How to Choose the Best Place to Retire

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

When it comes time to retire, many people are faced with the difficult task of choosing where to live. There are so many factors to consider – climate, cost of living, healthcare, activities, and amenities – that it can be hard to know the best place for you. In this guide, we will discuss some of the most important things to think about when making your decision and give you a few tips on choosing the best place to retire. Let’s get started!

Consider your living expenses.

When choosing a location to retire, one of the essential factors is affordability. You want to know how far your money will go for the essentials such as housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment.

The rule of thumb is that you’ll need to replace 70% to 90% of your current salary to maintain your standard of living in retirement. But, of course, this percentage may differ depending on when you retire, where you want to reside, and when you begin receiving Social Security benefits.

Determine the sort of climate you prefer.

Moving to a location with the weather you want will allow you to stay active and engaged during your retirement years. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has an interactive tool where you may look up previous weather and climate data for specific regions, allowing you to get a feel for what to anticipate.

How is your retirement income taxed?

Because each state has its own tax rules regarding retirement income and social security, it’s critical to look at the laws and determine what you’ll need to pay in retirement. For example, social Security payments are taxed in some states, while others have no income tax.

Your retirement may be affected in various ways, including property taxes and sales taxes. They vary considerably from state to state. Make an effort to find out exactly how state and local taxes might influence your chosen retirement location.

Examine the quality of healthcare

After you’ve had a long, healthy life and are ready to retire, you’ll want to pick an area with excellent medical care and local doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare patients. The federal government provides a locator to assist you in locating physicians and long-term care institutions across the United States.

Visit potential retirement locations ahead of time

Visiting retirement sites before making your decision is a good idea. The majority of towns have a visitors’ bureau that can provide you with information on the town’s history, population, quality of life, and what activities are available.

Take the time to visit all of your locations before you make a final decision to live there. Make sure to visit areas in each region and talk with people there. It’s also a good idea to meet with realtors to discover how much houses cost in the areas you’re considering and ask general inquiries.

You should visit a possible site on your list a few times to see whether it would be a suitable fit for you. Take time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each site. Then, when the weather is horrible, go there at least once so you know what to anticipate as a resident.

Helpful tip: Rent instead if you prefer not to purchase a retirement home! Live in all of your potential retirement locations by signing a one-year lease in each town, and move to the following desired location for another year. Moving frequently is an excellent way for seniors to travel without living out of a suitcase.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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