Is Roanoke Va Good For Retirees?

Definition of "Is Roanoke Va good for retirees?"

Are you sick of living in crowded and expensive big cities? Are you planning to retire, or are you looking for a comfortable and affordable place to live with plenty of healthy excitement for retirees? 

Roanoke might be just what you’re looking for. A medium-sized city of scenic beauty and quiet serenity, Roanoke, Va, is located in the Roanoke Valley, immediately west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and east of the Allegheny Mountains. With its steady climate, proximity to nature, and low cost of living, Roanoke could be the perfect place to accompany you on your beautiful new journey.

Let’s take a closer look at the Star City of the South, and see what it has to offer!

Exploring nature

Roanoke was included on Forbes’ 2017 list of “25 great scenic places to retire”, and it is known as one of the best places for outdoor activities.

Located right at the feet of Mill Mountain, Roanoke is well-known for its beauty, great panoramas at reachable distances, and easy-to-approach places for spending time in nature. Whether you have a workout routine to do or you just enjoy taking long relaxing walks, Roanoke has exceptional places to offer for hiking with many trails to choose from. At the top of Mill Mountain, you can even discover a zoo, an excellent option for spending time with your loved ones, big or small ones. 

Clean air

Apart from mountain walks, Roanoke has many parks. With the Jefferson National Forest also nearby, the quality of the air is obviously very good. Roanoke river flows through the city, adding oxygen to the air alongside Smith Mountain Lake, located a few miles southeast. So if you’re a fan of fishing or kayaking, there are plenty of suitable places to practice those passions too. 

Mild climate

Roanoke has quite steady weather most of the time, not too hot, not too cold. Extreme high and extremely low temperatures are rare; the average in July is 77.8F (25.4C), and 37.9F (3.3C) in January. Snow might come suddenly in the winter or not at all. You need to take into consideration, though, that because of the higher humidity levels, summer temperatures might feel hotter than what the numbers show.  

The climate is favorable for growing grapes, so if you are a fan of quality wine, you can enjoy the nice wineries in the region.

However, nothing’s perfect. Occasional problems with flooding occur because of downpours caused by remnants of hurricanes that manage to reach the valley. But some locals say it’s not something that should scare you away. If you are concerned about this issue, you might consider moving to a house in the higher regions of the city, or, maybe, in the mountains for more security.


The clean mountain climate is home to many plants, including, of course, flowers. It might not be the best choice for you if you suffer from hay fever or other pollen allergies.

Tree pollen primetime is from march to early-may, but grass pollen season starts in June and lasts until August - September. Because of higher humidity levels, you should also keep an eye out for mold and potential allergies related to it.

About the city

With its 100,000 inhabitants, Roanoke could be the perfect combination of a big city and a small town. It’s not too crowded, but it still offers plenty of things to do at a relaxed pace of life. If you are looking for company for your golden years, you should know that 16.4% of the population is 65 years of age and older. That’s 16,400 people!

Local Housing Market

Given that Roanoke is positioned in absolute proximity to nature, you have the possibility to live in a cozy mountain ranch in peace and quiet, away from the rush and noise of a big city. On the other hand, you can choose the suburbs close to downtown with all kinds of cultural events, restaurants, and bars. 

The average rent costs $880, which is lower than the national average. With as much as 18% cheaper than the national average, housing is also very affordable in Roanoke. Depending on the size of the house you are considering for purchase, it can range from $170,000 to $300,000. 

Living costs are 12% lower than average, leaving you space to save for the indulgence of your preference.

The Healthcare System

Being the healthcare center of the larger western Virginia area, the city gives home to the major healthcare facilities. Carilion Clinic operates 7 hospitals in the western part of Virginia with specialty physician practices, pharmacies, and health clubs. For example, the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is facilitated with 705 beds and 3 medical helicopters providing air ambulance transport. 


Roanoke has many options to choose from when you want to spend some quality time. If you’re into history and sciences, the History Museum of Western Virginia, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, or the Hopkins Planetarium could be of your interest. 

The Taubman Museum of Art is hosted in an impressive 7000m2 building designed by Randall Stout, having a permanent collection of more than 2000 works. Alongside 19th and early 20th-century American art, you can also find significant modern and contemporary art collections.

You can find several theaters for indoor and outdoor performances, with a wide range of quality shows to choose from. The well-known Star City Playhouse has an impressive array of costumes donated from New York.

If you are a music enthusiast, Roanoke Opera might be of your liking, or you can enjoy a concert in the interpretation of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. 

Railway and history

Roanoke has its history closely bound to the rail. If you happen to be a railroad/ history enthusiast or you used to work in engineering, you will probably find great pleasure in learning about the local rail tradition at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. There’s also a Rail Yard Hobby Shop in town, where you can find all the tools for building locomotive models. 

In conclusion

To sum it up, retirees generally prefer to live away from the hustle and bustle of a big city, making Roanoke a top destination of choice. If you want to spend this new chapter of your life in a peaceful, safe and relaxed environment close to nature, you might want to give it a go. Living in a slower-paced city doesn’t necessarily mean boredom. This is the time for you to set your own pace, and Roanoke might just be the place that fits your expectations.

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