15 Places to Retire Rich

Physician's Money Digest, Spring 2013, Volume 15, Issue 1

Depending on what you’re looking for in retirement, the so-called “best location” may or may not apply to you. Typically, expensive cities in the Northeast and California don’t usually make retirement lists because retirees are on a fixed income.

However, those who planned well and saved up don’t necessarily want the most affordable city. If you’ve scrimped and saved — or simply done really well throughout your career — and money is no object, then retirement means a high-end lifestyle, regardless of the expenses.

Forbes’ list of top places to retire rich is very different from other lists. Both coasts are well represented (for once) and the list includes resort areas, big cities and posh suburbs —something for anyone with enough money to retire in style.

The list was compiled through a two-step process: first, the population of those age 65 and older had to be higher than the national average (12%); and second, the location had to have certain quality-of-life factors, such as scenic beauty, good weather and proximity to world-class cultural facilities.

Forbes’ list includes the top 25 locations, but we’ve whittled it down to 15 by picking those the with largest population percentage of retirement age residents.

Paradise Valley, Ariz.

Between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the area has a dozen posh resorts and 16% of its residents are 65 years and older. Homes sell for an average of $1 million.

Hidden Hills, Calif.

The entire city is a gated community and 16% of its residents are of retirement age. However, the proximity to Los Angeles and the nice weather come at an average price of $1.9 million — plus, here there be Kardashians.

Bunker Hill Village, Texas

Close to Houston and the Gulf of Mexico, 16% of Bunker Hill Village’s residents are of retirement age. The average home price is a whopping $1.4 million.

The Village of Indian Hill, Ohio

The entire town is all residential or agriculture and 18% of its residents are of retirement age. Just east of Cincinnati, the average home price is $840,000.

Ladue, Mo.

The average home price is $775,000 in Missouri’s wealthiest town. Approximately, 18% of its residents are 65 years and older.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Along with 18% of the 390,000 residents, you can live the dream in beautiful Hawaii. Although the average home price is $500,000, homes go for upwards of $1 million in some of Honolulu’s neighborhoods.

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

North of San Diego, the town has great weather, has been designated a state historical landmark and 20% of its residents are of retirement age. The average home price is $1.6 million.

Los Altos Hills, Calif.

The minimum lot size in this town is one acre, which is reflected in the $2.3 million average home price. More than 20% of the residents are of retirement age. However, earthquake faults pass under the town.

Chevy Chase Village, Md.

A fifth of the residents in this Washington, D.C., suburb are 65 or older. Close proximity to the cultural amenities of the nation’s capital has run this town’s average home price up to $1.3 million.

Montecito, Calif.

Just east of Santa Barbara, Montecito’s average home price is $1.7 million. Approximately, 22% of the town’s residents are age 65 and older.

Sun Valley, Idaho

A quarter of the residents in this town famous for skiing and fishing are of retirement age. Although the median household income is $60,000, the average home price is $700,000.

Kiawah Island, S.C.

A high-end golf and retirement center, nearly 40% of the residents are of retirement age. The average home price is $850,000 and the barrier island has five championship golf courses.

Naples, Fla.

Florida is typically a retirement hotspot and Naples has a huge population of seniors: 42%! The town sites on the Gulf of Mexico and the average home price is $520,000.

North Key Largo, Fla.

The northernmost of the Florida Keys, this island’s population is 43% retirement age residents. The average home price is $1 million.

Palm Beach, Fla.

More than half (53%) of the residents are of retirement age. The average home price is $1 million and, occasionally, Donald Trump lives there.