8 Things to Think About For Finding the Perfect Place to Retire
This article was contributed to Leisure Freak by writer Samantha Higgins.
Where you choose to retire will have a direct impact on how happy you are during this season of life. You worked hard to get to your retirement. Make it count by choosing the best place to live out these years. Here are eight lifestyle elements to consider before making a final decision on where to spend your retirement years.
Average Climate Conditions
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a retirement destination is the average climate. This is obviously a personal decision. While some people welcome the change of seasons, other individuals gravitate toward a warmer climate. Keep in mind that winter weather provides a different set of challenges as you age. For this reason, retirees tend to move to areas with warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
Cost of Living
Depending on how much money you have saved for retirement, the cost of living may weigh heavily in this decision. How much you need to set aside for housing, food, utility costs, and other expenses will influence how much discretionary income you have to enjoy the best years of your life. It is important to consider extra costs that you may have as you get older. For instance, you may need to lean on ridesharing services or public transportation if you decide to stop driving as you get older. There may also be extra fees associated with living in a retirement community if you choose to go that route.
Along with the cost of living averages, you will also want to look into specific tax breaks for different destinations on your list of possibilities. Some states are known for the tax breaks that they give seniors to make it more affordable. For instance, some states do not tax retirement or social security income. This is why it is important to do your research before landing on a final choice.
Healthcare Quality and Availability
As a senior citizen, it is paramount that you make quality healthcare a cornerstone of your priorities when choosing where to retire. The availability of excellent doctors, quality hospitals, and affordable assisted living facilities are all factors to check off your list. For instance, before pulling the trigger on a move to the Windy City, you will want to research dental offices in Chicago to find a provider to meet your unique needs as you age.
Proximity to Loved Ones
For many retirees, this time of life means finally being able to spend quality time with loved ones. Your proximity to loved ones during the retirement years will go a long way in ensuring your overall happiness and satisfaction with life. If your ideal retirement location is not close to family, be sure to choose a place that has access to a major airport so that you can travel easily.
Opportunities for Socialization
The research is clear that seniors that are social are more likely to live longer and happier lives. This makes it important that you choose a retirement destination that provides an abundance of opportunities to be social. Whether that be through continuing education classes, recreational or fitness activities, or events designed to bring seniors together to have fun, it is important to look at this availability.
In addition to engaging in social activities, you will also live a more fulfilling retirement if you are intentional about participating in a wide array of recreational activities. Amenities to look for include golf courses, hiking and walking trails, and fitness facilities that cater to seniors. Only you can decide what amenities are the most important to you.
Lastly, you will want to take time to research general safety in your list of top considerations before making a final decision. It is not unusual to feel more vulnerable to crime as you get older. This makes it important to research crime statistics for all of the areas that you are considering. Be sure to look at specific neighborhoods and not just a city as a whole, recognizing that these rates can vary greatly across a metropolitan area.
These eight considerations will provide a good jumping-off point when narrowing down the best places for you to spend your golden years.
Thank you Samantha Higgins for contributing this informative article to Leisure Freak.
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.
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