When you think about retirement spots, chances are places with warm, mild weather and maybe even some white sand beaches come to mind. When it comes to retirement living, it’s unlikely you’ll see the state of Minnesota and its harsh, cold winters as your first choice. However, the idea of Minnesota as a retirement state is getting support from multiple national rankings. Areas in and around the Twin Cities are becoming more popular among retirees and seniors, particularly for Minnesotans who want to stay with their family and friends.
Minnesota as a Retirement State
Is This Twin City a Good Place to Retire?
Comparatively higher costs of living and income taxes doesn’t make Minnesota one of the cheaper retirement locations. However, the state’s below-average assisted living costs1 and an extensive selection of senior support services and housing continues to attract plenty of retirees.
In a 2014 ranking, AARP named Minnesota the top state in the country for services and support for older residents.2 The state also scored high in the other categories AARP measured including affordability, choice of provider, quality of life and care and support for family caregivers.
Cities throughout the state have been ranked as ideal retirement spots by a few national publications. While counties around Lake Superior are often mentioned in these rankings,3 there are cities and suburbs that have also been recognized as great spots for retirees and considered some of the best places to retire in Minneapolis.
Best Minneapolis Neighborhoods for Retirees
A suburb of Minneapolis, Eden Prairie is often recognized as one of the best small cities to live in America, particularly for young families. Nonetheless, many retirees have happily made this idyllic city their home. Eden Prairie was ranked the third best place to retire in the country by U.S News & World Report.4 The magazine pointed to the city’s cultural attractions, shopping spots, community education classes, golf courses, and activity centers as winning points for seniors who want an active lifestyle.
The smaller twin sister to the major metropolis that is Minneapolis, St. Paul is a little less busy, a little more hipster, and just as exciting. While downtown St. Paul’s vibrant art scene and fun night spots attract plenty of millennials, the city’s walkable neighborhoods, numerous amenities, and a growing selection of housing also bring in retirees who’d rather not move to the suburbs.5 St. Paul is home to several 55+ neighborhoods, assisted living facilities, and other retirement communities. World-renowned healthcare providers and facilities like Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota Health are also easily accessible.
A college town south of the Minneapolis metropolitan area, Northfield is a gem for retirees that crave an energetic community and active outdoor lifestyle. Home to top-rated liberal arts colleges Carleton College and St. Olaf College, retirees enjoy plenty of athletics, arts, and cultural activities as well as continuing education opportunities. Miles of trails, prairie grounds, and the Cannon River allow for numerous outdoor activities.
Retirees have access to top-quality healthcare via Northfield Hospital’s treatment centers and helicopter service. Perhaps the biggest benefit for retirees is the cozy town’s low cost of living and affordable real estate market. All these perks led Money Magazine to label Northfield the Best Place for a Well-Rounded Retirement.6
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- Anya Martin, MarketWatch – Retire Here, Not There: Minnesota
- Tad Vezner, Duluth News Tribune – AARP ranks Minnesota as best state to retire in
- William Bornhoft, Patch Across Minnesota – Here’s The Best Place To Retire In Minnesota
- Laurie Blake, Star Tribune – S. News ranks Eden Prairie No. 3 as best place to retire
- James Walsh, Star Tribune – A growing St. Paul gets hip to millennials and retirees alike
- Money – Winner: Northfield, Minnesota