A Cultural Jewel for Retirees Who Like Things a Little Spicy
If you’re looking to retire to the south, it’s hard not to find a place with a unique culture and laid-back living. Florida has beautiful beaches and worlds of whimsy. Kentucky has cool caverns and miles of beautiful countryside to explore.
Louisiana? Well, to condense it, Louisiana has a little sugar, a lot of spice, and the weather is (usually) always nice. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find a state to retire to with a more vibrant culture and evenly-paced lifestyle. This is why, in this article, we’re looking at some of the best places to retire in Louisiana!
We’ve chosen five of the best places to retire in the state, using the following criteria:
- Cost of living
- Senior-friendly activities
- Access to and quality of healthcare
- Percentage of population of residents 65 and older
So, which cities and towns offer the best reasons to retire to Louisiana? Let’s dive in and look at the five best places to retire in Louisiana, shall we?
The first stop on our list of the best places to retire in Louisiana happens to be the largest community in Jefferson Parish. In fact, if Metairie had been incorporated, it would stand to be the fourth-biggest city in the state, right behind Shreveport.
Metairie is a gem full of interesting history, vibrant nightlife, and just plain plenty to do. It’s home to a district known as “Fat City”, which hosts a number of local eateries and serves as the main cultural epicenter of the New Orleans region. With 21 percent of the population made up of senior citizens 65 and older, you’ll also find plenty of senior centers, all of which host wonderful social activities for those of you in your golden years.
One of the biggest reasons why Metairie lands at number five on our list of the best cities to retire in Louisiana is the cost of living. With a cost of living index score of 103.5, Metairie sits nearly four points above the national average, and nearly 20 above the state average. Looking to purchase a house here? It’ll set you back a bit, as the average cost to purchase a home in Metairie is around $304,000. With numerous retirement communities and senior living facilities in the area, giving up the burden – and cost – of homeownership doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
The township does receive high marks for availability of healthcare facilities. Within driving distance, you have over 10 highly-rated general physicians, specialists, and hospitals to choose from. Remember how we mentioned the high availability of senior living facilities and retirement communities above? You’ll find well over 20 of them within driving distance of the township alone, all with high marks, so you know that you or a loved one will be well-taken care of.
Eunice isn’t just a sweet name for a wonderful person. It’s also the lovely little town that comes in at number four on our list of the best places to retire in Louisiana. It isn’t the biggest city on the list by any means, but it’s huge on charm.
A mellow country feel is a big part of what makes Eunice one of the best places to live in Louisiana for retirees. While it’s relatively light on nightlife, there’s still plenty to do here. If you’re a history buff, the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and the Eunice Depot Museum deliver some good times. Seniors make up 18 percent of a population of just over 9,000 here, so you’re also sure to find senior centers offering excellent social activities.
The cost of living in Eunice also makes it appealing to those of you looking to retire to Louisiana in your golden years. Overall cost of living here is lower than both the state and national averages, and it’s a perfect place to buy a home. The average cost of a home in Eunice is around $108,000, so if you prefer to age in place, finding a nice place to do so is fairly easy.
Eunice, unfortunately, receives low marks for availability of healthcare facilities and senior centers. There are only a handful of healthcare providers in the area, but many of them are highly rated. Eunice Manor is the only true senior care facility in the area, but given Eunice’s proximity to Baton Rouge, others are just a short drive away. Cost of healthcare is a huge factor here as well, as the average cost for medical services in Eunice is around 13 points higher than the national average.
The parish seat of St. Tammany Parish comes in third on our list of Louisiana’s best places to retire. Covington, being part of the New Orleans metro area, delivers a big city feel with a laid-back small town way of life. In other words, it’s perfect for those of you who see yourselves as both a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll!
If you love keeping busy, there’s no shortage of things to see or do here. From mystery museums and walking trails to gator ranches, you’ll never be bored in Covington. You can also engage in activities and mingle with other seniors at one of three senior centers serving the 19 percent of the population of those here who are aged 65 and up.
The cost of living in Covington can be pretty steep, especially if you’re a senior on a low fixed income. While the cost of living here is lower overall than the national standard, it’s not much lower. For example, the average cost to purchase a home here sits right at $295,000. The good news is that you have numerous retirement communities and senior living facilities to choose from should you decide to continue living independently, yet without all the costs and responsibilities of homeownership!
Finding quality, affordable healthcare in Covington is not an issue at all. There are at least 13 hospitals within the area itself, and just as many providers and other medical services, if not more. If you’re looking to move here and want to establish with a new Primary Care Provider, doing so is easy. Just check to make sure that they accept Medicare assignment if you’re a beneficiary of the Medicare program.
Moving due southeast of Baton Rouge, we find ourselves in the town that claims the number two spot on our list of the best places to retire in Louisiana. With 23 percent of the population composed of individuals aged 65 and up, Westminster is quickly becoming one of the best places to live in Louisiana for retirees.
Westminster itself is a smaller suburb of Baton Rouge, so if you’re looking for plenty of activity and nightlife, you’re not far from it at all. This little town of 2,635 offers a cozy little home for those who don’t want to live in the city, but want to be close to some excitement. While there are no dedicated senior activity centers in the area, the close-knit nature of Westminster makes it easy for you to mingle and plan activities with fellow seniors while you’re out and about.
Being a suburb of a bigger city, it’s safe to say that the cost of living here can be a little high. However, it still falls under the national average in many ways. If you’re looking to buy a home after relocating, it’ll cost you around $217,000 to purchase. Rent is steep, but manageable, averaging around $1,100 per single family dwelling.
Of course, if you’re looking for alternatives, there are a few top-rated retirement communities and senior living facilities in the area, such as Holiday Whealdon Estates and the Village Woods Retirement Community.
Westminster’s proximity to Baton Rouge puts you within short driving distances of numerous excellent hospitals and healthcare providers. Whether you need emergency care or a simple checkup, you’ll be able to find a healthcare provider here that can help you with no problem.
Our top pick for the best city to retire in Louisiana sits just outside of Lafayette, in Vermilion Parish. It’s a small town with a calm country feel, delivering a place where seniors can truly get away from it all in your golden years. At number one, Kaplan offers many excellent reasons to retire to Louisiana.
The “most Cajun place in America” doesn’t offer much in the way of big city frills or thrills. Instead, you’ll find an abundance of beautiful parks, walking trails, and plenty of water for fishing. For nightlife and major attractions, Lafayette awaits just up the road. You’ll also find a wonderful senior center in town that offers ample opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people
The cost of living in Kaplan is perhaps the lowest on our list. It sits well below national and state averages, with housing, utilities, and groceries being incredibly affordable. Purchasing a single family home in this little town of just under 4,400 will only set you back around $91,000 on average. It’s even cheaper to rent, with average rates hovering near $650. You’ll also find 3 excellent senior living communities and facilities here.
Kaplan is home to one hospital, and 12 excellent primary care providers. While this doesn’t seem like a large number, there are numerous hospitals nearby in Lafayette, just a short distance away. Even in this quaint little town, you’ll still be able to find excellent health care.
As Always, “Best” is Subjective
You may have been looking to retire to Louisiana for a while, and many of these places may not be on your list. They may even be new to you altogether. That’s okay! The word “best” is always subjective when it comes to these types of lists.
While we definitely hope you’ll check out the areas listed, we’re sure any city you choose to relocate to in the fine state of Louisiana will be a true “best city to retire” for you.