As 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.