15 Surprising Places You Never Considered for Retirement


Cost of living for retirees: 11.6% below U.S. average

Share of population 65+: 12.5%

Oklahoma’s tax rating for retirees: Tax-Friendly

Lifetime health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $379,464

Tulsa is a very affordable big city. With a population nearing 400,000, it’s the second largest city in the Sooner State, behind Oklahoma City. But the living costs are small; for retirees, bills for everything from groceries to health care fall below average. Housing-related costs for retirees are particularly affordable, at 34.9% below average. The median home value is $122,200, well below the nation’s median of $176,700. A private room in a nursing home costs a median $64,788 a year, compared with a median annual $91,250 for the U.S., according to Genworth.

The area also offers plenty of amenities. For active retirees, there are 23 public golf courses, 135 tennis courts, 50 miles of biking and running trails along the Tulsa River, and more hiking trails on Turkey Mountain. There are also lots of dining and shopping options around town, as well as galleries, museums and theaters, including the Tulsa Art Deco Museum, Woody Guthrie Center and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center downtown. High crime rates for the city are notable but tend to be concentrated in the north side; areas of midtown and downtown offer more safety.

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