When it comes to finding a place to retire, there are many different variables to asses. Do you want to live in a location with seasons? Is affordable housing and cost of living a factor? Are you looking for a tax haven? Regardless of the needs you’re looking to fill, proximity to healthcare, a high safety rating and comfort index are undoubtedly at the top of your list. Let’s take a look into the top 10 things you should consider when choosing a place to retire.
1. Proximity to Healthcare
Proximity to healthcare is an important factor to consider at any time in your life, however it is especially vital when you are nearing retirement age. The opportunity to be near one of more healthcare facilities increases your quality of life, as you are able to take care of yourself with ease. This not only includes hospitals and medical buildings but the retirement and senior care facilities in the area. It’s likely you will not want to move again, so it’s important to select a place that will meet all of your needs.
2. High Safety Rating
A high safety rating should always be a high priority when looking for a new place to live. Unfortunately, the older you get, the more vulnerable you are to crime. Thankfully there are many available resources that assist in understanding the crime rates and overall safety ratings of different areas. If you feel more comfortable, local police are always able to give you more information about a certain location you may be considering.
3. Comfort Index
Comfort Index is one of the main factors that might be less familiar to you. This measure takes into consideration many different climate and weather variables of a location. From annual precipitation, minimum and maximum temperatures, and number of precipitation days. This number reflects the anticipated satisfaction with the environmental conditions in a single number, with the lower the number meaning the less comfort, higher associated with higher levels of comfort.
4. Cost of Living and Housing Affordability
When you retire, you inevitably spend more time at home and have more time to spend money during the day. Buying a home in retirement will probably be the largest investment that you make, which ultimately brings this factor high on the list of importance. Whether you’re planning on driving a car or taking public transportation daily, cities with high gas prices or poor public transit infrastructure should not be considered on your list of locations. Additionally, high HOAs and property taxes, cost of groceries, and cost of maintenance can be higher in some locations. These are all important to consider, especially if your retirement income is less than you’re used to living with.
Following suit of COL and affordable housing, taxes rates differ by state and even by county. Some states don’t have sales tax and others don’t collect income tax. In addition, there are some states that have tax credits and additional exemptions that should be a high consideration for your new home.
States with no Sales Tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
States with no Individual Income Taxes: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming
6. Recreational Opportunities
Retirement is supposed to be the most exciting part of your life, take the time to find new hobbies or enjoying those you already have. Whether you’re a golfer, avid hiker, or beach enthusiast, ensuring that your retirement location has access to the activities you enjoy doing is crucial. It’s been shown that spending time outside will allow you to enjoy a longer and healthier retirement. Make sure your new home has access during all seasons of the year for something to occupy your time!
7. Proximity to Family and Friends
Don’t forget the importance of friends and family in your time of retirement. Whether you have grandchildren, spend holidays with your friends, or a large extended network of loved ones, make sure their location is considered when moving. If this is an important factor in your happiness, make sure you have easy access to your social circle. Enjoying social time with others is an important norm to maintain into retirement.
8. Diverse Community
Have you always had an interest in other cultures or trying different types of foods? A diverse community will allow you to experience new things and be culturally versed. Whether you enjoy concerts, sports, theater, or art, take advantage of the opportunity to embrace the cultural scene.
9. Employment/Volunteer Opportunities
Whether you need to supplement your retirement income with part-time work or you’re looking for something to keep yourself occupied, make sure your location has opportunities for you. While this may not be something you’re currently thinking of doing, there may come a time when you get bored of being retired. There’s a drastic shift in working your entire life to having every day be your Saturday. Many retirees find volunteering or enjoyable part time work a crucial piece to their overall happiness and satisfaction, it helps some feel a sense of purpose in your day. Make sure there are ample opportunities for these additions when the mood strikes.
10. Proximity to a Major Airport
Travelling is something that many people nearing or in retirement have on their list of activities they are most likely to add into their routine. You now have nothing but time on your hands, why not travel all the place you’ve never been? Make sure you’re close to a major airport that will allow you these opportunities without additional travel. Why hinder your opportunities when there are so many wonderful retirement locations near a metro area!
While choosing a place to live and evaluating a large number of variables might feel daunting, there are many locations that encompass a large amount of them already. Let us take the stress out of finding your perfect location, we’ve already considered all of these factors and comprised a list of Top Places to Retire.