Oklahoma is becoming a popular destination for retirees due to its affordability, easy access to medical facilities and shopping and moderate home prices. The median home in Oklahoma costs less than $100,000, and the cost of living is 14% below the national average. Social Security income isn’t taxed, there’s no state estate or inheritance tax, and property taxes are on the lower end. So where are the best places in the Sooner State to retire? To determine the best places in Oklahoma, we looked at a number of retirement sources and publications to bring you the best cities. Here are the top 10:
Grove is one of the nation’s five best retirement areas based on the cost of living, state and local taxes, climate, and typical household earnings. With a median age of 45.2, and a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, it is not surprising that Grove and Delaware County are included among the fastest growing areas in the state of Oklahoma, becoming home to an increasing number of retirees looking to live life on Grand Lake.
2. Oklahoma City
The largest city in the state is also one of the top places to retire in the country. After looking at data for more than 400 cities in every state, Forbes found the "25 Best Places to Retire" and Oklahoma City unsurprisingly made the list. The publication listed a good economy, low cost of living, moderate home prices and high volunteer rate as reasons people should look towards OKC to spend their retirement.
If the community vibe is what you seek, you will find it in Guthrie. With many locals falling into the 65 plus category, and a reasonable cost of living, this city is perfect for retirees moving here. If you enjoy dining out, there are plenty of restaurants within city limits. There’s no need to travel several miles to a doctor or hospital either, as there are several within the city.
Eufaula is a great place to retire and spend your days at the lake swimming, fishing, or boating. You can get involved with community affairs and the many different civic organizations or simply enjoy the historical sights, beautiful parks, serenity and beauty of this great city. Eufaula is the home of Lake Eufaula ("The Gentle Giant") located in eastern Oklahoma and is the state's largest lake with over 105,000 acres and 600 miles of shoreline.
Stillwater is conveniently located within one hour from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It offers plenty of outdoor recreation and has more than 7,000 acres of water, including Lake Carl Blackwell and Lake McMurtry. It also has 1,200 acres of parks and five golf courses in town, including Lakeside, a public course that frequently makes Golf Digest magazine's "Best Places to Play" list, and Karsten Creek, a semiprivate course that was named the "Best New Course in the Nation" by Golf Digest when it opened in 1994.
Bartlesville is home to a Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper, the Price Tower, which houses an art gallery and boutique hotel. It's also home to the renowned OK Mozart music festival, and to a community center that offers theater, ballet and orchestral productions. Retirees looking to get out into nature may take a short drive into the Osage Hills; visit the 3,700-acre wildlife preserve, Woolaroc, with its hiking trails, exotic animals and Native American Heritage Center; and bike along the beautiful 11-mile trail that runs throughout the city. Golden Opportunities is a local senior group that meets to take exercise classes, go on short trips and attend wine tastings together; there's also an activity center specifically for the over-55 community, with game nights and fitness programs.
Though Tulsa is an urban center, life is pretty laid-back. The city boasts 6,000 acres of parks (there are 144 total parks), and there are 26 miles of paved trails right in the city that wind around some of the city's fountains and sculptures and along the Arkansas River. The city also has a number of spectacular gardens, including the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, which have a wide variety of vegetables, flowers and woody plants (you can take gardening classes here as well). The cultural and outdoor perks, excellent health-care options and low cost of living make it a top contender of places to retire in the Sooner State.
Ada is a progressive, quality-oriented community located in the rolling hills of southern Oklahoma. Imbued with ingenuity, a pioneering spirit, and hospitality, it's been described as a place where the West meets the South. Ada is large enough to offer many bigger city amenities, such as a four-year university and a thriving business climate, yet still small enough to provide a safe and fun place to retire.
In Chickasha, Oklahoma, adventure, arts, antiques, automobiles of historic vintage, funky charm along main street, sports activities in a new 10 million dollar Sports Complex, Kids Place playground, Shannon Springs lake and walking trails, restaurants of diverse and usual fare, comfortable accommodations and great winter golf are all awaiting your discovery. This lively, but quiet oasis offers as much life as retirees can handle.
The lifestyle in Ardmore is laid-back, easygoing and friendly, but still within a couple hours of two big cities - Dallas and Oklahoma City - with major airports and shopping. There's lots to do in Ardmore - lakes, golf and parks. One of the biggest draws for retirees to this town is its close proximity (seven miles) to Lake Murray State Park. The cost of living in this town is nearly 20% below the national average, and your utility bills will be among the lowest in the country.
Do you agree with this list? Do you have any more suggestions for the best places to retire in Oklahoma? If so, please share your thoughts.