After a life of hard work, retirement is an occasion to be celebrated. You’ve saved and planned for years, and now it’s time to decide where to retire. With so many options all over the world, the idea of a search can be overwhelming. To help lead you to your future home, we put together a list of important things to consider along your decision-making process. Here are nine things to look for when deciding where to retire.
1. Affordable Cost of Living
Regardless of where you decide to move, the cost of living will play a huge factor in your daily life. It’s important to not sacrifice what you want for the sake of living somewhere affordable, but you don’t want to be paying too much in your retirement years either. Find a city with a cost of living that suits your budget and lifestyle, and be sure that housing costs will be within your means.
Look at areas with populations greater than 10,000, as those cities will have more services and amenities you will need in your retirement years. Consider the benefits of living somewhere that is growing and attracting newcomers, as a vibrant economy signifies better access to different amenities you’ll need and want. A lot of retirees feel like moving to the country or to less populous areas in order to get away, but it could be wise to stay closer to useful resources and amenities.
3. Health Care
Even if you’re healthy and active, consider quality and availability of health care when choosing where to retire. Ensure that there’s a hospital nearby, and that any and all medical services you may need are in close proximity to your home. Do some research or talk to people from the area before you move to see how they feel about things like hospital wait times, their doctors, and local pharmacies. You’ll want to feel taken care of in the city you call home as a retiree.
Of course, factoring in weather is crucial when it comes to choosing where to spend your retirement years. A lot of the time, retirees move to warmer places. This is not just because of access to the beach; it’s also due to the risks that winter weather presents. For example, the physical demand of shoveling snow or the potential of slipping on ice can be less manageable for older folks. But if you’ve spent your whole life in a warmer climate, maybe you’re ready for the joy of changing seasons. The choice is yours!
As you age, safety concerns become more of a priority. Brush up on the crime statistics and economic data of each place you’re considering, and make sure you choose somewhere that you can feel safe. Keep in mind that crime rates can be vastly different from one area of a city to another, and if you’re having a hard time finding statistical data for a certain area, the local police department can give you more specific information.
6. Politics and Religion
It would be ideal if the political climate and religious beliefs of your new hometown matched up with your own opinions and outlooks. If it’s important to you to feel comfortable expressing your beliefs within your environment, ensure the city you retire in has a state and local government that enacts legislation you agree with. Also make sure the city offers your preferred places of worship or spiritual community.
Proximity to a major airport is key when choosing where to retire. Most retirees make travel a large part of their life and budget, now that they have more time to see more of the world. It’s also a good idea to be close to an airport if you want to visit family and friends, or if you have loved ones coming to visit you. The convenience of having an airport nearby could be a great benefit in the long run.
Over the past few decades, you’ve seen diversity grow in the workplace and in your hometown, making the world a more accepting place to live. This diversity helps create a sense of community and mutual respect; there are new opportunities to learn from new people, expand your horizons, deepen your knowledge, and enjoy new cultural offerings and a wide variety of food. When choosing where to retire, look for an area with a lot of diversity so that you and your surroundings can continue to grow.
9. Culture and Recreation
If you like art, theatre, live music, or any other forms of culture, look to settle down in a place that can offer you all of that and more. Colleges and universities are great sources for performances that are inexpensive and intellectual. In your retirement years, you might also want to be able to enjoy all of the recreational activities that you love, so be sure to check for the right facilities and activities for you when choosing a place to retire.