If you love sunshine, you’ll love retirement in Arizona. The state gets up to 90% sunny days, if you retire around Yuma—the highest average in the country. Arizona is known for its heat—up to 120 degrees in some areas—but not all areas of the state are so sweltering. In areas of higher elevation, temperatures are more reasonable in the summers—and winters are balmy.  

When many people think of Arizona, they think of desert. And Arizona does have beautiful desert landscapes—including the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon. But some areas of the state are mountainous enough to get snow in the winter—in Flagstaff and the White Mountains, you can even go skiing. If you love the outdoors, Arizona is an ideal place to retire—in many areas, you can spend time outdoors in winter with only a light jacket. There are over 400 golf courses in the state, some designed by pro golfers.

There are some advantages to consider in living in an arid environment. In many communities, gravel and landscaped desert gardens are the norm for lawns—not grass. This cuts down dramatically on yard work—something many retirees and non-retirees alike appreciate.

In Arizona, senior housing is fairly affordable—more than the national average. The cost of housing in Arizona isn’t high compared to national averages, and the cost of living is relatively inexpensive as well. Arizona senior citizen housing offers all the amenities you’d expect, including independent living options, activities and outings, gourmet food, and more.

The tax laws in Arizona make finding senior housing here particularly attractive for retirees. Arizona has low taxes, ranking at 35th out of 50 states in property taxes collected. Retirees over age 65 are eligible for a $2,100 tax exemption every year.  Some retiree benefits, including social security, state pensions, and some military pensions, are not taxed. And if you’ve lived in Arizona for two years or more and meet certain income requirements, you can have your property valuation frozen—so you won’t need to get your home reassessed for property taxes. This can save retirees a considerable amount of money.

Here are just a few areas to consider when searching for senior housing in Arizona.

Yuma

If you love the heat, move here. Yuma is widely known as America’s hottest city, but its winters are invariably mild. You can also cool off in the nearby Colorado River. There are plenty of opportunities for cultural activities, events, and shopping in the area. Yuma is also close enough to the Mexican border to make day trips easy.

Prescott

Prescott is located about 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, and at approximately 5,500 feet in elevation. Because of its high elevation, its climate is much cooler than other areas of the state—with temperate weather all year round. Prescott is a sophisticated town full of beautiful Victorian-era buildings, boutiques, open-air bistros, and cultural events and activities. There’s also plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors—Prescott is located inside the 1.25-million-acre Prescott National Forest.

Mesa

If being close to high-quality health care is a major priority, consider retiring to Mesa. The town is close to one of the three main Mayo Clinic facilities in the United States. You can also find theatres, concerts, museums, and other attractions in town.

Chino Valley

Chino Valley is the most rural area on this list; it’s a sparsely-populated area full of farms and ranches. Ride horses on the trails, enjoy camping, hiking and other outdoor activities, and enjoy the natural beauty of Arizona—far from an urban environment.

Choosing a place to retire is never easy. Arizona senior living communities offer a wide range of amenities at a relatively low price—as well as beautiful weather and scenery. It’s no wonder so many choose to retire in Arizona.