The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2021


We analyzed over 80 places in Minnesota 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 Minnesota.

Minnesota might not be one of the top ten best states to retire, but that doesn't matter because it has some of the best places in the country to live out your golden years.

There are some places, however, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that are better than others for retirees and HomeSnacks is here to tell you where the best places to retire in Minnesota for 2021.

In order to determine the best places to retire in Minnesota, we analyzed 80 for every place with over 10,000. We looked at several factors including crime, population of residents in this demographic, affordable housing and rent, and how close said city is to an international airport.

We discovered that most of the North Star State's best places to retire are close to major metropolises like Minneapolis and Rochester. Probably because there's more to do in these bigger cities. And a fun fact, none of the places on our list have more than 70,000 residents; so if small, quaint, cities with lots to do are your retirements, Minnesota's best places top ten will not disappoint.

So, find yourself a diner, order that early bird special, and read on as we uncover the list of the best places to retire in Minnesota.

Why did New Ulm take the top spot? And where are Minneapolis and St. Paul?

Picture a cool, idyllic, Minnesota city where the people who live there are hard working, nice individuals. Then, picture a place with fun outdoor activities, affordable housing, and close to an international airport and you will know what it's like to live in Minnesota's best place to retire.

So, where is the best place to retire in Minnesota for 2021? Well, according to the most recent FBI and Census data, that would be New Ulm.

To see Minnesota's other best places to retire, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

For more Minnesota state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2021

New Ulm, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 13,242
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $643
Distance to Closest Airport: 72 miles
More on New Ulm: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hibbing, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,014
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $524
Distance to Closest Airport: 52 miles
More on Hibbing: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grand Rapids, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,165
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $670
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Grand Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Minnetonka, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 53,025
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,428
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Minnetonka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fairmont, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,127
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $621
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
More on Fairmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mendota Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,289
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $1,127
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Mendota Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Mankato, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 13,778
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $818
Distance to Closest Airport: 62 miles
More on North Mankato: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Owatonna, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,685
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $773
Distance to Closest Airport: 54 miles
More on Owatonna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Eagan, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 66,379
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,201
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Eagan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 35,320
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,142
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Inver Grove Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

To create our list of the best places in Minnesota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the North Star State -- 904 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 80 places from across the state.

For these 80, 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 80, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case New Ulm, 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 Minnesota Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Minnesota goes to New Ulm.

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

  1. St. Cloud
  2. Brooklyn Center
  3. Bemidji

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Minnesota?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 New Ulm 13,242 $643
2 Hibbing 16,014 $524
3 Grand Rapids 11,165 $670
4 Minnetonka 53,025 $1,428
5 Fairmont 10,127 $621
6 Mendota Heights 11,289 $1,127
7 North Mankato 13,778 $818
8 Owatonna 25,685 $773
9 Eagan 66,379 $1,201
10 Inver Grove Heights 35,320 $1,142

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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.