The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2021


We analyzed over 27 places in South Dakota 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 South Dakota.

Thinking of calling it quits on your career and retiring in the Mount Rushmore State? Don't retire just anywhere in South Dakota, because we've made a list of the absolute best places the state has to offer for retirement.

It turns out that the state that reared Bob Barker and Tom Brokaw has some pretty great places to live for some of their biggest fans. Why is South Dakota a good place to retire? For starters, it has the eighth lowest rent in America, so either your savings will last much longer or you'll have boatloads of extra cash on hand to enjoy your new work-free lifestyle. And if you're an outdoorsman or woman, the rugged terrain of the Black Hills and the Badlands is sure to delight you. Not to mention all the great fishing at spots like Pactola Lake. Oh and, of course, having Mt. Rushmore in your backyard helps get the family to visit and tick a national treasure of their to-see list all at the same time.

When choosing a great place to retire, you'll mostly want to stick around South Dakota's biggest cities. Almost half the cities you'll see on this are within an hour's drive of Sioux Falls, with Flandreau being the top choice for retirement among Sioux Falls suburbs. The city of Lead is the best of three Rapid City suburbs for retirees. Retiring just outside these cities is the best move because you get access to the airports and amenities that they offer, while paying less and having less crime.

Pack up your golf clubs and fishing rods, get ready to fall in love with chislic, and read on to learn the best places in South Dakota for retirement.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2021

  1. Hot Springs
  2. Lead
  3. Sisseton
  4. Elk Point
  5. Sturgis
  6. Mobridge
  7. Beresford
  8. Canton
  9. Madison
  10. Belle Fourche

Why did Hot Springs take the top spot? And where are Sioux Falls and Aberdeen?

These are the places in South Dakota that are sure to put a lasting smile on your face in your golden years. Many of these cities also ranked well on our lists of safest and best family cities in South Dakota.

So how did we at HomeSnacks come up with this list of best places to retire in South Dakota? We started by narrowing down our search to 28 cities with a population of at least 2,000. Then we ranked those 28 cities by crime, affordability, weather, median age, and access to activities. Which city scored the all-around best for these categories? According to the data, Hot Springs is the best place to retire in South Dakota in 2021.

For a complete picture of how each of the 28 cities we looked at, check out the full list below.

For more South Dakota state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2021

Hot Springs, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,509
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $584
Distance to Closest Airport: 154 miles
More on Hot Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lead, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,985
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $707
Distance to Closest Airport: 167 miles
More on Lead: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sisseton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,468
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $595
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
More on Sisseton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Elk Point, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,176
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $822
Distance to Closest Airport: 173 miles
More on Elk Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sturgis, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,796
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $530
Distance to Closest Airport: 179 miles
More on Sturgis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mobridge, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,385
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $694
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
More on Mobridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Beresford, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,291
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $663
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
More on Beresford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Canton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,447
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Rent: $644
Distance to Closest Airport: 192 miles
More on Canton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,261
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $564
Distance to Closest Airport: 200 miles
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belle Fourche, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,616
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $705
Distance to Closest Airport: 177 miles
More on Belle Fourche: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

To create our list of the best places in South Dakota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Mount Rushmore State -- 381 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 2,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 28 places from across the state.

For these 28, 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 28, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Hot Springs, 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 South Dakota Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in South Dakota goes to Hot Springs.

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

  1. Sioux Falls
  2. Box Elder
  3. Tea

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In South Dakota?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Hot Springs 3,509 $584
2 Lead 2,985 $707
3 Sisseton 2,468 $595
4 Elk Point 2,176 $822
5 Sturgis 6,796 $530
6 Mobridge 3,385 $694
7 Beresford 2,291 $663
8 Canton 3,447 $644
9 Madison 7,261 $564
10 Belle Fourche 5,616 $705

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.