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best places to retire in texas

Looking to retire deep in the heart of Texas? To be sure, the Lone Star State has plenty to offer those who have left the working world behind and are looking for somewhere to spend their retirement. Some Texas cities, though, have more to offer retirees than others. This guide will show you the 10 best places to retire in Texas and explain what makes them so good for retirees. Whether a Texas retirement is imminent or just a distant dream, finding a financial advisor can help you get prepared. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it easier to find a financial advisor to work with who meets your needs.

How We Determined the Best Places to Retire

We considered many factors when determining which cities were the the best places to retire in Texas. We considered the retiree tax burden, knowing that retirees will want to protect their retirement savings as best they can. Healthcare options are also important to seniors, so we calculated the number of medical centers in each city per 1,000 residents. A big part of retirement is staying active, so we also looked at the number recreation centers and retirement communities per 1,000 residents. Finally, we calculated the percentage of the city’s population that’s made up of senior citizens. We combined all of that data to create this list of the best places to retire in Texas.

1. Katy

Katy, located just a half hour west of Houston, leads this list and is also in the top 20 places to retire across the U.S. The town has 17.60 medical centers per 1,000 residents, which is the most of any city on this list. It also leads this list in terms of recreation centers, with 3.61 recreation centers per 1,000 residents. The tax burden in Katy is 16.40%, placing Katy seventh on this list for that metric. Katy’s proximity to Houston means easy access to professional sports games, arts and other amenities that big cities offer, while you can live in a relatively small town.

2. Granbury

This town located west of Fort Worth ranks in the top 50 places to retire in the United States. What makes it so appealing? Well, Granbury has 0.80 retirement communities per 1,000 residents, the highest number of any city on this list. That means that there are plenty of places for you to move where you’ll find a built-in community. Seniors account for 29.70% of Granbury’s population, the second-highest percentage on this list. As an added bonus, the tax burden in Granbury is 15.30%, which is on the lower end of this list. Granbury is located just an hour from Dallas, where you can enjoy all that the city has to offer in terms of culture.

3. Woodway

best places to retire in texas

Woodway is a suburb of Waco, and it ranks third on this list for medical centers, with 10.61 medical centers per 1,000 residents. The tax burden for the town is 16.70%, which ties Woodway with two other Texas cities for the highest tax rate on this list. While this can increase the cost of living, this rate is still relatively low compared to some other states. Woodway also has 1.50 recreation centers per 1,000 residents, which places it towards the middle of this list. The city is located just 10 minutes from Waco, the home of Baylor University. This translates to easy access to all of the charms of a college town, including sports and culture.

4. Livingston

Livingston is another Houston suburb. The tax burden here is 15.30%, which is on the low end compared to other cities on this list. Livingston also has 7.66 medical centers per 1,000 residents, which places it only 6th on this list but is still a fairly decent number comparatively speaking. The city also has 1.53 recreation centers and 0.57 residential communities per 1,000 residents, placing it fourth on this list in both categories. Livingston is a good place to retire if you’re into boating and fishing, as it’s very close to the Trinity River.

5. Fredericksburg

Central Texas’ Fredericksburg offers easy access to two of Texas’ major cities: both Austin and San Antonio are just over an hour away by car. Fredericksburg is the peach capital of Texas and boasts abundant agritourism. The town has a 15.30% tax rate, tying it for second-lowest tax rate on this list. There are 4.34 medical centers per 1,000 residents, the second-lowest number on this list. Community, though, won’t be a problem: The city’s population is 30% senior citizens, the highest percentage of any city on this list. There are also 0.46 retirement communities per 1,000 residents.

6. Richmond

Another town near Houston, Richmond boasts the second-lowest tax burden on this list with a tax rate of 15.20%. It has 7.31 medical centers per 1,000 residents, which is on the lower end for this list, but is still a good number compared to cities in some other states. However, Richmond shines for its number of recreation centers. It has 2.02 recreation centers per 1,000 residents, the third most of any city on this list. The town is close to Houston and Sugar Land, both of which offer plenty of options for recreation and entertainment.

7. Tomball

Located north of Houston, Tomball ranks fourth on this list in terms of medical centers, with 8.76 medical centers per 1,000 residents. It has a 16.70% tax burden. Though that ties it with Woodway and Webster for the highest tax burden on this list, this rate is not terribly high comparatively speaking. Tomball also has 1.25 recreation centers and 0.36 retirement communities per 1,000 residents, placing in the bottom half of this list for both. Houston and its cultural attractions are just over half an hour from Tomball, which might be attractive to people considering moving to this Texas city.

8. Webster

best places to retire in texas

Set to the southeast of Houston, Webster has the second most medical centers of any city on this list with 13.28 medical centers per 1,000 residents. Less alluringly, it is tied for the top tax rate on this list with a tax burden of 16.70%. In addition to the cultural attractions of Houston, Webster is close to the Trinity Bay portion of Galveston Bay. It is near the Armand Bayou Nature Center, where you can see more than 370 species of animals at what is the nation’s largest urban wilderness preserve. If you’re interested in a city with a high population of seniors, Webster might not be for you though. It brings up the tail with seniors accounting for just 10.40% of its population.

9. Humble

Set to the north of Houston, Humble ranks fourth on this list for medical centers. It has 8.44 medical centers per 1,000 residents. Humble also is towards the middle of the pack in terms of tax burden, with a tax rate of 16.20%. It comes in fourth on this list with 2.00 recreation centers per 1,000 residents. In fact, the only area in which it doesn’t have a middling ranking is its senior population. It has the second-to-lowest senior population of any city on this list, with seniors comprising just 10.60% of the population. If you’re a fan of the movie Back to the Future, Humble has one thing going for it: it is the home to the DeLorean Motor Company. While not related to the manufacturers of the original car, it still supports owners of the classic gull-winged autos.

10. Burnet

The last entry on this list is Burnet, a central Texas city located just an hour north of Austin. Burnet boasts the lowest tax burden on this list at just 14.90%. It doesn’t do as well in some of the other metrics, though. It has the fewest medical centers at 1.64 per 1,000 residents and the fewest recreation centers at 0.66 per 1,000 residents. There is a lot to do in the area, though. In addition to being close to Austin and the University of Texas, there are attractions like the Longhorn Cavern State Park and the Highland Lakes Air Museum nearby.

Retirement Tips

  • To retire comfortably, you’ll want to get your savings as close to Texas-sized as you can. A financial advisor can help, and SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it easy to you find the right advisor for you. First you answer a few questions about your financial situation and goals. Then we match you with up to three advisors in your area. We’ve fully vetted them all and ensured they don’t have any disclosures.
  • A workplace retirement savings account like a 401(k) can help you save for retirement. Check out how much you can expect to have saved by retirement with our free 401(k) calculator.
  • If you don’t think Texas is for you, you can check out the best places to retire in other states. SmartAsset also ranked the top places to retire in California, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Virginia.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Davel5957, ©iStock.com/JasonDoiy, ©iStock.com/Stígur Már Karlsson /Heimsmyndir

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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