Choosing the Best Place to Live in Retirement: What You Need to Know

Isabella Goode

If you have entered your senior years and it’s now the time to plan for your retirement, you may be wondering what step to take next. It’s only natural that you will want to live in an environment where you feel comfortable and content in your golden years.

We all have different likes and dislikes, so while one location may be the perfect spot for a retiree, it may not suit your needs. There are several factors to take into account when picking a place to retire, so here is everything you need to know to help you find the best retirement spot.

Consider Retiring Locally

Before coming to any decision, your first step should be whether a move is actually needed. If you live in an area that is affordable, near to your family and friends and has the amenities and services you want, there is no reason to move and step out of your comfort zone. For pre-retirees who are wanting to cut costs and move elsewhere locally, there are lots of tips that can help boost your home’s value. If you are in good financial shape but want to explore, you may get pleasure from taking frequent vacations throughout the year instead, or by purchasing a weekend getaway property.

Assess Living Costs

With pre-retirees expecting to spend up to 80% of their current income during retirement, it’s critical that you look into low cost of living costs to help stretch your money further. If you would like to move, even if you have found your dream location, the last thing you want is to blow all your income and be left with nothing.

States like Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma are regarded as the best for low cost of living, whereas states like California and Hawaii are the most expensive. With regards to housing, the lowest average property prices can be found in states like West Virginia and Indiana, while you can expect to pay out more in states such as New York and Massachusetts.

Know Your Taxes

When deciding on where to live during your retirement, it’s vital that you take taxation into account. The three key areas of taxation are state taxes, taxes on retirement income, and taxes on dividend income. Bear in mind that even if a state has a lower tax rate, it doesn’t mean it will be cheaper to live in. There are other taxes that apply, which will make up the overall cost.

Even if you live in an affordable area, if you aren’t happy with how you are spending your days, it’s advisable to move somewhere where you will feel happier and more comfortable.

Evaluate Amenities

The place where you spend your retirement should have all the amenities and services you require. Whether it’s grocery stores, fitness centers, or golf courses, having ample wellness opportunities close by will keep your mind active and ensure you have things to do. Many retirees like to try out new things and take up a hobby, so having places where you can engage with others is crucial. You should also pick an area that has arts and retail venues, recreational land, and public libraries.

Schedule a Visit

If there are lots of different locations in the country that spark your interest, it’s best to go out and visit them. If you have a couple of years before your retirement begins, use it as the perfect opportunity to explore. Spending a couple of weeks in each location and seeing and doing as much as you can will give you a more educated idea of whether it’s the right place for your golden years.

Instead of spending all your time near the hotel, try and get out and visit local communities. You should always go with your gut instinct, so if you don’t feel comfortable in one area, it’s best not to settle. There are other factors to consider when visiting retirement locations, such as the economy, weather forecast, and crime rate. If you are worried about your safety, you can visit the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program to give you a better overview.

Research Communities

There are lots of retirement communities across the country that you should research before making your final decision. If you’re a person of faith, finding a retirement facility that caters to your needs is important. There are catholic retirement communities like St. Anne’s who honor all faiths. St. Anne’s Retirement Community offers a range of residential apartments, cottage-style homes, and villas that can be the perfect environment and space for your retirement years. Do your research and you will be sure to find the perfect community that suits your needs.

Living out your golden years in a safe and welcoming community should be top of your list. Before making your final decision, make sure that you take all the factors above into account.

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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