Senior Resources » Best Cities for Retirement in New Mexico

Best Cities for Retirement in New Mexico

Although New Mexico is the 5th largest state, it’s the least populated. But, don’t let the demographics fool you – New Mexico is rich in personality! No other state can claim such geographical or cultural diversity, nor match its historic complexity. The state is known for its strong Native American and Hispanic influences which can be seen in the architecture, food, and culture of its cities. The landscape and hot weather make it a favorite destination for outdoor lovers. And, the cost of living is around 12% lower than the national average! Do these elements make up the perfect place for retirement? You be the judge! Here are some of the best cities for retirement in New Mexico.

Welcome to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment

Silver City

This New Mexico hidden gem is located in the southwest corner of the state and features a population of approximately 10,000. The town has a historic district with museums and casual dining restaurants along with Bear Mountain Lodge. There’s even a school of animation and cartooning.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Despite being the capital and fourth largest city in New Mexico, the town has a population of only 67,000. Santa Fe is known for its multicultural flavor and art community – so much so that the town was recently named a UNESCO Creative City. The city is rife with art galleries, museums, and sculptures. Music and opera are also well represented in the town through the Santa Fe Opera. For such a small town, Santa Fe offers a lot of options for the creative and visual arts lover.



Known as Cavern City, Carlsbad offers a lot to people looking to live in a small town with outdoor recreation, dining, and culture. Carlsbad features three man-made lakes all within 50 miles of the city limits. The city is surrounded by caverns located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Other points of interest include Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, Project Gnome, and Project Playground.

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Los Alamos

Los Alamos, NM

Los Alamos is a town full of science, culture, and ancient villages. The recreation options are truly unique in Los Alamos. They include the Larry Walkup swimming center, a high-altitude golf course overlooking the city, and the Jemez Mountains Scenic Byway. Los Alamos also has deep roots in the scientific community. The town’s scientific history includes the Manhattan Project and the Human Genome Project.

Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho has several fun and diverse activities for citizens and tourists. The city has a fun vibe and includes an annual hot air balloon festival, a vintage and exotic car show known as the Annual Park N the Park Show, and the annual pork and brew BBQ state championships.



Clovis is located in Curry County, New Mexico with a population of approximately 38,000. Clovis was once an important town in the rock music industry. In the 1950s the town was home to Norman Petty Studios where Buddy Holly recorded his music. Clovis is also home to Cannon Air Force Base.

South Valley

South Valley is located just outside of Albuquerque. The television show Breaking Bad is filmed in South Valley. The small town of approximately 40,000 offers plenty of shopping and casual dining options for singles and families. It’s been noted as a great place for singles as the population is disproportionately unmarried.


UFO Parking sign in Roswell, New Mexico

The Chaves County town is famous for being the location of the Roswell UFO incident. In 2002 the town won an award naming it one of the most All-American towns in the country. Roswell offers small-town pride, great food, and friendly people.

Silver City is another on the list of popular New Mexico retirement small towns. Silver City residents say their town of 10,000 offers ‘the real New Mexico experience’. Located in Grant County Silver City is home to wildlife, nightlife, and the good life.

More in New Mexico

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Originally published September 21, 2022

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