The 10 Best Places To Retire In Iowa For 2022


We analyzed over 34 places in Iowa 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 Iowa.

There is more to Iowa than farmers, Hawkeyes fans, and Des Moines, there are a bunch of awesome places for those looking to retire in the great Midwest.

And since a person's golden years can be so unpredictable, you should probably not waste another second. Instead, you should take a look below at HomeSnacks' list of the best places to retire in Iowa for 2022. Did we mention that this is our ninth time ranking the best places to retire in the Hawkeye State? So, believe us when we say that the top ten places that made our list are the cream of Iowa's crop.

To determine Iowa's best places to retire, we looked at the latest FBI and Census reports on crime, demographics, affordable housing, distance to closest international airport, and amenities for 36 cities with over 10,000 residents. And, folks, the numbers don't lie.

We discovered that the best places to retire in Iowa are also some of the state's safest. Secondly, many of the top ten have great rates if you choose to rent. And, the ultimate reason to move to one of Iowa's best places to retire, they house some of the nicest people.

If you're already kickin' up your feet in one of Iowa's best places to retire, congrats. If not, take a look at our list below before you make any life changing decisions.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Iowa For 2022

  1. Clinton
  2. Newton
  3. Pella
  4. Fort Madison
  5. Spencer
  6. Keokuk
  7. Bettendorf
  8. Oskaloosa
  9. Fairfield
  10. Johnston

Why did Clinton take the top spot? And where are Des Moines and Cedar Rapids?

If you ask any Iowan, they will tell you that their corner of corn country is the best. And while they might be right, there are places in Iowa that are better than others if your retirement requirements include safe, affordable neighborhoods, great places to wine and dine, and an airport to bring your family to you.

So, where is the number one, best place to retire in Iowa for 2022? Well, that would be Clinton according to the most recent data.

If you want to know where the rest of Iowa's retirement gems are located, take a look at the list below. If you don't find what you are looking for there, head to the bottom.

For more Iowa state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Iowa For 2022

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 25,290
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $652
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Clinton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clinton, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,160
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $747
Distance to Closest Airport: 34 miles
More on Newton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newton, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 10,279
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $788
Distance to Closest Airport: 39 miles
More on Pella: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pella, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,407
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $745
Distance to Closest Airport: 72 miles
More on Fort Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Madison, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,038
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $693
Distance to Closest Airport: 134 miles
More on Spencer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spencer, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,225
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $692
Distance to Closest Airport: 85 miles
More on Keokuk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Keokuk, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 36,214
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Rent: $933
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Bettendorf: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bettendorf, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,727
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $711
Distance to Closest Airport: 55 miles
More on Oskaloosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oskaloosa, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,327
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $761
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Fairfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fairfield, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 22,077
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,134
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Johnston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Johnston, IA

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

To create our list of the best places in Iowa to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Hawkeye State -- 1002 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 36 places from across the state.

For these 36, 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 36, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Clinton, 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 Iowa Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Iowa goes to Clinton.

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

  1. Council Bluffs
  2. North Liberty
  3. Ames

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Iowa?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Clinton 25,290 $652
2 Newton 15,160 $747
3 Pella 10,279 $788
4 Fort Madison 10,407 $745
5 Spencer 11,038 $693
6 Keokuk 10,225 $692
7 Bettendorf 36,214 $933
8 Oskaloosa 11,727 $711
9 Fairfield 10,327 $761
10 Johnston 22,077 $1,134

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.