Retirement Destination: Things to Consider

Retirement brings about a lot of freedom for retirees.  One of those freedoms that many people quickly take advantage of is the freedom of geography, the ability to relocate to wherever they’d like.  Many people have dreamed of a certain destination for years, while others may still be searching for that perfect spot.  Whether your next homestead is near or far, there are a few things to consider before laying down your retirement roots.

Weather- This is the one factor most people never fail to consider.  The quintessential retiree is known to flock to Florida, Arizona, or some other eternally sunny destination.  Of course, the “ideal” weather is different for every retiree, so make sure that your climate fits your taste.  Warm and sunny, cool and snowy, crisp autumns, rainy springs. Whatever it is, find your own ideal.

Cost of Living and Taxes- Different cities have various costs of living and these variations are often offset by different pay rates as well.  For retirees, there isn’t a whole lot of flexibility in retirement income.  The bit of flexibility available can be found in different state taxation laws.  Every state has different rates for sales taxes, property taxes, and even how your investment vehicles are taxed.  It’s important to take all of this into account when you are determining both your retirement budget and retirement location. 

Transportation- Most couples downsize from two vehicles to one as they enter retirement and, further down the road, many eventually abandon driving altogether.  At any stage, it’s important to consider what transportation is available to you.  Whether it’s a small neighborhood that allows you to stroll down the street to the store, or it’s a reliable public transit system, don’t overlook the importance of your mobility options within your new community.

Friends and Family- One of the most valuable aspects of retirement is the ability to spend time with your friends and family.  Keep the location of your loved ones in mind before you settle in a new place.  This doesn’t mean you have to live right down the street from your kids, but consider the frequency of flights from your airport to theirs, or the diving route for a road trip either way.  Privacy can be good, isolation is not.

With many of these major factors in mind, topretirements.com put together a list of their top five often overlooked towns for retirees, which includes:

  • Old Saybrook, Connecticut
  • Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Mount Dora, Florida
  • Port Townsend, Washington
  • Evergreen, Colorado

These towns may range from coast to coast, north to south, but they all have the intangibles that retirees find valuable.  Which town would you choose?  Or do you have a list of your own?

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