Where to Live in Retirement

After decades of working, providing for your family and taking care of others it’s finally your turn to decide what you want to do and where you’d like to live.

I found this tool by Market Watch that helps you decide where you want to live based on what matters to you.

Unfortunately for me where I choose to live does not just revolve around weather, money, activities and nature. I also want to live close to an airport – in case I need to go see my grandkids that don’t live near by (this isn’t an issue yet as my Navy son has no children)

I also want to live close enough to my grandkids that I can go visit them regularly. Also it would be nice to live closeish to my parents and siblings & extended family. Within a days drive would be nice, within a couple of hours even nicer.

So how do you decide where to live during retirement?

Do you wonder where others are retiring? The reality is that while many people might fantasize about a big move, most stay within their own state. The Census Bureau estimates that only 348,000 people moved last year for retirement reasons.

As you can imagine those that do move states tend to go south much like the birds.

Florida’s popularity isn’t surprising. being their home prices are less expensive then many areas of the US and the fact that they have no state income tax! But is it the right choice for you? And if so, where in Florida should you go? While Florida remains one of the most popular desitnation for retirment you will notice that it isnot in the top 10 cities that people are retiring to.

10 most popular cities in the U.S. where retirees are moving

Based on the total number of people over 60 moving into the state minus those moving out.

1. Henderson, Nev. (part of the Las Vegas metro area)

2. San Antonio, Texas

3. Scottsdale, Ariz. (part of the Phoenix metro area)

4. Mesa, Ariz. (part of the Phoenix metro area)

5. Las Vegas, Nev.

6. Gilbert, Ariz. (part of the Phoenix metro area)

7. Surprise, Ariz. (part of the Phoenix metro area)

8. Raleigh, N.C.

9. Eugene, Ore.

10. Peoria, Ariz. (part of the Phoenix metro area)

Why Just Choose One?

Many retirees keep their home close to family and friends and spend 6 months a year there – while they spend the other 6 months on the beach or in the mountains. They are able to get out of the weather or into the weather (depending on why you want the second home) and yet keep the relationships that have taken a lifetime to build.

It is a great compromise if you have the means to do it. It does come with some cons such as

  • What do you do with the second house when you are not living there?
  • The cost to maintain two home
  • Do you rent the home you aren’t currently staying at? If so who manages it?

I admit it’s not for everyone but it could be a viable option.

Vacation Rent your way around the world

Another option that I know of is to live in your own home 6 months of the year – rent it out for 6 months and using the money from that rented space travel the world staying in short term vacation rentals while immersing yourself in other cultures.

Other countries can be substantially cheaper to live in – so while renting out your own home (either long term or short term) you can take advantage of the less expensive living while traveling and enjoying the different areas of the world.  You could even choose to only visit 1 or 2 locations for the entire time. It can be very relaxing.

I’ve heard of many of these retirees that end up selling their home and living stress free all over the world in someone else’s home.

The world has seemed to grow so much smaller in the last few years. The options of where to live are numerous and growing.

I do agree with one point mentioned by MarketWatch – and that is you need to be clear on your priorities. You need to know just how you want to spend the second half of your life. Do you want to spend it on a beach, golf course, with old friends, in the mountains or with family? There really is no bad choice – just get clear and the question will answer itself.