The 8 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When people think of places to retire, they don’t immediately jump to Minnesota. They might for Florida or Hawaii, but not this place. However, there are plenty of people who choose to retire to this state every year. This state offers a lot of benefits for snowbirds who want to have a more affordable retirement in their old age. It’s all about choosing the right place to move…

Minnesota may not be a conventional retirement destination, but it absolutely has some great options for people who want to live in the Land of Lakes. These include:

  • Rochester
  • Duluth
  • Saint Paul
  • Saint Cloud
  • Minnetonka
  • Wayzata
  • Plymouth
  • Red Wing

There are plenty of places that retirees enjoy throughout the state. It’s all about finding the new hometown that’s right for the lifestyle that you want to live. One of the pros of living in Minnesota is that it is a great place to retire, and that includes several cities.

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What Are The Best Places To Retire In Minnesota?

Minnesota has a remarkably low cost of living as well as a slew of friendly towns. Fans of dairy and good sports teams will love it here. This is doubly true if you enjoy the cold. These cities are our top picks.

1. Rochester

via Destination Medical Center

Not to be mistaken for the city by the same name in New York, Rochester is mostly famous for being the hometown of the Mayo Clinic. Partly due to being the home of one of America’s most prestigious medical centers and partly because it’s a physician’s Mecca, you can rest assured that you will be able to get great healthcare here.

Of course, it’s not all doctors and nurses here. This is a retiree’s dream because it also happens to have an amazing restaurant scene, relatively quiet areas, low crime, and a reasonable cost of living. Since it’s a major Minnesota City, you can also expect travel and transportation to be a cinch.

2. Duluth

via Pinterest

In the past, Duluth was a city that was somewhat overlooked. Today, people are finally giving Duluth the credit it deserves. An affordable cost of living, Medicare-friendly doctors, and tons of fellow retirees make it an excellent choice for people who want to spend their golden years around others.

Though Duluth (like Rochester) is known for being good for medical attention, it’s also known for its beautiful snowy weather. The ample skywalks and tons of trails mean that you get to enjoy all the scenic walks that your heart could desire. Life here is pretty, cold, and slow-paced. That’s not a bad thing!

3. Saint Paul

If you and your loved ones are fans of good beer and even better bar snacks, then you’re going to feel right at home in Saint Paul. The bar scene here is nothing short of legendary. Along with having great dining venues, Saint Paul has a very strong public transportation system as well as a robust healthcare system with talented doctors.

In a lot of ways, this city is perfect for people who want to live in the Twin Cities but don’t quite have the wallet to make it comfortable to their liking. The cost for housing is low here, and so is the cost of living. So, think of it as a more affordable (but still amazing) way to get a slice of Minnesota city life.

4. Saint Cloud

via St. Cloud Times

What’s up with all the “Saint” names in Minnesota? Well, whatever the reason for all the saint names, the truth is that many of these cities offer a truly heavenly way to retire. Saint Cloud, like other retirement-friendly cities, is great for people who want to have a high quality of care. Though it has a similar vibe to the Twin Cities, it’s even more affordable than Saint Paul.

The average price of a home here is $179,000. This puts it well beneath the average and makes this city an ideal place for people who crave urban life without the typical urban price point. Oh, and if you’re worried about crime rates? Don’t be. It’s a fairly safe town filled with friendly people.

5. Minnetonka

via Agoda

Minnesota might not be what most people think of when they think of resorts, but Minnetonka is a bit different than most parts of the state. This cute little town is situated right by the lake of the same name, and acts as a major tourist venue for people who want to go for a boating session during the summer months. During the winter, people love to cozy up in cabins to admire the lakeside view.

High-quality healthcare and plenty of lakeside fun make this a huge draw for folks who want to retire comfortably. However, there’s a catch when it comes to this area. Because this is considered to be a resort town, the population density is kind of low and the price for housing is pretty high. If you retire here, you need to retire with a hefty wallet.

6. Wayzata

via LHB

Wayzata is a city with a funky name and a lot of charm. As the name suggests, this is the city that nestles the Wayzata Bay. As of right now, it’s also one of the ritziest parts of Minnesota, with an average home value topping $1 million. Don’t be fooled by the high price point, though. This place is ridiculously popular among retirees, especially those who come from elite backgrounds.

This is one Minnesota retirement town where everyone else’s “other car is a yacht,” so to speak. And, the amenities match the expectations you would have of a place like Wayzata. If you are a foodie, love the idea of a chillier version of Cape Cod, and want a very traditional style of a conservative lakeside town, you will absolutely adore this upscale resort town.

7. Plymouth

via Dan Kokesh

If you ask most Minnesotans, they’ll tell you that there’s something special about Minneapolis. Maybe it’s the craft beer. Maybe it’s the arts scene. Or, maybe it’s the classic Minneapolis food. Whatever the reason, people love the idea of living in Minneapolis. In fact, many people go the extra mile to say here simply because it’s that nice.

When you get a bit older, it’s normal to want to slow things down a bit. That’s where Plymouth comes into play. This is a suburb that’s right on the outskirts of Minneapolis. The slower pace in the ‘burbs is ideal for people who are ready to relax, but it’s still close enough to Minneapolis to make for a great day trip. It’s also more affordable, too!

8. Red Wing

via Minnesota Monthly

Artsy and elegant, Red Wing is a great place to be if you want to enjoy the finer things in life while you kick back in retirement. This smallish town has a nice, clean suburban feel that keeps people feeling right at home. Red Wing is one of those petite towns that is big on arts, so don’t be surprised if you run into fellow artists at local meetups.

People who miss the bold life of being an artist will find their clique here quickly. Even if you aren’t an artist, you’ll find the food, winery, and boutique shops to be an amazing daily escape. Not feeling indoor activities? Don’t worry. There are tons of parks and trails to choose from, which means that you will be able to get the most of your time.

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Related Questions

Is Minnesota a good place to retire?

It is and it isn’t. On one hand, Minnesota has very reasonable tax benefits and savings for people who want to retire in the area. The low cost of living also means that you will be able to get a decent home on a tighter budget. The state also has a lot of attractions. However, many people living in Minnesota tend to dislike the cold weather it has during the winter. It’s not easy on old bones, even if you’re a snowbird.

Does Minnesota tax retirement income?

Nope. Like most other states in the Union, Minnesota does not tax 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, or similar retirement vehicles. They are considered to be a tax-free vehicle that will protect you when you are older. This is one of the top reasons why Minnesota is considered to be one of the best states to retire to, especially when you factor in the incredibly low cost of living compared to most other states in the Union.

What is the cheapest place to live in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a bargain hunter’s state, in and of itself. But, if you want to have a life that’s super affordable, you need to check out some of Minnesota’s most affordable states. Since there are several ways to calculate this, we are going to mention a small list of cities regularly voted as the most affordable: Hibbing, Rochester, New Ulm, and Owatonna.It’s important to recognize that cheap doesn’t have to mean high crime, or even bad opportunities. Many of the most affordable cities boast excellent conditions for raising a family or starting up a new business. Nice!

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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