Lexington, Ky.: A Great Place to Retire for Your Health

In the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass country, Lexington offers horse culture, Kentucky Wildcats basketball, and plenty of specialists at Baptist Health Lexington.

(Image credit: Chris L Smith - csfotoimages)

Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky (where the Wildcats play) and Keeneland Race Track (where you can see thoroughbred horse racing). Its low taxes, low cost of living and affordable housing make it a great place to retire, too. It’s one of 10 small or midsize cities we found that offer first-class health care.

Lexington stats

Population: 322,000

What $300,000 will buy: 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath, 984-square-foot penthouse condo with a view of downtown

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Best place to exercise: Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

5-star hospital*: Baptist Health Lexington

The city, in the heart of Bluegrass Country, is surrounded by horse farms. A visit to the Kentucky Horse Park ($20) gets you access to the International Museum of the Horse as well as American Saddlebred Museum. You’ll find locally owned boutiques at The Shops at Lexington Center, in the heart of the city. Nearby is Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats routinely demolish their opponents.

Outdoor enthusiasts can get their fix at Jacobson Park, a 216-acre park in east Lexington, which has fishing and boat rentals. Another option south of the city is Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, a 734-acre park along the Kentucky River that has more than 10 miles of hiking trails.

Baptist Health Lexington, located a few miles south of the city center, is a 391-bed facility that employs specialists in heart and stroke care, cancer, orthopedics, and rehabilitation.

The median home price in Lexington is about $166,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re looking to rent rather than buy, $995 per month will get you a 1,200-square-foot downtown condo with three bedrooms and one bath.

Kentucky is one of Kiplinger’s top-10 tax-friendly states for retirees. It exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes, plus up to $31,110 per person in retirement income.

Blue Grass Airport is five miles west of the city and offers direct flights to a slew of cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

* Rating developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Thomas H. Blanton
Reporter, Kiplinger's Personal Finance