Among the thousands of people moving to Texas each year, many retirees choose small towns across the Lone Star State to settle down and enjoy their golden years. But the largest Texas metro areas offer access to an unparalleled range of activities and highly-rated healthcare facilities, all easily accessible from budget-friendly in-town neighborhoods friendly to seniors.
According to the latest Texas Housing Insight Report issued by the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University on September 14th, the Texas median home price fell $5,000 to $344,000, including across each major metro area. While prices have climbed in the last year, Texas housing remains among the most affordable in the country, making big city life an option for retirees worth considering.
As Darryl Lyons, CEO of San Antonio-based PAX Financial Group, says, “Finding the right retirement spot in Texas requires careful consideration of weather, density, access to health care, and community. There are many unique pockets of subcultures to consider, including within the largest cities in Texas.”
To help you decide if big city life in retirement is right for you, we took a look at what makes five of the largest metro areas in Texas popular among their residents and attractive to seniors.
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Big cities aren’t for everyone. However, suppose you’re a person who adores the energy, diversity, and opportunities they offer. In that case, Houston, 50 miles from Galveston and the Gulf Coast, could be an ideal place to retire in Texas. The 4th largest city in the US, Houston, has a massive population of 6.6 million.
For proof of its diversity, consider that people speak a staggering 145 languages in the city. And, as you’d expect, all the usual big-city perks and amenities are available to help you enjoy retirement. From a museum and theater district to a thriving food scene, an abundance of green spaces, and desirable recreation opportunities, you’ll never be bored if you retire in Houston.
Another perk we should mention is the cost of living. Although Houstonians certainly don’t live in the cheapest part of Texas, it remains affordable in comparison to other metro areas of a similar size. Combine that with its world-class healthcare facilities, and it’s no wonder Houston remains a popular choice among retirees.
2. El Paso
Sticking with the budget-friendly theme, let’s turn our attention to El Paso. One study recently voted this large city in the far southwestern part of Texas the 5th best place to retire! There are many reasons for its popularity, but one of the primary selling points is its affordability.
The cost of living in El Paso is hard to beat, with median home prices lower than most other metro areas in the US. However, financial incentives aren’t the only reason to move here.
El Paso would be a stunning place to retire and a haven for outdoorsy types. You’d have the vast Franklin Mountains State Park (i.e., the most significant urban park in the country) on your doorstep, complete with its millennia-old Native American pictographs and petroglyphs. Combine that with the nine months of sunshine and warm weather, and you’re in for a treat.
Austin’s regularly voted one of the best places to live in the entire country – let alone the state! It has a booming economy, a strong job market, plenty of green open spaces, endless entertainment options (it’s literally known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”), a quirky culture, and a welcoming atmosphere that attracts people from across the country, including retirees.
Despite the cost of living being higher in Austin than in other parts of Texas, there’s no shortage of incentives to relocate here in your golden years. The weather’s good throughout the year, the amenities are unparalleled, and most neighborhoods have high-quality healthcare facilities available. The well-known University of Texas-Austin also offers 6 tuition-free credits per semester to people aged 65+. For these reasons and more, Austin is surely one of the best places to retire in Texas!
According to Austin-based financial advisor Jane Mepham, “Austin is the best city to retire to in Texas. If you want a physically active life, it’s all here in the city and in the suburbs. It has some amazing trails starting with Lady Bird Trail downtown, great parks, lakes, and a real healthy vibe, subtly magnified via great restaurants. The tech culture is a testament to the city’s diversity and it’s relatively warm all year round.”
If you’re thinking of moving to the state capital of Texas but worried about the higher cost of living, consider hiring an Austin-area financial advisor who can help you determine what you can afford.
4. San Antonio
Do you like the sound of relaxing vibes you may expect in a small town but think you’d miss the excitement of bigger cities? Well, look no further than San Antonio. Although it’s the biggest metropolis in the Texas Hill Country, it’s somehow maintained an easy-going, small-town atmosphere.
The hustle, bustle, and amenities of big cities are all available. Incredible restaurants are around every corner; art galleries, theaters, and festivals are ubiquitous, and there are many historic sites and tourist attractions to enjoy (such as SeaWorld). Nevertheless, San Antonio’s renowned for its relaxed nature – perhaps a result of its proud Spanish and Old West heritage.
Given its many positive qualities, you might be unsurprised to learn that San Antonio’s one of the fastest-growing cities in America. If it sounds like your perfect place to retire in Texas, we suggest getting in soon – before the prices rise!
5. Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas needs no introduction! Huge, bustling, and home to the Cowboys and Mavericks, it’s a paradise for city-lovers and sports enthusiasts alike.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and Big D proves it. In fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is one of the largest in the country, with a whopping land mass of 343 square miles. A booming Texas destination, if ever there was one, it offers a mass of cultural sites and activities, an endless list of dining opportunities, sporting events, and green spaces galore for when you need a dose of nature.
The main downside to retiring in Dallas is the rising cost of housing. Don’t worry, it’s still very reasonable compared to other metro areas in the US. However, prices are definitely increasing – especially in desirable areas like Highland Park and Frisco. In almost every other way, though, you’ll be delighted by what Dallas has to offer.
Retirees in Texas Should Consider Big City Life
From tax breaks to cultural draws and an enviable cost of living, it’s no surprise that so many people trust Texas to see out their golden years. Alas, there are so many appealing places to live in this enormous state that choosing somewhere to settle can be a challenge.
Beyond small town living, many retirees choose the benefits of big city life in Texas to enjoy their golden years. That’s why we’ve highlighted reasons for seniors to consider these 5 major metro areas among the best places to retire in Texas.
If you’ve been caught in this conundrum of deciding where to retire or what you can afford, consider hiring a local financial advisor who can help you navigate the journey so you can enjoy decades in retirement in Texas with less money stress.
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Danny Newman is currently writing and traveling his way around the world in a bid to figure out exactly what he’s doing with his life. He’d love you to follow along with his journey over at What’s Danny Doing.