The 10 Best Places To Retire In Illinois For 2022


We analyzed over 201 places in Illinois to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to retire in Illinois.

What do 1.5 million Illinoisans above the age of 65 know that the rest of America does not? They know that the Land of Lincoln has some of the best places to call home if you are looking to retire.

That's right. There is more to Illinois than da' Bears and a good 'ol fashioned horseshoe, there are super safe, super affordable places for people looking to spend their retirement years in the Midwest. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has taken the guessing out of the equation: we did the research and created a list of the top ten best places in Illinois to retire for 2022.

How'd we determine the best places to retire in Illinois? Well, we know that when people are searching for the best places to retire, they are also looking for things like convenience and an economy that protects their bottom line; and folks, Illinois' best places to retire have all that and then some. To identify Illinois' top ten, we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 176 cities. We looked at important factors like cost of living, crime, amenities, rent and distance to closest national airport for every place with over 10,000 residents.

We discovered that people in this demographic are starting to move to bigger cities so that they have better access to public transportation, healthcare options, and programs designed especially for them. This trend is happening in Illinois, and this is why we find most of the state's best places to retire centered around Chicago. But, there are other areas in this flyover state that are just great. So definitely give places like Waterloo and Columbia a second look.

So, where are the best places to retire in Illinois? Keep reading.

Why did Palos Hills take the top spot? And where are Chicago and Aurora?

Now, HomeSnacks is not your just your average website. We've had more than 50 million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our best of the best rankings, including this feature by Patch.com. So, yes, we know what we're talking about.

So, what's the best place to retire in Illinois for 2022? According to the latest data, Palos Hills is the best place to retire in the Prairie State for 2022.

To see how your favorite places in Illinois compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Illinois state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Illinois For 2022

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,172
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,073
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Palos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Palos Hills, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,460
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,362
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Palos Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Palos Heights, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,555
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,290
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on La Grange: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Grange, IL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 58,316
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,167
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Des Plaines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Des Plaines, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,544
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 20)
Median Rent: $641
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Dixon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dixon, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 17,366
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 12)
Median Rent: $1,816
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on Hinsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hinsdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 37,431
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,360
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Park Ridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Park Ridge, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 27,741
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $1,109
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Glen Ellyn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glen Ellyn, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 10,442
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $1,408
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
More on Barrington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Barrington, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 29,198
Rank Last Year: 48 (Up 38)
Median Rent: $1,133
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Niles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Niles, IL

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Prairie State for 2022

To create our list of the best places in Illinois to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Prairie State -- 1364 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 176 places from across the state.

For these 176, 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 176, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Palos Hills, 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.

Summary: Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Illinois Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Illinois goes to Palos Hills.

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

  1. Montgomery
  2. Dekalb
  3. Markham

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Illinois?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Palos Hills 17,172 $1,073
2 Palos Heights 12,460 $1,362
3 La Grange 15,555 $1,290
4 Des Plaines 58,316 $1,167
5 Dixon 15,544 $641
6 Hinsdale 17,366 $1,816
7 Park Ridge 37,431 $1,360
8 Glen Ellyn 27,741 $1,109
9 Barrington 10,442 $1,408
10 Niles 29,198 $1,133

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.