Best Retirement Locations
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The best retirement location for you would be the place that offers you the lifestyle you want at the lowest cost of living. Obviously different people will have ideas of the best retirement location, a beach lover might choose Panama City, Florida, while somebody who likes to fish and hunt might prefer Salida, Colorado. A skier might like Steamboat Springs, Colorado, while a theater lover might prefer New York City.
Criteria for Choosing the Best Retirement Location for you
The first criteria to take account when searching for a retirement location is the things that you like to do. A person who likes outdoor activities might prefer one of the Western states but beautiful mountain scenery and outdoor activities are also available farther East in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota and North Carolina. Those states have lower costs of living and lower real estate prices than the Western states.
A person that likes the beach could look into Texas and Alabama which have beautiful beaches and lower property values and costs of living than Florida or California. Somebody who likes to boat might be happier in Michigan which has many lakes and the Great Lakes and gives many tax breaks for retirees than in an ocean front state.
Somebody who loves the city and living in an urban environment might be happier in one of the larger Western cities like Denver or Portland than back east. These offer all the same amenities (including museums, shopping, restaurants, public transit systems, theater, parks and major-league sports) as big Eastern Cities and have lower crime rates and costs of living. Texas has big cities like Dallas and San Antonio, a warm climate, beaches and no state income tax.
Proximity to Home and Family
A very important criteria for most retirees is the distance from their family such as children, siblings and grandchildren. Most of us do like having our family around and we may need their help from time to time. Therefore the best place to retire can be near your family.
A person whose family lives in the Northeast but wants to retire on the ocean might consider Delaware. It offers fairly low taxes and a low cost of living yet it is only a short drive or train ride from New York, New Jersey, Washington DC and Philadelphia. Somebody whose family lives in Boston might consider New Hampshire which is a short drive away but has no state income or property tax. Michigan and Wisconsin are popular retirement destinations yet they are only a short drive from big cities like Chicago.
Don’t Neglect Practical Matters
Many people spend big money buying or building the ideal retirement home only to sell it fairly quickly when they realize it is not practical to live there. For example: places like Vermont and Maine can look beautiful but many people will move out after spending the winter and seeing their first heating bill.
Many people would like to retire in the country not realizing the added costs that involves. Persons who live in the country have to drive more so they have higher transportation costs because they have to drive everywhere. That beautiful rural spot you love may have great scenery but how far is from shopping, doctors, medical care, and other places you want or need to go. Driving 60 miles to buy groceries or see the dentist can quickly get to be a real drag.
A final thing to ask yourself is will you be able to live there as you get older. You might have no problem driving forty miles to buy groceries when you are 65 but what about when you are 80? You might be able to enjoy your favorite recreational activities now but what about when you cannot. A house in a small town that has a medical center, a grocery store and close proximity to the outdoors might be a better choice than acabin in the woods. Taking such practical concerns into account now can help you find the best retirement location for you.
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