With endless outdoor recreation, a thriving cultural scene, a well-connected airport, and high-quality healthcare, Bozeman has become one of the top places in the U.S to retire. Here are 10 reasons you may want to consider retiring in Bozeman, Montana.
If you are moving to Bozeman, be prepared to be welcomed with open arms. There are a number of groups dedicated to people looking to make friends in Bozeman such as the Gallatin Valley Newcomers Club which hosts “Interest Group” meetups for book clubs, bridge, crafts & knitting, golf, gardening, and movie lovers just to name a few! For the outdoorsy types, there are plenty of groups such as the Bozeman Adventure Club and the Big Sky Wind Drinkers, a running club founded in 1973!
Volunteer-minded residents have no trouble finding a place to dedicate their time. The Bozeman community supports a large number of nonprofits that are always looking for volunteers. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Big Brother’s Big Sisters, Bridger Ski Foundation, Haven, HRDC, and Heart of the Valley Humane Society are just a few of Bozeman’s non-profits always looking for a helping hand.
With Montana State University making up a large portion of our population, some retirees may be concerned that Bozeman is nothing but a college town. However, Bozeman is so much more than that! In Bozeman, the students, ski bums, retirees, families, tourists, ranchers, hippies, and cowboys all co-exist happily.
Bozeman may not have the same number of retirement communities that you would find in Arizona or Florida, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for those that choose to retire here. Maintenance-free condos, downtown urban-style living, and full-service golf communities can be found throughout Bozeman.
Anywhere in Bozeman is a good place to live in our opinion; however, there are some places that are a better fit for retirees. Once you have decided what type of home you are looking for, you can begin the process of narrowing down the location. The Villages, The Willson Residences, Block M, and 5 West are all excellent options for retirees looking to live near downtown and maintenance-free. The Knolls at Hillcrest is a 55 and older community right by some of Bozeman's best walking trails. Black Bull is a private golf community with a fitness center and clubhouse. Greenhouse Village is another 55 and older community on the south side with walking trails right out the backdoor. Click here for our full list of retirement communities in Bozeman.
As Bozeman grows, people are looking to the surrounding communities for more space or more affordable options. Just over the Bozeman Hill is Livingston, a small community with the Paradise Valley and Yellowstone River as a backdrop. Who wouldn't want to spend their golden years there? Manhattan and Three Forks, both west of Bozeman are also great options for small-town living. The nice thing about these communities is the weather is slightly better so if you need to get to Bozeman, you don't have to drive over a mountain pass.
As Bozeman has grown over the years, the level of healthcare offered has also expanded and continues to improve. Not only that, but seniors in Bozeman tend to live a healthier lifestyle because of the nature of our community and access to outdoor activities. That's a win-win!
Bozeman Health, our largest healthcare provider, is comprised of two hospitals, specialty treatment centers, a network of physician and urgent care clinics, outpatient treatment facilities, and retirement and assisted living facilities. Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital is an 86-bed facility with 200 physicians and health professionals representing over 35 specialties. Some of the specialty services they offer are the Cancer Center, Diabetes Center, Heart Center, Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Services, and a Women’s Center. Bozeman Health has two additional locations in Belgrade and Big Sky. There are also numerous private practices throughout the valley and plenty of specialty doctors to keep you healthy and active. Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest health organization is currently building a new 97,000 sq. ft clinic on Bozeman’s northwest side.
For a small city, Bozeman offers tons of culture! We have the opera, ballet, symphony, live theater, and concert venues, just to name a few! There are also many community events to enjoy each season. From Farmer's Markets and downtown Art Walks year-round, to annual events like the Christmas Stroll and Sweet Pea Festival. In Bozeman, you get city-like culture wrapped up in our beautiful little town!
Spending the summer playing in the Montana sunshine and the winters escaping to the beach sounds pretty ideal to most, but if that’s not part of your retirement plan you still shouldn’t count out Bozeman. Yes, our winters can be cold. Yes, we get buried in snow once in a while. But, winters in Bozeman are also so beautiful! The snow-capped mountains, bright blue sky, and crisp fresh air are tough to beat! If you ski, Bozeman is the place to be with two ski resorts close by. If skiing isn't your thing you can still enjoy the winter with numerous walking trails to take advantage of. If you prefer to look at the snow rather than play in it, you can fill your winter with trips to the Museum of the Rockies, catching shows at the Ellen Theater, shopping downtown, or visiting our wonderful public library.
Bozemanites are lucky to have skiing options right out of our backyard. With 5,850 skiable acres at Big Sky Resort and 2,000 skiable acres at Bridger Bowl both within an hour drive of Bozeman, the obvious winter activity for many is, of course, skiing. Aside from the world-class downhill skiing available to Bozeman residents, there are also countless options for cross country skiing both on groomed trails and on national forest trails.
If skiing isn't your thing, not to worry. The summers in Bozeman are worth waiting out winter! In fact, we can't think of any place better than Bozeman in the summer. There is so much to do! Golfing at one of the many private or public courses, fishing one of the 5 major rivers or many area lakes, hiking or walking the countless trails, or simply taking in the spectacular sunsets from your own back patio. Trust us when we say summer in Montana is the best.
If you are moving from a big city, you might be concerned there aren't enough restaurants. Luckily, you would be wrong! Bozeman might be a small town, but the dining choices in Bozeman are endless. We’re not talking about chains (although there are plenty), we’re talking about local restaurants with farm-to-table influences to offer the best food possible. Whether you want a Montana steak or some homemade pasta, Bozeman’s dining scene has plenty to choose from. Download our Retiring in Bozeman guide on our website for a list of some of our favorite Bozeman restaurants.
Traveling to and from Bozeman is surprisingly easy, thanks to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. The airport is located only 8 miles north of Bozeman, which is a short, 20-minute drive from the center of town. The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has become one of the fastest-growing airports in the country with more than 1.2 million passengers passing through the gates each year. There are now more than 20 direct flights to and from Bozeman to places like New York, Chicago, Seattle, L.A, and Atlanta. Even with the airport’s growing traffic over the past few years, the lines continue to remain short – sometimes nonexistent!
Bozeman is surrounded by mountains making it stunning in every direction. Drive down any street and you'll see mountains in the distance and big blue skies above. There's no doubt about it, Bozeman is breathtaking. So pack your skis, fishing poles, hiking boots, and golf clubs! If you are considering retiring in Bozeman, you have plenty of adventure ahead of you!
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