The Best Places to Retire in Arkansas

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Arkansas is a popular state for retirees because of its low cost of living, warm climate and appealing natural scenery. Several retirement communities and others designed for seniors exist in cities throughout Arkansas. In early 2009, an average house in Little Rock sold for $125,400, less than the national average price, according to the Top Retirements website. Arkansas has several cities that provide the financial stability and attractions retirees often seek.


Fayetteville is located in northwestern Arkansas. It is home to the University of Arkansas and is surrounded by the Ozark Mountains, which can give the town a vacation destination feel. The nearby Ozark National Forest allows residents to get outside and hike or do other outdoor activities suitable for all physical ability levels. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is only 17 miles away, and the town also has two hospitals and medical centers.

Average home prices in Fayetteville range from $100,000 to $200,000 as of 2010, according to the Top Retirements website, which makes home ownership affordable for most retirees in Fayetteville. The basic costs of living typically are below the national average, as well.

Hot Springs Village

Hot Springs Village is the nation's largest gated community, according to, and is located in central Arkansas' Ouachita Mountains near the towns of Hot Springs and Little Rock, Arkansas. It is right next to Hot Springs National Park, the oldest national park in the United States.

The community of 14,000 provides retirees with natural scenery, nine golf courses, 10 lakes, a low crime rate and plenty of outdoor activities like trails for walking, jogging or biking. Housing costs range from about $60,000 to over $1 million, so there is something for just about every price range, and daily living and entertainment expenses, including property taxes, are below many other parts of the country. The median age range of Hot Springs Village residents is 45 to 64, which is an indication of its attraction for retirees.


Bentonville is located in northwestern Arkansas and is the home of retail giant Wal-Mart. In the 2000s, the population grew 60 percent to 33,000, mainly due to people and businesses relocating to Bentonville to be close to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. headquarters. One of the largest U.S. retirement communities, Bella Vista, is nearby Bentonville, too.

Because Bentonville is home to many Wal-Mart executives and business partners, the town has more of a cosmopolitan feel than other Arkansas cities, which can also make it more expensive to live in than average Arkansas cities. Average household income and home costs are both higher than Arkansas state averages, so Bentonville is a better choice for retirees with larger budgets. However, it is still considered one of the best places in Arkansas to retire because, according to, many Wal-Mart executives are likely to continue living in Bentonville when they retire, creating a community of adults and retirees within the city.


About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.

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