The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana For 2021


We analyzed over 29 places in Montana 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 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 2021

  1. Deer Lodge
  2. Stevensville
  3. Libby
  4. Glasgow
  5. Columbia Falls
  6. Glendive
  7. Red Lodge
  8. Dillon
  9. Hamilton
  10. Wolf Point

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 23 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 2021.

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 2021

Deer Lodge, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,934
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $756
Distance to Closest Airport: 73 miles
More on Deer Lodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stevensville, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,182
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $681
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Stevensville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Libby, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,703
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $631
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Libby: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,344
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $558
Distance to Closest Airport: 137 miles
More on Glasgow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbia Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,429
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $705
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Columbia Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glendive, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,126
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $798
Distance to Closest Airport: 89 miles
More on Glendive: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,212
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Median Rent: $826
Distance to Closest Airport: 187 miles
More on Red Lodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dillon, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,261
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $631
Distance to Closest Airport: 136 miles
More on Dillon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hamilton, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,723
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Rent: $754
Distance to Closest Airport: 45 miles
More on Hamilton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wolf Point, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,774
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $628
Distance to Closest Airport: 92 miles
More on Wolf Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

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 23 places from across the state.

For these 23, 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 23, 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.

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 2,934 $756
2 Stevensville 2,182 $681
3 Libby 2,703 $631
4 Glasgow 3,344 $558
5 Columbia Falls 5,429 $705
6 Glendive 5,126 $798
7 Red Lodge 2,212 $826
8 Dillon 4,261 $631
9 Hamilton 4,723 $754
10 Wolf Point 2,774 $628

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.