When it comes to retirement, Texas is clearly the place to be. Towns and cities across the state are repeatedly recognized for their retirement potential, and more and more boomers are moving to the state every day and building or buying their dream home. Popular big cities like Austin and San Antonio aside, several small towns are becoming Texas retirement hotspots.
HomeSnacks named Fredericksburg No. 2 on their list of “Best Places to Retire in Texas for 2018,” as part of their search for “the places in Texas that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.” Fredericksburg, with a population of 11,369, is rated highly for its low cost of living, low crime rate, notable attractions like Vereins Kirche and the Pioneer Museum Complex, and its high median age, which means lots of other retirees are around.
This Hill Country town of under 3,000 gets an overall grade of A- and an A for retirees from Niche. Wimberley is beloved for its small-town charm, quaint shops and boutiques, wineries, and ample recreation. This tranquil community “continues to be home to a significant number of retired folks, with about half of the town’s population aged 45 or older,” said Best Retirement Spots. “The opportunities for volunteerism in Wimberley are many. The town has a strong sense of community activism, and retirees have no trouble staying busy. Retirees here enjoy a low crime rate and a friendly small-town atmosphere. This is an educated population; many of Wimberley’s residents are retired professionals.”
In the Hill Country city of Georgetown, population 70,685, those looking for Texas retirement can enjoy historic charm, modern amenities, plus the vibrancy of a college town atmosphere thanks to the presence of Southwestern University. “The town has an impressive collection of well-preserved Victorian and pre-WW1 downtown historic districts, with The Beaux-Arts Williamson County Courthouse (1911) as its centerpiece,” said Top Retirements. “Georgetown has a carefully restored downtown which won a Great American Street Award a few years back. The San Gabriel River runs through the city, which provides over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, several parks and recreation. From all reports, people are very fond of living in Georgetown.”
“Kerrville is a small but vibrant hamlet nestled on the banks of the Guadalupe River, roughly 65 miles from San Antonio. Kerrville is particularly popular among retirees, and over half of the population is over the age of 45,” said Stash Invest.
Need a few more reasons to consider Kerrville (a city with a population of 23,386) for Texas retirement? “It’s a Mayberry kind of place, a step back into time with all the modern conveniences,” said Texas Hill Country. “The Guadalupe River meanders through the town and can easily be seen from several vantage points. Like to hike? Wander through glorious vistas on Kerrville’s famous hiking trails. Kerrville is the journey’s end for outdoor fun — Golf courses, river spots, parks, hunting, to name a few more activities. The landscapes fill one with a sense of peace and security. Everywhere you look, you’ll see wonders in nature.”
San Marcos, population 63,071, is home to Texas State University but offers a highly desirable atmosphere for Texas retirement as well. “Here’s another college town to keep you young,” said Southern Living. “The San Marcos River and nearby Guadalupe River await; glass bottom boat rides are available, along with fishing, tubing, paddling, and other get-wet opportunities.”
San Marcos is one of Forbes’ best places to retire, noted for its “cost of living 13% below national average” as well as a low crime rate, strong economy, and a “high rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging.”
New Braunfels is continually noted as one of the fastest-growing cities—in fact, it’s No. 2 on the list of fastest-growing cities in the nation this year—and has a total population of just about 80,000. That gives it a more quaint and infinitely more friendly and welcoming feel than many of Texas’ larger cities—nearby Austin has a population of 2,115,827 and San Antonio, now past 1.5 million people, “added the most people of any city in the country, according to new census estimates,” said the Texas Tribune. This is one of the many reasons why retirees are drawn to New Braunfels.
“New Braunfels, TX is famous with tourists and retirees for its rich German heritage, festivals, and medical access,” said Top Retirements. Some say it “offers the best lifestyle for the money for senior citizens in South central Texas. People love the people, weather, excellent health care, beautiful Hill Country and safe living environment, and many good restaurants. New Braunfels is over-flowing with old world heritage and small town Texas charm.”
TIME: MONEY analyzed the most important trends for retirees today, one of which is working after retirement. Based on their research, New Braunfels is their top choice as “Best for encore workers.” Their data shows the city’s 50+ population as 32.4% and the job growth forecast at 15.5%. “Launch your post-retirement encore career from one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Whether you’re after a fun part-time gig to stay active or making a serious stab at a new venture, New Braunfels has the opportunities,” they said. In addition, “The surrounding beauty of Texas foothill country makes a great base for retirees also looking for outdoor pursuits—from hiking limestone canyons to digging for topaz to wandering through fields of bluebonnets. In town, you’ll find charming reminders of its German heritage, like the Wurstfest, a sausage festival held every November, and a bakery that sells fresh pfeffernüsse and lebkuchen.”
Forbes doubles down on the natural beauty, naming New Braunfels “One of the great scenic places to retire.” They noted the Comal and Guadalupe rivers within the “pretty Texas Hill Country,” as well as the “very high ratio of doctors per capita, good air quality, low serious crime, good economy, no state income or estate tax, and warm climate.”
Within New Braunfels, masterplanned community Vintage Oaks is a top choice for retirees, with a wide array of land options on 1–14 acre lots in both gated and non-gated neighborhoods, as well as new and existing homes. Vintage Oaks’ new community of The Grove has quickly become a top choice for retirees seeking Hill Country living in a smaller, lower-maintenance footprint. The Grove offers well-designed, single-and two-story homes ranging from 2,100 to 3,500+ square feet on 60- to 75-foot-wide lots with prices from the mid $300s.
For more information about Texas retirement, visit Vintage Oaks. This 3,900-acre masterplanned community in the Hill Country also offers resort amenities including multiple pools, a lazy river, miles of trails, playgrounds, sports courts and ball fields, a brand-new Fitness Club coming in 2018, and the Tuscan Clubhouse, home to year-round activities and special events.
You can also learn more about living and retiring in the Texas Hill Country by downloading the free guide below.