Phoenix is no longer a top retirement spot, per U.S. News
Phoenix is no longer a top spot to retire, according to U.S. News & World Report's ranking.
Why it matters: The Valley used to stand out as an affordable, warm-weather haven for retirees. But when housing costs ballooned, fewer seniors with fixed incomes could afford to spend their golden years here.
Driving the news: The Phoenix metro ranked as the 129th best place to retire in the U.S. in the publication's 2024 list, released late last year.
- Tucson came in at No. 103.
What's happening: The generation retiring now is the first to have to rely on private savings instead of the more secure pension plans their parents and grandparents used to navigate retirement.
- People without hearty 401(k)s or IRAs are likely relying entirely on Social Security — about $18,000 a year for the average 65+ family, per AARP — which is not enough to afford basic living expenses in now-pricey Phoenix.
How it works: The annual rankings evaluate four main indexes that encompass several "life-impacting factors," including affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and health care quality.
Zoom out: Each of the top five ranked cities were in Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, Scranton and Allentown.
- All ranked especially high for affordability and health care.
Reality check: Metro Phoenix still has a significant retiree population, especially in the West Valley, where there are many age-restricted communities.
- Yes, but: Many of these people purchased their retirement homes prior to the pandemic-era housing boom that raised Valley home prices well above the national median. The barrier to entry is now much higher.
Threat level: Seniors are among of the fastest-growing subsections of the Valley's homeless population. If retired adults don't have vast savings or family to support them, they can end up on the street, experts tell Axios Phoenix.
- These individuals often have mobility issues and are exceedingly vulnerable in group shelters. That prompted Central Arizona Shelter Services to create a dedicated shelter for people ages 55 and older.
Yes, but: The facility was supposed to open more than a year ago but has run into delays. It's now expected to open this spring.
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