Sedalia Historic District, Missouri. Image credit Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock

8 Best Small Towns to Retire in Missouri in 2024

Life after retirement can be an exciting new chapter. While some pursue new hobbies and interests, others look for opportunities to stay active and engaged in community activities. Being part of a close-knit society that embraces unity and harmony goes a long way in guaranteeing a fulfilling retirement life. While big cities can entice retirees with countless urban comforts, smaller towns provide a more ideal setting with a slower pace of life and a stronger sense of community.

Fortunately, Missouri has fantastic small-town options to consider after calling time on your career. Plenty of outdoor activities, cultural offerings, and volunteer opportunities will keep you busy. The relaxed atmosphere and lack of traffic also make these towns very livable. Furthermore, they offer ready access to vital medical facilities and health amenities senior citizens may require. Here are some of the best towns to retire in Missouri this 2024.


Kirksville Missouri City Hall
Kirksville, Missouri City Hall. Image credit Sector001, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kirksville provides a clean, safe, and affordable environment to raise a family or spend your life after work. The town is home to two colleges, AT Still University, and Truman State University, presenting lifelong learning opportunities for pensioners who still harbor academic aspirations. The presence of the colleges has resulted in a bustling arts and culture landscape in Kirksville, with institutions like the Kirksville Arts Association supporting and elevating the discipline through different programs. Plenty of outdoor opportunities at Thousand Hills State Park allow seniors to stay active and engaged with activities like hiking, fishing, mountain biking, boating, wildlife viewing, and more.

Sports are a great unifier in the local community, and residents often gather at the Spainhower Field to cheer the home team as one family. With a prominent college demographic, Kirksville is conveniently cheap. The monthly rent averages about $785, while the median home price is about $159,000. Additionally, retirees can access quality medical care at renowned institutions like Northeast Regional Medical Center.


Restored vintage Phillips 66 Gas Station located at Red Oak II, a village of relocated and restored buildings and other artifacts near historic Route 66
Restored vintage Phillips 66 Gas Station located at Red Oak II, near historic Route 66, Carthage, Missouri. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock

Dubbed “America’s Maple Leaf City,” Carthage is steeped in agriculture and boasts fertile lands that make it a leading producer of wheat, corn, and soybean. It impressively balances indoor and outdoor attractions, catering to every taste and preference. The Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum explores the town’s role during the famous conflict era through diverse artifacts and relics. You can also visit the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site to view the location where the war played out.

Retirees seeking recreation opportunities will find plenty at Spring River Park, including fishing, picnicking, and swimming. The median home price is around $254,000 on average. Furthermore, pensioners can look to multiple senior living communities, including Maple Tree Terrace.


Downtown street in Overland, Missouri.
Downtown Overland, Missouri. Image credit: Paul Sableman via

Overland presents an impressive mix of factors tailored for senior living, from green outdoor spaces and numerous recreation opportunities to solid community ties. Its wealth of in-town parks offers pensioners the ideal venue to relax, unwind, and meditate, with options like Wild Acres Park and Canterway Park. St. Louis Car Museum & Sales is a local favorite, where car enthusiasts admire a collection of over 100 antique automobiles, vintage gas pumps, and other interesting collectibles. Meanwhile, LampLight Studio provides the best atmosphere to spend a day with the grandkids by taking fun pottery classes.

Pensioners don’t have to wipe off their retirement savings to own an abode in Overland, as the median home price is way below the national average at $148,000.


Snowing in Sedalia, Missouri
Winter in the Sedalia Historic District, Missouri.

Over 16% of Sedalia’s population comprises senior citizens (65+), meaning fresh retirees can fit seamlessly into a welcoming community of peers. This artsy small town in Pettis County, 30 miles off the Missouri River, favors pensioners who get to spend a lot of time with their grandkids. Sedalia has a wealth of kid-friendly attractions, starting with the Power Up! Arcade. This video game paradise boasts dozens of restored arcade games, providing day-long entertainment for the young generation. A bustling arts landscape in the town lets you sample diverse artistic creations at establishments like the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art.

The town also hosts a string of community events and festivals throughout the year, bringing people together for family-friendly fun and socialization. One of the events to look forward to is the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. With a low cost of living and median home price of $189,000, pensioners shouldn’t worry about burning through their savings when living in Sedalia.


Downtown buildings in Mexico, Missouri
Downtown Mexico, Missouri. Image credit Sabrina Janelle Gordon via Shutterstock

This tiny village in Audrain County, with a reasonable median home price of $129,000, is famous for housing the Missouri Military Academy and staging the annual Miss Missouri pageant. The presence of the military institution has helped enhance the town's safety, allowing residents to enjoy its suburban environment without too much worry. Several green spaces assure retirees opportunities to stay active, including Green Estate Park, home to secluded picnic sites and scenic nature trails. As the seat of the county, Mexico hosts the Audrain County Historical Museum, where you can explore the storied heritage of the town inside a rustic 19th-century structure.

Meanwhile, the American Saddlebred Horse Museum at Simmons Stables is an excellent stop for horse owners and lovers. It exhibits a vast collection of equestrian artifacts and memorabilia. When seniors need to see a health practitioner, they can access plenty at centers like Noble Health Audrain Community Hospital. Additionally, assisted living communities, including Teal Lake Senior Living, assure seniors of support when they can no longer be self-dependent.


Neosho, Missouri: World's Largest Flower Box and American Flag made from a 66-foot-long green railroad gondola car.
World's Largest Flower Box, Neosho, Missouri. Image credit EWY Media via Shutterstock

Christened “City of Springs,” this agricultural oasis in Newton County is easily one of the top-rated localities to retire in Missouri. It provides lush and relaxed surroundings inside the sprawling Morse Park, where seniors can walk, hike, bike, and play sports to take advantage of its diverse recreations. Big Spring Park is Neosho's crowning jewel. This gorgeous natural wonder earned the town its nickname and features a massive cold spring running through a cave on beautiful grounds. Almost 15% of the residents in Neosho are 65 years or older, and retirees have a high chance of meeting their peers at the Antique-ish Antique Mall and Flea Market while hunting for unique collectibles.

The cost of living is significantly lower than the national average, with the median home price at $250,000.

Town And Country

Town and Country, Missouri in the winter
Town and Country, Missouri in the winter.

Several surveys have rated Town and Country as a popular sanctuary for retirees, and this is backed by its chunky senior population, with almost 30% of the residents being 65 years or older. This might be explained by the presence of the Missouri Baptist Medical Center, which provides ready and quality health care to vulnerable seniors. Town and Country also provides a range of activities to keep seniors engaged and entertained. Among its top places to visit is MySeum, a family-friendly facility with diverse attractions, including a discovery center, exhibitions, and an interactive video wall.

Pensioners who love the company of Mother Nature will fancy spending time at Longview Farm Park. The delightful nature center has a short trail perfect for a lazy stroll and a pavilion for picnickers. Although the cost of living in Town and Country is above the national average, with median home prices of 1.2 million, it is well worth it to be close to St. Louis.


Jennings Convenience Center, Missouri
Jennings Convenience Center, Missouri. Image credit Paul Sableman, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jennings is a charming St. Louis suburb popular among retirees after small-town living near urban amenities. Home prices here provide excellent value, with a median of under $80,000. The serene atmosphere in the town makes it ideal for maintaining health and wellness in your retirement years. There are multiple health centers and hospitals nearby, such as the Christian Hospital. In addition, over 18% of the residents are 65 years and older, so fresh retirees don’t have to search far and wide to find a friendly peer and establish friendships.

A high quality of life in retirement starts with finding a destination that strikes the perfect balance of desirable factors. These charming towns to retire in Missouri demonstrate that, with affordable housing prices, reliable healthcare, and low-stress charm, they offer residents an excellent quality of life. They provide a laidback rural atmosphere while maintaining access to larger city amenities when desired. 2024 promises exciting new chapters for retirees in these hidden gem communities. So, for affordable comfort near excellent services, Missouri's best small towns are an enticing prospect.

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