Thinking about retiring? Wondering where to locate? I’ve been in working/retired mode for several years now, and I regularly search for Best Places to Retire. It needs to be affordable, for sure, but I also have my list of amenities that are important. Everyone’s criteria is personal to them, but there are some items that are generally in demand.
Six amenities jump out at me, and they apply to locations here and abroad. Finding your ideal spot on the planet takes some research and a lot of thought. Let’s take a look at the six amenities I found that are priorities.
- Affordable – Wonderful spots can be found on nearly every continent, that offer comfortable living at a price you can afford. Google keywords like “retirement spots in the US” or “top ten places abroad”. Choose a few places to investigate, do the math, and start your list. If you will need to increase your cash flow, figure out how you’ll do that and get started before you move, if possible.
- Quality of life – This is highly subjective, of course, so give it a great deal of thought. Culture, outdoor adventures, arts and theater, heritage, food and restaurants, shopping, learning opportunities – are only a few of the amenities you may be seeking.
- Health – Are you healthy? Is there above average health care in this locality? Are the people who live there generally healthy? Find out about regional health issues and alerts.
- Social/Family – Getting acquainted with natives and ex- pats should be reasonably easy. Unless you choose to live in a remote area (your choice), meeting people can be done wherever folks gather. If you have family you want or need to visit often, this is a priority on your list. Accessibility/transportation should be close and relatively easy. An airport, train, good roads or whatever is required should be as hassle-free as possible.
- Weather/Climate – Do you want sunshine 300 days a year? I lived in Arizona for fifteen years and loved it. Summer heat had to be dealt with, but you’ll likely have to make some concessions wherever you land. Do you want change of seasons, winter sports, beach, woods, a garden, dry climate or lots of rain? Then there are tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons and droughts. Aha! The plot thickens.
- Safe – The crime rate will be listed in good reports about retirement spots. The kind of crimes, what parts of the country, which cities and the safest places to live. Make careful notes.
Beaches Books History Sunshine Bicycles
This is the time to explore, visit some spots, ideally during different seasons, and soak up the flavor of everyday life.
Ask locals about health care and crime. Imagine settling down, seeing the sites and enjoying the amenities. Everyday life is different from a vacation, although it may take a while to realize it.
Do you need a car? How does everyone get around? How much living space do you need?
Picture yourself in various parts of the environment, downtown, off the beaten path, or in a beach house. Now imagine going grocery shopping.
The best retirement spot for you is where you can finally say, “This feels like home”. Whether you’ve chosen a place near or far, you can always change your mind. If you have a side hustle you can do anywhere, just pick up and go.
Remember to do your homework first. Hit the latest reviews on retirement spots around the world.