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Burnet ranked among top retirement choices

Inks Lake State Park

Much of what makes Burnet a great place to visit, including nearby Inks Lake State Park, also make it an amazing place to retire. Courtesy photo

Cost of living and access to healthcare lead the way to rank as No. 2 on best retirement list

The city of Burnet was recently ranked as the second best small town in Texas to retire by the Texas Real Estate Source. The analysis factored in three items: the cost of living, access to health care, and lifestyle.

Retirement Rankings For Popular Texas Cities addresses small town, mid-size, and large cities in Texas. It uses a methodology that assigns scores on a scale of 1-5 for the three factors and is weighted as follows:

Cost of living: 40 percent
Access to healthcare: 35 percent
Lifestyle: 25 percent

For Burnet, its rankings were 5 for cost of living, 4 for healthcare, and 3 for lifestyle, which gave it a score of 95 on the Lone Star Index. For a perfect score, a town would need 100.

“The Lone Star Index takes into account much of the factors that retirees consider and experience,” said Danny Evatt, co-founder and real estate broker with Texas Real Estate Source. “Things like weather, healthcare options, cost of living, and population density are factored in.”

Cost of living for Burnet is 89.5, lower than the Texas average of 93.7, while the ranking for healthcare access is 86.1, determined by the number of physicians per 100,000 people in the county.

The lifestyle score is derived by averaging the percentage of residents ages 65 and older. Other lifestyle factors include weather and local attractions and activities. The percentage of individuals in Burnet over 65 years is 19.2 percent, or 1,235 people out of a total population of 6,436, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

“For reference, Horseshoe Bay is a great example of a perfect lifestyle score because of the abundant on-site leisure amenities. A town like Childress scores lower because the observable number of ‘things to do for retirees’ is lower,” Evatt said.

Horseshoe Bay ranked No. 5 in the list of best small towns to retire in Texas, with rankings of 3 for cost of living, 3 for healthcare, and 5 for lifestyle for a Lone Star Index of 82.

The raw data regarding cost of living and access to doctors will likely not influence where an individual or couple choose to retire, but it can make an impact on where to look.

Kerrville got top billing as the best small town in Texas to retire by TRES. Its population in the 2020 census was 24,278. The Hill Country community earned a score of 100 on the index.

The retirement ranking is not meant to be the only resource for choosing a place to retire, Evatt said.

“It’s impossible to account for personal preferences with just a number,” he continued. “Hobbies and preferences are very difficult to take into consideration for an index. Ultimately, the decision of where to retire is highly personal.”