The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana For 2022


We analyzed over 29 places in Montana to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

HomeSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to retire in Montana.

So you've just hung up your office attire for the last time and you're looking for a spot to spend your golden years in Big Sky Country. You're in the right place, because we've compiled a list of the best places to retire in Montana.

It turns out that the state that raised Gary Cooper has some seriously great spots for folks who watched his movies as kids. In terms of natural beauty, it's hard to top Montana. Between Yellowstone in the south and Glacier National Park in the north, there isn't a corner of Montana that isn't rife with epic landscapes and majestic wildlife. You could honestly hunt and fish in Montana for decades without seeing all there is to see. And if you get bored of that, there are plenty of golf courses where you can finally work on perfecting your swing.

In terms of location, there's no geographic cheat-sheet when it comes to retiring in Montana, because the places on this list are fairly well-distributed throughout the state. If you want to be near a big city like Billings or Missoula, then Columbus or Stevensville will be your best respective options. If you don't want to drive to get to a beautiful spot, then Libby, located smack dab in the middle of Kootenai National Forest is where you'll want to be. Whether you're retiring in Montana to get away from it all or still want access to big-city amenities without the high price tag, we've got you covered.

Get ready to order up a nice fresh elk burger and some huckleberry bear claws, because we're heading to the best places to retire in Montana.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana For 2022

  1. Deer Lodge
  2. Glendive
  3. Libby
  4. Red Lodge
  5. Glasgow
  6. Conrad
  7. Lewistown
  8. Hamilton
  9. Cut Bank
  10. Polson

Why did Deer Lodge take the top spot? And where are Billings and Missoula?

No matter what your priorities are for retirement, one of the cities listed above is sure to have what you're looking for. It's worth noting that these cities are also among the safest and most accommodating to families in the state.

How did we determine the best places to retire in Montana? First we weeded out the super-small communities of less than 2,000, which left us with 26 cities to rank. We then looked at data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights to figure out which spots were safe, affordable, sunny, relatively older, and fun. Which place had it all going on when it comes to retirement? According to the data, Deer Lodge is the best place to retire in Montana for 2022.

Surprised a city you'd love to retire in didn't make our list? For a look at all our rankings, check out the complete list below.

For more Montana state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana For 2022

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,893
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $656
Distance to Closest Airport: 73 miles
More on Deer Lodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Deer Lodge, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,030
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $687
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
More on Glendive: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glendive, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,758
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $543
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Libby: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Libby, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,134
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $711
Distance to Closest Airport: 187 miles
More on Red Lodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,332
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $594
Distance to Closest Airport: 137 miles
More on Glasgow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,624
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $756
Distance to Closest Airport: 54 miles
More on Conrad: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Conrad, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,923
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $728
Distance to Closest Airport: 116 miles
More on Lewistown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lewistown, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,827
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $753
Distance to Closest Airport: 45 miles
More on Hamilton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hamilton, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,049
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $674
Distance to Closest Airport: 90 miles
More on Cut Bank: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cut Bank, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,033
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $765
Distance to Closest Airport: 43 miles
More on Polson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Polson, MT

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

To create our list of the best places in Montana to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Treasure State -- 362 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 2,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 26 places from across the state.

For these 26, 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 26, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Deer Lodge, 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 Montana Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Montana goes to Deer Lodge.

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

  1. Billings
  2. Belgrade
  3. Bozeman

For more Montana reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Montana?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Deer Lodge 2,893 $656
2 Glendive 5,030 $687
3 Libby 2,758 $543
4 Red Lodge 2,134 $711
5 Glasgow 3,332 $594
6 Conrad 2,624 $756
7 Lewistown 5,923 $728
8 Hamilton 4,827 $753
9 Cut Bank 3,049 $674
10 Polson 5,033 $765

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.