While much of the Southwest’s culture, including adobe architecture and green chili-infused cuisine, can be found throughout Albuquerque, the town also offers the amenities expected of a larger city: universities, museums, performing arts spaces, theaters and festivals — including the renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Albuquerque’s Old Town provides a glimpse into the city’s past, where residents and visitors alike stroll through adobe buildings and a central Plaza now housing galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
Outdoor pursuits are also popular around Albuquerque thanks to the city’s proximity to the Sandia Mountains, where there’s ample opportunity to hike, bicycle or ride a tramway to the scenic mountain peak. Additionally, Albuquerque’s proximity to Taos and Santa Fe means there’s also great skiing just an easy drive away.
Con: High crime rate, altitude can make breathing difficult
Best For: Southwest culture and Outdoors lovers
Cost of Living: 6.2% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $125,000
Top State Income Tax: 4.9%
Crime Rate: 48% higher than national average
Albuquerque can be an affordable alternative for retirees interested in settling in New Mexico. The town’s cost of living is 6 percent below the national average, and the median home is an affordable $125,000. Still, Albuquerque does deal with issues common to larger cities: crime rates are nearly 50 percent above the national average.
At least 10 hospitals serve the Albuquerque area. Retirees with heart or lung conditions should be aware that Albuquerque’s altitude varies between over 5,000 and 7,000 feet, which can make breathing difficult.