Did you know that where you retire can make as much of a difference as when you retire? Retirees frequently use this time to move somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, such as near a beach or the mountains.
However, during this time you will have less of an income and will need to carefully consider your savings and how your location could impact your retirement. Picking the right location could save you hundreds of dollars!
There are several things to consider when choosing a place to retire and where to retire.
Proximity to family/friends.
For many retirees, this is the number one factor helping them choose where to retire. Maybe you’d like to be closer to your grandchildren or children. Or maybe your other friends are retiring and you’d like to be near a close-knit community on whom you can rely. Remember: it is important to fill your post-retirement days with activities to keep you busy. Being near friends and family can help!
Cost of living.
If you haven’t saved much for retirement and you aren’t planning on taking on a part-time job, then it doesn’t make sense to live somewhere with a high cost of living. Cost of living refers to the prices of everyday items/needs, such as groceries, rent, utilities and transportation. A simple Google search can help you compare costs of living across the United States. The lower the cost of living in a particular area, the further your retirement savings will stretch! This is particularly important for retirees who want to maintain or achieve a certain standard of living on a budget.
Your savings and income.
This the obvious first factor retirees look into when considering where to move. If you have saved a lot for your retirement, then you have the lucky advantage of being able to move to most places. Retirees who reduce their hours or plan on taking a part-time job also have an advantage, as their extra income means they have more options.
If you don’t like to fish, hunt or hike, it doesn’t make sense to live in a mountain town there these activities are prevalent. You should consider your current interests and hobbies when picking a place to retire, rather than the hobbies you want to take up once you have retired. Not that you should neglect the latter; rather, it makes more sense to move somewhere that caters to your current or lifelong interests and passions while affording you the opportunities to explore other hobbies.
Some states will provide tax breaks to retirees. These can include no tax on Social Security or pension earnings.
Big cities frequently offer more activities than smaller towns, but tend to be more expensive. One option that many retirees don’t consider are mid-sized college towns. If you are at retirement age, you may not even be thinking about moving to a college town. After all; the stereotype is that you’ll be surrounded by drunken debauchery; however, college towns afford a unique advantage for retirees. Firstly, they are cheaper. Housing, food and hobbies offer student discounts and frequent promotions that retirees may be able to take advantage of. Secondly, they offer culture that doesn’t cater specifically to the collegiate crowd. Film festivals, art classes, traveling exhibits, sports games and concerts are all activities that occur in college towns and are frequently open to the public. According to Forbes: Athens, Georgia, Lexington, Kentucky and Columbia, Missouri are a few of the top college towns for retirees.
This one may be neglected as you consider your other options; however, walkability is an important factor to take into consideration as you look for a place to retire. Walkability refers to how easy it is to walk to places in your city – and it could actually save you money. Walkscore.com is an excellent resource to help you determine the walkability of your city, town or neighborhood. Cardio is good for your health, as it reduces stubborn fat that could lead to heart disease and diabetes. A healthier you means you will be spending less on medical bills and doctor’s visits. Additionally, the more places you can walk, the less likely it is you will need a car, saving you money on things like car payments, gas and maintenance.
Safety should also be a concern when considering where to hang your hat after retirement. Be sure to look at the crime rate of the cities and neighborhoods you are considering!
If you are planning on traveling, you may want to choose a city close to a major airport or – if you are RV’ing – somewhere that is RV-friendly! For more tips and tricks for saving money on retirement travel, check out our next article!
There are many factors that go into choosing a place to retire. Ultimately, where to retire should be based on your comfort and your savings. Now is the time to go where you’d like to go – the world is your oyster!