Austin, Texas has been garnering a great deal of attention and interest in recent years, and for good reason. It is known for its strong economy, rich, eclectic culture and excellent quality of life. It was ranked number five on the US News and World Report’s 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022 and we named it the number three best place to live in Texas!
With all of that attention, it’s no wonder that many are considering fleeing their snowbound home states to retire in sunny Austin.
Austin has a great deal to offer retirees, with options to suit all tastes, and the stable economy and excellent healthcare choices ensure that living out your golden years in the capital city will be a great decision. Here are our top 10 reasons why you should consider retiring to Austin.
1. Warm, Sunny Weather
One of Austin’s major attractors for those looking to enjoy their golden years is its warm, sunny weather. With more than 300 days of sunshine and a warm season that spans more than half the year (April to October typically), residents can enjoy countless days outside and rarely ever have to deal with snow.
During January, Austin’s coldest month, temperatures range from the low 40s to the low 60s, rarely dipping below freezing. Summertime temperatures can range from the mid-70s to the high 90s and can climb above 100 during the hottest months of July and August.
The humidity levels in the summertime can increase the heat index, but a vast majority of homes and businesses in Texas have air conditioning, so it’s not difficult to find a respite during those blistering days.
2. Plenty of Outdoor Spaces
Whether you are into walking, biking, swimming, kayaking, or just sitting and enjoying nature, Austin has a park or outdoor space to suit your needs. It offers more than 220 city parks and green spaces, providing ample opportunities for all residents to stay active and get plenty of fresh air.
Stroll along the lake at Mueller Lake Park, picnic with the peacocks at Mayfield Park, or enjoy a hike along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. No matter what outdoor activity you are looking to enjoy, Austin has a park for you.
Avid golfers will also find plenty to love here. Golf Magazine rated Austin “The Best Golf City in America” and the Austin Golf Trail features a wide selection of beautiful courses designed by golfing legends like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
3. Easy Access to Healthcare
Austin has the health care resources retirees want and need. From preventative care to long-term care and stellar hospitals, Austin is committed to taking care of its residents.
The city boasts three major health care systems residents can choose from: St. David’s HealthCare, Ascension Seton Healthcare Family, and Baylor Scott & White Healthcare. There are also numerous local clinics, wellness centers, and a VA Clinic conveniently located around town.
4. Abundant Cultural Experiences
Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and it certainly delivers on that front, but it is also home to a thriving visual and performance art scene.
Music lovers will have a field day in the capital city. Take in the world-famous South by Southwest Music Festival, watch a live taping of Austin City Limits, or see a blues performance at Antone’s, known locally as the “World-Famous Home of the Blues.” With countless live performances every night and more than 20 music festivals each year, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
A UNESCO designated City of Media Arts, Austin has also garnered an international reputation for film, digital art, and technology. Its vibrant art scene is nurtured by the Cultural Arts Division, which acquires works of art for public display and enjoyment.
5. A Fantastic Foodie Scene
Undeniably famous for barbecue and breakfast tacos, Austin has grown into a foodie haven with a wide array of options to tempt any palate.
From world-famous brisket and mouthwatering vegan baked goods to a growing fleet of food trucks serving up everything from gourmet tacos to rolled ice cream, Austin is a great home base for those looking to expand their culinary horizons.
Beer enthusiasts will also have plenty to explore here, with microbreweries, beer gardens, cidereries and tap rooms sprinkled across the city.
6. Educational Opportunities
For retirees looking to continue their learning experience or even get a degree, there are options to support you in Austin.
Per the Texas Education Code 54.365c, state institutions can offer classes, with up to 6 credit hours per semester, for free to seniors over 65. Not all state institutions offer this exemption, but The University of Texas at Austin does.
UT Austin is also part of the Osher Foundation’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers a variety of seminars and lectures from scholars and experts in a relaxed community atmosphere. There is a yearly membership fee, but scholarships are available.
7. Great Shopping Options
Austin is also home to a wide range of shopping options for convenience and enjoyment. From big box stores to vintage boutiques, Austin has everything you need, conveniently located nearby.
Get fresh produce at one of the seven local farmer’s markets or take in the unique finds at the many used book stores and vintage shops along South Congress. If you are looking for high-end boutiques and designer goods, the 2nd Street District is the destination for you.
There are also four major shopping malls located across the city and the outlet malls of nearby San Marcos, Texas are a great place for bargain hunters to find designer items at discounted prices.
8. A Fun, Relaxed Atmosphere
Retirement is all about enjoying a slower pace of life, and Austin is the perfect city to embrace that. Locals are welcoming, accepting and friendly, making it easy to find friends and enjoy the simple things in life. The dress code is casual and there is a citywide appreciation for artistic expression and individuality.
Sip coffee on the patio at a local coffee shop, browse the aisles of your favorite indie bookstore, see the beauty of central Texas at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, or picnic on the lawn at Zilker Park. One of the top reasons people cite when moving to Austin is the search for a better quality of life. Embrace the atmosphere, slow down, breathe and relax.
9. Relatively Low Cost of Living
Austin’s average cost of living is 3% lower than the national average, meaning retirement money can stretch a little farther here. Housing costs, arguably the most expensive part of relocating to Austin, are 2% above the national average, though.
With record numbers moving to the capital city, the housing market is very low in inventory, and housing prices reflect that. Moving to one of the smaller communities around Austin proper is a great way to enjoy all the benefits of the city from a more budget-friendly location.
Other expenses, such as utilities, groceries, and income taxes are well below the national average (12% lower), and the healthcare costs are in the average range.
10. Great Road Trip Options
Just outside of Austin there are a wealth of beautiful destinations to explore. Getting away for the day is easy with wineries, quaint historic towns, and beautiful parks all within a few hours’ drive.
The beautiful city of San Antonio, home of the Riverwalk and countless shopping, dining and entertainment options, is just an hour south along I-35.
There are also numerous charming Hill Country towns, including Gruene, Shiner, Marble Falls, Wimberley, and Lockhart all within a few hours’ drive.
11. Great Neighborhoods for Retirees
Austin is made up of an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and lifestyles. Choosing the right area to call home is critical to making your Austin experience a success. While there are many neighborhoods and nearby communities that could be a great fit for you, here are our five favorite neighborhoods for retirees to consider.
Austin is not a very walkable city overall, but the Downtown Austin area is a great neighborhood for those who want to walk or bike rather than drive daily. It overlooks the Colorado River and has a decidedly urban feel. Homes here are typically lofts and condos within walking or metro distance of world-class shopping, gourmet dining, and recreational options.
Median Housing Price: $794,500
Another great walkable neighborhood in Austin, Bouldin Creek offers a more suburban feel, with quiet tree-lined streets and a mix of new and historic homes from the 1920s and 30s. There are great local restaurants, like the Bouldin Creek Cafe, as well as shops and locally owned grocery stores within walking distance. Residents can also walk to Lady Bird Lake, the South Congress shopping area, and downtown Austin.
Median Housing Price: $990,000
Located just 30 miles south of Austin, San Marcos is a great option for those seeking affordable Hill Country living. Named as Forbes pick for the Best Place to Retire in Texas, it features affordable housing, a small-town feel and easy access to both the Hill Country and all that Austin has to offer. San Marcos is also known for stellar shopping options, from the shops along historic Main Street to its numerous outlet malls.
Median Housing Price: $325,000
The scenic town of Georgetown sits just north of Austin along the Balcones Escarpment. This rapidly growing community is known for small-town charm, Hill Country views, and an easy commute to Austin. Georgetown also has a number of outdoor attractions, including, Lake Georgetown, Inner Space Caverns and Blue Hole Park. Homes here range from modest bungalows to expansive luxury homes.
Median Housing Price: $430,000
Texas small-town charm is on full display in Wimberley. Breathtaking Hill Country scenery, friendly locals and a host of local amenities are just some of the reasons why this community is attractive to retirees. Locals can enjoy the area wineries and artisan shops, or take in the natural beauty at one of the many area parks. There are a variety of home options here, from historic Craftsman-style homes to modern, custom-built homes and condos. Wimberley is a bit farther from Austin, but still less than an hour away.
Median Housing Price: $537,500
Austin and its surrounding area have a great deal to offer anyone looking to retire here. From excellent music, food, and cultural experiences to continuing education, abundant outdoor spaces and great weather, this is an excellent place to enjoy a slower pace and a better quality of life.
For more information on what life in Austin is like, be sure to check out The Cost of Living in Austin, TX: A Real Breakdown for 2021 and Living in Austin, Texas: Moving Tips and Local Secrets. If you’re ready to begin relaxing in Austin, we’d love to help. Start your search today at homecity.com/austin.