The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska For 2021


We analyzed over 20 places in Alaska to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Alaska.

What better place to settle down after tackling the last frontier of work than the Last Frontier state? If you like endless summer nights, Alaska might just be the best state to retire in.

Alaska is about as far away from the ever-popular retiree state of Florida as you can get, but that doesn't mean it's not just as good a place to retire. Between bears both polar and grizzly, moose, caribou, and countless other creatures, the wildlife on display in Alaska is unbeatable. With over 100 state parks, Denali National Park, Glacier Bay and endless other hotspots for nature lovers, you'll certainly never be left wondering what to do with all your newfound free time. And if you're into salmon-fishing, you've chosen the best place to retire. Just look out for hungry grizzlies who may want some salmon for themselves.

So just where are the best places for retirement in Alaska? Unsurprisingly, the cities on this list are concentrated in south-central and southeast Alaska, close (in Alaskan terms) to the major cities of Anchorage and Juneau. About half this list is cities located on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage. If being too far north freaks you out, consider Ketchikan, the southernmost city in the state. Or if being near the epic Kenai Fjords for easy access to eye-popping boat tours sounds exciting, retiring in Seward might be your best bet.

So if living among the cold beauty of glaciers and fjords, while chowing down on some reindeer sausage and wild berry cobbler sounds like a good way to spend your retirement, read on.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska For 2021

  1. Wrangell
  2. Soldotna
  3. Homer
  4. Cordova
  5. Valdez
  6. Seward
  7. Palmer
  8. Sitka
  9. Ketchikan
  10. Kenai

Why did Wrangell take the top spot? And where are Juneau and Fairbanks?

Whether retirement is right around the corner or still a far-off daydream, keep these Alaskan cities in mind as the best places in the state to retire. Unsurprisingly, there was a good amount of overlap between cities on this list and our lists of best places and best places for families in Alaska.

If you're wondering how we selected these cities as the best for retirees, wonder no longer. We narrowed down where we looked to cities with a population of at least 2,000, which left us with 20 cities to rank. Then we pulled data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights, and ranked each of the 20 cities by metrics like safety, affordability, access to activities and airports, and median age.

But which city was the stand-out best place to retire in Alaska? According to the data, Wrangell is the best Alaskan city for retirement in 2021.

Want to see how other cities in Alaska ranked as retirement destinations? Check out the complete list below.

For more Alaska state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska For 2021

Wrangell, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,502
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $844
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
More on Wrangell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,649
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,019
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Soldotna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Homer, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,709
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,020
Distance to Closest Airport: 117 miles
More on Homer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,829
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,122
Distance to Closest Airport: 153 miles
More on Cordova: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,847
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,192
Distance to Closest Airport: 122 miles
More on Valdez: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,773
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $983
Distance to Closest Airport: 75 miles
More on Seward: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Palmer, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,131
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Rent: $976
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
More on Palmer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sitka, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,640
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,131
Distance to Closest Airport: 85 miles
More on Sitka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ketchikan, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,228
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,106
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Ketchikan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenai, AK

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,742
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Rent: $950
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
More on Kenai: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Last Frontier for 2021

To create our list of the best places in Alaska to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Last Frontier -- 333 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 2,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 20 places from across the state.

For these 20, 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 20, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Wrangell, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Alaska Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Alaska goes to Wrangell.

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

  1. Bethel
  2. Nome
  3. Kotzebue

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Alaska?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Wrangell 2,502 $844
2 Soldotna 4,649 $1,019
3 Homer 5,709 $1,020
4 Cordova 2,829 $1,122
5 Valdez 3,847 $1,192
6 Seward 2,773 $983
7 Palmer 7,131 $976
8 Sitka 8,640 $1,131
9 Ketchikan 8,228 $1,106
10 Kenai 7,742 $950

How Is The Area In ?

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.

0 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska For 2021

  1. I think whoever did this survey needs to go back and redo it again.. I am looking up important things like crime rate/dangerous cities/safe cities/ best cities/ expensive cities/best places to retire/miserable places/redneck places/poorest/ richest place..
    My question is this how can a city/town be on the most dangerous place to live and then also be on the best place to live /best place to retire. If it is such a dangerous place to live then why would it be on the other two list.. it does not make any sense.

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