Each day another 10,000 baby boomers enter retirement and face choices about where to spend their golden years. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing where to retire. Let’s take a look at seven factors you should consider.
You worked hard your entire adult life and now look forward to relaxing and tapping into that nest egg you saved or pension you’re now drawing. But even though you’ve retired, the tax man hasn’t. Taxes are an important consideration in choosing where to retire.
You’ll face federal income taxes no matter where you live. But the state in which you retire makes a big difference in your taxes. Some states tax your savings, Social Security and pension. Others don’t, or tread only lightly on your nest egg. Property taxes are capped in some states at age 65. Consult online guides and your tax adviser to determine the friendliest state tax environments.
2. Cost of living
Many states have lovely landscapes but a not-so-attractive cost of living. California, New York and Connecticut, for example, are great places to visit but costly spots in which to live. On the other hand, many southern and midwestern states offer a much friendlier cost of living.
3. Access to healthcare
Your health may be robust now, but one day you’ll likely need access to health care. When you’re choosing where to retire, look for easy access to doctors who treat the types of illnesses that present in later years: oncologists, cardiologists, orthopedists, endocrinologists, pain management specialists and more.
4. Climate and weather
Florida has long been known as a retirement haven, but it’s vulnerable to hurricanes and sinkholes. Building or buying there comes with higher insurance costs and the threat of Mother Nature’s tantrums.
The truth is that many parts of the country carry their own risks of tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, wicked winters and sizzling summers. Choose where to retired based on what you think you can tolerate best and how much you’ll pay in homeowners’ insurance and expenses for damage repair.
5. Aging in place
When it comes to the specific home you choose, look for one-story dwellings, since declining mobility can be an issue in later years. If possible, find a place that already has widened and lipless threshold doorways and lever door handles. Even if a house you like doesn’t already come with these adaptations, consider the ease of adding them later.
Practical considerations aside, what matters most in choosing where to retire is close relationships. Can you retire within reasonable travel distance of your grown kids and your grandchildren? Can you make good friendships in the new community with people your own age? Don’t overlook these vital connections.
7. What about retirement communities?
Retirement communities incorporate many features important to retirees into a master plan. They range from active lifestyle communities through assisted living and nursing care facilities. Most offer valuable features such as transportation to doctor’s appointments, an active social and entertainment calendar and amenities such as pools, tennis courts and movie theaters.
Related – Avoiding Tax Traps in Retirement