Phoenix falls in rankings of retirement destinations, study finds

Phoenix skyline.

Surging housing prices, poor air quality and other big city woes have turned metro Phoenix into one of the nation’s worst destinations for retirees, according to a new report.

The Valley of the Sun was renowned as a retirement haven. But among the 150 most populous U.S. metro areas, Phoenix now ranks 140th, just 10 spots from the bottom and ahead of only Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and eight cities in northern and central California. San Juan finished last.

The annual study by U.S. News & World Report overwhelmingly favored cities in Florida and, to a lesser extent, Pennsylvania and the eastern U.S. Those in the West and, especially, Southwest, scored poorly. Eugene, Oregon, in 33rd place, was the top-ranked city west of the Mississippi River.

Florida cities dominate rankings

In this year’s report, Sarasota ranked as the most desirable retirement destination, followed by three other Florida cities — Naples, Daytona Beach and Melbourne — with Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in fifth place. Sarasota also ranked first overall last year. 

San Juan’s last-place ranking meant that it replaced Stockton, California, at the bottom.