Illinois achieved statehood in December of 1818. Since then it has grown to become the 5th most populated state in the country. The majority of the population lives within the Chicago metropolitan area. Three United States presidents have been elected while living in Illinois including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and current president Barack Obama.
Illinois has a lot to offer retirees looking to live out their golden years in peace and prosperity.
Illinos has a great and growing selection of 55+ communities especially around Chicago. For those wanting to work at least part time living in a 55+ community on the edge of the Chicagoland has advantages. See listings in Illinois 55+ communities.
Best Illinois Small Towns
this town with a population of 12,000 people is a hidden gem in the state that is being discovered by more retirees every year. Pontiac is home to the Route 66 Museum, Livingston County War Museum and the International Walldog Mural.
Carol Stream –
this town of 40,000 is named after the developer’s daughter and has become one of the best small towns to live in. The town is what many picture as the perfect small town with several well groomed parks, churches of many denominations, and small town pride beaming from the residents. The town is home to many yearly festivals including Swedish Days, Geneva Arts Fair, Fall Festival of the Vine, and the Christmas Walk. The town has several affordable restaurants, and outdoor amphitheater, and a new Town Center.
Glen Ellyn –
the suburb or Village of Glen Ellyn is located less than 25 miles outside of Chicago and is one of the area’s premier suburbs. The village is known for its giving spirit and takes pride in volunteerism. Retirees who want to live in a small, charming town but have close access to the city will love Glen Ellyn. The town has 29 parks, a wildlife preserve, and a great golf course thriving cultural amenities. Glen Ellyn Senior Center has activities.
the village of Oswego was recently named one of the top 100 towns to live in by CNN Money. The village is just 50 miles from Chicago at the south end of Fox River. The community strives to keep a small town feel while offering modern amenities. The Oswego park district offers retirees with several activities, recreational programs, and facilities. The village features hundreds of acres of parks, a 183-bed hospital, bike trails, and a new aquatic center. The village is also home to the Fox Bend Golf Course which is one of the top rated in Illinois.
South Elgin –
the village of South Elgin is home to approximately 22,000 people, and was recently named one of the top 100 places to live in by Money Magazine. Some of the main attractions in the city are the Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin Riverfest, and World of Faeries Festival. South Elgin has everything a retiree would want including great weather, parks, golf courses, restaurants, and a senior center.
Addison is located just west of the Chicago Metro area and has a population of approximately 37,000 residents. The town has many modern amenities, shops, and activities but remains a great place to retire or raise your family. The Addison public library and parks and recreation district offer multiple events each month including movie nights, craft classes, golf lessons, live performances, and more.
Crystal Lake –
Crystal Lake is located 50 miles northwest of Chicago and is one of the most popular suburbs in Illinois because of its small town charm and proximity to the water. The population is currently 42,000 people. There are many things to do in Crystal Lake year round including historic sites such as the Colonel Palmer House, Lights on the Lake, Johnny Appleseed Festival, and of course – boating and swimming on the lake.