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10 Gay Retirement Destinations


As I reported Monday, there are many new retirement options for gay and lesbian seniors, ranging from continuing care facilities to dedicated senior centers to affordable housing developments. Part of the appeal of these communities, experts say, is that some gay and lesbian seniors want to retire around other like-minded individuals.

To that end, Encore looked into the cities where the most gay couples, per capita, live.  Here are the top 10 as of 2010:

  1. Provincetown, Mass.: 163 gay couples per 1,000 households
  2. Wilton Manors, Flor.: 140 / 1,000
  3. Palm Springs, Calif.: 115 / 1,000
  4. Rehoboth Beach, Del.: 107 / 1,000
  5. Guerneville, Calif.: 87 / 1,000
  6. West Hollywood, Calif.: 77 / 1,000
  7. Pleasant Ridge, Mich.: 60 / 1,000
  8. New Hope, Penn.: 59 / 1,000
  9. Rancho Mirage, Calif.: 57 / 1,000
  10. Oakland Park, Fla.: 56 / 1,000

Many of these places are pretty pricey, however,  so analyzed each to determine which of destinations provide the most value.  Here’s how they stacked up:

Cost of living Median home cost State income tax rate
Provincetown, Mass. 86% higher than average $668,900 5.3%
Wilton Manors, Flor. 19% higher than average $272,900 None
Palm Springs, Calif. 18% higher than average $255,400 1 – 9.3%
Rehoboth Beach, Del. 82% higher than average $650,800 2.2 – 6.95%
Guerneville, Calif. 33% higher than average $323,000 1 – 9.3%
West Hollywood, Calif. 77% higher than average $622,600 1 – 9.3%
Pleasant Ridge, Mich. 10% higher than average $251,600 4.25%
New Hope, Penn. 1% lower than average $156,400 3.07%
Rancho Mirage, Calif. 40% higher than average $395,100 1 – 9.3%
Oakland Park, Fla. 6% higher than average $193,800 None

Indeed, the best bets in terms of affordability may in Florida — New Hope, Oakland Park and Wilton Manors – thanks in part to its lack of state income. Pleasant Ridge also has relatively low cost of living and tax rates. California, on the other hand, is relatively expensive throughout the state, and both Rehoboth Beach and Provincetown have a very high cost of living and real estate prices that are well above average.

This data comes from an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Williams Institute.   To read more of their research, click here.


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About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.