New Mexico became a state in January of 1912, but it was already part of the US territory starting in 1853. New Mexico is best known for its rich Native American culture and art.
However, it is also well known for being the site for the Manhatten Project during WWII. The first atomic bomb was both invented and tested in New Mexico.
Another claim to fame New Mexico can boast is due to the speculations around being the site for extraterrestrial visits, specifically in Roswell. Some believe that a UFO crashed in the area when unidentified debris was recovered in 1947. Since then, Roswell has been a famous UFO tourist site.
Besides the colorful history, New Mexico does offer warm, dry weather, which is often appealing to retirees looking to relax in the sun during their later years. New Mexico, offers impressive adobe architecture throughout the state, and several of the small towns allow retirees to spread out and escape the traffic and fast pace of city life.
Plus, New Mexico offers a lower cost of living than many of the other warmer states such as Arizona and Florida. And there are even some areas in New Mexico that it is possible to live off of social security alone.
Another added benefit to retiring to New Mexico, is the vast array of activities available, from hiking to museums and everything in between. Even though many think of warm weather when they think of New Mexico, it also offers a lot of fun winter activities too, like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
So if you are looking to retire to a warm and affordable state, New Mexico might be the place for you. However, those who enjoy the busy fast pace of the cities may find New Mexico to run at a slower pace than what you are used to.
Where to Retire in New Mexico
- Los Alamos
- Santa Fe
- Rio Rancho
- Percent of Senior Population 12%
- Overall Population 19,216
If you are looking for a quieter life in a small town, but still want the luxury of quickly finding great restaurants, art, and outdoor activities, Ruidoso is the place for you.
This beautiful small town, located in the Sierra Blanca Mountains, with a lot of fun outdoorsy things to keep you busy year-round. Some of the outdoor activities you will find in the local area are:
- Horseback riding
- Horse Track
- Mountain Biking
But if you are more inclined to arts and entertainment, Ruidoso has you covered there too. You will easily find:
- Live music
- Spencer Theater which offers life performances
- Billy the Kid Museum
- Carrizozo Heritage Museum
- Hubbard Museum of the American West
- Fine restaurants
And if you have friends and family coming to visit, the airport is only 65 miles from town. Plus, there is an abundance of hotels and resorts for your visitors to stay.
Don’t worry, though it is a smaller town Ruidoso is home to the Lincoln County Medical Center and has 1.90 medical centers per 1000 residents. Plus, rental costs are some of the lowest you will find, averaging $649/ month, allowing you to spend your retirement on other things such as travel and entertainment.
- Percent of Senior Population 17%
- Overall Population 12,018
Best known as the birthplace for the atomic bomb, Los Alamos is still a great place to retire. Besides its atomic bomb notoriety, it also has a high rate of medical centers, 2.96 per 1,000 people, making it a more appealing place for retirees.
Though Los Alamos doesn’t have the highest population of seniors, it does have a diverse age range and is a large enough city to boast several entertainment highlights such as:
- Bradbury Science Museum
- Los Alamos History Museum
- Fuller Lodge Art Center
- The Manhattan Project National Historical Park
- The Karen Wray Gallery
Plus, for the foodies out there, Los Alamos has a wide variety of cuisine to choose from, such as Japanese, fusion, American, and Italian. They have everything from high-end dining to local breakfast cafes.
Another bonus for living in Los Alamos is that it is near three national parks, making it a dream place for those who love the outdoors. Some of the outdoor activities you can partake in are:
- Mountain Biking
- Los Alamos Nature Center
The cost to rent is a bit higher, averaging $1,007, however for the scenery and culture, it is well worth it. Plus, it has a much lower crime rate than the national average.
- Percent of Senior Population 25%
- Overall Population 5,971
Taos might be a small city but has a lot to offer its residents, such as art and entertainment, plus an abundance of outdoor activities. The unique architecture reflects this town’s rich culture and history. Taos boasts a 1000 year history.
With so much to explore visitors and new residents will never get bored. To learn about the history of the town take a tour of some of their museums and historical sites such as:
- Kit Carson’s Home and Museum
- Harwood Museum
- Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House
- Couse-Sharp Historic Site
- Millicent Rogers Museum
And if that isn’t enough, you can walk the self-guided tour which includes 22 historic Taos city sites. However, if you prefer more interactive experiences, they do offer guided tours of the area as well.
And when your done checking out the museums, explore the great outdoors next. Taos is located near the Rio Grande by foot or by air in a hot air balloon ride. In addition to hiking the Rio Grande, Taos also has:
- Rafting and kayaking
- Hot springs
- Rock Climbing
- Horseback riding
And though this town may seem small, it has 6.48 medical centers per 1,000 people, which is the highest on this list. However, the drawback is that Taos does have a slightly higher tax burden of 17.9%, but to offset this, there are 3.33 recreational facilities per 1,000 people as well.
- Percent of Senior Population 21%
- Overall Population 84,612
Santa Fe is the state capital of New Mexico, and is home to over 80,000 residents, making it the second-largest city on the list. Sante Fe is the perfect location for the art lovers looking to stay in a more urban area.
Sante Fe has 1.84 medical centers for every 1,000 citizens, though not the highest on the list, it is home to:
- Christus St Vincent Surgical Services
- Railyard Urgent Care
- Neurological Center
As an important cultural center, Santa Fe offers:
- Museum Of International Folk Art
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
- Poeh Cultural Center
- IAIA Museum Of Contemporary Native Arts
- Santa Fe Botanical Garden
- Museum Of Indian Arts & Culture
- Museum Of Spanish Colonial Art
- New Mexico History Museum
- Wheelwright Museum Of The American Indian
Plus, there is an endless number of art galleries and shops to buy unique jewelry, home decor, and even clothing. And when you are done with checking out the art and are ready for some outdoor exercise, Santa Fe offers walking tours, hiking, and biking.
If you’re looking for fun activities to do with the grandkids, check out:
- Horseback riding
- Air balloon rides
- Mountain adventures
- Santa Fe Children’s Museum
- Meow Wolf
- The Harrell House Bug Museum
- Percent of Senior Population 14%
- Overall Population 98,023
Rio Rancho is the largest city on the list. Though it currently has the second-lowest senior population, Rio Rancho is home to the Meadowlark Senior Center, which is 4,400 members strong. Additionally, Rio Rancho has several medical care facilities, including the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center.
Rio Rancho also boasts several libraries, parks, trails, and museums. You will never have a shortage of things to see and do here. The vibrant urban culture offers both daytime and nighttime activities for everyone. Whether you want to find a place to see a live performance, partake in a wine tasting, relax at a local brewery, or maybe enjoy a live sports event, Rio Rancho has it all!
Plus Rio Rancho hosts several events, like:
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
- Park ‘N the Park – Car Show
- NMAA Events
- Pork and Brew
If you are looking for outdoor activities, Rio Rancho has several parks within city limits but is also near the Santa Fe National Forest. Additional, outdoor activities you can take advantage of are:
- La Luz Trail
- Willow Creek Trail
- Horseback riding
Though Rio Rancho is a larger city, it does offer a lot of beautiful suburban housing. The median home price is $172,400, so you won’t have to worry that you will blow your whole retirement fund on a house here. And if you are looking to rent, the average rental instead averages $936 a month.