Retirement is a big life change, and deciding where to retire can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, from closeness to family to your favorite areas and budget. The good news is that no matter where you decide to retire, there are currently more great senior living options than ever.
Here is a guide suggesting some of the best places to retire along with some great tips to help make your decision.
How Do You Want To Live?
In your retirement, the first thing to think about is how you want to live. Would you or you and your partner prefer to live in a home, an apartment, a gated community, in an urban area or in a more rural location? Is it important to be near a golf course, good restaurants and entertainment? Would you rather be near the seaside or in a mountainous place with rolling hills? How is you or your partner’s health status and is it important to you to be near a certain medical clinic or hospital? Where do your other family members and friends live? All of these may play an important part in your decision.¹
Top Retirement Locations
In terms of retirement locations, certain cities have made their name as the top places to retire in the nation because of their cost, location, services and charm. Here are eight fantastic options.
1. Boise, ID
Boise may sound like a boring place to retire, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is the perfect mix of outdoor and urban life with housing that doesn’t cost the world. The average price of a home in Boise will only run you just over $200,000 and you are less than a half-hour drive from the Rocky Mountains. Add in tax incentives to help out seniors, no taxes on Social Security for Boise residents and a large population of retirees and you have a great place to live out your golden years.²
2. Clearwater, FL
Clearwater is famous for its lovely beach and for being a top pick of retirees. The busy and culture-rich downtown that you can walk around is a big attraction. The yearly jazz fest and bevy of exciting entertainment at the Clearwater auditorium means you will never be at a loss for what to do on a Saturday night. Price-wise you are also in the clear, with an average rental cost of less than $1,500 per month for a great apartment.³ Homes are also relatively affordable, with the current medium home value being just over $200,000.⁴
3. Athens, Georgia
It may not be Greece, but Athens, Georgia keeps winning top awards as one of the best places to retire in America. It has nice weather year-round, policies to help seniors including no taxes on Social Security and a lovely downtown with beautiful architecture, delicious restaurants, sporting activities and cultural life.⁵ The median price of a home comes in at just under $200,000.⁶
4. Fargo, ND
North Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think retirement, but it is actually a prime destination. Life moves at a relaxed pace in North Dakota and Fargo has some of the best prices on real estate in the country, with houses averaging just over $220,000⁷ and very low property tax. Even though it does get chilly in the winter, Fargo is a very liveable place with plenty of culture, good health care services and tasty eats.⁸
5. Green Valley, AZ
Arizona is famous retirement state and one of the best places in Arizona to settle down is Green Valley. The community of Green Valley is actually a number of smaller communities put together which are mainly comprised of retired folks. You can expect pleasant, warm weather, lots of golf and easy commutes to larger cities in Arizona. There are many restaurants, shopping and entertainment options as well. Houses in Green Valley are quite reasonably priced, with a median value of just $189,000.⁹
6. Palm Desert, California
With a population of only 53,437—over half of whom are above 50—Palm Desert is a top destination for retirees. The weather is sunny two-thirds of the year and you may be surprised by how affordable homes are, with the median home price ringing in at $334,398. Palm Desert has a bustling arts scene, many recreation activities from golf to water aerobics and bocce, a number of classy gated communities, top-tier golf, beautiful natural surroundings and many new friends to be made.¹⁰
7. Troy, Michigan
Troy is a Detroit suburb located in Michigan’s well-off Oakland county. It is safe and comfortable, with a population of around 84,000 and beautiful parkland, shopping and many residential options. Troy has fascinating museums including in its historical village and many picturesque places to settle down. In total about 20 percent of Troy is over 65, so seniors will be among many friends and it is also worth mentioning that there is a high ratio of doctors to the population, so it will be easy to find a physician to take care of your health needs.¹¹ Troy ahoy!
8. Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville has a number of things going for it for retirees, especially reasonable prices, tax breaks and a healthy environment for seniors. With a thriving local economy, rich culture and all sorts of beautiful nature right nearby Huntsville has a median income of $46,318 for folks over 65 and is becoming increasingly popular because of the many advantages it offers seniors from its wonderful symphony orchestra to its very liveable residential neighborhoods and close proximity to nature.¹²
As always, do your own research and think about what is best for your needs. When it comes to retirement everyone is different, but the many great choices out there make the decision a little bit easier.