With an array of things to do and senior friendly benefits, it’s no exaggeration to say that everything really is bigger in Texas!
The state has a growing population, especially in the urban regions like Dallas and San Antonio. Rural towns are also attracting 55+ active retirees due to their affordability, tight-kinit communities, and wide-open spaces.
Texas’ mild four seasons lend themselves to year round golfing, cycling, and water sports. Birdwatching is a favorite pastime in around the estuaries, rivers, and costal communities. Fishing for bass and catfish is popular in East Texas. Wild boar, deer, and pheasant are plentiful for the hunters who call Texas home.
Texas is in the top five culturally diverse states in the United States. The Hispanic influence is found all over the state, due to it’s history and proximity to Mexico. African-Americans have deep roots in many of Texas’ cities and towns. The Vietnamese community around Houston and Dallas is well-established. West Texas is home to a large population of Eastern European immigrants and their decendants.
When you retire in Texas, it’s easy to travel to destinations around the world. Fly from one of Texas’ twelve international airports. Easily drive or walk across the border into Mexico all along the Rio Grande. Cruise to the Carribean and Mexico on one of the luxury cruise lines that embark from the Gulf of Mexico.
New homes designed for seniors in Texas are found in master planned waterfront communities, golf course communities, age restricted communities and more. Developers specialize in single story, low-maintenance homes perfect for active adults looking to age in place. The abundance of land in Texas gives residents the feeling of spaciousness, even in the cities.
The Best Areas for Retiring in Texas
Texas’ large size means there are many diverse regions to explore. From flat desert plains to coastlines, see what makes each area unique and appealing to retirees.
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (DFW) region is a hub for recreational sports and golf courses. It includes active older adult friendly towns like Fairview, which is notable for its low property taxes and crime rates.
Other welcoming suburbs near these big cities are Frisco, Allen, and Aubrey. Little Elm is close to Lewisville Lake, a fantastic location for boating and fishing. Both Granburyand McKinney are cultural and historic points of interest.
There are over 100 golf courses in the DFW area that are playable all year long. When they’re not playing golf, residents are cheering on their city’s professional sports teams. The Dallas Cowboys are world famous and have a strong history of winning in the NFL. The Mavericks are lovingly known as the Mavs and represent the DFW on the courts of the NBA. On the MLS stage, FC Dallas draws in a crowd, while the Dallas Star represent Texas on the ice in the NHL.
Greater Houston-Sugar Land-The Woodlands
Known colloquially as The Woodlands, the Greater Houston-Sugar Land area is home to Houston. It’s a lively urban city with a robust health care system, shopping for every budget, and dining options that appeal to the well-traveled palate.
Residents of Houston are immersed in professional sports teams. The summer is time for watching the Astros under the lights play their MLB rivals. The autumn is football season. Watch the Texans battle it out in the NFL. Major League Soccer (MLS) is represented by the Houston Dynamo. If indoor spectating is more your style, the Houstin Rockets play the boards in the NBA. Of course, Houston is home to the largest rodeo in the world. RodeoHouston is held every year in March and draws over two million people over the two week event.
Outside the city, consider nearby Houston suburbs like Hitchcock, Cleveland, Conroe, Willis, and Splendora. These towns offer convenient access to national parks, golf courses, and healthcare facilities. Galveston is a resort town that welcomes cruise ships that traverse the Gulf of Mexico and locales beyond.
San Antonio-New Braunfels
The San Antonio-New Braunfels region is also known as Greater San Antonio. The region is home to over 2.5 million residents. San Antonio has been an important part of Texas political landscape for over 300 years. It’s home to the AT&T Center that hosts both the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and the three-week annual San Antonio Rodeo. San Antonio is the “Home of the Alamo”, the world famous River Walk, and a multiude of Aremed Forces bases. This region is home to a large Hispanic community. The Hispanic influences are embedded in the food, decor, festivals, and architecture of the Greater San Antonio area.
New Braunfels is still a quiet suburb of San Antonio. It was founded by German immigrants and celebrates it’s German heritage through it’s annual “ Wurstfest”, held every November. It’s also one of the fastest growing towns in Texas. People looking for new 55+ developments, close to a big city, will find New Braunsfel a fitting location.
The region also includes other suburbs within driving distance to San Antonio's stores, restaurants, and medical facilities. Peaceful towns like Boerneand Seguin effuse southern charm. Other neighborhoods popular with retirees include Bulverde, Castroville, and Fair Oaks.
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos
The region of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos is known as Greater Austin. Austin is the capital of Texas and known for its vibrant live music scene. The city has worked hard to keep it’s laid-back feel by supporting small businesses and encouraging artists to make it their home. Although the area isn’t represented in the major professional sport leagues, it’s home to the University of Texas Longhorns. Their football team alone, is enough to sustain a vibrant spectator community.
The Greater Austin area encompasses more rural towns like Georgetown, Liberty Hill.and Kyle. If you're looking for a slower pace of life, diversity in ethnicity and cultures, and convenience to Austin, these are the towns for you! As Texas becomes more popular for active older adults looking for relocate, the small towns in the Greater Austin region will continue to grow, providing a variety of housing options.
West Texas covers a huge swath of land from south of Texas Panhandle, down to the Rio Grande, and west to New Mexico border. It’s climate is low-desert, with a sprinkling of mountain ranges and river valleys. This sunny region is full of culture, mixing a large Czech community with the dominate Hispanic population. The area is mostly rural and is dotted by small farming communities that are serviced by larger towns such as Lubbock, Midland, and El Paso.
Lubbock is the economic center of the Northern region of West Texas. It’s home to Universtiy Medical Center, the largest medical hospital in the region.
Midland is home to over 130,000 residents. It’s slow-pace, mild seasons, and diverse culture make it a popular place for retirees looking for peace and quiet. With over a dozen golf courses in the Midland area alone, active older adults can practice improving their par scores every day of the year.
El Paso borders the Rio Grande and is the most populous city in West Texas. It’s home to over 800,000 residents, of which 81% are Hispanic. El Paso is one third of the international metropolitan area known as Paso del Norte. The other cities are Las Cruces, NM and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. El Paso is the transportation, medical and shopping hub of the Southwest area of West Texas.
The Texas Panhandle is the northernmost region of the state. The largest city in this sparsely-populated region is Amarillo. It’s population hovers around 200,000 residents, which makes for a tight-knit community and affordable retirement options.
Probably the best reason to retire in the Texas Panhadle is close access to the Palo Duro Canyon system. Second only to the Grand Canyon, this park offers unlimited outdoor adventures for the active older adult, without the crowds. Unpredictable weather has carved a myriad of passageways just waiting to explored.
Brownsville-Harlingen is at the southernmost tip of Texas. The region is blessed with a subtropical climate on par with Southern Forida. Mild winters, proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Matamoros Mexico, and the Rio Grande, make the region a comfortable and affordable choice for active older adults looking to live out their retirement years.
Brownsville and surrounding communities have at least a dozen of golf courses. Imagine an affordable lifestyle that allows for daily rounds of golf all year long. There’s a change of industry in this part of Texas. Many technology companies are moving in and bringing with them updated infrastructure and modern conveniences afforded to more expensive communities.
The city of Harlingen is home to around 70,000 residents. It’s a small city that has fourteen golf courses and an active birding community. Travel to and from Matamoros, Mexico is easy from Harlingen using the nearby Free Trade Bridge across the Rio Grande.
Senior Friendly Activities in Texas
From upscale shopping to rugged state parks, Texas has many activities to offer its senior residents. Here are some of the most popular things to do located in communities and around the state..
Community Activities for 55+ Active Adults
Staying active is easy when you retire in Texas. Many developments are expansive and incorporate winding walking and biking trails. In waterfront communities, residents can head down to the lakefront for fishing, kayaking, and bird watching. Work out at the private, climate-controlled fitness center, play a few rounds of bocce ball, or swim in the community pool.
Play Golf in the Texas Sun
Texas has almost 1000 golf courses sprinkled around the state! Some courses are purposely built next to 55+ communities. These golf course communities often include a driving range, putting green and onsite dining.
Visit the Community Clubhouse
Texans know how to make the most of their community clubhouses. Residents get to know their neighbors playing Texas Horseshoes and sharing BBQ on the patio. Inside, there are opportunities to watch sports together or try to best your neighbor in a game of poker. Quilting, painting, and other arts and crafts are more enjoyable when you can do them with friends. Some active adult communities clubhouses host speakers, music performances, and seasonal gatherings!
Play Tennis and Pickleball
Sports like tennis and pickleball are popular in active adult communiites. Playing team sports is an excellent way to stay fit, build friendships, and keep busy. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the active adult world. There are leagues and competitions popping up all around the country. Having a court in your community is a great way to prepare for tournaments.
Enjoy The Best Texas Has To Offer
Play at Renowned Golf Courses
The mild and sunny climate of Texas is perfect for golfing. Some famous golf courses include Whispering Pines, Bluejack National, and the Dallas National Golf Course. There’s a golf tournament being held most every day somewhere in Texas.
Enjoy Water Sports
Texas’ lakes and oceans are perfect for water sports. Spend the day sailing in the Gulf of Mexico or going for a swim in a lake. Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting are other senior friendly water sports.
Motorsport, College Sport, and Rodeo
The flat, open terrain of Texas is perfect for motorsports. Whether you’re into watching NASCAR, Indy, or Formula One, Texas hosts them all! If you want to try your hand at racing your own car, many towns in Texas have at least one oval open to car enthusiasts.
College sport is an integral part of Texas heritage. Whether you’re cheering on the Longhorns, the Aggies, or one of the other two dozen college teams, there’s a team and sport near you.
Being that Texas is known for it’s livestock, it’s no wonder that rodeo plays an important role in the lifestyle. Many active older adults are passed the age of bull riding, but still enjoy the thrill of watching the best of the best hang on for eight seconds. Rodeo is also an important component in keeping the community connected and passing on animal husbandry tips from one rancher to the next.
How to Know if Texas is Right for You
If you’re looking for a retirement destination with affordable housing and low taxes, Texas offers all that and more! Many empty nesters love the state’s warm weather and mild winters. Texas is flat and easy to navigate.
Another benefit of retiring in Texas is its ease of transportation to Mexico and beyond. The history in Texas is unique to the state and a source of its sense of pride. Texas is culturally diverse, politically conservative, sport-oriented, and is home to world-class medical facilities.
Retire to a Senior Community in Texas
Senior friendly master planned 55+ communities in Texas offer retirees a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. The warm weather means many low maintenance properties are available. Single story housing is offered to fit any budget, from low cost manufactured homes to luxury rental apartments.
Golf Course Communities
Enjoy the freedom to play a round of golf whenever you like when you live in a golf course community. In Texas, these communities function similarly to country clubs with exclusive membership and private access to courses.
Age Restricted Communities
If you’re interested in making friends with your like-minded neighbors, age restricted communities are an ideal choice. These communities can be gated and tend to have a small town feel that contribute to lower crime rates.
Many of the waterfront communities in Texas are located along the Gulf of Mexico, though there are some communities around rivers and private lakes. These communities are ideal for empty nesters who enjoy water sports and who value a lakeside or oceanside view.
Split the difference between an apartment and a house in a condominium (condo) community. These communities let retirees live close to shopping, dining, and entertainment districts in cities without paying the costly rates of a single family home in the city.
Senior Healthcare in Texas
Texas has multiple high quality healthcare facilities providing both emergency and routine care to seniors. Some operate on a regional basis, such as Northwest Texas Healthcare and South Texas Health System. Other health systems include Memorial Hermann and Texas Health Harris Methodist.
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