Bankrate’s ‘Best Cities for Retirement’ Tool Makes Southern Cities Look Good for Real Estate IRA Owners

A new tool created by the editors of Bankrate may help self-directed IRA owners identify not only the best cities to retire in, but also some of the best cities for a Real Estate IRA, as well.

Real Estate IRA owners know the Bankrate Retirement Cities Selector tool lets you rank cities according to the following criteria:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime rate
  • Strong community pride, well being
  • Walkability
  • Low taxes
  • Good, affordable health care
  • Comfortable weather
  • Cultural activities

The online tool lets you use a digital slider to assign each criterion a weighting between one and ten – and then gives you the five cities that most closely match the criteria you choose.

So what cities might be best for a Real Estate IRA investor?

We imagine that Real Estate IRA money may be most profitably invested in relatively low cost, low tax areas that still provide a good quality of life that makes people want to live there.

Which is pretty close to the same criteria that retiree owners of self-directed IRAs might use to choose where they themselves might want to live, as well!

Southern Cities Are Looking Great

No matter how we slice it, southern states seem to dominate the list. Setting everything to zero except low taxes and low cost of living, which we set at ’10,’ the top five cities listed were Memphis and Knoxville, Tennessee, San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas and Franklin, Tennessee.

Well, knowing what we know about house prices in Franklin, it’s not exactly a ‘low-cost of living’ area. But it’s one of the loveliest cities in the country.

Take low taxes out of the equation – which might be a good way to go for owners of Roth Real Estate IRAs whose primary exposure to taxes might be limited to property taxes and unrelated debt-financed income tax (for those investments carrying mortgages) and the top five most affordable cities are Memphis, Tulsa, Knoxville, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

Want comfortable weather? The southeast coast of Florida dominates: Miami, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale (all within an hour of each other).

So far, not a northern town in sight.

Want to disregard everything except cultural activities? When we set everything to zero except ‘cultural activities,’ thinking we might be giving New York, Boston and Chicago a chance, the Bankrate ranking came back with every recommendation within commuting distance of Washington, DC: Silver Spring, Rockville and Frederick in Maryland, and Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia.

It’s not the most diverse list of options but it makes the Southeast look pretty good!

For those whose primary interest is access to good, affordable health care, and are willing to disregard other factors, we do find the list dominated by northern towns: South Portland and Portland, Maine, Des Moines Iowa, and Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Give it a go yourself, and see where your criteria take you.

And give us a call as well, at 866-7500-IRA(472) or visit us online at We specialize in serving the needs of people who want to take more personal, direct control of their retirement assets than conventional investment companies generally allow. Many of our most successful investors use IRAs and other retirement accounts to hold thriving real estate investment portfolios, including in the cities mentioned and other similar cities with good rental yields, low taxes and favorable vacancy rates all over the country – but particularly in the Southeast, which is still affordable and attractive to patient Real Estate IRA owners.

We look forward to serving you.