The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2021


We analyzed over 30 places in New Mexico 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 New Mexico.

If you're nearing the end of your career or have already retired and are looking for a change of scenery, consider the Land of Enchantment for your golden years.

There are plenty of things that make New Mexico a greater place for retirement. Whether you're a connoisseur of eye-popping sunsets, a UFO-enthusiast, or just a lover of chilies both red and green, New Mexico has loads to keep you satisfied during your work-free years. Combine that with being among the states with the lowest rent in America, and you'll have even more expendable cash on hand to enjoy all New Mexico has to offer. If you want to see the best sunsets in a state already known for them, White Sands National Monument is a must-visit, while if you're trying to get away from the sun, going down into Carlsbad Caverns might be more your speed.

So where should you lay down your briefcase in New Mexico? Well, if you'd like to live next door to George R.R. Martin and Val Kilmer, Los Alamos is your best bet. Whereas if you're trying to see Julia Roberts out on Main Street, you'll have to retire in Taos. If you've always had "going to a rodeo" on your bucket list, Ruidoso is the place to be. Whatever your priorities are in retirement, this list has options, both near and far from New Mexico's better-known cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

New Mexico will leave you enchanted no matter where you decide to retire, but these are the places that will offer the absolute most to retirees.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2021

  1. Ruidoso
  2. Truth or Consequences
  3. Raton
  4. Grants
  5. Corrales
  6. Anthony
  7. Los Alamos
  8. Taos
  9. Sunland Park
  10. Belen

Why did Ruidoso take the top spot? And where are Albuquerque and Las Cruces?

It wasn't easy to narrow down the best spots to retire in New Mexico. But by looking for the places with low cost of living and crime rates, combined with the best weather, activities, and access to the airport, we determined where folks can find the most fulfillment in their retirement.

What's the best place to retire in New Mexico for 2021? According to the latest data, Ruidoso is the absolute best place in the state for retirees.

If you're a little worried that New Mexico is too far from the family, be sure to look for overlap between this list and our list of best cities to raise a family. It could just be a win-win for every generation.

Didn't see the city you were looking for in the top ten? Check out the list below to see how each city ranked for retirement.

For more New Mexico state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico For 2021

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,791
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $770
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
More on Ruidoso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,894
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $493
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Truth Or Consequences: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Raton, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,047
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $723
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
More on Raton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,036
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $686
Distance to Closest Airport: 204 miles
More on Grants: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,588
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,094
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
More on Corrales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,310
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $561
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
More on Anthony: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Alamos, NM

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,666
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,042
Distance to Closest Airport: 205 miles
More on Los Alamos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taos, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,967
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $708
Distance to Closest Airport: 221 miles
More on Taos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 17,081
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $623
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Sunland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belen, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,403
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Rent: $731
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
More on Belen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Land Of Enchantment for 2021

To create our list of the best places in New Mexico to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Land Of Enchantment -- 417 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 24 places from across the state.

For these 24, 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 24, with the lowest number being the best.

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

So there you have it, the best place to retire in New Mexico goes to Ruidoso.

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

  1. Gallup
  2. Clovis
  3. Rio Rancho

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Ruidoso 7,791 $770
2 Truth Or Consequences 5,894 $493
3 Raton 6,047 $723
4 Grants 9,036 $686
5 Corrales 8,588 $1,094
6 Anthony 9,310 $561
7 Los Alamos 12,666 $1,042
8 Taos 5,967 $708
9 Sunland Park 17,081 $623
10 Belen 7,403 $731

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.