Ohio is a financially friendly place for retirees to settle down in their golden years. Though the state taxes most retirement income, the cost of living here more than makes up for it and there are many good places to retire in Ohio.
Most people are unfamiliar with all of the numerous attractions Ohio has to offer. If retirees knew more about the Buckeye state, there would likely be a large influx in their senior population.
For instance, Ohio has more than 150 wineries, and 60% of those produce the fruit for their wine. Best of all, the wineries are sprinkled all over the state, so no one ever has to drive more than 45 minutes to find a quiet winery to relax.
Music lovers from over will appreciate visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland. The museum opened in 1983 and features artists such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Whitney Houston, and more. The museum has seven levels, and for retirees who settle down nearby, signing up for membership may grant you access to exclusive events, discounts, collectibles, and complimentary admission tickets.
Avid outdoorsy retirees can enjoy tons of local and state parks. Plus, Ohio has multiple rivers, lakes and even boasts 70 plus miles of shoreline on Lake Erie. Kayakers, hikers, anglers, bird watchers, and campers can enjoy nature all year round. The state has all four seasons, with each one having its benefits and unique beauty.
Ohio is home to several colleges and universities, including some well-respected schools such as Ohio University, University of Dayton, and Miami University-Oxford. And many of these schools offer continuing education programs for seniors at a discounted rate. These schools also add to the culture and vibrancy of the different towns and cities.
Plus, the cost of living in Ohio is almost 7% lower than the national average. And though retirees will pay income tax on all but social security, there are several tax breaks for seniors. Ohio does have a sales tax, but most groceries, prescriptions, and newspapers are exempt. If these aspects appeal to you, you could also check out Washington, which is one of the tax-friendliest states and also has plenty of outdoor areas.
Most importantly, Ohio’s healthcare includes world-renowned medical centers like the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland, and Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.
And Ohio’s crime rate overall is lower than the national average, making it one of the safer places to live.
Where to Retire in Ohio
- Cuyahoga Falls
- Avon Lake
- Yellow Springs
- Percent of Senior Population: 11.9%
- Overall Population: 307,266
Cincinnati is the third-largest city in the state, with just over 300,000 residents. But don’t worry, it is not all tall buildings and city streets; Cincinnati has several parks and nature preserves full of trees and trails.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the 113 acres found at the California National Preserve. Or you can check out the Adventure Outpost for fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, and golfing.
Cincinnati is a diverse city with various neighborhoods; some boast a lively nightlife, whereas others are more popular with retirees, like Kenwood and Wetherington. These two suburbs both have a low crime rate and opulent housing. You could also check out Saratoga Springs in New York if you want a city with a low crime rate.
Cincinnati also has several colleges and universities, including medical schools, making it an excellent location to find top medical care. Plus, retirees looking to continue their education will not have a hard time finding a place to attend.
Plus, prominent colleges usually mean college sports teams, which Cincinnati has an abundance of, including 14 NCAA Division 1 sports teams. And Cincinnati also has three professional sports teams, NFL, MLB, and MLS.
Over the Rhine (OTR), located on the north side of the city, is where you will find the entertainment district. The OTR, as it is fondly referred to, has bars, restaurants, boutiques, and the Cincinnati Music Hall, where you can find live performances.
Retirees considering settling down in Cincinnati should know that it is referred to as the world’s Chili Capital. But, chili isn’t the only cuisine found here; Cincinnati has a growing culinary scene with some of the best restaurants found in the state.
And there are numerous medical centers and hospitals here, which is just another thing that attracts retirees to Cincinnati.
- Percent of Senior Population: 16.7%
- Overall Population: 66,687
Once a major player in the steel industry, Youngstown is now part of the rust belt; however, they are actively shedding that title and looking forward to a brighter future.
The best part of retiring to Youngstown now is that the housing costs here are below $50,000. Plus, the cost of living here is far below both the state and national average. For those looking to retain their own home, this might be the perfect place.
Youngstown is currently just shy of 70,000 people, but the city is making a comeback. The downtown area is transforming, tearing down old abandoned buildings or renovating those with healthy architectural style, giving the city a unique look of new age and classic.
With the city’s facelift, Youngstown has begun attracting new restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Plus, the art scene is growing in Youngstown, featuring:
- Butler Institute of American Art
- McDonough Museum of Art
- The Soap Gallery
For live performances, the Covelli Center is a multi-purpose arena that hosts everything from sports to concerts and everything in between.
Plus, the outdoor opportunities here are very appealing for active retirees. One of the best and by far the biggest park in the area is Mill Creek Park, which covers 2,530 acres of nature waiting to be explored. The park is home to several streams, lakes, gardens, and 15 miles of trails. In addition to Mill Creek, Youngstown also has the Ford Nature Center, Lake Glacier, and Fellows Riverside Gardens.
Unfortunately, the biggest drawback is that Youngstown’s crime rate is higher than the national average.
- Percent of Senior Population: 17.4%
- Overall Population: 48,978
Cuyahoga Falls was named for the falls found in the town limits, connecting to the Cuyahoga River. The town is the perfect location to retire for those who love the outdoors.
Cuyahoga Falls has an abundance of outdoor opportunities, such as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which sits on 32,572 acres. The park boasts 150 miles of trails perfect for hiking and mountain biking. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail runs through this park, along with many others.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will eventually expand to 101 miles long, running from Cleveland to New Philadelphia. This trail is well maintained and gives active retirees easy access to nearby towns like Akron.
There are several metro parks like Munroe Falls Metro Park, Cascade Valley Metro Park, Gorge Metro Park, and Sand Run Metro Park, in addition to the trails and national park.
Local parks aren’t the only thing Cuyahoga Falls has to offer either. Music lovers will enjoy the Blossom Music Center, an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate 19,000 people. The music center is one of the best venues in Ohio and hosts the Cleveland Orchestra in the summer and several top artists.
Art lovers will delight in the many galleries and the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, which offers classes and puts on exhibitions.
Additionally, there are art galleries, tons of fun boutiques for shopping, and a variety of restaurants. The culinary scene in Cuyahoga Falls is sure to impress with a variety of flavors. Though most dining options are on the casual side, the food is nothing short of amazing.
Housing costs are below $150,000, and the crime rate is only half of the national average, adding to the city’s appeal. Plus, there are multiple medical centers and the Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital. Though with Akron and Cleveland, nearby residents have a lot of options available to them.
- Percent of Senior Population: 19.7%
- Overall Population: 24,786
Avon Lake sits on Lake Erie’s shores but is not the typical lakeside community that’s flooded with tourists in the summer. Instead, Avon Lake’s economy is driven by manufacturing and technology.
It is a small community near enough to Cleveland to take advantage of the city’s conveniences. Also, Avon, the neighboring city of Avon Lake, has general conveniences like shopping and dining.
Avon Lake is unlike most communities in that it does not have the typical downtown area, nor is it filled with shops or restaurants. Instead, Avon Lake is filled with neighborhoods, parks, and community-centered programs.
Though it is not brimming with touristy cafes and boutiques, Avon Lake has plenty of comforts like a Sweet Briar Golf Course and Pro Shop, Klingshirn Winery, and Gitta’s Table and Wine Shop.
Retirees looking for a safe place to live that is community-focused will love living in Avon Lake. It has several senior-friendly amenities like free curbside transportation and miles of bike paths making staying active and getting around town easy. In addition to bike paths, the city has plenty of sidewalks to keep healthy and active.
Plus, Avon Lake’s Old Firehouse Community Center is the perfect way for seniors in the area to stay connected. The Community Center offers several senior programs like:
- MOTION & Flexibility – Parkinson’s/MS Fitness
- Strength and Balance
- Gentle Yoga @ the Old Firehouse
- Creative Needles
- Morning Movies
Though Avon Lake does not have any hospitals within city limits, Avon has several medical centers and two hospitals within 30 minutes of town.
- Percent of Senior Population: 27.3%
- Overall Population: 3,838
Though the smallest city on the list, Yellow Springs has the highest senior population of all five towns. Yellow Springs has a vibrant history; founded in 1825 and was named for the local springs that were tinged yellow due to the iron deposits.
The town’s history includes being a center for civil rights, anti-war movements, and the smallest town to pass a law against discriminating based on sexual orientation. Today, this small liberal town has a diverse, welcoming community.
However, what draws seniors to Yellow Springs is its natural beauty and outdoor adventure opportunities. This small town is home to the John Bryan State Park, which offers boating, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and rock climbing. Plus, Yellow Springs is part of the Little Miami Scenic Trails, which extends 70 miles through five different counties. This trail system is a great multi-use trail for bikers, walkers, and joggers.
And the Glen Helen Nature Preserve offers classes and programs to learn about the natural world. They also host group hikes, clubs and has an onsite raptor center. If you would prefer to go out on your own, Glen Helen has miles of trails and beautiful sights like Yellow Spring and the Cascades.
When you are ready to head inside, Yellow Springs has more than 50 shops, restaurants, and galleries. The town has a strong art culture and often partners with the local college to bring festivals and events to the community.
Yellow Springs is a rural area surrounded by farmland, giving residents and visitors access to local foods and beverages like craft beers, seasonal farmers’ markets, and maple syrup. The restaurants here are mostly found in the downtown area and include primarily American cuisines such as burgers and sandwiches, though there are some ethnic fare options too.
Yellow Spring residents can take advantage of the wellness center found at the college, or if they need a hospital, the Green Memorial Hospital is only 8 miles away.