There are many reasons why retirees find New Hampshire so appealing. This beautiful state enjoys all four seasons with fresh springs, mild summers, colorful autumns, and snowy winters.
New Hampshire was made a state in 1788. This independent state’s motto, Live Free or Die, is seen throughout its history. In addition to its independent nature, New Hampshire is a leader in the national elections as it is the first state to hold national primaries.
Also, being one of the first thirteen colonies in the country, New Hampshire has a very vibrant history. For example, in 1774, Paul Revere began on a 55-mile journey from Boston to Portsmouth to notify authorities of Fort William and Mary’s imminent capture from British troops.
The result was one of the initial acts of rebellion by the colonists, as they raided the garrison’s gunpowder to prevent the town’s seizure.
New Hampshire offers a variety of towns and cities of varying sizes. The Granite state has a couple of larger cities, Manchester and Nashua, where those who enjoy urban life can find a cultural richness of any great city.
However, the majority of the towns sprinkled throughout the state are often smaller and tucked in amongst the unspoiled wilderness. New Hampshire offers a variety of outdoor activities with its many lakes, mountains, and oceanfront towns.
Some of the favorite ways many of the residents keep themselves active throughout the year are:
- Boating and Fishing
In addition to the beauty of the state, New Hampshire is also quite appealing for its taxes, or more accurately, their lack of taxes. Although New Hampshire has the third-highest property tax rate (per capita), there are no taxes on:
- Social Security
- Retirement Income
Overall, New Hampshire ranks 7th lowest in the nation for tax burden, making New Hampshire a very attractive state.
Additionally, New Hampshire has several high ranking hospitals, many located in or near the cities that made our list. Two of the top-performing hospitals located in Manchester, rank 2nd and 3rd for best hospitals in the state.
Places to Retire in New Hampshire
- Senior Population: 12.9%
- Overall Population: 113,441
Manchester is one of the largest cities in New Hampshire, but it is not the most expensive for housing. The median monthly mortgage is around $1,985, with rent averaging $1,132.
Retirees will never get bored in Manchester since it is a city with a little bit of everything for everyone. For art lovers, there is the Currier Museum of Art which displays celebrated pieces from famous artists like:
Additionally, there is the New Hampshire Institute of Art and the Franco-American Center, where they host a variety of fine arts events. Plus, you can always take in live music or a Broadway show at the historic Palace Theater.
For those who are looking to enjoy the outdoors:
- The Merrimac River is home to the Amoskeag Fishways
- The Livingston Park features a scenic 1-mile paved loop
- Lake Massabesic for boating, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking
- McIntyre Ski Area to keep you active in the winter
And for the Derryfield Country Club is perfect for golfers of all skills and offers a picturesque 18-hole course.
And when you want to do some shopping, whether for yourself or looking for a gift, there is the Mall of New Hampshire, which has more than 100 different brand name stores. And the Historic district full of fun boutiques and eateries.
And the sports fans will also be able to take in a game at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium or the Verizon Wireless Arena where local hockey and basketball teams play.
If all of those attractions aren’t enough to convince you to retire to Manchester, maybe two of the state’s best hospitals will tip the scales. The Catholic Medical Center and the Concord Hospital are in the top three best hospitals in all of New Hampshire.
- Senior Population: 21.5%
- Overall Population: 16,532
Laconia is the dream city for any lake loving retiree. Laconia, commonly referred to as The City on the Lake, is advantageously located between Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake. Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire and is approximately 21 miles long and 9 miles at the widest point.
Either of these lakes is perfect for docking your boat for leisure, fishing, or take in some beach time and enjoy the sand and sun of the summer. Though the lakes are the biggest attraction in Laconia, they aren’t the only attraction for visitors and retirees alike, there is also:
- Laconia Antique Center is a two-story antique shop offering unique hard to find items
- Weirs Beach is more than just your typical beach, it also features a boardwalk, small gift shops, and food stands
- Ahern State Park is 128 acres full of hiking trails
- Winnipesaukee Pier where you can enjoy boat tours or shopping and lunch on the water
- Monkey Trunks a water and amusement park fit for all ages, perfect place to spend the afternoon with the grandkids
Additionally, Laconia has 1.31 medical centers and 1.24 recreational centers per 1,000 residents, so though not the most abundant in either category, there are still plenty of options for both.
And just a short 30-minute drive to Concord will give you access to Concord Hospital. The Concord Hospital is a teaching hospital, general medicine, and surgical center. Additionally, the hospital is recognized for its high-performance cardiac ICU, surgical ICU, and emergency department.
- Senior Population: 12.4%
- Overall Population: 14,306
Exeter, just east of Manchester, is located in southern New Hampshire. One of the top reasons Exeter is a great place to retire is that it has 5.42 medical centers per every 1,000 residents. However, it only has 0.43 retirement communities due to the slightly lower senior population.
If you are looking for a town rich in history, Exeter might be the right place for you to retire. The city and its first church were established in the same year, 1638. The community built a permanent building for the church in 1798, which still stands in the town today.
Additionally, history buffs enjoy visiting:
- American Independence Museum
- Gilman Garrison House
- Exeter Historical Society
Today the cozy downtown of Exeter is lined with boutiques and restaurants like:
- The Blue Moon Evolution serving American contemporary cuisine
- Lobster Boat Restaurant excellent seafood at an affordable price
- Sea Dog Brewing Company enjoy a cold beer and a burger
And in the summer Exeter hosts an Art and Music festival.
And for the outdoor enthusiast, the Phillips Exeter Trail is a 30-mile loop starting at the prep school in Exeter and running through several local towns. There are several smaller loops connected to the main trail for shorter hikes.
The mostly wooded trail is perfect for easy hiking and trail running in the summer. And in the winter you can stay active cross country skiing and snowshoeing these same trails.
Plus, the town has a full-service hospital. Exeter Hospital has surgical services, emergency department and has high ratings for their patient care.
- Senior Population: 17.7%
- Overall Population: 22,282
The beautiful seaside city of Portsmouth is a dream retirement spot on the coast. It is on the water, close to the mountains, and near to large urban areas, yet boasts a low crime rate.
The harbor overlooks the Piscataqua River, which divides New Hampshire and Maine. And the Portsmouth Harbor trail offers magnificent sightseeing opportunities showcasing the city’s historic charm and culture.
Portsmouth is full of shops and fabulous restaurants, some of which were featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Additionally, Portsmouth has been named in multiple lists and articles for their food scene, due to the variety of choices such as sushi, burgers, and international fusion.
In addition to its great restaurants, Portsmouth has a lot to outdoor summer activities such as:
- Bicycling tours
- Coastal day trips to Boston and Maine
- Lobster tours
- Prescott Park
- Isle of Shoals
Plus, there are museums, theaters, and The Music Hall when you are looking to head indoors. A few great places to check out are:
- USS Albacore Museum is a retired 1953 US Navy submarine that is open for self-guided tours with audio stations
- Strawbery Banke Museum is an outdoor museum that covers 10 acres and includes the city’s earliest settlements and features several historic houses
- Seacoast Repertory Theatre where you can take in a live performance
And there is no end to the boutiques and shops that fill Portsmouth downtown streets. You can find every type of store, such as clothes, art, books, jewelry, and local keepsakes.
Plus the Portsmouth has 2.99 medical centers per 1,000 people, including the:
- Portsmouth Regional Hospital
- VA Clinic
- Interim Healthcare of Portsmouth
- Senior Population: 13.5%
- Overall Population: 38,499
Dover is another seacoast city, though slightly more inland than Portsmouth, that sits on the border of Maine. Dover has an active community and is the proud hometown of Olympian Jenny Thompson. There is even a 50-meter pool named after her.
Though Dover is quieter than Portsmouth it is still full of things to do and see:
- Biggs Museum of American Art displays an array of American art, both historical and current, and specializes in local art
- Johnson Victrola Museum is an all about sound recording including early talking machines from the 1890s
- Air Mobility Command Museum, located on the airforce base, highlights the history of military aviation
- John Dickinson Plantation this former tobacco plantation has been transformed into an interactive museum complete with employees dressed in period costume
And when you are ready to win big, you can always head over to the Dover Downs Casino. This casino features a hotel, restaurants, and horse racing, along with the classic slot machines.
And for those who enjoy NASCAR, there is the Dover International Speedway that hosts both NASCAR and Outdoors Truck series races.
Dover has 1.97 medical centers per 1,000 residents and includes the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has several specialty centers such as:
- Heart health
- Cancer center
- Orthopedics and sports medicine
- Stroke care
- Surgical care