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best places to retire in new hampshire

Do you want to spend your retirement nestled in a quaint New England town? If so, New Hampshire may be the state for you. The question is, where in the Granite State do you want to settle down? This list lays out the top 10 best places to retire in New Hampshire and walks you through what makes each of them such a great place to spend your golden years. If you are planning a New Hampshire retirement but aren’t sure how to make it financially feasible, you should find a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it easy to find an advisor near you who meets your needs.

How We Determined the Best Places to Retire

In making this list, SmartAsset considered a number of metrics. Taxes are important to everyone, but they take on a special importance when you are living off a fixed income or retirement savings. Thus, tax burden for retirees was one of the several factors considered. Healthcare also takes on a new import when you reach a certain age, so we considered the number of medical centers per 1,000 residents in each town. Recreation centers per 1,000 residents was also factored in, as was the number of retirement centers per 1,000 residents. Finally, we calculated the percentage of the population made up of seniors to see if other retirees favor the town. With that in mind, here are the best places to retire in New Hampshire.

1. Exeter

Exeter is located in southern New Hampshire, just about a half an hour east of Manchester. The town, which is in the top 30 places to retire nationwide, leads this list with 5.42 medical centers per 1,000 residents. It has 0.43 retirement communities per 1,000 residents, which is a relatively low number comparatively speaking, but the highest on this list. Like all of the towns on this list, it has a tax burden of 11.30%, which is among the lowest tax rates you’ll find in the country and a crucial consideration when determining your cost of living. Exeter is also second on this list with 1.63 recreation centers per 1,000 residents. The town has plenty of history, as it was founded in 1638. A church established that year is still in the city. The church’s current building, built in 1798, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Exeter also finds a spot on our list of the best places to retire on the East Coast.

2. Portsmouth

This town, located right at the Maine state line along the Piscataqua River, leads this list with 2.85 recreation centers per 1,000 residents. It comes in second when it comes to number of medical centers, with 2.99 per 1,000 residents. Portsmouth ranks at the bottom of this list, though, when it comes to retirement communities, with just 0.05 per 1,000 residents. Like every town on this list, the tax burden here is 11.30%. Portsmouth’s North Church was founded in 1657 and rebuilt in the 19th century. It can be seen from many areas of the city, adding a very New England touch to your New Hampshire retirement.

3. Rochester

Rochester is another town located right along New Hampshire’s border with Maine. It is second-to-last on this list when it comes to medical centers, with just 1.10 per 1,000 residents. The city has the second-highest percentage of seniors in its population, though, with 17.50% of the population made up of older people. Like the rest of this list, the tax burden in Rochester is 11.30%.The city is home to the Rochester Museum of Fine Art, which houses a collection of contemporary work in many media.

4. Londonderry

Located just south of Manchester, Londonderry is also home to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, so travel for you or your family and friends won’t be a problem. Londonderry’s tax burden is 11.30%, like the rest of the towns on this list. It has 3.82 medical centers per 1,000 residents, putting Londonderry in third for that metric. It has a senior population of just 13.70%, the second-lowest percentage on this list. This makes it a good fit for someone who wants to live in a town filled with all types of families rather than just other retired people. Londonderry is home to several apple orchards, so get ready to bake.

5. Concord

best places to retire in new hampshire

Concord, located just north of Manchester, is sixth on this list with 1.93 medical centers per 1,000 residents. It also comes in sixth when it comes to recreation centers, with 0.71 per 1,000 residents. The tax burden here is 11.30%, just like every other city on this list. Concord is the state capital and as such is home to many historic buildings. This is especially true for the capital of a state like New Hampshire, site of many early colonial towns. The New Hampshire State House was built between 1815 and 1818, and it’s the oldest state house in the country where the legislature still meets in the original chambers.

6. Laconia

Situated right between Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake, Laconia is a town for those who want to be right near the water. It has 1.31 medical centers per 1,000 residents, putting it seventh on this list in that metric. Laconia fares better when it comes to recreation centers, though. The town is home to 1.24 recreation centers per 1,000 residents, the third-highest number of recreation centers of any town on this list. Like every other town on this list, the tax burden in Laconia is 11.30%. In addition to recreation on the nearby lakes, Laconia has two great entertainment options for sports fans: the Winnipesaukee Muskrats baseball team and the New Hampshire Fighting Spirit hockey squad.

7. Milford

Milford is in southern New Hampshire, just over an hour north of Boston. So if you want small-town New Hampshire charm while still being a quick trip from a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, this might be the town for you. It ranks fourth on this list with 2.31 medical centers per 1,00 residents. The town does not perform as well when it comes to recreation centers, coming in second-to-last with just 0.44 recreation centers per 1,000 residents. Milford is famous for its annual Pumpkin Fest in October, so get ready for visits from the grandchildren then. The tax burden here is 11.30%, as is the case with every city on this list.

8. Dover

Dover is in eastern New Hampshire, not far from the Maine state line. It boasts 1.97 medical centers per 1,000 residents, placing it fifth on this list in that metric. It has a senior population percentage of 14.30%, the third-lowest on this list, so it is also a good option for people who don’t want to feel like they’re in a retirement community. Dover’s tax burden, like the other cities on this list, is 11.30%. It is home to a number of historic buildings including First Parish Church, which was built in 1825 and has lineage dating back to 1633.

9. Keene

best places to retire in new hampshire

Keene, in southern New Hampshire, is an excellent town for those who want easy access to the great outdoors. Within city limits, you can find the Horatio Colony Nature Preserve and the Greater Goose Pond Forest. It also lies not far from the Green Mountain National Forest. Keene has 1.28 medical centers per 1,000 residents, the third-lowest number on this list. It has 0.90 recreation centers per 1,000 residents, which places the town in fifth for that metric. Like other cities in New Hampshire, the tax burden here is 11.30%. The free Keene Music Festival kicks off every summer.

10. Hanover

This central New Hampshire town is less than an hour from the White Mountain National Forest. Like the other cities on this list, it has a tax burden of 11.30%. It brings up the rear of this list with just 0.84 medical centers per 1,000 residents. It also has the smallest senior population, as seniors make up just 10.50% of its total population. Hanover does fare slightly better in terms of recreation centers, though. The town is sixth in this metric with 0.60 recreation centers per 1,000 residents.

Retirement Tips

  • A financial advisor can help you take the necessary steps to make your retirement dreams a reality. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find a financial advisor to work with who meets your needs and can help with retirement issues and things like the estate tax. You’ll answer a few questions about your financial situation and goals. Then, we’ll match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. We fully vet our advisors and make sure they are free of disclosures. Once we match you, your financial advisor matches will reach out to you and you can interview them.
  • If New Hampshire doesn’t excite you as a retirement destination, check out our lists of the best places to retire in Utah, Michigan, Virginia, Maine and New Mexico.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr, ©iStock.com/Ababsolutum, ©iStock.com/shapecharge

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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