Jun 14, 2022

Why Tucson Arizona is a Great Place to Retire

Manny Cominsky

If you’re a long time reader of the Sunbound blog then you know that we are huge fans of Arizona as a retirement destination given all its perks for retirees. First and foremost for many, Arizona has an incredibly favorable tax climate for retirees. Not only does Arizona not tax social security, a huge benefit for many retirees, but Arizona also does not have a gift, inheritance, or estate tax, and you can deduct your public pension from your tax bill. And the climate isn’t just favorable for taxes. With year-round warm weather and sunshine, as well as some of the country’s most amazing outdoor activities from National Parks like the Grand Canyon to world-class golfing, Arizona has plenty to do for the active retiree (or even the less active retiree who just enjoys spending time in the warmth!). 

With all of these benefits, it’s no surprise that Arizona has some of the most popular cities for people to retire to in the entire United States. While most of these cities, and therefore most of the people in Arizona, are located in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area in Maricopa County, there are some amazing places outside of Phoenix to retire to in Arizona. One of our favorite such destinations is located a little over 100 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona in the beautiful Sonoran Desert: Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson’s Great, Great Outdoors

One of the most unique and appealing aspects of retiring in Tucson, Arizona is the easy access it offers to some of the most beautiful outdoor areas in the country. Tucson is surrounded by gorgeous National Park land, including the world famous Saguaro National Park, home of the giant, iconic Saguaro Cactus that so many people have come to associate with the American southwest. Tucson is also located near the Coronado National Forest, featuring amazing hiking and camping opportunities in one of Arizona’s prettiest mountain ranges. If you want to enjoy the great outdoors, but maybe take it in in a slightly more relaxed fashion, you’ll love Tucson’s amazing spas and resorts offering beautiful desert scenery and luxury wellness amenities (including Oprah Winfrey’s favorite resort, the spa Miraval). Likewise, if you love the idea of exploring nature but want to do so in a slightly more relaxed fashion, you’ll love walking through Tucson’s Botanical Gardens or many zoos and public gardens.

Saguaro National Park, located near Tucson, Arizona, is home to the giant, iconic Saguaro Cactus.

Along with these breathtaking national parks, life in Tucson also provides easy access to other amazing outdoor activities like the area’s roughly 40 amazing golf courses (meaning that whatever your skill level at golf there’s likely to be a couple of amazing courses for you). These courses are set against Tucson’s beautiful outdoors and so they provide an amazing mixture of mountain and desert views. And for those looking to cool off, Tucson provides access to a host of amazing lakes and rivers offering access to on-the-water favorites like boating, fishing, and swimming.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or want to use your retirement to learn how to play golf, you're likely to find an amazing course for your skill level in Tucson, Arizona.

The First UNESCO City of Gastronomy

If you’re a foodie, or even if you just love delicious meals (and let’s face it who doesn’t), then Tucson might just be the perfect place for you to retire given its unique distinction as being named the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and has honored 36 cities from around the world with the distinction of being cities of gastronomy for having thriving and unique gastronomical cultures that highlight high quality local and traditional cooking. Because Tucson is one of the oldest continuously inhabited and cultivated areas in the United States, with a 4,000 year old archeological record and a long history of maintaining orchards, vineyards and cattle ranches, it truly has one of the most unique culinary histories in the entire country. 

After eating your way through Tucson, Arizona’s amazing restaurant scene you won’t be at all surprised that it made this prestigious list. Tucson’s truly unique restaurant and culinary scene combines influences of all the cultures that have come together in the American Southwest: Native American, Mission-era Mediterranean, Northern Mexican or Sonoran, and American Ranch-Style Cowboy food (just to name a few prominent examples). Not only do all of Tucson’s chefs have all these amazing culinary traditions at their disposal, they also have some of the most unique ingredients to work with because of Tucson’s one-of-a-kind desert location. 

A University Town Like None Other

Tucson has such a vibrant and thriving culture not only due to its unique history and outstanding culinary scene, but also because it is home to the University of Arizona, one of the country’s most prominent research universities. While many people may associate college towns with their younger years, the truth is that college towns often make for amazing retirement destinations; and Tucson, Arizona is no exception. Being in a college town brings plenty of benefits that retirees love, from thriving downtowns full of restaurants and live-music destinations, to all the entertainment and culture offered by a university’s student organizations like theater groups or sports teams. There’s a reason so many of the country’s most popular retirement destinations are also college towns. With over 20,000 students, the University of Arizona makes Tucson a truly unique retirement destination. 

The University of Arizona's iconic Old Main building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Phoenix Nearby

While one of the selling points of retiring in Tucson, Arizona is that you can get away from some of the hustle and bustle of Phoenix, the fifth biggest city in the U.S. as well as one of the fastest growing, we often hear from retirees that it is nice having all that Phoenix has to offer less than 2 hours by car up the road. Even though Tucson is a prominent city in its own right, it’s the second largest city in Arizona with a population of over half a million people, it’s a great perk also having all that Phoenix has to offer so close by. From world-class hospitals and medical facilities, to cultural centers and amazing vacation spots, to a bustling international airport, many retirees love being close enough to Phoenix to enjoy everything it has to offer when they want, while still being able to live away from Phoenix in a place with its own distinct culture and feel.   

If you want to learn more about retiring in Tucson, Arizona, or retiring anywhere else in the country for that matter, then please reach out to us at info@sunboundhomes.com. We work with real estate partners all across the country, and are always excited to hear about people’s retirement plans. Whatever your retirement plans, it’s likely we have some great options for you.

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more