The 8 Best Places to Retire in Ohio

By  Danny Newman

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Why do people choose Ohio to retire? Let’s discover the best places to retire in Ohio and learn what makes the Buckeye State stand out.

The stereotype of retired life usually involves warm weather, sun-kissed shorelines, and casual games of golf. However, as tantalizing as that lifestyle might sound to some people, it definitely isn’t for everyone!

In reality, many retirees prioritize practicality. As long as the place they settle in is relatively safe, affordable, and tax-friendly, they’re happy.

With that in mind, it may come as less surprise to discover that the Buckeye State, Ohio, is incredibly popular among people aged 65 or over. Despite its harsh winters and lack of coastline, almost 18% of its population falls into this age bracket!

Do you feel drawn to the low cost of living, first-class healthcare infrastructure, amazing state parks, and abundance of housing options there too? Well, this post may seal the deal. Read on to learn about 8 of the best places to retire in Ohio.

1. Avon Lake

Located on the beautiful Lake Erie in Lorain County, Avon Lake is a suburb of Cleveland and one of the most popular places to live in the area.

This small city of around 24,000 people has a pleasant community feel as well as beautiful views over (and access to) the lake. It’s also a paradise for nature lovers – a lush, verdant city with an extensive public parks program, 20 miles of bike trails, and actual sandy beaches! The 3 public golf courses don’t hurt either.

Cleveland’s city center is only a hop, skip, and jump away too, which means you’re never far from the excitement and amenities of a big city. Housing prices are higher here than in other parts of Ohio, but the crime rate is exceptionally low, and you’d benefit from 3 healthcare facilities in the surrounding area.

2. Parma

Parma’s another suburb of Cleveland that we’d feel remiss not to feature on this list of the best places to retire in Ohio. Located to the south of the city in Cuyahoga County, its 80,000-strong population is larger than Avon Lakes’, but it’s also much more affordable (the median housing price of owner-occupied units is just $118,600)

At the same time, Parma’s crime rate remains impressively low and there are numerous medical facilities nearby. These incentives make Parma popular with young families as well, which adds to its vibrancy and vitality. Several parks and the West Creek Reservation also mean there are plenty of green spaces to enjoy. And, of course, you’re never far from Cleveland’s bustling downtown area!

3. Columbus

For city lovers, there aren’t many better places to retire in Ohio than the state capital, Columbus. This populous metropolis has over 900,000 residents and would be ideal for active retirees who thrive in an energetic atmosphere.

Whether you want to wine, dine, or dance, it’s teeming with possibilities. Columbus also has endless cultural pursuits, with museums, theaters, and galleries around every corner – not to mention the historic German village just south of downtown. Oh, and don’t forget the college football! The city comes alive whenever its local team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, is playing.

Some of the suburbs around Columbus also offer an outstanding balance between big-city energy and small-town warmth. According to David Berns, a Financial Planner of Truadvice Wealth Management:

“Retiring in Ohio can be a wonderful choice for retirees who are looking for a mix of the great outdoors but still close enough to a major city. Dublin is a suburb of the state capital of Ohio, located outside of Columbus. Dublin has a great sense of community and a high quality of life for retirees.”

We’ve seen mixed reports on the crime rate in Columbus. However, with its affordable housing (relative to other major US cities) and good access to medical facilities, it satisfies most other basic requirements you might have for your Ohioan retirement destination.

4. Cincinnati

Farewell, Fort Lauderdale. Move over, Miami. There’s a new go-to retirement city to celebrate – and it’s nowhere near the sandy shores of the Sunshine State. That’s right, we’re talking about Ohio’s very own Queen City, Cincinnati.

Choose to spend your golden years here, and you’ll enjoy pristine parks (approximately 17% of the city area is parkland!), first-class medical care, fun family-friendly activities, heaps of history, and impressive affordability (Cincinnati ranks 22nd on a US News list of most affordable cities in the country). The busy downtown area – complete with its thriving art scene, sports stadiums, and endless bars and restaurants – will keep you entertained at all times too.

5. Oxford

Oxford would be ideal for retirees who prefer a small-town vibe but still want easy access to the excitement of Cincinnati. This college town is less than an hour’s drive from Cincinnati’s center, but it’s a world away in terms of size and atmosphere! Located in Butler County, Oxford has just 23,000 residents (compared to Cincinnati’s 302,000) and a strong community feel.

Don’t be fooled by its size, though. This undiscovered gem is home to Miami University and boasts all sorts of attractions, activities, and amenities to keep you entertained. Highlights include its historic Mile Square, the community arts center, and the slew of eateries and shopping opportunities you’ll find uptown. Outdoor enthusiasts will also love the Hueston Woods State Park nearby.

The median house price in Oxford is pricier than in other parts of the Buckeye State. But you get what you pay for! Its low crime rate and top-rated local hospital top off one of the best places to retire in Ohio.

6. Wilmington

Once voted the “Most Livable Neighborhood” by Cincinnati Magazine, Wilmington gets a definite “wow” from us. The county seat of Clinton County, this city of around 12,500 people is located to the northeast of Cincinnati and holds ample appeal for anyone approaching retirement.

For one thing, it’s another place on this list that offers rural, small-town values and easy access to big-city attractions. For another, it’s full of things to see and do! There are theaters, a State Park, lively bars, and the Majestic Springs Golf Club either in or around town, to name a few. The cost of living in Wilmington is impressively low as well and there’s a wide variety of housing options to choose from, including adult communities, assisted living, and nursing homes.

7. Yellow Springs

Look no further than Yellow Springs if bohemian vibes, community spirit, and natural beauty inform your idea of a perfect retirement! With a population of around 3,500 residents, this eclectic village in Greene County is as tiny as it is charming.

Not only is its walkable downtown area host to around 100 colorful cafes, galleries, and shops, but it’s also got 1,125 acres of nature on its doorstep. In fact, the name of the village itself comes from the actual Yellow Spring in the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. Expect an open-minded, free-spirited, and down-to-earth retirement destination with a sky-high quality of life. As for your healthcare needs, there are physicians’ offices in town and a major hospital that’s 15 minutes away.

All these perks do come at a cost, though. Although the cost of living in Yellow Springs remains relatively low, its median house price is far above the state average.

8. Put-In-Bay

Scenic island getaway may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you picture Ohio retirement destinations, but that’s what the village of Put-In-Bay brings to the table. 

Located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Put-In-Bay gives the feel of a peaceful vacation spot a short distance from Ohio’s bigger cities. Tim Uihlein, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Vincere Wealth Management, offers his recommendation for the area: 

“Put-In-Bay is a fantastic city for retirees, as are many towns along the shores of Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland.”

In addition to its gorgeous lakeside views, the village offers abundant options for food, drink, and local events. As the area’s many visitors and residents can attest, there’s always something to do in this little Ohio island town.

Remember the Best Places to Retire in Ohio

While Ohio might not fit the typical description of a dream retirement destination, there’s no denying it has an awful lot going for it. So much so, in fact, that it has one of the highest populations of over 65-year-olds in the country!

If you’re thinking of joining their ranks, then we hope these insights on the best places to retire in Ohio have been useful. Pick any of these Ohioan destinations and you can look forward to a safe and affordable retirement that grants you access to scintillating cities and stunning natural wonders alike.

That’s why we prepared this article about the best places to retire in Ohio to help you begin thinking about the cities and towns which may be right for you.

Of course, making the transition from earning a paycheck to living off your savings and resources like Social Security can be a major adjustment impacting your budget and quality of life. Hiring a financial advisor can help you navigate the journey so you can enjoy decades in retirement in Ohio with less money stress.

You’ll find financial advisors featured on Wealthtender based in Ohio and others who can meet with you online no matter where you live today or tomorrow. Be sure to ask the right questions and understand the costs of hiring a financial advisor before deciding on the right financial advisor for you.

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