Thought Leader Series: 5 Reasons the Southwest Is a Great Place to Retire


Work is part of life, and many people spend the majority of theirs either working or commuting to and from their workplace. The typical sequence of event is: support a family, become a homeowner, and, eventually, retire. On average, people retire between the ages of 55 and 65 – and we currently have an average life span of 85 years. That last part of a person’s life should be spent having fun and in pure enjoyment.

Where individuals plan to spend their post-retirement years can change depending on circumstances like health, family location, and affordability. Before you make a final decision, consider the Southwestern part of the United States, which has quickly become popular for retirees. Read on to find out why the Southwest is an awesome place to retire.

1. Agreeable Temperatures

The majority of the Southwestern states have beautiful climates. The springs are moist and cool, while the summers are warm and sunny. Fall is colorful and mild, leading into snowy, yet calm, winters. This warmth year-round is beneficial for one’s health, as the sun provides vitamin D, which prevents cancer, promotes increased energy, and strengthens bones. Also, warm weather has been shown to improve memory capacity. Higher temperatures make it easier to get outdoors and be active, which also helps improve overall health. Additionally, the dry air can alleviate issues like asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems. Therefore, Southwestern climate=great for your mental and physical health.


2. Calm and Peaceful Desert

Once retirement is finally on the horizon, retirees generally want to relax. The Southwest offers peace and serenity, unlike the East Coast’s beaches and Spring Break venues. Chronic stress can be caused by noise, traffic, and overcrowded places. The desert communities throughout the Southwest offer a much-sought-after tranquility. Along with the peace and quiet, the sunsets in the Southwest are beyond compare. Watching the sun dip below the horizon as day turns to night is incredibly relaxing.

3. Mild Winters

Winters in the northern and eastern region of the U.S. can be severe and dangerous. The winters in the Southwest are mostly mild and much easier to tolerate, especially for seniors who may have conditions that are worsened by the cold. Still, the large reason people retire in the Southwest is because the sunshine lasts all year in many places. California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona all have mountains, rolling hills, mesas and deserts from which to choose. With mild winters, the roads are safer for travel. There is minimal damage from snow and ice storms. Outdoor activities are still possible, so exercise is easy to maintain. There are plenty of ski runs and winter activities for you to enjoy. Furthermore, mild winters reduce health problems and sickness.

4. Low Cost of Living

After working for a lifetime, a retiree wants to enjoy the spoils. It is much easier to do that in the Southwest because the cost of living, on average, is one of the lowest in the nation. Tourist towns and ski resort villages can be a little more expensive, but even those areas have reasonable living costs. Many of the popular cities considered for retirement have affordable rates for housing (mortgage and leasing rates are some of the lowest in the nation) and other general services. The cost of food stays low because there are so many ranches, dairies, and farms. Purchasing locally is much less expensive, the food is tastier, it’s and healthier due to its lack of chemicals, preservatives, and GMOs. Fuel and energy prices are more affordable in the Southwest, too. Oil fields are plentiful, as are wind farms and other alternative energy sources.

5. Better Quality of Life

Healthcare and quality of life are important factors in deciding where to retire. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada all rank well when it comes to health and vitality among retirement-age residents. Finding an affordable health plan, competent doctors, and reliable resources outside of Social Security and government funds are crucial. Healthcare costs and availability in the Southwest are among the best in the U.S. Finally, the life expectancy of residents in the Southwest is higher than the rest of the country.

After a long life of work, bills, and stress, being able to retire in the perfect place is the goal. There are thousands of cities across the nation from which to choose. However, the votes are in and the tally has been reported. The Southwest offers many convincing reasons as to why it is a wonderful place to retire: wonderful climate, amazing landscape, incredible food and culture, along with better health and life quality are just a few.

What do you look for when deciding on where to spend your post-retirement years? Sound off in the comments section below.

Lorena Brockman is a blogger for and has notable know-how in blogging, travel, and fashion, and she has been deemed “Greatest Auntie Ever” by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company’s blog at

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