Buyers and sellers of real estate alike—when asked what are the three most essential considerations about a property—will nearly always reply “location, location, location.” While this answer is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, it is often quite accurate, and this reply perhaps applies to retirees more than any other demographic. Settling down after a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family calls for the perfect location: a spot where you can enjoy life with as few concerns as possible.

When seniors aged 65 years or older decide on where they want to live out their golden years, they consider very specific factors, such as the cost of living, government services, health care facilities, weather and overall climate, crime rate, outdoor recreational activities, eating establishments, cultural and entertainment opportunities, and more.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Missouri using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, healthcare, recreation and weather. Read more about Niche’s methodology here.

Location is critical as retirees determine where to spend their senior years enjoying favorite activities; however, it’s a very unique decision based on a multitude of preferences and needs. Whether it be bustling downtowns or access to parks, affordable home prices or cultural amenities like museums, retirees seeking to settle in a permanent spot are sure to find a private paradise in any of these counties recommended by Niche because, in the end, there is no place like home—no matter the location.

Read on to discover the best counties to retire to in Missouri.

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#25. Cape Girardeau County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B+)
– Top places to live: Jackson (A-), Cape Girardeau (B+), Cape Girardeau Township (A-)

#24. Shelby County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: Taylor Township (A-), Bethel Township (A-), Black Creek Township (B+)

#23. Lewis County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: Union Township (B), Canton (B), La Grange (B-)

#22. Lafayette County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: Higginsville (B), Lexington (B), Odessa (B-)

#21. Grundy County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C-)
– Top places to live: Trenton (B-), Wilson Township (B+), Lincoln Township (B)

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#20. Gasconade County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B-)
– Top places to live: Owensville (B), Roark Township (B+), Hermann (B)

#19. Jasper County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B)
– Top places to live: Carl Junction (A), Webb City (A-), Oronogo (B+)

#18. St. Clair County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B-)
– Top places to live: Osceola Township (B-), Appleton Township (B-), Collins (B-)

#17. Barry County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B+)
– Top places to live: Monett (B), Cassville (C+), Butterfield (B+)

#16. Barton County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B-)
– Top places to live: Lamar (C+), Northfork Township (A-), Lamar Township (A-)

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#15. Bates County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B-)
– Top places to live: Butler (C), Hudson Township (B), Lone Oak Township (B)

#14. Henry County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: Clinton (C+), Windsor (C), Davis Township (B)

#13. Cedar County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: El Dorado Springs (C), Linn Township (B-), Stockton (C+)

#12. St. Charles County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A-)
– Top places to live: Dardenne Prairie (A+), Cottleville (A+), O’Fallon (A)

#11. Dade County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B)
– Top places to live: Dadeville (B), North Township (B), South Morgan Township (B-)

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#10. Linn County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
– Top places to live: Brookfield (B-), Marceline Township (B+), Marceline (B+)

#9. Iron County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B+)
– Top places to live: Ironton (B-), Arcadia Township (B), Liberty Township (B)

#8. Hickory County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B)
– Top places to live: Montgomery Township (B+), Center Township (B), Cross Timbers Township (B)

#7. St. Louis County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A)
– Top places to live: Richmond Heights (A+), Clayton (A+), Brentwood (A+)

#6. Taney County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (B), outdoor activities (A-)
– Top places to live: Branson (B+), Hollister (B), Merriam Woods (B)

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#5. Morgan County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C+)
– Top places to live: Versailles (B-), Moreau Township (B-), Buffalo Township (C+)

#4. Benton County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (B), outdoor activities (B-)
– Top places to live: Warsaw (C+), Cole Camp (B+), Williams Township (B)

#3. Stone County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A-)
– Top places to live: Kimberling City (B), Ruth B City Township (B), Blue Eye (B)

#2. Atchison County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C+)
– Top places to live: Polk Township (A-), Clay Township (B+), Rock Port (B+)

#1. Camden County

– Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B), weather (B), outdoor activities (A-)
– Top places to live: Village of Four Seasons (B+), Camdenton (B-), Osage Beach (B-)

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