The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arizona For 2021


We analyzed over 37 places in Arizona 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 Arizona.

We know why Arizona is one of the best states to retire in America, it has some of the best places to spend your golden years in America.

There's a reason Arizona's median age is one of the oldest in the country. Whether you're looking to join Arizona's Parrot Heads, love the sun, or just want to learn how to Shag, Arizona has you covered. And HomeSnacks has you covered, too: we've created a list of the best places to retire in Arizona for 2021.

To produce this list, we looked at the latest FBI and Census data for 37 cities with 11,000 residents. We looked at important factors like safety, affordability, rent, and how close a place is to an international airport.

We discovered that many people come to Arizona as a snowbird and never leave. This is because the best places to retire in The Grand Canyon State are some of the safest, most affordable places with some pretty great amenities. Heck, you can hike Camelback Mountain just outside of Phoenix and ski Flagstaff's black diamonds in the same day.

Don't get us started on the great shopping, five star resorts and first class spas in the Scottsdale area. And since Arizona's cost of living for its retirees is below the national average, you'll be living like royalty. More importantly, if you're one of those people who want to test the waters before you buy, Arizona's rent is currently below the national average.

So, put that RV in park, grab a hot cup of Sanka, and read on as we uncover the best places to retire in Arizona.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arizona For 2021

  1. Apache Junction
  2. Prescott
  3. Florence
  4. Nogales
  5. Somerton
  6. Payson
  7. Camp Verde
  8. Chino Valley
  9. Douglas
  10. Kingman

Why did Apache Junction take the top spot? And where are Phoenix and Tucson?

Arizona has so many great cities for retirees, you could literally throw a dart at the state and live happily wherever it landed. So, you can understand how difficult it was to narrow down a list of the top ten best places to retire.

What's the best place to retire in Arizona for 2021? There can only be one number one, and that would be Apache Junction according to the latest data.

The competition was fierce, however. To see a list of Arizona's best places to retire, take a look below. And if you don't see your favorite city there, head to the bottom.

For more Arizona state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arizona For 2021

Apache Junction, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,592
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $814
Distance to Closest Airport: 27 miles
More on Apache Junction: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Prescott, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 42,785
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $893
Distance to Closest Airport: 82 miles
More on Prescott: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Florence, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 26,420
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $824
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
More on Florence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Nogales, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 20,201
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $590
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Nogales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Somerton, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,146
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $750
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Somerton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Payson, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,545
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $966
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Payson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camp Verde, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,196
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Rent: $710
Distance to Closest Airport: 78 miles
More on Camp Verde: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chino Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,670
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $875
Distance to Closest Airport: 92 miles
More on Chino Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Douglas, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,307
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $612
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Douglas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kingman, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 29,726
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $875
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Kingman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Grand Canyon State for 2021

To create our list of the best places in Arizona to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Grand Canyon State -- 435 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 11,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 37 places from across the state.

For these 37, 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 37, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Apache Junction, 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 Arizona Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Arizona goes to Apache Junction.

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

  1. Flagstaff
  2. El Mirage
  3. Avondale

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Arizona?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Apache Junction 40,592 $814
2 Prescott 42,785 $893
3 Florence 26,420 $824
4 Nogales 20,201 $590
5 Somerton 16,146 $750
6 Payson 15,545 $966
7 Camp Verde 11,196 $710
8 Chino Valley 11,670 $875
9 Douglas 16,307 $612
10 Kingman 29,726 $875

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.