Best Cold Weather Places to Retire

Some like it hot; others not so much. Here are the 12 best places to retire if you can't stand the heat.

Older couple sleds in the snow.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some like it hot; others not so much. If you dream of a retirement destination where you get to bundle up for long winters and enjoy jacket weather in the summertime, then it's time to head north. Many of the following locales offer an abundance of winter activities, such as skiing and snowshoeing, as well as several other year-round benefits, including low taxes and affordable living costs.

To determine the best cold weather places to retire, Kiplinger looked at average temperatures, cost of living, the share of the population over age 65 and Kiplinger's ratings of tax friendliness. 


Estimates of living costs for retirees, where available, come from PayScale. Populations are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Home values are from Zillow. Crime statistics are from the FBI. Average temperatures are from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retirement destinations are listed in alphabetical order by state. Heat factor data comes from Redfin.

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.

With contributions from