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Retiring In Tulsa
Retiring In Tulsa


Retiring In Tulsa: What You Need To Know

Is Tulsa The Perfect Place For You To Retire?

When to retire is one of those extremely important questions that requires planning and strategy.  However, another question that requires just as much thought is WHERE to retire? So, is Tulsa, OK a good place to retire?  Here is what we found.

Tulsa, OK is a good place to settle down after retirement.  No city is without its shortcomings but overall, Tulsa has a lot to offer those people looking for a place to spend their golden years.  Tulsa offers access to a wide variety of entertainment and recreation options, lower cost of living including reasonable home costs and rental prices as well as access to quality healthcare.  Those are just a few of the reasons we found that might entice people to call Tulsa home post-retirement. 

Your Retirement Money Goes Further in Tulsa

One of the most attractive things about Tulsa as a retirement destination is its lower cost of living, about 14% lower than the national average (source).  The median home value in Tulsa is $127,028. Tulsa home values have gone up 3.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Tulsa is $101. The median price of homes currently listed in Tulsa is $194,900 while the median price of homes that sold is only $141,800. The median rent price in Tulsa is $950 (source).  

Social Security income isn’t taxed, there is no state estate tax and property taxes are low (source). You may look into estate planning. With an unemployment rate that hovers around five percent, three percent below the national average, restless retirees can keep working if they choose (source).

Entertainment and Recreation in Tulsa

There is no shortage of places and events to spend your savings and all that newfound free time.  There are 135 parks, a zoo, and film and music festivals. Tulsa’s local AARP site offers a great list of some ideas to get out and enjoy the city.

Tulsa has lots of spots to get a culture and art fix.  Since 1969, one percent of the city’s annual budget is dedicated to the public display of art. Most of the local museums feature rotating installations so there is always something new to see.  Here are just a few options.

  • Philbrook Museum – Showcases nine collections of art from all over the world, and spanning various artistic media and styles, the cornerstone collection focuses on Native American art. The museum is situated on 25 acres of formal and informal Italian inspired gardens.
  • Gilcrease Museum – through its collections, is dedicated to bringing art and people together to discover, enjoy, and understand the diverse heritage of the Americas.
  • Tulsa Performing Arts Center –Hosts events by 14 local performance groups. Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Symphony, and Celebrity Attractions (Broadway series) are among the Tulsa PAC’s major clients. 
  • Theater Tulsa – has a rich legacy of bringing music, laughter, and drama to the people of Tulsa and providing a venue for the many talents of the Tulsa community.
  • Tulsa International Mayfest – an outdoor tribute to the arts and music that is a family-oriented event created to promote a broader knowledge of and appreciation for arts and humanities among serious, as well as casual art lovers.

The city of Tulsa has a rich musical history and has some of the best places in the country to experience live music shows.

  • BOK Center – 19,199-seat multi-purpose arena and a primary indoor sports and event venue designed to accommodate arena football, hockey, basketball, concerts, and similar events. 
  • Cain’s Ballroom – Rated one of the top venues for live music in the country.
  • Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame – exists to provide a system in and for the State of Oklahoma to preserve, promote and illuminate the true art forms of jazz, blues and gos
    Spending Your Golden Years In Tulsa, OK

    Reasons Tulsa May The Best Place To Retire

    pel music.

  • Tulsa’s Osage Casino and River Spirit Casinos do not only offer all the gaming entertainment you can handle but they also have multiple venues that attract world-class musical and comedic talent.


If music and art are not your things, there is still more Tulsa has to offer.  Tulsan’s appreciate the great outdoors and have found plenty of reasons to get outside.  

  • Gathering Place – offers guests a one-of-a-kind playground, gardens, trails, boat rentals, restaurants, outdoor concerts, events and more.
  • Tulsa Garden Center – located in historic Woodward Park, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a variety of horticultural and environmental education opportunities for the community and to serve as horticultural headquarters for the Tulsa area.
  • Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum – celebrates more than 90 years of providing family-friendly recreation, natural sciences education, and conservation of wildlife.
  • Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium – historical exhibits, hands-on science exhibits, computer flight simulator lab, and full-dome planetarium shows.
  • Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area – has four marked trails between 0.8 and 5.7 miles in length, for running or cycling as well as over 25 miles of unmarked trails.
  • Southern Hills Country Club – frequent host of major PGA and LPGA golf tournaments.
  • Tulsa Tough – a three-day cycling festival featuring both non-competitive rides through scenic areas around the Tulsa Metropolitan Area and professional level races.

Speaking of the great outdoors, Tulsa does happen to have a climate to encourage most any outdoor activity experiencing all four seasons.  Hike and bike year-round thanks to mild winters and 234 days of sunshine annually, well above the U.S. average (source).  The average January temperature is in the high 30s and the average July temp is in the upper 80s.

This list really is just a glimpse into what makes Tulsa great.  This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the cultural festivals, fairs, sports and food available year-round.  Make sure to check out some of the other posts on to find out more about local Tulsa coffee shops, restaurants, shopping destinations and more.

Health and Wellness

Tulsa is home to the number one ranked hospital in the state with St. Francis Hospital Tulsa according to U.S. News. Hillcrest Medical Center came in at number three in the state and St. Johns Medical Center came in at number five.  All three hospitals had superior ratings in multiple procedures and conditions. Within these larger hospitals is access to more health and wellness specialists than in smaller communities.

The Downside To Retirement In Tulsa

Tulsa’s Crime Rate

No City is going to be perfect in all aspects.  The biggest issue Tulsa faces for attracting retirees is its crime rate.  With a crime rate of 66 per one thousand residents, Tulsa has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 15. Within Oklahoma, more than 99% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Tulsa (source). 

It is important to compare a city’s crime rate with those of similarly sized communities in order to make a fair comparison, as larger cities tend to have more crime.  Tulsa has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size (source).

Violent offenses tracked in the FBI data included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of a violent crime in Tulsa is one in 93.  

Property crimes are also extremely high, the categories that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Tulsa, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 18.

It is important to note that Tulsa has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to NeighbothoodScouts analysis of FBI crime data. This is compared to communities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest. In fact, your chance of getting your car stolen if you live in Tulsa is one in 123.

Tulsa has lots to offer in terms of a great retirement but considering the crime rate and types of crime, anyone contemplating settling down needs to do their due diligence when choosing a neighborhood.  Also, it would be wise to invest in a home with a garage and security system.

Tulsa Is Not Pedestrian Oriented

One important feature to note about Tulsa is that it is one of the most car-oriented large cities in the country. In fact, 83.09% of people commute to and from work every day by private automobile. So, if you like to drive, Tulsa is the city for you! The landscape around Tulsa reflects this: wide streets, parking lots, plenty of highways, malls, and shopping centers are what you’ll find.

The city has made an effort in recent years to try to improve its transit system by more buses and routes to its schedule.  Tulsa also launched multi-model transportation that includes public transit, bike share, rideshare, and walking.  The Transportation Resource Center has information to help you link transportation modes to get where you need to go (source).  

Thank you for reading Discover Tulsa! We hope this article has provided you with some useful insight.  Click here for more information on the many things the city of Tulsa has to offer.

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