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Where Do You Want to Retire?

Written by Jeff Rose on March 25, 2013 in Retirement  |   8 comments

The perfect place to raise a family isn’t always the perfect place to retire. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself a few important questions before deciding where to settle down for your golden years. Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and creator of the Good Financial Cents blog, gives soon-to-be retirees some things to consider before making a move.

retirement locationAs people grow closer to retirement, they often start to rethink their living situations. The perfect city to raise a family isn’t always the perfect place to retire. Before you settle down for your golden years, consider some of these factors to help you decide where you should live in retirement.

How will the weather affect you?

Many people prefer living in warm, dry climates for health reasons. If you move to a place like Arizona, you might have fewer breathing and air allergy problems. Florida is also popular because of its warm climate. When you know your state almost never drops below freezing, you don’t have to worry so much about spending a week in the hospital because you slipped on a patch of ice.

Where can you get good medical care?

Most retirees need access to reliable healthcare facilities. Many also need additional services, such as at-home assistance. You can find these options in most metropolitan and even rural areas, but consider if you might need more specialized care in the future. If, for instance, your family has a history of lung cancer, you should consider living in an area with a hospital noted for its cancer treatment.

How will you get around?

If you retire at 65, you probably have years of safe driving ahead of you. At some point, though, your reflexes and eyesight could make it dangerous for you to operate a motor vehicle. How will you get around town when this happens? If you have family members willing to drive, then you might not have a problem. Some seniors pay drivers to take them out once or twice a week. Others rely on public transportation. Consider your financial and mobility concerns and then choose a city that matches your transportation needs.

What’s the cost of living?

Thanks to medical science, people are living longer than they ever expected. That’s terrific—unless your retirement savings don’t cover an extra 10 years. You can do more with your savings by living in a place that has reasonable housing, utility, and food prices. You should also consider tax rates. If you only have a limited amount of money, it makes more sense to live in Florida, which doesn’t have a state tax requirement, than California, which has an 8.25 percent tax.

Where you decide to live will depend on the factors that matter most to you. These concerns, however, should help you start thinking about what will and will not affect your decision.

Jeff Rose is a Certified Financial Planner who writes about financial planning topics at Good Financial Cents.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Tenn does not have a state income tax either

    • AJ says:

      I’d like to live in Eastern Tennessee. Do you recommend one town over another.

      • Anonymous says:

        Knoxville is a decent place with more transportation, but Johnson City is better (having had lived there) with community events, being smaller than Knoxville, and my favorite is its being on the edge of the Appal.Trail! There are many scenic areas, places to hike, and it is accessible to North Carolina (1 hour drive via interstate to Asheville, NC), Virginia (40 minutes to Abingdon, VA via interstate). Via interstate, it is 7 hour drive to D.C., 6 hours to Charelston, SC, 4 hours to Atlanta, GA, and 8.5 hours to Jacksonville, FL.

        Cost of living is very good…. although TN doesn’t have State income tax, the sales tax rate is high. Other than that the cost of living is good. Best Regards.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I live in a senior community in the Phoenix valley in Arizona called Sun City Grand, It’s 17,000 people with 9,800 one story homes designed for senior living and as much to do as you would wish. Excellent health and shoping facilities are close at hand. Taxes , cost of living are reasonable and the weather is great.

    A very important item to look at when choosing a senior community is how much it costs and how well managed it is. SCG just costs $92 per month in HOA dues and is exceptionsally well managed. Moving here is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  3. Diane C. McCoy says:

    I am retiring to Bend Oregon. It is in the high desert where Ponderosa Pines live. Low humidity! FL with it’s high humidity is a killer for me. There is no sales tax in Oregon. Bend has 80000 people with a well reputed St. Charles Medical Center. The Oregon Health Sciences Univ. is 2.5 hrs driving away and a 40 min flight from the regional airport 20 minutes away. Yes cold but I’m always warm or hot naturally. Snow is not bad and melts fast because it is sunny over 360 days a year. I will be arriving in 3 weeks! Can’t wait!

  4. a Cunningham says:

    HI! I have chosen Savannah, Ga. It has an enormous amount of things to do. I have moved from a smaller town since I missed great medical treatment, fair prices, free events in the park, always some art show, or parade or tour of town. Multiple faiths, and many opportunities to work for a charity. There is also the homestead act for your hometax. Best of all there are schools, young people older people, and it is a beautiful city to walk in, be busy, be slow, go out, stay in, have visitors, help people and have a wonderful life. I love this city.

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