Scenic downtown in Roswell, New Mexico. Editorial credit: Traveller70 /

8 Best Small Towns In New Mexico For Retirees

New Mexico is a stunning mountain state in the southwestern United States. From the southern Rocky Mountains to sparse deserts, the state is flush with natural beauty, making it a tourist hotspot. New Mexico is not only beautiful but also has a rich history connected to the ancient Pueblo people and the atomic bomb. With so much to see and do, the state is not only great for vacations but also an ideal place to retire. Plenty of open space combined with a low population density creates a soothing environment optimal for retired life. Moreover, New Mexico’s small towns have great amenities and activities perfect for retirees.


Downtown McCarthy's plaza square with the Hotel La Fonda in Taos, New Mexico
Downtown McCarthy's plaza square with the Hotel La Fonda in Taos, New Mexico, via Andriy Blokhin /

Taos, an abode of scenery and culture in Taos County, is a dream destination for retirees. No matter what you are into, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. For example, history enthusiasts will adore the town’s famous Taos Pueblo, a Native American establishment that has been around for hundreds of years. With dozens of unique houses and interesting traditions, it is a wellspring of heritage. On the other hand, outdoor lovers can have a blast in nature on the Enchanted Circle Drive. Stretching for over 50 miles through thick forests, hills, and mountains, it is a great way to enjoy wilderness with minimal effort. But, many retirees prefer to stay in town and enjoy relaxing shopping and sightseeing at the Taos Plaza. Whether you're craving Mexican food at La Cueva Cafe or exploring the art at Natural Accents Gallery, there's always something here for you.

No matter what you plan on doing in your golden years, one thing’s for sure: you won’t be alone. This is because a whopping 32.5% of Taos’s 6,500 residents are above the age of 65. So, there will always be like-minded people to spend time with in town. While the town does have a notable poverty rate of 15.4%, a family-oriented environment and decent per capita income of $32,500 make up for it. In summary, Taos is a wonderful place that caters to all kinds of retirees, no matter what their preferences.


Downtown Ruidoso, New Mexico
Downtown Ruidoso, New Mexico

Continuing the outdoor trend, Ruidoso is a lovely mountain resort town in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. Centered within magnificent peaks, it is a relaxing place where retirees can get away from urban hustle and bustle. The town’s natural activities make for a perfect place to stay fit and active throughout their retirement. So, head out to the Lincoln National Forest which boasts 1.1 million acres of open space. Hiking, camping, and picnicking are just a few ways to enjoy the forest without too much effort. Meanwhile, you can call your family over for other sports such as mountain biking, racing, and skiing! Add on multiple other natural destinations like the Ruidoso Winter Park and Dude Mesa for a fun-filled retirement in New Mexico.

Apart from the stunning outdoors, Ruidoso also has a homely vibe palpable throughout the town. This is thanks to the low median home value of $313,000, which makes buying a home affordable. So, you can buy your dream home without having to break your retirement fund. Along with this, a low cost of living means you can focus on having fun in Ruidoso. Use the extra cash to celebrate your retirement in Ruidoso with a bottle of wine from Noisy Water Winery.


Old San Isidro Church, Corrales, New Mexico.
Old San Isidro Church, Corrales, New Mexico.

Corrales is the perfect place to retire if you like two things, drinking and relaxing. Once a hub of vineyards thanks to the influx of French and Italian families, the town has an immense history rooted in drink-making. While most of the vineyards are gone, there are still many amazing spots to visit and acres of green pastures in town. So, retirees can sit back and enjoy their evening in spots like the Ex Novo Brewery, Corrales Winery, and Casa Vieja Brewery. While the Ex Novo Brewery is a lively spot full of fun conversations, the Corrales Winery offers scenic views of the Sandia Mountains while you taste exquisite spirits. Or, enjoy a sober day out with the town’s 8,500 affable locals. For example, run your errands at the local Corrales Growers Market, an abode of friendly faces and fresh produce. Or, dive into local history at the Casa San Ysidro, a historic museum with tons of fascinating information. All in all, there are plenty of options to keep you busy during your retirement in Corrales.

However, retirement isn’t just about having fun; there are many other considerations. Thankfully, Corrales checks most of the boxes. Although it has an above-average cost of living, the low rate of crime and ideal amenities make it worth the cost. Moreover, with one-third of the population over the age of 65 years old, there are ample facilities for retirees. Healthcare, transport, and retirement homes are just some of the benefits of living in Corrales. Even if you can’t find what you need, Albuquerque is 20 minutes down the road, offering all the comforts of a major city. So, if you want a relaxing environment that’s not too far from urban living, this is the place to retire.

Truth or Consequences

Downtown Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Downtown Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Image credit Cheri Alguire via

Why live in a boring town when you can live in a place called Truth or Consequences? With a name like this, everyone’s going to want to visit you to check out the town! The town renamed itself in 1950 after the hit radio show, Truth or Consequences, and has since been a regular listing for unusual place names. But, before this, people named it Hot Springs for its amazing natural hot springs. So, one can have a blast soothing their bodies in the warm healing waters spewing from these springs. Some of the best places in town are Riverbend Hot Springs and Blackstone Hot Springs, which offer a calming environment. Or, take a moment to learn about the spring's history at the Geronimo Springs Museum. Featuring dozens of exhibits, tours, and books, it is a fan favorite with senior citizens. That said, in the evenings, head over to Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. with your mates for some chilled drinks and fun conversations.

While it may seem quite ordinary apart from the name, the town is more than meets the eye. For starters, it is one of the cheapest places to buy a home, boasting a median home value of less than $190,000. Even if you cannot spend much time at home, there are plenty of forests, lakes, and parks in the area for an active retirement. While the town is quite far from major cities, the CanAm Highway provides direct access all the way to Canada. So, you can always head to Albuquerque for a day or call your family over for a road trip!


Roswell, New Mexico: Iconic city vista in summer at sunset
Roswell, New Mexico: Iconic city vista in summer at sunset via Alex Krassel /

Roswell, a bustling town in Chaves County, is one you may have heard of before. This is because it is the location of the “Roswell Incident,” a supposed UFO crash in 1947 that sparked an international craze. Since then, the town has taken strongly to its extraterrestrial image with plenty of UFO museums and attractions. So, if you’re interested in aliens, you can visit sights like the International UFO Museum & Research Center, Alien Zone Area 51, and Roswell UFO Spacewalk. From supposed evidence of aliens to interactive sights your family will love, these sights are full of fun. Apart from aliens, the town is full of life no matter where you go. With 48,500 residents and plenty of tourists, one can head into town for all sorts of activities or work. Wineries, historic sites, eateries, and parks create a sublime environment that will suit the needs of all retirees. Moreover, with tons of hotels like the Holiday Inn, Roswell Inn, and Best Western, you can have the kids over to enjoy vacations with you!

If you plan on retiring in Roswell, you’ll be glad to know that the town is a perfect retirement destination. You do not need to worry about your health because there are excellent healthcare facilities like Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and Lovelace Regional Hospital. Similarly, an abundance of stores and eateries means you can walk for most errands, which can make life a lot easier. If you have to travel, there are many ways to get around like buses, highways, and an airport for great connectivity. To top it off, all this is available at a cost of living lower than the state average. So, enjoy urban amenities and a vibrant atmosphere in Roswell without using up your retirement funds.


 Along the US Route 66, the historic Blue Swallow Motelis in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
 Along the US Route 66, the historic Blue Swallow Motelis in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Editorial credit: TLF Images /

Tucumcari is a serene retreat located 2.5 hours north of Roswell on Route 66. It is the county seat of Quay County, thanks to which the town is flush with ideal amenities and facilities seniors adore. That said, do not let the infrastructure fool you; Tucumcari exudes a rural vibe and has a tight-knit community. Home to fewer than 6,000 people, it is easy to make friends because everyone knows each other. There is also lots to do in town, especially if you’re into vibrant culture. Built up from the 1900s, cultural attractions like the Mesalanda Dinosaur Museum, Murals of Tucumcari, and Tucumcari Historical Museum are great for retirees. Their exhibits on art, dinosaurs, and the historic Route 66 make for hours of fun and learning. Another popular activity with local retirees is golfing. Just head over to the Tucumcari Municipal Golf Course, a 9-hole course perfect to tee off in the town’s verdant beauty.

Whether you spend your day enjoying nature or culture, Tucumcari is an amazing place for an enjoyable retirement. A few hours from any major city, people love the peace and quiet in town. Add on the affordable median home value of $49,700 which is less than a third of the state average for a comfortable environment to relax. That said, it is advisable to have a car as you will need to travel quite far for any work in the city.


Downtown Raton, New Mexico.
Downtown Raton, New Mexico. Image Credit: Billy Hathorn via Wikimedia Commons

If Tucumcari’s peaceful surroundings seemed intriguing, Raton is another option to consider. The town of 6,000 is a wellspring of cultural and natural sights within the mountainous Raton Pass. For people who want to stay fit in their senior years, there are many outdoor areas nearby. Sugarite Canyon State Park is a fan favorite boasting 3,600 acres of untouched wilderness reminiscent of a fantasy novel. Local retirees enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking, making it an ideal place to spend your golden years. Similarly, the Climax Canyon Park and Raton Golf Course are within a few miles of Raton providing great ways to enjoy the outdoors. On the other hand, there are plenty of cultural attractions for seniors who want to relax in town. As the town has a strong Wild West culture, people can spend their time shopping for cowboy hats, clothing, and more. Or, head over to the Flat Mountain Trading Company pawn store to make some cash off extra valuables and jewelry.

With so much to see and do, Raton is an ideal location to settle down and relax. Besides the activities, the town is well connected through road, rail, and air. To this end, retirees will have no trouble traveling, and can also call their family to town. If you do have people over, Raton’s regular events and festivals such as the International Balloon Rally will keep everyone busy and happy!


The world's largest statue of a pistachio, Alamogordo. Image credit Kristi Blokhin via Shutterstock
The world's largest statue of a pistachio, Alamogordo. Image credit Kristi Blokhin via Shutterstock

Alamogordo is no less than a wonderland of history perfect for seniors to indulge in. The county seat of Otero County, this town rests between expansive deserts and grand mountains. So, no matter what one does in town, it is always complimented by a backdrop of stunning scenery. That said, retirees will forget the views when they learn of the town’s past. This is because it has been home to humans for more than 10,000 years, throughout which there have been many major events. Among these, Alamogordo’s connection to the atomic bomb explosion in the 1945 Trinity test is the most popular. If this part of town seems interesting, spend your time at museums like the International Space Hall of Fame, Shroud Exhibit & Museum, and Tularos Basin Museum of History. Look back into the present day and the nearby natural areas are a treat for the locals. The White Sands National Park is one you’ll adore, with 145,000 acres of white dunes and beautiful sights. Opt for hiking in the day and camping at night to take in the views for a lovely retirement.

If these sound like your kind of activities, Alamogordo is the perfect place to be. From a retirement perspective, the town also boasts a decent cost of living and great amenities so you do not have to worry. Thanks to the 5,000+ senior citizens in town, everything you need is readily available! For example, the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center and Holloman Air Force Base offer excellent healthcare in the area. Moreover, bus services and intercity shuttles are great for transport, so you won't have to walk too far. Put it all together and you get a great place to live and have fun.

No matter what you plan on doing in your golden years, these towns have got you covered. From learning about Native American history at Taos to becoming a cowboy in Raton, there is something for everyone. To make things better, each town has its own benefits, whether it is affordability, safety, or amenities. So, all you need to do is find the right fit for your requirements and get your retirement savings ready!

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 8 Best Small Towns In New Mexico For Retirees

More in Places