Once you retire, you have more freedom. Some people want to relocate to enjoy better weather, enjoy more leisure activities, enjoy a lower cost of living, or even get closer to family.
Choosing a place to retire is not an easy decision to make. However, some criteria can help you decide where you should move for retirement. Local taxes, cost of living, and climate, for example, can be part of those criteria.
Also, think about whether you want to live in a vibrant urban area or a rural place with like-minded seniors. And to help you out in making this decision, we conducted some research and found seven places that many people are flocking to for retirement, which may help you in your decision-making process.
The Villages, Florida
The Sunshine State is known to be a haven for retirees. The state has a warm climate, scores well on culture, and you're highly likely to find same-age friends.
In reality, 21% of the state's population is 65 and older. So, you can imagine that we could have made this list only with cities from Florida. However, we picked The Villages. Why? Because this place is not only popular with retirees, but it is also a community designed just for them.
Almost all of the nearly 80,000 residents are above the age of 60. In addition, to buy a home in this location, you only need a modest mortgage, mortgage rates in Florida being currently low. Also, you have to agree that the warm climate makes Florida a great pick. In this state, you can have outdoor activities all year round. If you enjoy golf, there are 12 championship golf courses in the area.
There is more than just golf; The Villages have walking trails, lawn bowling, croquet, fishing, and picnic pavilions. Over 80 recreational centers are available that also cater to indoor and outdoor activities. Plus, lots of shopping!
Shopping at an outdoor market at The Villages, Florida
The Villages are located in central Florida, about 30 miles south of Ocala and about an hour northwest of Orlando. The location makes the Villages safer during hurricane season than locations around the coast.
However, if you want to get to the beach, you can. The Villages is about 40 miles away from the West Coast and 70 miles from the East Coast.
One area of concern is health care, as the hospitals in The Villages have been criticized for overall quality. However, major medical facilities in Tampa and Orlando are available within driving distance.
Long-term care providers are available, including many in-home providers, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care, and nursing homes - Florida Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Green Valley, Arizona
Found in the Santa Cruz River Valley and just 20 miles from Tucson, Green Valey is home to many retirement communities. More than 80% of the population of this town of 21,000 people are above the age of 60.
In addition, property taxes are below average, housing prices are reasonable, and there has been a drop in monthly healthcare costs. Moreover, there is a low crime rate, good air quality, and mild winters making Green Valley an ideal location for hiking in the Sonoran Desert or the Santa Rita Mountains.
Golfing at the Desert Hills Golf Club is one of many recreational opportunities in Green Valley, AZ
Plus, since it's so close to Tucson, you are just half an hour away from a big city with lots of entertainment. Although, there are plenty of things to do in Green Valley just as well. For example, you can play some golf, visit the local market and the Arid Garden, or check out the Titan Missile Museum.
State-of-the-art health care is available nearby in Tucson. Plus, major medical centers in Phoenix are a little over an hour away.
There are many options for long-term health care when you need it. All levels of types of care are available, including in-home care, adult day care centers, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home facilities - Arizona Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
The Peach State currently has 50 percent more seniors than it had ten years ago. And it is no surprise when you look at the low cost of living and light tax burden. But when it comes to where in Georgia you should retire, Savannah makes the top pick. It's one of the places everyone will be flocking to for retirement.
You have a four-star hospital and the Savannah College of Arts and Design, where you can enjoy the arts. Also, there is the Savannah State University and the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University, where you can get free tuition if you are over 62. So, if you're still interested in learning new things, Savannah is the best place to call home.
Don't worry if you are coming from far away and need to plan a long-distance move. The easiest possible way to do this is by hiring senior moving professionals. They will help you have a smooth relocation so that you can start enjoying your retired life in Savannah ASAP.
There are many health care options available in Savannah, but if you need top specialists, you could seek them in Charlotte, which is about 3 1/2 hours away; Atlanta, which is 3 hours away; or Jacksonville, Florida, which is about 2 hours away.
There are numerous long-term health care providers in Savannah when you need extended care. You have many home health care agencies and providers if you wish to stay in your home. Adult day care centers allow you to get the attention you require during the day and return home at night. Growing in popularity, Savannah is home to numerous assisted living facilities that offer more independence, and couples can stay together. Plus, for those who need more intensive long-term health care services, memory care and nursing homes are available - Georgia Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nevada has gained in popularity among retirees over the last ten years. This state provides favorable tax policies and affordable monthly health care costs. And even if Las Vegas isn't your first choice for a retirement destination, the cost of living can be relatively cheap. That is why we chose Las Vegas for our list, in addition to the obvious reasons.
Las Vegas is the perfect place to retire if you like entertainment and good food.
As you know, there are many entertainment options available in Vegas, and the food is legendary. The best thing is that the entertainment is free most of the time, and the local buffets are affordable. In addition, you can also do lots of outdoor activities like walking, golfing, or biking. Also, if you ever feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, you can go to the neighboring Paradise. Here, you will see less traffic, lots of welcoming people, and an elderly-friendly community.
Health care is a mixed bag in Las Vegas. While there are plenty of doctors and facilities for most everyday health needs, top specialists are few. Many residents head to Los Angeles or Phoenix to see top medical specialists or more complex surgeries and procedures.
There are numerous long-term health care options, however, available in Vegas. You will find a wide variety of in-home health care options, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care, and nursing home care - Nevada Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
The state of Iowa also ranks high when it comes to places everyone will be flocking to for retirement. 17.5 percent of the population is over 65, and most of them are still very active. For example, 36.9 percent of the elderly in Iowa are regular volunteers, compared to 28 percent nationwide.
If you like weather variety, this is the place as you will enjoy four seasons. That makes it easy to have a healthy and active lifestyle. And when it comes to choosing the best place in Iowa for retirement, Cedar Falls takes the prize. The population is almost 41,000 people, with 80 percent living near a park or a recreational facility. Also, this city is walkable and bike-friendly, has lots of shops and restaurants, and has the best festivals and farmer's markets. You will just love living in this old-meets-new city.
There are many available options for health care, plus you will have top specialists available through the University of Iowa medical system. Just 90 minutes away in Iowa City, the University of Iowa Hospital has 811 beds and is a level 1 trauma center. As a teaching hospital, their top specialists are available through both the hospital and through clinics through the area,
Cedar Rapids has many quality long-term health care options as well. You would have plenty of choices available to you, including in-home health care, adult day care, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home facilities - Iowa Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Tennessee is another great state for people that want to retire. And most of all because it is affordable. It offers a low cost of living and a small burden of local and state taxes. And when it comes to the climate, Tennessee is also a great choice. It has a mild climate all year round with four distinct seasons. And to name one city that is great for retirees, we picked Jackson.
In Jackson, you will find plenty of opportunities to stay active and healthy after retirement.
Jackson is a good place for those who like diversity and being up to date with everything. For example, Jackson was one of the first cities in Tennessee to get ultrafast internet. Also, for those who like to spend time outdoors, here you can find plenty of parks, greenways, and walking trails. In addition, seniors can stay active and healthy with the help of local fitness clubs, indoor pools, and healthy cafes.
Jackson is home to the flagship of West Tennessee Healthcare, a 642-bed tertiary care center that is the only tertiary care hospital between Memphis and Nashville. Memphis is also close by offering various top health care options to choose from. Plus, Nashville is close by and is home to many state-of-the-art care facilities and specialists.
However, the Jackson area is home to many quality long-term health care options to take care of daily needs. If you wish to remain in your home, home health care services are available to provide both custodial and skilled services. You also have adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care, and nursing home care available - Tennessee Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Pennsylvania offers tax-friendly opportunities for retirees with favorable income tax rates. Plus, Pennsylvania does not tax Social Security benefits.
That's not all; seniors in Pennsylvania may qualify for a rebate on their property taxes or their rent if they meet specific requirements. You must be at least age 65 or a widow or widower aged 50 or older. There are income requirements as well.
If you want to own a home and retire to Pennsylvania, Swarthmore is the place to be. The population is almost 6,500, and the cost of living is quite reasonable. But the inconvenience is that, because Swarthmore is so small, the housing market can be tough.
There is no need to worry, though, as the situation is improving thanks to the city's government. Also, thanks to good administration, the city is very walkable, and anything you need is not more than ten minutes away. In addition, if you ever need to have a bit more excitement, you are a 20-minute train ride away from Philadelphia.
Being close to Philadelphia means you are very close to top-flight health care. Plus, locally, there are many options for long-term care services and supports in all forms, including in-home health services - Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Ready to Retire?
When the time comes for you to retire, you can choose from one of the cities we mentioned on our list or anywhere you desire. The seven locations listed here are some of the top locations many people consider when they retire. There is a good reason for these seven; they are either tax-friendly, have an affordable cost of living, or have plenty of entertainment options. Or, even better, they have all of them. Therefore, look closely at our list and pick your favorite.
Before you relocate, consider everything, including how close or far you will be from your family. Will you be able to travel to see your loved ones or vice versa easily? Consider the cost of living, health care, recreational opportunities, and the weather.
Being prepared before you retire will make the decision to relocate easier. Are you saving enough money in your retirement accounts to fund your future retirement? Have you considered the costs and burdens of aging and long-term health care?
Retirement is supposed to be fun since you own your time. Be ready and enjoy.
About the Author
Jane Stinson is a relocation specialist who has worked with many seniors over the years. Having seen how hard some of them have taken it, she has decided to start blogging about helping seniors, and younger generations, move to their new homes. Jane aims to make the whole experience more comfortable. In her free time, she enjoys reading and gardening.
Contributor since March 26th, 2021
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