Feb 23, 2022

The 5 Best Cities to Retire to in New Mexico

Nat Miller

As we’ve covered elsewhere, New Mexico makes for an amazing place to retire regardless of your interests, and particularly if you love warm weather, low taxes, and tons of amazing outdoor activities and cultural events (as if anyone couldn’t). If you think New Mexico might be the place for you, the next step is choosing the right city to move to. Lucky for you, New Mexico has some of the country’s most unique and exciting cities for you to choose from. No matter your tastes, New Mexico is sure to have the home for you.  

Albuquerque

The state’s biggest city, Albuquerque was founded as a Spanish colony, evidenced by the many historic buildings in the city’s Old Town. The city is located near the Sandia Mountains, which provide stunning backdrops and countless hiking trails for the city’s residents. Along with the beautiful outdoor scenery, Albuquerque also has a moderate and dry heat that’s perfect for outdoor activities year round. Not only do the mountains look beautiful, but they also provide access to an amazing group of ski resorts located in the Sandia Mountains. While many people may associate New Mexico with warm weather activities like hiking or golf, Albuquerque also doubles as one of the great uncovered ski gems of the American west. Finally, while Albuquerque has a robust population of retirees it is also home to the university of New Mexico, which infuses the city with a lively culture and plenty of entertainment opportunities. 

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a 9 day event held each October, is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

Santa Fe

If you want to enjoy a slightly smaller city, Santa Fe is one of America’s most popular and highest rated cities for retirement (in fact nearly 20% of the city’s residents are 65 or older). Santa Fe of course has all the amenities that make it popular for retirees: a dry, comfortable climate, a friendly and relaxed population, and world-class medical facilities in the area. But dig a little deeper and you’ll see what really makes Santa Fe so special. First, it has a rich and long history as it is one of the longest continually inhabited cities in the United States. This rich history, mixing many different cultures, is reflected in throughout the city in things like its architecture and world-class dining. The city is also known for its art scene, having one of the highest amounts of art galleries per capita in the entire country and a world-class Orchestra.

The Cathedral Basilica, built in the 1860's, is one of the many historical buildings in Santa Fe.

Taos

If you want a small desert town, but want more of an outdoor vibe, then Taos might be perfect for you.The city is close to the Rio Grande Gorge providing opportunities for river activities like fishing or beautiful hikes. And the nearby mountains provide fun activities year round, as some of New Mexico’s best skiing can be found in Taos. Along with being an outdoor paradise, there are also some very tangible and practical reasons to relocate to Taos. A recent study by financial services company SmartAsset found it to be the top city in the state for retirees. This was due in large part to its plentiful and high quality medical centers and recreation centers, and the fact that roughly 20% of the town population are seniors.

Las Cruces

Las Cruces is the state’s second biggest city and another popular destination for retirees. Located near the Texas town of El Paso, and therefore also the U.S. border with Mexico, Las Cruces sits near several beautiful mountain ranges, including the Organ and Robledo Mountains. While some may find the desert town to be remote, others love it for exactly that reason as they get to live a relaxed lifestyle in the warm dry climate, exploring the beautiful nature all around the city. And while it can sometimes get cool in the winter time, you can enjoy outdoor activities year young in Las Cruces. Yet just because the city is remote does not mean that it’s a sleepy mountain town, as 23,000 of the cities residents are students at local New Mexico State University, which provides a steady influx of cultural and artistic events throughout the year. 

Silver City

Another town worth exploring if you’re interested in small-town living is Silver City. Located in southwest New Mexico, Silver City is a small town of under 10,000 that still has a vibrant cultural scene, as well as a distinctive old West flavor. The city sits against the beautiful Gila National Forest, the sixth largest national forest in the continental U.S., which you’ll have plenty of chances to explore on one of Silver City’s near 300 days of sunshine each year. While winters do get cooler, temperatures rarely drop below freezing and residents generally enjoy outdoor activities year round.  

There’s a reason why New Mexico is such a popular destination for retirees from around the country. It is no surprise at all that so many people are attracted to New Mexico’s distinctive mix of culture, cuisine, and endless outdoor activities. What’s more, given the cheap cost of living, relatively low taxes, and near endless sunshine, you’ll have plenty of time and money to spend exploring all that New Mexico has to offer.  

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