15 Best Places in Arizona

Here’s a list of the 15 best places in Arizona where retirees can enjoy life on a Social Security check alone. In order to do this, they took the median Social Security benefits for 2023, doubled it for couples, and then set out to find cities where the rent doesn’t take up more than half of that total.

Here are the 15 best places to live in Arizona on just a Social Security check:


Incentives to Move Abroad

Our Cedarcrest listing hit the open market on January 25th, and we recieved NINE offers! I gave all of them a chance to bid it up, and ten days later, our sellers had their net proceeds in their account!

They moved to Portugal, and yesterday they reported that the weather is similar to what it is in California, and his favorite cup of coffee only costs seventy cents!


You’ve saved and invested your whole adult life for this, and the time has come to quit working and start living. But where will you spend your retirement years?

If you decide the answer is abroad, you won’t be alone. Millions of Americans have done just that. Some experts estimate that as many as 12% of the nation’s 45 million or so retirees are living overseas.

There are a lot of incentives for such a move: a lower cost of living for a higher quality of life, for instance. New experiences in exotic settings. And there are any number of locales willing to up the ante to have you choose them as the golden isle for your golden years.


Top 10 According to ExPats

Do you ever think about packing your bags and moving to another country to start a new life abroad? If so, you’re not alone. An October 2023 survey by language tutoring company Preply found that more than 37% of its respondents aged 18 to 26 want to live abroad indefinitely. As for why, 1 in 4 said they wanted access to better programs, like universal health care. Others cited new cultural experiences, the high cost of living in the U.S., and our current political climate.

If you’re serious about moving out of the country but unsure where to go, a recent report from InterNations ranking the places where expats are thriving might point you in the right direction.

Mexico is also the friendliest nation on the list, with 89% of expats saying that locals are kind to foreigners. That’s 24 percentage points above the global average of 65%, per the report. Although finding a place to live can be challenging, housing is affordable and 71% of expats are happy with the cost of living. They’re also satisfied with the career opportunities and the work-life balance.

The InterNations survey found that 90% of expats in the country are enjoying their life in Mexico. Portugal is the only other European country to make the top 10, while the others are in Asia and the Americas:

  1. Mexico
  2. Spain
  3. Panama
  4. Malaysia
  5. Taiwan
  6. Thailand
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Philippines
  9. Bahrain
  10. Portugal

For its survey, InterNations – which represents the world’s largest expat community – polled more than 12,000 people of varying nationalities living in 172 countries or territories.

Participants rated different aspects of expat life, from healthcare and safety to work culture, housing and more. Click below to see the full report.


Migration Report

This must mean that Allied’s best salespeople are in San Diego!

The 2023 Allied US Migration Report presents a detailed analysis of the current trends in interstate moves across the United States, highlighting significant patterns and underlying economic factors.

This year marked another decrease in the volume of interstate moves. Following the 20% decrease in 2022 compared to 2021, there was a further 12% decline in 2023 relative to the previous year. This continuous decline indicates a notable shift in migration patterns over the last two years.


Happy Happy

I know San Diego-Carlsbad is on this list, but there are others. It’s a great time to move elsewhere!

Designed by Gallup senior scientist Dan Witters, the study established 15 metrics—from eating healthy and learning something new every day to civic engagement, financial security, vacation time, and even dental checkups—that signal happiness. The National Geographic Gallup Special/Blue Zones Index draws on nearly 250,000 interviews conducted with adults from 2014 to 2015 in 190 metropolitan areas across the U.S as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well Being Index.

In happier places, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals. For our index, it tracked factors that are statistically associated with doing well and feeling well; these include feeling secure, taking vacations, and having enough money to cover basic needs.

Link to NG article

BofA Migration Data

Could it be that people are leaving other parts of California, but not as much from San Diego? This data suggests that, but for those who want to leave the state, Las Vegas is close enough that it’s a suburb for SoCal now.

Key takeaways

• Using Bank of America internal data we construct near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows, giving us almost one year of extra insight over Census Bureau data. Notably, we find pandemic migration trends are not reversing and we continue to see faster population inflow into sunbelt cities like Austin and Tampa.
• But house prices are weakening even in cities with growing populations. Why? In addition to high mortgage rates that are dampening demand in the near term, demographic composition also matters. For example, our data shows that population inflows into Austin skew younger, which might be putting more upward pressure on rents instead of on home prices.
• Looking through the current housing downturn, local housing markets with more Millennial and Baby Boomer residents could see strength as the former enter prime home-buying age and the latter downsize their houses or move after retirement. Bank of America data suggests Baby Boomers are relocating to Las Vegas and Tampa while Millennials prefer Austin. Both groups are leaving the larger cities of San Francisco and New York.

America on the move

A key theme that shaped the housing market during the pandemic was domestic migration (i.e., people moving within the US). While data from the Census Bureau is broken down by metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), it is only updated annually and can be outdated for real time analysis.

Utilizing aggregated and anonymized Bank of America customer data, we constructed near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows and found that pandemic migration trends are not reversing. Data as of 1Q 2023 suggests that cities that saw a large influx of people during the pandemic have still been growing fasterthan other cities in recent quarters.

“Bank of America data suggests baby boomers are relocating to Las Vegas and Tampa, Florida, while millennials prefer Austin, Texas,” the report noted, adding that both “groups are leaving the larger cities of San Francisco and New York.”

What makes Las Vegas so attractive to boomers? According to a 2023 study by Empower, a financial services company, Las Vegas ranked as the top spot for retirement thanks to its affordability, tax friendliness to retirees, ease of access to health care, and of course, its year-round sunshine.

“Based on our analysis, Las Vegas was the most affordable U.S. city for retirees,” the report’s findings stated. “For those looking for their daily dose of Vitamin D, Sin City ranked second for average yearly sunshine, and proved very tax-friendly, with no state income tax, and no estate or inheritance taxes. Additionally, Las Vegas has a thriving senior community and plenty of entertainment options.”

The only downfall, however, is Las Vegas, like many places around the U.S., is experiencing a significant affordable housing shortage, making it potentially difficult for some retirees to find a necessary cost-of-living balance.

“We need more product,” Lee Barrett, the president of the Las Vegas Realtors, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2023. “What’s kept the values up in the Las Vegas market is that lack of product, so it’s a supply and demand issue.”

If you can’t find housing as a retiree in Vegas, Bank of America’s report noted that two cities in Florida — Tampa and Orlando — are also top choices for baby boomers. And Florida will also be in style for retirees.


America’s Friendliest

Few of us are clamoring to live where hostility and ill-temper rule the social structure. You don’t hear friends and colleagues looking through real estate ads to find a neighborhood full of discontent and aggression. Instead, people clamor to find real neighborhoods that feel like the friendliest TV towns, such as Stars Hollow, Pawnee, and Schitt’s Creek.

But that made us wonder whether America had any areas that resemble these friendly but fictitious towns and what elements help to create these neighborhoods in real life. So we conducted a study to determine which American cities are the friendliest.

We compiled a list of popular neighborhoods across the United States based on the 200 most-viewed city neighborhoods on Zillow in 2022. Then we analyzed nearly 150K Google reviews from the past year for businesses in those neighborhoods.

From banks and bars to coffee shops and grocery stores, we analyzed the reviews of businesses people regularly visit, using the percentage of reviews with the word “friendly” in them to determine our rankings. This post details what we discovered so you can see how your city measures up.


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