The 10 Best Places to Retire in Alberta in 2024

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Written by Enoch Omololu

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Alberta is the most liveable city in Canada, with an 87/100 quality of life rating, making it one of the best places to retire in the country, specifically in Calgary and Edmonton. 

Aside from the high quality of life, there are a lot of 55+ communities, a low crime rate, an excellent health care system, and a relaxing environment perfect for retirees.

If you’re in your golden years and have been planning to retire in Alberta, here are the ten best places to retire in Alberta.

Main Highlights

  • Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore, Lloydminster, Banff, and Strathcona County are some of the best places to retire in Alberta.
  • Some of Alberta’s best 55-plus communities are Prairie Creek Crossing, Cedarwood Station, Manor Villages, and MacTaggart Place.
  • In choosing the retirement location in Alberta, you should consider the transport system, weather, social events, healthcare facilities, and proximity to family and friends. 

Best Places For Retirement in Alberta 

1. Calgary

  • Population: 1,640,000
  • Cost of Living: $1,996 (one person including rent) 

No wonder Calgary tops the best place to retire in Alberta because not only does it have a vibrant culture and relaxing-beautiful landscapes, but there are plenty of recreational activities for seniors, the city is clean, safe and the transport system is top-notch, allowing excellent mobility for older adults. 

It ranked #7 on the Global Liveability Index of Economist Intelligence with an overall score of 96.8 out of 100, which means there are hardly any challenges to the living standards from crimes, healthcare, culture, and environment.

Since the big city has warm summers and cold winters, outdoor activities in town are very diverse. There are also social events, festivals, and many tourist attractions worth visiting. Most importantly, there are 100+ retirement homes in Calgary and over 1000 doctor’s offices perfect for retirees.

2. Canmore 

  • Population: 16,800
  • Cost of Living: $2,350 (one person including rent)

Canmore is a beautiful mountain town near Banff and Calgary with relaxing and comfortable living, and the community is diverse and welcoming. Although the city is small and groceries are expensive because of the isolated location, the town is an excellent choice for retirement because of its laid-back atmosphere with 24/7 access to nature and outdoor activities, low crime rate, and outstanding retirement communities. 

The city offers a range of activities, making it an ideal place to explore new hobbies after retirement. When winter arrives and brings snowy temperatures, you can enjoy snowshoeing, country skiing, and even ice climbing. As for the mild summers, they provide hiking, strolls, and biking opportunities.

Healthcare services are versatile and high-quality, especially with the Canmore General Hospital, which is continuously improving in terms of charity foundations, facilities, and services. Moreover, there are multiple complementary medical clinics, family physicians, and specialists with nearby pharmacies.

3. Edmonton

  • Population: 1,132,000
  • Cost of Living: $1,750 (one person including rent)

According to LivingCost.org, Edmonton is one of the top pick cities with a very high quality of life next to Calgary, with a score of 91 liveability with a high purchasing power index and an increased health care index, attracting older adults for retirement. 

With many festivals year-round, several retirement communities, and senior-friendly programs and services, Edmonton is a front-runner as one of the best places to retire in Alberta. Moreover, the selling points of Edmonton as a retirement location are the low cost of living, low housing prices, lots of nature, culture, and sports, and it is excellent for families. 

Unlike bigger cities like Vancouver or Victoria, you can expect less rainfall in Edmonton because winters are cold and snowy and drop below zero for almost half a year. 

4. Lloydminster 

  • Population: 36,500
  • Cost of Living: $2,100 (one person including rent)

Lloydminster is one of the fastest-growing communities in Alberta, with a rural lifestyle but with urban amenities. The city offers an excellent quality of life brought about by the prosperity of the agriculture industry.

What’s lovable about Lloydminster are the senior programs that mainly help older adults run through their days easier. They have the Lloydminster Housing Authority and Lloydminster Regional Housing Group, which provides cheap rental housing for seniors and families, The Olive Tree for free community meals, and the Senior Taxi Program for assistance with transportation costs with taxis, and many more.

5. St. Albert

  • Population: 57,700
  • Cost of Living: $3,100 (one person including rent)

St. Albert is one of the most peaceful towns in Alberta, perfect as a retirement home for seniors or older adults. It is an all-complete city because of many things, including a low crime rate, complete access to medical care, and compassionate workers in retirement communities.

Multiple lodges and self-contained housing units are available for seniors, especially those on the low-income side. The best part about living in St. Albert is the presence of local businesses and its proximity to Edmonton, which makes it easier to access better amenities while living in a more relaxed town. 

6. Strathcona County

  • Population: 104,330
  • Cost of Living: $1,860 (one person including rent)

Strathcona County is one of the age-friendly towns in Alberta, with senior-focused leisure programs meeting the needs of socialization, fitness, and recreational enjoyment. They also care about the health, housing, and aging in the community, and provide excellent financial and social support programs.

They have the Strathcona County Older Adults Plan, which promotes family and community services, and WESeniors Strathcona County, linking services like gatherings and access to information to older adults. 

There are also projects like Drive Happiness, which matches volunteer drivers to grant low-cost transportation to approved seniors, and various clubs and associations where you can join and meet older adults and make new friends.

7. Claresholm

  • Population: 3,800
  • Cost of Living: No data

Claresholm is one of the best small towns to live in Alberta, with an affordable overall cost of living, especially with housing where you can buy houses for as low as $65,000, perfect for those seeking retirement homes. 

More than the affordability, the city is a haven for senior living communities with an inviting atmosphere providing various activities, including tournaments, exercise classes, golfing, etc.

8. Banff

  • Population: 9,700
  • Cost of Living: $2,326

Banff is a small town famous for its natural beauty and various attractions and activities, making it a great location to retire in Alberta, Canada. One of the most notable scenery is the Banff National Park, with its unique nature and a range of activities for retirees, from skiing to ice skating. If not into proactive actions, opt for museum visits, relaxing in their famous hot springs, and more. 

Beyond its beauty and vibrant atmosphere, Banff is one of the best small towns to retire in Alberta because it has a livability score of 78/100 with an A+ rating in amenities, commute, and an A- rating on health. It is a senior-friendly town with friendly neighbours, accessible public transit, walkable grocery stores, and many parks good for strolling. 

9. Grand Prairie

  • Population: 69,100
  • Cost of Living: $1,800 (one person including rent)

Grand Prairie is a small town in Alberta where summers are humid, and winters are bitterly cold yet boasting plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The overall livability is workable, especially regarding health care, housing, and overall cost of living.

It’s a perfect setting for retirement in Alberta because of the number of active retirement benefits given by the city of Grand Prairie and the County of Grand Prairie. These include the pension plan, extended dental, vision, and disability insurance.

10. Jasper

  • Population: 4,200
  • Cost of Living: No data

Jasper, a little town nestled amidst the Canadian Rockies, is an ideal retirement destination in Alberta. Its forests, majestic mountains, and serene lakes offer a setting for relaxation. The town boasts a selection of restaurants and bars catering to culinary preferences, and its outdoor lifestyle opportunities are genuinely enticing, with over 2000 hours of sunshine. 

The municipality of Jasper is also a senior-friendly town with full support for its recreation, including adult day programs, language lessons, workshops, coffee connections, etc. In terms of healthcare, Jasper provides big-time support. While the main hospital may be small, it diligently serves the population by offering emergency care and access to numerous family doctors.

Its life expectancy rate is what sets Jasper apart as a retirement haven. Both genders enjoy a lifespan of 83 years—a statistic that astounds many. It can be attributed to the medical care system, the outdoor lifestyle embraced by residents, the pristine environment surrounding the town, and the overall relaxed pace of life.

Related: Best Places To Retire in BC.

Best 55 Plus Communities in Alberta

A handful of relaxed and carefree adult retirement communities in Alberta offer assisted living or independent living. Here are some of the best 55-plus communities in Alberta you can consider.

1. Prairie Creek Crossing Assisted Living

Unlike any other residential community for 55+, enclosed in a multiple-storey building, the Prairie Creek Crossing in Sundre, Alberta, offers bungalows and duplexes, giving that space for older adults. For the seniors to stay active and engaged, the community provides a peaceful, pedestrian-friendly community area, TV areas, wheelchair accessibility, groceries, cafes, restaurants, shopping, and more. 

2. Cedarwood Station

Cedarwood Station is a senior residential care community in Airdrie, Alberta, with access mainly to those living independently with beautiful amenities, including meals, medication management, housekeeping, laundry services, social and recreational activities, and 24-hour emergency response.

3. Manor Villages Staywell Manor

If you have the budget and are looking for the finest supportive luxury retirement homes in Alberta, there’s Manor Villages at Signature Park in Calgary with 109 suites of one or two bedrooms. Speaking of its luxury, you’ll surely enjoy the variety of food, the movie theatre, the library, and engaging activities for card games and bingo. 

4. MacTaggart Place Retirement Residence

MacTaggart Place Retirement Residence in Edmonton is a highly-rated Alberta senior living community mainly because of its top-notch amenities and nearby access to services like hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. Not only are the staff caring and loving in the community, but they also provide different types of living, from assisted and independent to memory care living.

To explore more retirement homes in Alberta, visit the complete directory of 55-plus communities in Alberta. 

How to Choose a Retirement Location in Alberta

Choosing the right retirement location in Alberta is crucial as it should be 100% attending to your needs and happiness. Here are the factors you should consider: 

  • Affordable cost of living — enough to sustain, enjoy, and save a little 
  • Homes with age-friendly features or available for installation/modification
  • Excellent and reliable transport system within the town or region 
  • Easy access to healthcare facilities and clinics
  • Complete and accessible healthcare
  • Social events and festivals to socialize
  • Senior homes with great amenities and activities, including sports facilities, gardens, fitness, and wellness centers
  • Weather is something you can tolerate 
  • Proximity to family and friends

Pros and Cons of Retiring in Alberta

Alberta is a very competitive candidate among the choices of retirement locations in Canada. If you’ve decided to move to the region, here are the pros and cons of retiring in Alberta that you should know. 

Pros

  • Lower cost of living in Alberta compared to bigger cities– Calgary’s consumer prices, including rent, are about 11.2% lower than Toronto and 15% lower than Vancouver.
  • Easy access to the Rocky Mountains 24/7 and famous attractions to spend the day with
  • The thriving economy so that the investment would be worthy
  • High quality of life
  • First-rate healthcare system
  • There are a plethora of recreational activities so you can exercise and relax at the same time.

Cons

  • Increasing competition in the real estate market
  • Possible extreme cold temperatures during winter, which could increase heating costs
  • The public transport system may be limited compared to other big cities like Toronto and Vancouver

FAQs

Where do most seniors live in Alberta? 

Since Calgary is the most populated city in Alberta, it is where most seniors live in the region, with the highest proportion of about 10.4% of the total population. 

What is the best small town to live in Alberta? 

Canmore is the best small town in Alberta for many reasons – plenty of outdoor recreation, beautiful architecture, shops, galleries, and restaurants. Other small towns to be considered to live are Bon Accord, Slave Lake, Pincher Creek, Drumheller, and Devon. 

What is the safest place to live in Alberta? 

According to AreaVibes, Foothills No. 31 is the safest place to live in Alberta, with an A+ rating on the crime index. It has total crimes of 58% lower than the national average and 67% lower than the national average in violent crimes. 

Where in Alberta has the warmest winters?

Waterton has the warmest winters in Alberta, with only a month of winter days and temperatures not going down 2.5 degrees Celsius.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has written about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, Financial Post, Bankrate, Forbes, Toronto Star, CTV News, and other personal finance publications. He founded Savvy New Canadians, one of Canada’s top financial education platforms.

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