The downtown area of Livingston, Montana. Editorial credit: Nick Fox /

7 Towns Perfect For Retirement In Montana

If retirement came with permanently locking away your Italian suits and enjoying world-class fishing, hunting, and whitewater rafting, Montana would be among the best states in the US to retire. The mountain vistas, especially on the western part— and the heart-ravishing views — especially from a glittering lake, can make any retiree look half her age. Then again, Montana is home to numerous fantastic breweries. From Whitefish to Lewistown, discover the seven towns below that are perfect for retirement in Montana.


Mainstreet in Whitefish, Montana.
Mainstreet in Whitefish, Montana. Editorial credit: Beeldtype /

As the weather permits, a retiree in Whitefish will enjoy biking along the picturesque Big Mountain Road, hiking the Lion Mtn Trailhead — while inhaling sweeping views of Skyles Lake — or enjoying a world of fun and adventure at the nearby Glacier National Park, known for its massive U-shaped valleys and hulking granite peaks carved by ancient ice flows. Concerning healthcare access, the highly-rated Logan Health - Whitefish has been providing excellent services to the residents of the area for well over a century.

This town’s median age is 43, implying the social landscape features a delightful blend of the young and the aged. Moreover, seniors aged 60 and above comprise 28% of the population. That said, Whitefish is expensive. The town’s median home listing price was $1.4M in March 2024.


An old rustic outhouse sits in a field in Belgrade, Montana
An old rustic outhouse sits in a field in Belgrade, Montana.

Often perceived as the affordable alternative to Bozeman, Belgrade’s retirement appeal is top-notch. A retiree here can access numerous big-city amenities, including excellent hospitals. For example, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital is a three-time consecutive recipient of the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Pulmonary Care Award (2024, 2023, 2022). A retiree here will be a heartbeat away from the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which provides non-stop flights to more than 20 cities in the United States. Once in a while, a bottle of Scotch Ale from Madison River Brewing will come in handy — as will a tasty barbecue or a slow brunch at the Bar 3 Bar-B-Q situated right along Main Street. The Gallatin River also flows nearby and provides superb fishing opportunities. That said, Belgrade’s housing market is increasingly becoming competitive.

In March 2024, Belgrade's median listing home price was $602,500. Houses are snapped quickly and take an average of 56 days on the market compared to 89 in Bozeman and 108 in the state. Belgrade’s median age is a young and earnest 33. Still, residents aged 60 and above comprise 13% of the population.


The downtown area of Livingston, Montana
The downtown area of Livingston, Montana. Editorial credit: melissamn /

Encircled by beautiful mountains and the Yellowstone River, where one can get wet reveling in top-notch whitewater rafting, Livingston is another Montana charmer a potential retiree will want to consider. When summer rolls along, an afternoon plunge at the Chico Hot Springs — amid panoramic views of the Absaroka Mountains — will be something to look forward to. Plus, the Custer Gallatin National Forest sprawls in Livingston’s backyard and boasts numerous camping sites, including the Pine Creek Campground, just 9 miles south of Livingston.

In March 2024, Livingston's median listing home price was $625,000. This price point comes with living at the doorstep of Livingston Healthcare, a 2024 recipient of the Outstanding Patient Experience Award. Livingston’s median age is 42, which implies a delicious blend of young and old. And since residents aged 60 and above comprise 28% of the town’s population, an empty nester will find folks in the same age bracket to enjoy fireside chats with.


Riverfront Park in Laurel, Montana
Riverfront Park in Laurel, Montana. Image credit: Forest Service Northern Region via

First, Laurell is relatively affordable. It boasts a median home listing price of just $392,000. The town’s median selling price is even lower — $351,600. The exciting part about retiring here is that Billings, Montana’s largest city, is just 18 miles down the road. Therefore, one does not need to worry about healthcare access, where to shop for groceries, or where to relish a slow Sunday brunch.

A retiree here will enjoy fishing at the Lion's Family Park South Side Pond, golfing at the Laurel Golf Club, one of Montana's finest private golf clubs, or camping at the nearby Cooney State Park amid scenic mountain vistas. While Laurell’s median age is 36, residents aged 60 and above comprise 24% of the town’s population. Therefore, about 1 in 4 residents can hum to Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”


Kalispell, Montana.
The vibrant town of Kalispell, Montana. Editorial credit: Nick Fox /

Kalispell is in Montana's Flathead Valley, one of the most unspoiled and relaxing places to play golf in the United States. Golf Digest, for instance, the No. 1 most widely-read golf publication in the world, listed Flathead among its top 50 golf destinations — and one of the ten best golf retirement destinations. Buffalo Hill Golf Course, opened by the great Arnold Palmer, boasts the best and largest practice facility in the Pacific Northwest. But there is also Northern Pines, encircled by the majestic mountain ranges of the Flathead National Forest, a haven of diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and endless outdoor adventure opportunities.

Once in a while, an empty nester will enjoy getting lost in the Glacier National Forest and spending time with ospreys, bald eagles, and robins. Logan Health, both in Kalispell and Whitefish, offers excellent medical services. The town’s median age is a vibrant 35. Still, residents aged 60 and above comprise 23% of the population. In March 2024, the median listing home price in Kalispell was $653,200.


Downtown Dillon, Montana.
Downtown Dillon, Montana. Editorial credit: Charles Knowles /

A dainty, small town of about 4,300 residents, Dillon provides a homey, welcoming feel and convenient access to a range of outdoor attractions, including Bannack State Park, the site of Montana’s first gold strike. There is also Jackson Hot Springs in Jackson and Elkhorn Hot Springs in nearby Polaris, whose rustic cabins serve as fantastic weekend hideouts. For avid anglers, the rainbow trout-laden Clark Canyon Reservoir will come in handy.

The median listing home price in Dillon was $469,000 in March 2024. Considering this is Montana’s second-safest city (according to Safewise) and that the highly-rated Barrett Hospital and Healthcare is right in town — as is the University of Montana Western — this price point looks like a steal. Because of the student population, Dillon’s median age is 29. Still, residents aged 60 and above comprise 25% of the population.


A historical buildings in Lewiston, Montana.
A historical buildings in Lewiston, Montana. Image credit: Ted McGrath via

Lewistown is a quiet, sleepy little town nestled in the center of the state, mostly known for the blue Yogo Sapphires. According to data from Safewise, Lewistown is the safest city in Montana. It boasts numerous parks and green spaces, including Symmes Park, the site of the Lewistown Farmers Market, Frog Ponds, an excellent venue for trout fishing, and the oasis-like Lewistown Community Labyrinth Garden near Frank Day Park. There is also the 9-hole Pine Meadows Golf Course, where a retiree will enjoy teeing away an afternoon amid lush greenery and beautiful rolling hills.

Lewistown boasts some excellent amenities, including hospitals. Central Montana Medical Center, for example, is a 25-bed critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency response. Lewistown’s median age is a sweet and calm 48, and residents aged 60 and above comprise 37% of its population. The median listing home price in Lewistown was $557,500 in March 2024.

The Takeaway

Boasting big, wide-open skies, sparkling lakes, and two of the most awe-inspiring national parks anywhere in the world, no outdoor enthusiast would let the chance to retire in Montana slip through the fingers. Fortunately, America's third-largest state is star-studded with an enchanting array of towns, from small to big, where life is slow-paced, residents are friendly, and adventure opportunities abound. From Laurell, where homes are listed for a median price of just $392,000 — to Whitefish, where homes are listed for an eye-popping median listing price of $1.4M — a retiree will have a lot to choose from.

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