Picking the best place to retire is almost never easy — you might want to be close to kids or grandkids, but you also want to be in a place that feels like home. Being within easy driving distance of all of those places that you wanted to visit but never had the time during your working years is a perk, too.
For LGBT individuals or couples, finding a place that will be accepting toward them is an added variable that can make retirement city selection even more difficult. To make your search a little easier, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best places for LGBT citizens to retire and live out their golden years.
- Tampa Bay Area
This doesn’t just include Tampa, the beautiful bay city in Hillsborough County. The entire Tampa Bay Area, including St. Petersburg and Clearwater to the west and Sarasota to the south, are fantastic places for LGBT couples to retire. Florida, in general, is great for retirement — low cost of living, no state income tax and fantastic assisted living facilities all top the list.
Tampa, in particular, has a number of senior LGBT groups, such as the Prime Timers of Tampa Bay, and LGBT-owned businesses. St. Petersburg has one of the best Pride celebrations in the Southeast as well, so if you like to get out and socialize, this is a great option. Plus, you’re within a few minutes of some of the best beaches in the state, so you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget to do the stingray shuffle!
- Austin, Texas
Texas tends to have a reputation for being backward when it comes to things like marriage equality and women’s rights, but at least one city is trying to break that Deep South stereotype. Austin is quickly shaping up to be one of the best places to retire for LGBT citizens. Roughly 5% of the population identifies as gay, and it’s even home to the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. This city also has one of the best inland Pride celebrations in the country.
- Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix has been a popular retirement location for years — mostly because it gets an average of 300 days of sunshine every year. It’s becoming a more popular location for LGBT citizens as well. Phoenix has its own Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce that supports a variety of different businesses run by LGBT citizens. They’ve even recently opened up their own LGBT School — Q High, for LGBT high school students and allies.
Arizona is another state that has a bad reputation for its conservative politics, but Phoenix is one of the most progressive cities in an otherwise generally backward state.
- San Francisco, California
What list would be complete without a mention of San Francisco, the LGBT mecca of the United States? You get great weather, fantastic social opportunities, and the biggest LGBT community in the country.
The only reason that many people pass up this city in favor of others is the cost of living. California has one of the highest overall costs of living in the country. If you want to retire to San Francisco, you need to start planning and saving right now.
- Portland, Oregon
Portland is home to some of the most progressive LGBT related laws in the country. It has been a safe haven for these individuals, and it has the second highest LGBT population per capita in the country, coming in just behind San Francisco. It is also home to SAGE Metro Portland, which is a resource for older LGBT adults to get assistance, training and other services.
Oregon also has a relatively low cost of living, at least when it’s compared to other West Coast states, so if you want to enjoy the West Coast without burning through your retirement fund, Oregon is a fantastic choice.
There are plenty of other cities that make great retirement options for LGBT citizens, but these are a good start to get yourself thinking! Do some research and figure out what’s best for your situation.