only large metro area in the country where the typical home costs less than $100,000. The affordable housing and mild winter temperatures make McAllen a popular destination for snowbird retirees. McAllen is also an ideal retirement destination for birdwatching and has a World Birding Center at Quinta Mazatlan, a historic country estate.

7. Brownsville

Population: 821,666

Share of population age 60+: 18%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,134

Median monthly rent: $733

Brownsville is located on the southern tip of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico and the Rio Grande border with Mexico. The low cost of living and proximity to the beach often draws retirees from places with colder climates. Nearby South Padre Island is a popular beach location for "winter Texans" who come to enjoy the mild winter weather and Gulf Coast beaches. Locals may also be able to watch rockets launch into orbit from the SpaceX South Texas launch site.

6. Corpus Christi

Population: 428,548

Share of population age 60+: 20%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,502

Median monthly rent: $1,014

The laid-back lifestyle and low housing prices draw many retirees to Corpus Christi. This seaside city is an affordable place to retire near the Gulf of Mexico. The Padre Island National Seashore provides a 70-mile stretch of undeveloped coastline to enjoy the sand, sun and wildlife. Retirees may be able to visit or volunteer at the Texas State Aquarium, USS Lexington or South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

5. Houston

Population: 6,884,138

Share of population age 60+: 16%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,738

Median monthly rent: $1,101

Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. Located in eastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, Houston has a museum district and a theater district that provide plenty of recreation and volunteer opportunities for retirees. Houston Methodist Hospital is ranked 16th in the nation on the U.S. News Best Hospitals Honor Roll. The area has several colleges, including the University of Houston, where seniors age 65 and older are eligible to audit courses for free, and Rice University. Housing costs far less in Houston than in similarly sized cities in other states.

4. Killeen

Population: 444,716

Share of population age 60+: 15%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,337

Median monthly rent: $921

Killeen is a centrally located Texas city that is within driving distance of many larger cities including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. But Killeen is a smaller and more affordable place to retire. Killeen's low housing costs make it easier to live well on a fixed income. The city has a large military presence thanks to the Fort Hood military base. There's also no state income tax in Texas, which helps to keep costs low.

3. Dallas

Population: 7,320,663

Share of population age 60+: 16%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,758

Median monthly rent: $1,139

Dallas and nearby Fort Worth have been rapidly attracting new residents for the past decade, the Census Bureau found. The low housing costs make it affordable to relocate. Major health care providers include Baylor University Medical Center and the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Sports fans have ample professional teams to root for, including the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and Stars, while those interested in the arts can find volunteer opportunities and social events at the city's many museums.

2. San Antonio

Population: 2,468,193

Share of population age 60+: 18%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,505

Median monthly rent: $1,024

San Antonio is among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. The metro area added 107,218 people over the past decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Health care is available at Methodist Hospital-San Antonio. San Antonio could be an ideal place to retire for those on a budget. Retirees can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Texas Hill Country without facing high housing costs. The San Antonio Missions, including the Alamo, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015.

1. Austin

Population: 2,114,441

Share of population age 60+: 16%

Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,909

Median monthly rent: $1,273

Austin's hot job market and unique, quirky culture draw many people to the area, including retirees. This state capital city is the home of the University of Texas--Austin, where seniors age 65 and older can take up to six tuition-free credit hours per semester. The area is also a hub for tech jobs, including Apple, Dell and IBM. Major health care providers include St. David's Medical Center and Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin. Housing in Austin costs more than in many other parts of Texas, but retirees relocating from more expensive cities with similar amenities may be able to reduce their housing costs.

The best places to retire in Texas include:

-- Austin.

-- San Antonio.

-- Dallas-Fort Worth.

-- Killeen.

-- Houston.

-- Corpus Christi.

-- Brownsville.

-- McAllen.

-- El Paso.

-- Beaumont.

Thinking about retiring in Texas? Find a local financial advisor now.

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