The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2023

We analyzed over 28 places in Maine to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the best places to retire in Maine.

If you've just wrapped up your career and are looking for the perfect place to retire in the Pine Tree State, you're in the right place. We've compiled a list of the best places for retirement in Maine to help make your choice.

You can't get any farther from Florida on the eastern seaboard than Maine, but that doesn't mean it's miles away in terms of retirement amenities as well. For starters, Maine is a lot safer than Florida; in fact, it's the second safest state in America, so you won't have to worry about crime in your golden years. Then there's the natural beauty. If swimming in emerald mountain springs by day and camping out near moose-frequented lakes by night sound likes your cup of tea, then Maine's Acadia National Park is sure to be a constant summer favorite in your retirement. And if after tackling all your career goals you need a new challenge, hiking Baxter State Park's Mt. Katahdin is sure to boost your sense of accomplishment. If you're more into the seaside than the mountainside, then Maine's iconic lighthouses will add a little extra to the normal coastal skyline. Places like Old Orchard Beach are great for a summer day out with the family (there's even an amusement park) while Sandy Point Beach is the place to be for some hard-earned rest and relaxation.

So where should you move in Maine if you want to have the best retirement experience? Many of the cities on this list are located close to Portland, with Yarmouth being the best of the 'burbs for retirement. If you want to be close to the sea and a quaint little town for boutique shopping, we'd recommend Kennebunk. Ellsworth is the best of the Bangor suburbs for retirement, with the added bonus of being the city closest to Acadia National Park on this list. You'd better practice speaking Canadian if you're about to move to Caribou or Presque Isle, because you've practically left the U.S. at that point.

So where is the best place to start enjoying lighthouses, lobsters, and blueberry pancakes in your years of retirement? Take a look below to find out.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2023

  1. Caribou
  2. Belfast
  3. Orono
  4. Yarmouth
  5. Kennebunk
  6. Ellsworth
  7. Houlton
  8. Presque Isle
  9. Bath
  10. Rockland

Why did Caribou take the top spot? And where are Portland and Lewiston?

Maine has a lot going on for retirees, and the cities you see above are the best of the best when it comes to planning your retirement. Incidentally, several of these cities are also on our list of best cities for families in Maine, so be sure to consult that if you need some ideas for getting the kids and grandkids up for a visit.

How'd we come up with this list? First, we narrowed our search down to the 29 cities in Maine with a population of at least 5,000. Second, we looked at data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights. Finally, we ranked each of the 29 cities according to crime, affordability, median age, weather, and access to things to do. Which city passed each of these categories with flying colors? According to the data, Caribou is the best place to retire in Maine for 2023.

Look below to see a complete list of how Maine's 29 cities of 5,000 people or more compare in terms of retirement goodies.

For more Maine state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2023

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,448
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $628
Distance to Closest Airport: 84 miles
More on Caribou: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Caribou, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,890
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $935
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Belfast: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belfast, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,426
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $970
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Orono: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Orono, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,043
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,510
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Yarmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yarmouth, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,616
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $1,086
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Kennebunk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kennebunk, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,340
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $827
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
More on Ellsworth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ellsworth, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,057
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $538
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Houlton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Houlton, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,859
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $746
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
More on Presque Isle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Presque Isle, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,718
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $909
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Bath: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,977
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Median Rent: $834
Distance to Closest Airport: 49 miles
More on Rockland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rockland, ME

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Pine Tree State for 2023

To create our list of the best places in Maine to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Pine Tree State -- 132 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 29 places from across the state.

For these 29, 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 29, with the lowest number being the best.

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

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Maine goes to Caribou.

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

  1. Waterville
  2. Biddeford
  3. Auburn

For more Maine reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Maine?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Caribou 7,448 $628
2 Belfast 6,890 $935
3 Orono 10,426 $970
4 Yarmouth 6,043 $1,510
5 Kennebunk 5,616 $1,086
6 Ellsworth 8,340 $827
7 Houlton 5,057 $538
8 Presque Isle 8,859 $746
9 Bath 8,718 $909
10 Rockland 6,977 $834

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.