Best counties to retire to in Minnesota

Written by:
June 5, 2022
Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to retire to in Minnesota

Buyers and sellers of real estate alike—when asked what are the three most essential considerations about a property—will nearly always reply "location, location, location." While this answer is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, it is often quite accurate, and this reply perhaps applies to retirees more than any other demographic. Settling down after a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family calls for the perfect location: a spot where you can enjoy life with as few concerns as possible.

When seniors aged 65 years or older decide on where they want to live out their golden years, they consider very specific factors, such as the cost of living, government services, health care facilities, weather and overall climate, crime rate, outdoor recreational activities, eating establishments, cultural and entertainment opportunities, and more.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, healthcare, recreation and weather. Read more about Niche's methodology here.

Location is critical as retirees determine where to spend their senior years enjoying favorite activities; however, it’s a very unique decision based on a multitude of preferences and needs. Whether it be bustling downtowns or access to parks, affordable home prices or cultural amenities like museums, retirees seeking to settle in a permanent spot are sure to find a private paradise in any of these counties recommended by Niche because, in the end, there is no place like home—no matter the location.

Read on to discover the best counties to retire to in Minnesota.

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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Lake County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Two Harbors (B+), Silver Creek Township (B-), Silver Bay (B)
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Mulad // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Ramsey County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B-), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Macalester-Groveland (A+), St. Anthony Park (A+), Falcon Heights (A+)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Itasca County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (D+), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Cohasset (B+), Grand Rapids (B), Coleraine (B)
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Renville County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (A), weather (C), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Franklin (B+), Renville (B), Melville Township (B)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Chippewa County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Montevideo (B), Milan (B+), Clara City (B)

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SH5544 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Otter Tail County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Perham (B+), Aurdal Township (B), Fergus Falls (B)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Freeborn County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Albert Lea (B-), Albert Lea Township (B), Hartland (B)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Pipestone County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (C), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Pipestone (B), Eden Township (B+), Edgerton (B)
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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Wabasha County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Plainview (B+), Lake City (B+), Wabasha (B)
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David Daniel // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Cottonwood County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Windom (B-), Midway Township (B+), Mountain Lake Township (B)

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Ed Lombard // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Koochiching County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (not available), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: International Falls (B), Ranier (B-), Northome (B-)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Fillmore County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Chatfield (B+), Lanesboro (A-), Preston (B+)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Cass County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Walker (B+), Lake Shore (B+), Shingobee Township (B+)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Redwood County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (C), outdoor activities (C-)
- Top places to live: Redwood Falls (B), Paxton Township (A-), Kintire Township (B+)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Crow Wing County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Crosby (B+), Baxter (B+), Oak Lawn Township (B)

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Brown County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: New Ulm (B+), Sleepy Eye (B), Springfield (B)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Douglas County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Alexandria (B+), La Grand Township (B+), Carlos Township (B)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Faribault County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Blue Earth (B), Emerald Township (B+), Wells (B+)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Jackson County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C-)
- Top places to live: Jackson (B), Middletown Township (A), Wisconsin Township (B+)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lincoln County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (C), outdoor activities (C-)
- Top places to live: Lake Benton (B+), Drammen Township (B+), Hope Township (B)

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Jet Lowe // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Lac qui Parle County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Cerro Gordo Township (B), Baxter Township (B), Garfield Township (B)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Hubbard County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Henrietta Township (B-), Park Rapids (B-), Todd Township (B-)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Pope County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Nora Township (B+), Glenwood (B+), Glenwood Township (B)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Martin County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Fairmont (B), Trimont (B+), Galena Township (B+)
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Murray County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (C-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Slayton (A-), Chandler (B+), Chanarambie Township (B+)

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