10 Great Retirement Cities in the U.S.

Deciding where to retire presents an exciting challenge.

Deciding where to retire presents an exciting challenge. The best cities for retirement need to offer appealing amenities -- good quality of life, ample health care options and plenty of things to do -- on a fixed-income budget.

To narrow our list to ten of the best cities for retirement, we focused first and foremost on affordability. The cost-of-living index for retirees in each city has to score near or below 100, the U.S. average. Top cities also have to offer tax perks to retirees, such as exemptions on retirement income, and have lower state taxes per capita than $2,424, the national average.

We made sure that these cities offer access to quality medical care and have a high percentage of residents over 65. We also calculated a Lipitor score that reflects how much a 30-day supply of the cholesterol-lowering drug costs above or below the average prescription price of $174.71. Lipitor is the country's most-prescribed name-brand medication, and its price is tracked by the Council for Community and Economic Research -- the same organization that provides our cost-of-living estimates.

Online Associate Editor, Kiplinger.com