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Exploring Your Options In Retirement: Lesson 1: Where To Live?

Date : Mar 18,2014
By : Brionna Kennedy

It seems as if a new article about the best places to retire surfaces everyday on the news. Beautiful vistas are shown with either blue waters surrounding sandy beaches or majestic mountains towering over windswept plains. It’s enough for anyone to want to consolidate their 401K and tell the boss good-bye. But once reality has set in, several factors pop into mind that need to be considered before making that final move. Here are some things to think about before you decide where to live in retirement.


How much a retiree will be making in retirement is probably the biggest factor in determining where to live. Retirement income is based on how long a person has worked, whether a pension is received, if investments will be used immediately, and how long it is before Social Security is collected. Since retirement income is usually less than what people made while working, adjustments to living costs have to be considered and may impact where a person is able to live. If a retiree currently lives where expenses are high, then moving to a less costly place may make sense.

Location, Location, Location

Practically speaking, the cost of living varies by geography. Certain areas of the country or within states, like around big cities, are just more expensive. For example, a 2013 study stated that Hawaii, Alaska, New York and California were in the top 10 most expensive states to live while some of the least expensive states were North Dakota, South Dakota, and Mississipi. Retirees must give careful thought as to how far their income will go to cover rent, mortgage, taxes, transportation and daily living expenses. Whatever the desired retirement location, researching the choice before committing to a move is a good idea.

Family Ties

Retirees often have a strong sense of family and want to be where children and grandchildren are living. If family members are located within the same geographical region, it makes sense that retirees will want to stay within that same place. Retirees may enjoy living with reduced costs in a home with no mortgage payments, a great benefit on a fixed retirement income. Or, a retiree may wish to downsize and sell a home to move to a less expensive, more easily managed home. On the other hand, if family is scattered, retirees may wish to consider moving closer to them for support and help in later years.

Health and Recreation

Keeping active and healthy in retirement should be two important considerations when choosing where to live. Take an inventory of health concerns and recreational interests and match them up with available medical services and community resources in a desired area. The Attorney Firm of Joseph M. Todd recommends making sure to check if existing medical benefits will cover any anticipated costs in a new community.

Retiring to a new place can be exciting and daunting at the same time. With some careful research and planning, retirees can make a move to a desired location to enjoy the benefits of a new stage of life. After all that hard work, it’s well deserved.