Mesa, Arizona, tops SmartAsset’s ranking of the most financially secure cities for seniors.Louisville and Oklahoma City also ranked high for senior home ownership.Seniors are particularly housing-cost burdened in cities in California and New York.
Seniors are the most financially secure in cities in Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma — and no city in the top 25 is in the Northeast, according to a new ranking.
Mesa, Arizona, topped SmartAsset’s study of where seniors are the most and least financially secure. SmartAsset analyzed housing, poverty, income, and government assistance data for those 65 or older in 37 of the nation’s largest cities. SmartAsset ranked the cities based on six metrics of financial security, such as home ownership and the senior poverty rate.
Mesa had the highest percentage of homeownership among residents over age 65 of the cities analyzed, as well as the second-lowest percentage of senior poverty and the lowest percentage of seniors reliant on food stamps. Mesa also is relatively affordable in the context of the city’s median senior income.
Louisville, Kentucky, ranked second on the overall rankings, with the highest percentage of seniors with private retirement income at just over 25%. Under a third of seniors in Louisville are housing-cost burdened — meaning they pay over 30% of their income toward housing costs.
Oklahoma City also ranked high across the six metrics, as nearly four in five seniors own a home, while just over 25% of residents’ retirement income goes toward housing costs.
Other cities ranking in the top 10 included Indianapolis, Albuquerque, and Kansas City. All of the top 10 cities were in the Midwest, South, or Southeast.
On the flip side, some of the nation’s largest cities ranked at the bottom. Boston came in last, with a senior poverty rate of nearly 20% and under half of seniors owning a home. New York City, which ranked above Boston and Los Angeles, has the tightest housing market for seniors, around 45% of whom are homeowners — and over half of whom are housing-cost burdened.
In San Jose and San Francisco, over half of seniors are housing-cost burdened due to high income-to-housing cost ratios.
Americans are generally living longer, and that means it takes more money to retire — Northwestern Mutual’s annual Planning and Progress Study found Americans on average believe they need $1.27 million to retire comfortably.
Perhaps the key to a healthier retirement could mean moving to Arizona or Kentucky, though some Americans are also looking to retire abroad. The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries ranking for a comfortable retirement ranked Switzerland on top, followed by Portugal and Australia.