Deciding Where to Live in Retirement

Moving to a new location during or for the span of retirement has become a more popular option as time goes on. We all have that ideal place that we’ve wanted to live for our entire lives, but how can we be sure that we actually want to move? Is moving for your retirement a good idea, or would you be able to enjoy your retirement better if you stay in the same place?

There are a lot of questions and concerns that are going to come up when you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to move to a new location during retirement. In this article, we’re going to try and help you to sort through that information in a way that will make it easier for you to decide whether or not moving is right for your retirement plans.

Deciding Where to Live in Retirement

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Should You Move Or Not?

The first big question is this – should you even consider moving in the first place? The answer is – it depends. In some cases, it’s best for a retiree to stay put because they’re closer to family and because they’re living somewhere mortgage-free.

Financial reasons are always a good thing to look at and, as you explore your options, you may find that it’s more affordable to age in place instead of going somewhere else.

The whole choice regarding whether or not you should move is completely up to you. There are, however, a lot of details around it and you want to be sure that, no matter what you choose, you’ll feel good about the choices that you’re making in relation to it.

Talking with your family and friends about your possible decisions can go a long way and will allow you to determine whether or not you wish to move or stay where you currently reside.

How to Choose Where You Should Move

So, you’ve decided that it’s time for you to move to a new location. There are many different things that you need to try and look at in regards to moving and where you may want to go. Here are some things that you want to think about when you’re trying to decide exactly where you want to go.

  • What are the taxes like in the state and municipality? Sometimes, taxes are the “make or break” of whether or not a location is good for someone like a retiree to move to.
  • What is the cost of living in that state or municipality? Obviously, you are living on social security and your retirement funds, and you want to be able to so effectively. The cost of living is one of the first things that you will want to consider in regards to all of this.
  • How far will I be from family members and friends that I have made over the years? Some people want to move away from their families during retirement – other people want to live closer to their family. Look at your preferences and decide, based on your location, which will be best for you.
  • Am I going to move to my own house or am I going to go to a retirement community? Do you want to live in a retirement community that’s quiet and where you can make new friends and have everything you need? Or do you want to buy a home that’s not in a community like that?
  • How much is my move going to cost me? Moving is not cheap and it’s usually more expensive the further you go. Consider looking at prices to see and understand how much your move may cost you.

What Else Do You Need to Consider During a Move?

Obviously, the location isn’t the only thing that you need to consider when it comes time to make the move. You want to take care of some other logistics as you’re working out exactly what it is that you’ll need to do for your move as well. Here are some other considerations that you want to try and keep in mind.

  • How large of a home do you want to have? Do you want a small home that is easy to take care of or a larger home that you can invite people to events?
  • What resources are available for you in your new hometown? Are you near a great hospital or health system? Maybe you want to be near a university that has all of the best in healthcare or arts? Be sure that you do a bit of looking so that you can find whatever resources you want to have in your community.
  • What are you taking with you on the move? Are you going to do a large purge and try to live in an efficient and effective manner? Or maybe you want to take everything with you?
  • Do you expect to stay there for the rest of your retirement? Are you going to be jumping from place to place throughout your retirement years, or are you going to want to stay in one spot? Could you imagine yourself staying in that specific place for the entire time that you are retired? If not, then it may be time for you to consider moving to another location instead.

Above all else, you want to move somewhere that you will enjoy. You don’t want to be somewhere that is going to stress you out financially or mentally, and you want to be able to have a good time during the golden years of your life.

By taking the time, in the beginning, to really sort out whether or not you want to move, and figuring out a good location to move to, you will find that you feel a lot more prepared and set on what you want to do during your move.

While finding a place to retire to can be a very big decision, you’ll be glad that you took the effort to make it happen before making that final decision.

Retirees relocate all of the time – we’ve all heard stories about people we know moving to new places and enjoying the rest of their lives in a unique and fun location.

That being said, how can you be sure that you’re going to find the best place to retire? What destinations are retirees choosing to move to nowadays and how can you get in on what it is that they are enjoying during their retirement? There are a lot of different places that retirees are headed to throughout the United States.

Some of the new “hot spots” for retirees are surprising because they aren’t the same old, same old that they used to be.

Top 10 destinations for retirees that are moving throughout the United States

1. Sarasota, Florida

Even though Florida as a whole isn’t as popular as it used to be for soon-to-be retirees, this Florida city is at the top of the list when it comes to top retirement cities.

Not only are you going to find a pleasant climate in Sarasota, but there are also a number of activities for retirees to enjoy, from the orchestra to the ballet and even a minor league baseball team that they can cheer on. The architecture of the city is unique and, best of all, the state of Florida doesn’t have state income tax.

2. Lancaster (and the surrounding areas), Pennsylvania

Central Pennsylvania has been getting a lot of attention from retirees lately. Not only does Pennsylvania’s state lottery benefit older adults, but the cost of living for retirees is actually quite affordable, especially in and around Lancaster.

The Lancaster area may be popular among tourists, but the city is easy to navigate and there is plenty to do culturally and socially. It’s also a very safe place to live for people of all ages. Hershey, which is known for having some of the best health care services in Pennsylvania, is also a short distance away.

3. San Antonio, Texas

As with Florida, Texas is a popular place for retirees to go because of the lack of state income tax. There are plenty of places to live in and around San Antonio, and the cost of living is quite affordable as well.

San Antonio is a fairly education-oriented city, with several universities, lots of employment opportunities, and thus, plenty of health care options for retirees to utilize. The scenery in and around the city also makes it popular among retirees.

4. Grand Rapids, Michigan

While Grand Rapids has a lot of rough winters, it’s still a very popular place for retirees to go. They have a low cost of living, but not at the expense of cultural opportunities. Retirees that enjoy the arts (orchestras, museums, etc.) will find that there is plenty to do in and around the city.

The cost of living is quite low when compared to other cities (average mortgages are less than $1200 a month, and rent is less than $750 a month), allowing retirees to live like they’re in a bigger city without paying the price.

5. El Paso, Texas

El Paso is another popular Texas city because its cost of living is quite low when compared to other parts of the state. There are plenty of places for retirees to get part-time work if they wish to have it as well.

On top of this, El Paso is right across the Rio Grande from Mexico, allowing retirees to travel across the border in an affordable fashion. The low cost of living helps retirees to stretch their living expenses quite well.

6. McAllen, Texas

Like El Paso, McAllen is right across the Rio Grande from Mexico, but since it’s a smaller city, the cost of living is that much lower. The median rent for retirees is actually the lowest in the country, coming in below $500 per month – wow!

The area is very beautiful, the crime rates are lower than in many other cities, and it allows retirees to enjoy retirement in a warm climate without going broke.

7. Daytona Beach, Florida

Here’s the stereotypical location for retirees to move to – Daytona Beach! Not only do they have the advantage of no state income tax, but there is always something fun to do in Daytona. They have the speedway (NASCAR), Jackie Robinson Field (Minor League Sports), and a variety of other activities that are always going on.

While spring breakers often visit Daytona, it’s not often enough to make retirees uncomfortable. It’s also easy to find an affordable home in or around Daytona.

8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is, quite possibly, one of the friendliest cities in Pennsylvania. While not as large as Philadelphia, there are still plenty of unique and interesting sights that you can enjoy throughout the area.

Unlike many cities, the cost of living is reasonable and there are plenty of universities, providing older adults with access to top-notch healthcare.

9. Austin, Texas

Austin, the capital of Texas, is not always the most affordable place to live, but they have a lot for seniors to enjoy. If you’re over the age of 65, you can take up to six credit hours at the University of Texas at Austin for free.

There are always places to go and enjoy live music and other activities, and their health care system is high quality as well.

10. Washington, DC

While not the most affordable place to buy a home, you’ll find that DC is a great place to retire. You will gain access to all sorts of activities and amenities for little to no cost at all.

You can get some of the best health care in the country, you get reduced rates on the metro, and you have access to all of the amazing things that DC has to offer. It costs more to live there, but you’ll find that you always have something to do and enjoy during your retirement.

Retirees are headed all over the country in order to find their ideal homes during their retirement years, allowing you to consider many different options related to your potential new home.

Whether you’re headed to Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, or anywhere in between, you’ll be sure to find a great place to live out and enjoy your golden years when you move to any of the locations on this list.

The following table displays the Top 10 Destinations for Retirees Moving Across The United States:

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