The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky For 2021


We analyzed over 35 places in Kentucky to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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

So you've deposited your last paycheck and you're looking for a place to retire in the Bluegrass State. We at Homesnacks are here to help by telling you the absolute best places in Kentucky for retirement.

Why would anyone want to retire in Kentucky? We're glad you asked! From a practical standpoint, rent in Kentucky is 30% less than national average and it's among the safest states in America. On the fun side...now that every day is essentially the weekend, you'll be able to sample all of Kentucky's world-famous bourbon distilleries any day of the week. If you like bluegrass music, then Kentucky's going to be heaven for you. And if you're looking for a bit of income in your retirement, you'd better start following all the horses that race at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We just hope you're not too committed to another college basketball team, because folks in Kentucky are pretty serious about supporting the Wildcats. We're sure the locals will have you wearing white and blue in no time.

So where are the best places to retire in Kentucky? There are options in every corner of the state, from the Cincinnati suburb of Fort Thomas in the north to Mayfield in the far southwest. There aren't too many cities on this list that are super close to Louisville, with Lawrenceburg being the only place within an hour of the state's biggest city. There are great cities for retirement around Bowling Green, with Glasgow being the best of the bunch.

Get ready to wash back your Kentucky fried chicken with some moonshine, without having to worry about work in the morning, because we're heading to the best places in Kentucky to retire.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky For 2021

  1. Somerset
  2. Lawrenceburg
  3. Ashland
  4. Paducah
  5. Glasgow
  6. Frankfort
  7. Danville
  8. Fort Thomas
  9. Erlanger
  10. Shelbyville

Why did Somerset take the top spot? And where are Bowling Green and Owensboro?

These Kentucky cities are the cream of the crop for retirees. If you're worried Kentucky is too far from your family, be sure to show them that half the cities on this list are also among the best places to raise a family in the state.

Now to the nitty-gritty: what's the scientific process behind our choices? We only looked at the 34 cities in Kentucky with populations of at least 11,000 people in order to weed out some anomalies that pop up in the data with super small communities. Then we pulled data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights in order to find the places with higher median age, good weather, low crime, low cost of living, and easy access to things that'll keep you entertained in your retirement. Which city performed the best based on these metrics? According to the data, Somerset is the best place to retire in Kentucky for 2021.

How'd the rest of Kentucky's 34 cities of 11,000 people or more do? Check out the full list below to find out.

For more Kentucky state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky For 2021

Somerset, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,447
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $657
Distance to Closest Airport: 132 miles
More on Somerset: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrenceburg, KY

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,350
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $697
Distance to Closest Airport: 71 miles
More on Lawrenceburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ashland, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,626
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $684
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
More on Ashland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Paducah, KY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 24,894
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $657
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
More on Paducah: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glasgow, KY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 14,393
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $719
Distance to Closest Airport: 73 miles
More on Glasgow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Frankfort, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,680
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $759
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Frankfort: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,730
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Median Rent: $719
Distance to Closest Airport: 97 miles
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Thomas, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,308
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $907
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Fort Thomas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Erlanger, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 18,967
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $892
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Erlanger: Real Estate | Data

Shelbyville, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,009
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $835
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
More on Shelbyville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

To create our list of the best places in Kentucky to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Bluegrass State -- 520 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 11,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 34 places from across the state.

For these 34, 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 34, with the lowest number being the best.

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

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Kentucky goes to Somerset.

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

  1. Radcliff
  2. St. Matthews
  3. Owensboro

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Kentucky?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Somerset 11,447 $657
2 Lawrenceburg 11,350 $697
3 Ashland 20,626 $684
4 Paducah 24,894 $657
5 Glasgow 14,393 $719
6 Frankfort 27,680 $759
7 Danville 16,730 $719
8 Fort Thomas 16,308 $907
9 Erlanger 18,967 $892
10 Shelbyville 16,009 $835

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.