25 Best Small Towns in Texas to Retire in 2022


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Retirement is a luxury everyone should have, especially after working hard for many years. And there’s a wide number of options in the Lone Star State. So today, this Texas native is reviewing the best small towns in Texas to retire.

Some of those best small Texas towns that make a great place to retire include: Gruene, Meadow Lakes, Port Aransas, Glen Rose, Brady, and Kerrville.

But don’t worry. I’ll get to my top 25 below with all the important details for each one.

However, you cannot live out these dreams without financial freedom. You can read on tips for financial freedom HERE.

Saving for retirement is an integral part of life that should not be overlooked. Suppose you do not have a retirement plan. It is not too late, as you can read my recent article on the best ways to save for retirement.

Are you thinking of retiring to a small town in Texas?

I live in the Texas hill country and wouldn’t have it any other way. But large cities aside, there are tons of options with nice median home prices well below the national average. From coastal towns on the gulf coast to smaller, more central towns with 18-hole golf courses, Texas has a little bit of everything.

This article will explore the best options for you to live a peaceful and quiet life after retirement.

Number 25 – Beaumont

Beaumont is a town with a population of less than 500,000.

It is located in the southeastern part of Texas. Retirees who want out of really large towns like Houston but want access to top amenities can choose this town. Driving from Beaumont to Houston requires only about 90 minutes.

In addition, it is close to the Neches River, which borders Louisiana.

Furthermore, there is Sabine Lake, where retirees can go fishing. Living in Houston is less expensive than in the larger cities. It also offers access to excellent health facilities.

And for baby boomer music fans, this is the home of Johnny and Edgar winter.

Number 24 – Hollywood Park

Hollywood Park is located in Bexar County, with a population of less than 4,000.

The town is relatively safe to live in. This beautiful community offers an excellent option for senior citizens who love golf. Some facilities cater to the health needs of older adults in the town. The cost of living, monthly housing rates, and property taxes are lower in Hollywood Park.

The lovely Salado Creek Greenway makes for exciting outdoor activities. Hollywood Park also has a Starbucks coffee store.

Number 23 – Meadow Lakes

Meadowlakes in the Hill county of Burnet county has a population of less than 2000.

There are great fishing, boating, and swimming options like the Lake Marble Falls Lake Lyndon. Retirees who enjoy playing golf will enjoy the Hidden Falls Golf Club.

One important feature of this town is that the monthly housing and property tax rate is lower than most places. Healthcare service is also available to the residents of this town.

Are you looking for some peace for inspiration after retirement? You would enjoy the beauty of nature in this town.

Number 22 – Clear Lake Shores

Clear Lake Shores is located in Galveston County, with about 1190 residents as of 2019.

The low population may be due to the hurricane disaster in 2008. Residents of Clear Lake Shores have access to a grocery store and a Farmers’ market to buy and sell locally grown produce.

In addition, an emergency healthcare facility that runs 24/7 is available in the town. The town is surrounded by water so you may want to consider if you love water sports. There are also beaches available if you want a tan or enjoy the beauty of the waters.

Number 21 – Brenham

Brenham is a town in east Texas located between Houston and Austin with a population of over 17,000.

The town is rich in history and nature- oak forests and grassy fields.

It is a lovely town with many outdoor activities that draw tourists from all over. In addition, if you love ice cream, you are in for a treat because the Blue Bell Ice Cream is located in Brenham.

Finally, suppose you are looking for a place to retire that is fun while spending considerably less on monthly spending and property taxes, Brenham is a good fit.

Gristmill

Number 20 – Gruene

Gruene, pronounced as “green”, has a population of over 70,000.

A really exciting feature is the Guadalupe River that passes through it. Gruene is known for its historical relevance; the oldest dance hall in Texas is right here. In addition, there are so many options for sightseeing, dining and playing golf.

Furthermore, it is located within the New Braunfels city limits.

The scenery is beautiful, lots of festivals to keep the town alive, and access to quality social amenities. Gruene is also less expensive than the bigger cities.

Gruene is about 40 minutes from my house and is one of my favorite places to visit. Next door to the dance hall is one of my favorite restaurants; The Gristmill. Get some onion rings for me!

Kemah

Number 19- Kemah

Kemah is one of the scarcely populated towns in Texas.

It is an excellent choice for retirement with fewer than 4,000 residents. Located in Galveston County, Kemah is great for retirees who want to live a quiet life and get the best out of it. It is not limited to restaurants, bars, and parks.

The town is famous for the Kemah Boardwalk that offers loads of fun for every family member. My kids and I have been to that boardwalk a few times, and it’s always a blast!

Living here gives you access to healthcare services and several golf courses. The monthly cost of housing in Kemah is about $300 less than the average in the State.

Number 18- Port Aransas

Port Aransas is a small town with a population of less than 5,000.

It is located in Nueces County, 180 miles southeast of San Antonio. Port Aransas is North of Padre Island and surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi Ship Channel, and Bay. Although the cost of living rivals Texas State, the peaceful and quiet life is worth it.

There are several fun activities to stay fit.

If you love the beach, Port Aransas offers a clean beach for your relaxation and several watersports to keep you fit. Living here gives you access to basic social amenities.

Number 17- Glen Rose

Glen Rose is a small town in Somervell County with a population of less than 3,000.

It is about an hour’s drive to Fort Worth. Suppose you are looking for a place with mild weather, then Glen Rose it is. Although it is a sparsely populated town, residents have access to a 36-hole golf course, hospitals, and other things.

However, the cost of monthly housing and property taxes is higher in Glen Rose than the national average.

Attractions include the historic downtown square, the Dinosaur Valley State Park, Big Rocks Park, museums, and other great parks.

Number 16- Bastrop

Bastrop is located Southeast of Austin, with a population of less than 9,000.

The monthly cost of housing and property tax is lower than in the States. However, suppose you are a retiree who prioritizes access to healthcare. In that case, you are at the right stop as there are various health care facilities in Austin, which is about a 30-minute drive.

Bastrop has several fun activities that young kids can engage in when they visit.

They would have a fun experience like never before. There is the suspension bridge across the Colorado River where you can bike, jog, hike or walk. Bastrop is known for its beautiful outdoor attractions like the Lake Bastrop, Bastrop State Park, etc.

I put an offer in on a house here once (my Mom lives there) but got outbid and ended up in Wimberley instead.

But Bastrop has a lot to offer!

Johnson City

Number 15- Johnson City

Johnson City is in the County seat of Blanco County. It has a population of about 2000.

This hill country is a fun place to be for retirees. In addition, there is access to health and recreational facilities. It is an escape from the noisy and crowded city but with as much fun.

Pedernales Falls State Park is 10 miles east of Johnson City. The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is 12 miles east of Johnson City. Furthermore, the monthly cost of housing and property tax rate is lower than the States.

For wine enthusiasts, Johnson city offers a fine winery.

And you’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from Fredericksburg, which is an awesome town founded by German immigrants. There are tons of great wineries, restaurants, and antique stores there.

Plus, it’s close to my favorite state park, Enchanted Rock.

Number 14- Mineola

The town of Mineola is located in Wood County, with a population of less than 5,000.

Mineola is a bubbling town with an incredible downtown. If you want to retire to downtown in East Texas, you can opt for Mineola.

They have incredible fashion shops, winery, and yoga places- yoga is good for the health.

Mineola is hot in summers, but with winter comes the cold and wet season. Furthermore, the Walmart Superstore saves you a trip to the big cities. Living in Mineola is less expensive, fulfilling, and relaxing.

Number 13- Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is a lovely small town for senior citizens with less than 5,000 residents.

Suppose you love spending time around the beach and playing golf, Horseshoe Bay has got you covered.

The moment you see the natural beauty of this town, you can’t help but fall in love with it. So many people come here to visit the beach and the blue-colored waters to take beautiful pictures. Although it may be a little pricy for housing, it is a great place for retirement.

Number 12- Jefferson

This East Texas town has a population of less than 1800 as of 2020.

Jefferson has Caddo Lake, where you can spend some quality outdoor time. In addition, you can also visit the Picturesque Lake O’the Pines and its surrounding parks.

It is famous for its bed and breakfast that can be a perfect getaway for you and your partner.

Jefferson is a historic town with a museum that displays the region’s history and early age. A great retirement plan that is quiet, lots of outdoor activities to keep fit and keep the romance alive.

Westlake

Number 11- West Lake Hills

West Lake Hills is located in Travis County, with a population of less than 4,000. However, the cost of living and housing is considerably higher due to its close proximity to Austin.

But, it makes up for this with rural landscapes, good schools, health care facilities, and restaurants.

The outdoor scenery is great, and you can visit parks, lakes, and Habit Preserve. This is one of the best places to retire as it brings you closer to nature to appreciate the beauty of life.

I worked in Westlake for many years and still do martial arts there.

It’s a great little town just minutes from Austin but feels a whole world away. And over the years, it’s become less of a family town and more for empty-nesters.

Number 10- Silsbee

Silsbee is a town located in Southeast Texas with a population of 6,563 as of 2020.

This town has various woods, which gives it a natural look. If you are someone who loves to breathe in the freshness of nature, then this is for you. This town is about 21 miles north of Beaumont.

It is great for retirees due to low property taxes, housing costs, and crime rates. Silsbee is also known for its warm climate, making it excellent for outdoor activities. This town has several parks like Knipple, Veteran, etc. The Neches River also flows through the town, making it perfect for canoeing or kayaking.

Just 15 miles from the town is the Big Thicket National Preserve, filled with wildlife and natural beauty.

Number 9- Brady

Brady, often described as the heart of Texas, is located in McCulloch County, Central Texas.

It is a town with a population of about 5,200 people. Brady is an ideal retirement place because the cost of housing is less than what we see in the bigger cities of Texas.

It is home to the famous yearly World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-off.

This competition takes place during the Labour Day weekend at Richards Park. The weather is nice, although there are variations throughout the year. Located Northwest of the town is a nine-hole golf course.

There is also a Critical Access Hospital for emergency cases before transferring to big hospitals.

Burnet

Number 8- Burnet

Burnet in Central Texas has a population of fewer than 7,000 people.

The town was named after the first President of the Republic of Texas, David Gouverneur Burnet. Moreso, living in Burnet offers good access to restaurants. In addition, it is relatively safe with low crime rates. This town is commonly known as the bluebonnet capital of Texas.

The attractions include rolling hills, lakes, Historic Burnet Square, Texas Wine Trail, and several museums with historical significance. Burnet is about an hour’s drive to Austin.

There is also an 18-hole championship golf course where retirees can spend time.

Number 7- Cameron

Cameron is an interesting town in Milam County with a population of less than 6,000.

If you are looking for an area with lots of activities and fun, you may want to consider this option. The majority of the populace are older adults who moved there to be free from the bustle of the big cities. The cost of housing is low, and the weather is great, which makes it a great place to retire.

However, you may need to go into the city for groceries and better medical care.

Furthermore, you will find great pleasures in the options available for golf, dining, and getting books. It is a small but lively town with the annual Dewberry Festival, Classic Basketball Tournament, and Christmas parade.

Number 6 – Yoakum

The town of Yoakum borders DeWitt and Lavaca counties with a population of less than 6,000.

The cost of housing and property tax is low, making it a great option for retirement. In addition, the town is safe and has low crime rates. There are great restaurant choices. If you decide to settle, you will enjoy the fine weather and easy access to a medical professional.

However, if you enjoy golf, there is only one golf course in the town. Finally, let us not forget the museum that holds historical and cultural significance to Texas.

Number 5- Monahans

Monahans is a town with a population of about 8,000, with seniors making up about 15% of the total population.

The town is in west Texas, so expect higher temperatures than other regions.

If you don’t like very cold winters, this may be the spot for you. The Monahans Sandhills State Park is an excellent choice for camping, picnicking, and hiking. Housing cost is about 45% lower than the big cities.

In addition, property tax is fair, making it a good choice to settle.

The town of Monahans is known for hosting the AQHA Quarter Horse Show, Freedom Fair, Butterfield Overland Stagecoach, wagon festivals, and many other interesting events that keep the town lively and fun.

Number 4- Aransas Pass

Aransas Pass promises an exciting life similar to that in the big towns but with lesser noise and pollution.

It is 16 miles Northeast of Corpus Christi. The name is derived from the pass joining St. Joseph’s Island and Mustang.

With a population of about 8,000, about 19% are older adults, and 1.5 are immigrating retirees.

Aransas Pass promises warm weather and beaches, making it a top choice for retirees. There is plenty of restaurants, golf coasts, doctors, and recreation facilities, plus access to the grocery store.

If you imagine a retirement life that involves enjoying the sight of the ocean under a nice shade, then this is it!

Number 3- Granbury

Granbury is a town that may be a bit expensive. However, you have better access to amenities than other towns. It is located about 50 miles to the Southwest of the Fort Worth metro area.

The town is relatively safe with great weather.

Grocery stores are nearby, so you don’t need to drive to the big cities to fill your kitchen. This historical town is home to the family of Davy Crockett after his death. The population of Granbury is about 8,000, and 27% are senior citizens, with another portion of the population being retirees who came to settle in the town.

Number 2- Kerrville

Kerrville is undoubtedly a large town with a population of over 20,000. It is 60 miles northwest of San Antonio. A good percentage of the citizens are within retirement age.

Therefore, the monthly housing and property tax cost are less expensive than the State.

The weather is also pleasant, and occupants have excellent access to grocery stores, health facilities, and social amenities like restaurants and fitness centers. However, if you are a golf-loving retiree, you may have to drive a small distance to access the various golf courses.

The Guadalupe River passes through the town, which gives it a serene look.

It is a town rich in social and cultural activities that promise lots of fun. You can visit theaters and museums or watch the Kerrville Symphony Orchestra perform at the Symphony of the Hills. If you stay within Texas, you would have probably heard about the 18 days Kerrville Folk Festival, which is super exciting.

Number 1- Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is located in Central Texas, just 78 miles west of Austin.

The population in this town is above 10,000. Fredericksburg’s monthly cost of housing is 10% less than the State. This town is home to many retirees that settle in Texas.

It is a safe town with a low crime rate. Living in the town of Fredericksburg gives retirees and their families access to professional doctors, exotic restaurants, and recreation facilities.

There aren’t so many golf courses, but you will always get a place to play. Fredericksburg is in Texas Hill Country, which promises a mild climate. In addition, there are many tours and wine tastings for tourists and occupants.

Top 10 Best Rural Counties in Texas to Retire. (or just move to)

Conclusion

There are several amazing places in the great State of Texas that you can choose for retirement.

This article covered towns that had amazing beaches, lakes, restaurants, golf courses, hills, and parks. And of course, no matter which one you choose, there’s no state income tax!

However, while it is good to save for retirement, you should also consider an emergency fund. 

You can read one of my recent articles to understand the importance of emergency funds. So, start saving and making plans for your retirement today!

This will be a decision you won’t regret.


Pictures that require attribution:

Pictures may have been cropped, edited, or had a text overlay added and are used under CC2.0

Outside the Gristmill in Gruene by David B Nash

Kemah Boardwalk after dark by Jerald Jackson

Water over Limestone by Corey Leopold

Mount Larson: the other viewpoint to downtown Austin by Matthew Rutledge

Bluebonnet House – Texas by G. Lamar and Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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