13 of the Best Places To Retire in Nevada

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Senior man with camera looking at the Hoover Dam
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Whether you seek vibrant cities, quiet communities or rugged mountain isolation, it’s a good bet you’ll find a pleasing place to retire in Nevada.

From glitzy casinos to convenience store slot machines, gambling is nearly ubiquitous across the Silver State. However, Nevada offers plenty more, including outdoor adventures, pro sports, museums and theaters to keep you engaged, entertained and educated year-round.

And it has no state income tax.

It’s also none too crowded: The seventh-largest state in land area, Nevada has only 3.2 million residents, 17% of whom are age 65 or older, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

Here are some of the top places in Nevada to retire, roughly from north — where you’ll have four distinct seasons — to south, with mostly year-round sun.

Reno

Reno, Nevada
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Population: 273,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 15%

“The Biggest Little City in the World” is also the largest city in Northern Nevada. Nestled on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada range and straddling the Truckee River, Reno features flashy casinos but also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, a diversifying economy and plenty to keep you busy indoors or out.

Tee off at 16 area golf courses; go kayaking, rafting or tubing at a whitewater park right in the center of the city; check out the National Automobile Museum featuring more than 200 rare, classic and custom cars; hoot and holler at the boot-stompin’, jaw-droppin’ Reno Rodeo; or cheer your favorite racing airplane. Further your education at the University of Nevada-Reno, where you can root for Wolf Pack athletes.

You can live in one of several 55-plus communities and get medical care at the Veterans Administration medical center or three local hospitals.

Sparks

Sparks, Nevada
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Population: 109,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 15%

Originally known as Rail City for a switching yard next to Reno, Sparks grew into a vibrant city of its own with festivals, unique shopping and outdoor attractions.

Go kayaking, tubing and rafting at Rock Park along the Truckee River; try windsurfing, sailing, swimming and scuba diving at the 77-acre lake at Sparks Marina, which is also home to an outlet mall that includes an outdoors retailer’s Ferris wheel; or splash around at a water park that also features a bowling alley. Sparks is home to six golf courses, too.

If you’re hungry for nostalgia, the Hot August Night‘s car cruising festival rolls through Sparks and Reno; and if you’re just hungry, sample ribs at the Best in the West Cook-Off competition at Sparks’ downtown Victorian Square.

Sparks also has 55-plus home neighborhoods, its own hospital and casinos.

Incline Village

Incline Village, Nevada
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Population: 9,000 as of 2020

Share of the population age 65 and older: 22%

Enjoy residents-only beaches along cobalt-blue Lake Tahoe, two community-owned golf courses and a ski area with spectacular lake and Sierra Nevada views in this former logging tramway that’s now a year-round playground sometimes referred to as “Income Village” because so many millionaires made their home there on Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival presents theatrical, dance and concert productions under the stars on an outdoors lakeshore stage at adjacent Sand Harbor State Park. Dining-out options include casual bistro-style restaurants and long-standing fine dining establishments, some on the shore, others with lake and mountain views.

You can hike to the 10,772-foot summit of Mount Rose, which is also home to a ski area and is part of the extensive Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. There’s also a community hospital and plenty of doctors if you overdo it.

Incline Village is also featured in our look at great places to retire in the mountains.

Elko

Great Basin College in Elko, Nevada
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Population: 21,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 13%

Cowboy culture mingles with natural history in this high desert community near the craggy-peaked Ruby Mountains, where you can go camping, hunting, bird watching and hiking. As headquarters for the leading U.S. gold-producing mines, which help keep the local economy booming, Elko hosts an annual mining expo and can serve as your base for your own rockhounding expeditions.

In town are museums, casinos and the Western Folklife Center, headquarters for the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where poets, troubadours, storytellers and artisans share tales of hard work, heartbreak and hilarity of life on the Western range. Elko also hosts festivals honoring Basque and Native American culture.

While browsing the city’s artwalk murals, don’t trip over dozens of hand-painted, 6-foot-tall Centennial Boots at local businesses and in public places.

Ely

Ely, Nevada
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Population: 4,000 as of 2020

Share of population age 65 and older: 17%

Located at the east end of what Life magazine in 1986 dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America,” this former Pony Express outpost and copper mining center thrives with art, historical sites, festivals and opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Ride into history aboard a Northern Nevada Railway train pulled by a vintage locomotive; check out the town’s public murals and sculptures on a downtown artwalk; and enjoy a variety of shopping, dining and Nevada-style action. Medical care is also available in town.

The seat of White Pine County serves as a gateway to outdoors adventures at Great Basin National Park, which includes the mysterious limestone Lehman Caves, nearby Cave Lake State Park, and other recreation areas where you can enjoy camping, biking, fishing and hiking.

Carson City

Carson City, Nevada
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Population: 58,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 21%

You’ll be steeped in state history in Nevada’s capital, home to an abundance of activities indoors and out.

Tour the State Capitol, walk the Kit Carson Trail through Carson City’s historic district featuring Victorian-style homes from the 1800s, museums and churches; ride the rails or view vintage locomotives and railcars at the rail museum; play at local casinos; or make new friends sharing activities at the senior center.

Carson City extends to Skunk Harbor and Chimney Beach at Lake Tahoe, about 25 minutes from downtown. Medical facilities include its own hospital.

Carson Valley

Carson Valley, Nevada
Joseph Foley / Shutterstock.com

Population: 44,000 as of 2021

Share of Douglas County population age 65 and older: 33%

The communities of Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville make up the bulk this laid-back, friendly scenic valley at the base of the Sierra Nevada’s eastern slope, 30 minutes from Douglas County’s piece of Lake Tahoe — if the road’s not snowed in. At the south end of Carson Valley is Topaz Lake.

Hiking, biking, skiing, swimming and golfing as well as gambling and nightlife are all close by.

Visit Nevada’s oldest bar in Genoa, originally a Gold Rush trading post called Mormon Station, home of a state historic park and an annual Candy Dance crafts fair. Dine family style on Basque cuisine in Gardnerville, where a restaurant grew from immigrants’ sheepherding traditions. Soak in the same hot springs that once soothed author Mark Twain. Shop for local crafts, unique boutiques and antiques. Health care includes a hospital and clinics.

Mesquite

Mesquite Nevada
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Population: 22,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 42%

Sitting on the Arizona border 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Mesquite attracts active adults who like the availability of outdoors living, a 24-hour casino lifestyle and a bit of adventure.

Tee off on one of several golf courses cradled by the Virgin Mountain foothills; discover Nevada desert secrets on a camel safari; explore nearby Gold Butte National Monument‘s red sandstone; learn art and pottery at the city’s fine arts center, play at city parks and a sports complex; go off-roading; visit a museum; or just kick back at a pool in your 55-plus community.

A regional hospital and multiple medical complexes are available if you need them.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas by night, with mountains
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Population: 656,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 15%

You’ll never run out of things to do in Nevada’s largest city, which you’ll share with nearly 40 million visitors a year.

Las Vegas is famous for five-star resorts, world-class restaurants, stellar shopping, headliner entertainment, major events and 24/7 casino action downtown and on the famous Strip.

Outside casinos, you can golf at 50 courses within 15 miles; root for major-league home teams including football’s Raiders, hockey’s Golden Knights, women’s basketball’s Aces, soccer’s Lights, and soon baseball’s Athletics. Keep learning at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, home of the Rebels athletics teams. Experience the National Finals Rodeo performances, or take in more locally oriented events.

Cool off in a city pool or senior rec center. Health care choices abound, including the Las Vegas Medical District, if you need it.

On the scenic western edge of Las Vegas, the Howard Hughes Corp.’s 120,000-resident planned community of Summerlin includes several 55-plus gated communities with their own amenities. Independent-living apartments and assisted-living centers are available too.

Pahrump

Pahrump, Nevada
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Population: 45,000 as of 2020

Share of the population age 65 and older: 32%

Blend excitement and serenity in this Mojave Desert town that’s a hotspot for RV rallies, hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers and off-roaders.

With Las Vegas about an hour east and Death Valley National Park an hour west, the town bills itself as “Your base camp to adventure.”

Right in town you can try your luck at several casinos; enjoy panoramic mountain views while playing golf at two courses; learn how to race a sports car; safely ride a horse on a mountain trail; and try local wines.

You can live in a resort style community for active adults, and there’s a local hospital.

Henderson

Henderson, Nevada aerial photo
Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock.com

Population: 331,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 20%

Nevada’s second-largest city lets you live a suburban lifestyle while staying close to Las Vegas action, just 16 miles away.

Henderson has its own casinos, and you can golf at 11 courses in the city; walk yourself or your dog, skate, splash or play sports in the city’s 71 parks; view murals and art galleries in the Water Street District; enjoy pools and sports courts at the Multigenerational Center or catch pro sports games and concerts at Dollar Loan Center; and participate in activities at two senior centers.

Live in one of the 55-plus communities by builders Del Webb and Lennar. Henderson has several hospitals and numerous medical offices.

Boulder City

Lake Mead in Boulder City, Nevada
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Population: 15,000 as of 2022

Share of the population age 65 and older: 29%

One of only two cities in Nevada to ban gambling (the other is Panaca), Boulder City lies just minutes from Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Hoover Dam.

Downtown Las Vegas is less than an hour away from this quiet, low-crime community erected in 1931 to house thousands of workers building Hoover Dam. The snowless desert oasis at 2,500 feet elevation boasts 289 days of sunshine with summer desert heat highs hovering around 100 degrees.

There are five golf courses, 17 parks, community events and unique shopping in its downtown historic district. Nearby recreational opportunities include horseback riding, car and boat racing, hiking, off-road biking, fishing, waterskiing and zip lining.

City-provided power tends to keep electricity rates lower than average.

Laughlin

Laughlin, Navada offers a combination of really hot weather and some great entertainment options.
By rycolemet / Shutterstock.com

Population: 9,000 as of 2020

Share of the population age 65 and older: 42%

Desert serenity and recreational opportunities will entice you along this stretch of the Colorado River.

While Laughlin’s casino resorts offer entertainment, festivals and a range of dining, the town has plenty of outdoor activities, including boating and fishing. Sink a putt in Laughlin’s only golf course encompassing a gated 55-plus community. Six other golf courses are within 20 miles. Peruse antique, classic and unique automobiles; tour the Colorado River by boat; or shop at an outlet mall.

Stroll along the riverwalk where you might hear music or take in a festival, or go further and walk, bike, or ride a horse along several miles of the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails, also known as the North Reach.

Medical facilities include a VA clinic, and hospitals are across the river in Bullhead City, Arizona.

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