It’s been said that “Retirement is when you stop living at work and start working at living”. But the cost of living is fueling where Americans are choosing to spend their golden years.

According to WalletHub, less than 30% of workers are “very confident” they will have enough money for retirement and 70% of workers feel somewhat confident they’ll have enough money.

A recent Gallup poll finds the average age working Americans anticipate they’ll retire is 66, while the average retirement age in 2022 is actually 61.  

Now factor in that the average lifespan of adults in the U.S. is 76.1, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and many people are looking at a 10-to-20-year retirement.

The personal-finance website WalletHub looked at 180 U.S. cities in an effort to help Americans find retiree-friendly cities that don’t break the bank in their “2022’s Best & Worst Places to Retire” study.

Researchers compared the cities across 46 metrics ranging from taxes, elderly-friendliness, activities, and even property crime rates.

Here are the Top 10 cities on the list:

  • 1. Charleston, SC
  • 2. Orlando, FL
  • 3. Cincinnati, OH
  • 4. Miami, FL
  • 5. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 6. San Francisco, CA
  • 7. Scottsdale, AZ
  • 8. Wilmington, DE
  • 9. Tampa, FL
  • 10. Salt Lake City, UT

Only two Midwest cities are in the Top 25: Minneapolis at No. 12 and Madison, Wisconsin at No. 22.

Chicago and Aurora represented Illinois on the list, with Chicago ranked 154th and Aurora ranked 171st.

While Chicago ranked towards the bottom of the list, it is ranked first in the “Recreation & Senior Centers per Capita” category.

Here’s a look at how Chicago did in other categories:

  • 1st – Recreation & Senior Centers per Capita
  • 36th – % of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated
  • 49th – Adult Volunteer Activities per Capita
  • 110th – % of 65 & Older Population
  • 110th – Annual Cost of In-Home Services
  • 134th – % of Employed Population Aged 65 & Older
  • 143rd – Adjusted Cost of Living164th – ‘Mild Weather’ Ranking

Researchers add it’s not just about the money for retirees. Their study showed retirees also want to live in a place with lots of options to spend their leisure time, which could be why four of the top five cities are in warm climates.

The best city for retirees according to the study is Charleston, South Carolina, followed by Orlando, Cincinnati, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.

You can check out the interactive map below to see how other cities ranked.

Here’s how some other Midwest cities ranked on the list:

  • 12. Minneapolis
  • 22. Madison, WI
  • 43. Grand Rapids, MI
  • 52. St. Louis, MO
  • 95. Cedar Rapids, IA
  • 98. Milwaukee, WI
  • 124. Fort Wayne, IN
  • 141. Indianapolis
  • 143. Des Moines, IA
  • 154. Chicago
  • 171. Aurora, IL
  • 177. Detroit
Source: WalletHub