Best counties to retire to in Wisconsin

Written by:
July 31, 2022
Wtimmers // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to retire to in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Oconto County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Oconto Falls (B), Oconto (B), Lena (B)
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Appraiser // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Barron County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Rice Lake (B), Chetek (B), Barron (B)
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Buffalo County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Cochrane (B+), Alma (B+), Nelson Town (B)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Marquette County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Moundville (B), Endeavor (B), Westfield (B)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Adams County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Dell Prairie (B-), Rome (C+), Friendship (C+)

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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Wood County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Marshfield (A), Port Edwards (B+), Lake Wazeecha (B)
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Jeff the quiet // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Rusk County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Ladysmith (B+), Big Bend (B), Bruce (B)
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Jeff the quiet // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Langlade County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Antigo (B), Rolling (B), Antigo Town (B-)
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123dieinafire // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Polk County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Amery (B), Dresser (B), Osceola (B)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Lincoln County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Tomahawk (B), Merrill (B), Birch (B)

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#15. Waushara County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Wautoma (B), Wild Rose (B+), Rose (B)
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Marinette County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Peshtigo (B), Niagara (B), Marinette (B)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Green Lake County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Berlin (B), Green Lake (B+), Berlin Town (B+)
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Dls4832 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Bayfield County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (D+), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Bayview (A+), Washburn Town (A), Washburn (A)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Forest County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Laona (B), Lincoln (B), Argonne (B-)

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pasa47 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Waukesha County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B-), weather (C), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Elm Grove (A+), Brookfield (A+), Nashotah (A+)
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Billertl // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Price County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Worcester (B), Phillips (B), Park Falls (B)
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Dramsey57 // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Burnett County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Sand Lake (B+), Webster (B), Roosevelt (B)
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Bjoertvedt // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Washburn County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Spooner (B), Long Lake (B+), Barronett (B)
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James Meyer // Shutterstock

#6. Ozaukee County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B-), weather (C+), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Cedarburg (A+), Mequon (A+), Thiensville (A+)

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Iron County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (D+), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Hurley (B), Gurney (B), Montreal (B)
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Foreverwiser // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Sawyer County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Hayward (B), Bass Lake (A-), Lenroot (B+)
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Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Oneida County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Rhinelander (B), Woodruff (A-), Minocqua (A-)
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Wtimmers // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Door County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (C), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Sturgeon Bay (A-), Gibraltar (A), Egg Harbor (A)
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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Vilas County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Arbor Vitae (B+), Presque Isle (B+), Plum Lake (B)

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