Best States for Retirement – 2014

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 8, 2014 — Back by popular demand, here is our 2014 list of the best states for retirement (see links at bottom to our lists from previous years). This year we have taken a different approach – we’ve assembled “best of” lists by category. At the conclusion of the article we’ve listed those states that made more than one list, which you can use as an indication that they must be pretty good places for retirement!
See the counterpoint to this article: “Worst States for Retirement – 2014“.

The categories we’ve chosen are basically the opposite of those we used to choose our “2014 List of the Worst States for Retirement”, although we decided to also give weight to weather and a variety of places to live in our “positive” list:

– Taxes on retirees
– Low property taxes
– Cost of living
– Weather
– Variety of interesting places to live

There are many other factors that might be important to you, such as availability and quality of medical care, crime, proximity to friends and family, or a desire to live in a particular state. For the purposes of this article we have not considered them, as they tend to be so local that it is not useful to look at them on a state-wide basis.

Taxes on retirees
The seven states that have no income tax automatically made the list. In those states you don’t have to worry about taxation of social security, pensions, interest and dividends, and other earnings – since nothing is taxed. We’ve presented them in alphabetical order. Note that we moved Washington to last place on the list because it has an estate tax with a smaller exemption than the federal, which is something some retirees might be concerned about. Also, any time the State name appears as a link, that link will take you to our min-retirement guide for that state:

Alaska
Florida
Nevada
South Dakota
Texas
Wyoming
Washington (note that WA has an estate tax with an exemption lower than the federal ($2 million vs. $5.35 million)

Two other states only tax interest and dividends, making them friendly to retirees living on a pension or Social Security:
New Hampshire (also has no sales tax)
Tennessee
Low Property Taxes
As frequent visitors to Topretirements.com know well, we believe that property taxes are the worst kind of taxes for retirees. That’s because property taxes on your home have no connection to your income. So one year you might be making a nice salary and can easily pay the taxes on your home, the next year you are living on social security and there is no way you can pay them. Granted, many states and municipalities have Homestead or Senior programs that can help with these taxes, but usually that assistance is minimal to insignificant.

Below we have ranked the states with the lowest property taxes as a % of home value. Note that this measure is different than looking at property taxes ranked by absolute dollars paid – we think the % of home value is a slightly better measure (if your home is worth a lot and you pay a lot of tax on it but the % is relatively low, at least you have the option to trade your home for a less expensive one, and then pay a smaller amount of taxes on that one).

Here are the states with the lowest property taxes as a % of home value ( ): Source: Tax-rates.org, data is from 2009.
Louisiana (0.18)
Hawaii (0.26)
Alabama (0.33)
Delaware (0.43)
West Virginia (0.49)
South Carolina (0.50)
Arkansas (0.52)
Mississippi (0.52)
New Mexico (0.55)
Wyoming (0.58)

Cost of Living
The majority of baby boomer retirees in America will not have sufficient resources to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle. So it follows that one way to help overcome that short fall is to move to a state that has a lower than average cost of living.

The 10 U.S. states with the lowest cost of living (2013, source Missourieconomy.org)
Mississippi
Nebraska
Idaho
Kentucky
Tennessee
Oklahoma
Indiana
Utah
Arkansas
Texas

Weather and climate
Our esteemed members and visitors will recognize of course that weather is quite subjective. If you live to snowshoe you won’t be happy living in Southern California. Some people hate humidity more than snakes (and not many people are fond of them or the big bugs often found in warmer climes). But, our research indicates more baby boomers are interested in places with warmer winters than they are in colder ones. So to help those people we’ve listed the U.S. states with the warmest winter temperatures. Note that we haven’t attempted to factor in climatic catastrophes, since almost no state is immune to some type of disaster – earthquakes, hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, sinkholes, etc.

The highest average winter temperatures (F.) by state (source: Currentresults.com): Note that these are state-wide averages – many of these states will have significant range from north to south)

Hawaii (67.5)
Florida (59.4)
Louisiana (50.9)
Texas (47.9)
Georgia (47.8)
Mississippi (46.7)
Alabama (46.5)
California (46.2)
South Carolina (46.1)
Arizona (43.6)

Just to put another dimension on weather, average number of days of sunshine could be important to a lot of people. Here are the states with more than 120 “clear” days per year ( ) – interesting, they are all in the west:
Arizona (193)
Colorado (136)
California (146)
Nevada (158)
New Mexico (167)
Oklahoma (139)
Texas (135)

Interesting places to live
Here we enter yet another subjective dimension. One person’s definition of interesting might not be anywhere near another’s. So to try to be as objective as we can, we’ve listed the states where Topretirements has the most cities reviewed as retirement spots. It is a bit of a quantity vs. quality dimension, but it is a starting place that must say something about where people want to live in retirement.

Florida (103 cities/towns)
California (53)
North Carolina (46)
Texas (43)
Georgia (36)
Connecticut (35)
South Carolina (32)
Arizona (31)
Virginia (28)
Massachusetts (25)
Tennessee 25
New Jersey (24)

Summary
As you can see there are multiple reasons to choose a state as the best place for you to retire. You can pick yours from the reasons that are most important to you. For one look at an overall contest, we’ve put together a list of the states that showed up the most times on these assembled lists, all of which, not surprisingly, are in or very near the Sunbelt.

Texas (5)
Alabama (3)
Arizona (3)
California (3)
Florida (3)
South Carolina (3)
Tennessee (3)
Mississippi (2)
Nevada (2)
Georgia (2)
New Mexico (2)

Comments? Please share your comments on this list of Best States for Retirement. Are there some other states that should have made it? Do you agree with the considerations we used to produce these lists? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Further Reading:
Worst States for Retirement 2014
Best States for Retirement 2012
Most Tax Friendly States for Retirement

Posted by Admin on April 8th, 2014

131 Comments »

  1. We retired from Wisconsin to a Dell Web in San Antonio. Your article shows the stats of why we are here. We are well traveled and S.A.helps hold down the cost of living so we are assured we can do that. Obviously others here have the same beliefs because they are always trotting off to some far away place.
    We like the diversity of cultures and how much more accepting of others they are.

    by Susan — April 9, 2014

  2. Just remember that you get what you pay for – low taxes also means minimum road maintenance, poor or no libraries, minimum services, fewer police and firemen, etc. We will be happy to leave Tenn. when we retire!

    by Flatearth6 — April 9, 2014

  3. First, thanks for your ongoing effort to keep Baby Boomers knowledgeable of the issues relative to relocating to a retirement location. I would however offer one critique..in your list of best states to live in, if weather is an issue, you ranked them by the avg of the entire state…. Palm Desert, California’s average winter temperature is probably in the 60’s while the state of Calif is probably in the 40’s, having the state avg seems to be of little help…

    by John — April 9, 2014

  4. With the exception of some cities and counties that add on taxes, taxes generally are the preview of the state, i.e., income, inheritance, sales.. however, just about all other measurements of satisfaction are locally measured, temperature, things to do, environment etc etc… my point is that with the exception of taxation, most lists of the best place to live should be done by region versus state…

    by john — April 9, 2014

  5. The state guide for Kentucky says that per capita property taxes are “45th highest” but taxfoundation.org says that per capita property taxes (2010) are 46th lowest. Which is correct? There is always confusion over “property taxes”. Do you mean “real estate taxes” or “personal property taxes” or both? Illinois has no personal property tax, but Kentucky does. Since I live in Illinois and am looking at Kentucky as a possible retirement location, how can I compare property tax rates?

    Editor’s note: Thanks for bringing this up. We couldn’t find where taxfoundation said KY was 46th lowest. However, it is the 46th highest on a per capita basis (TaxFoundation.org), which means property taxes are quite low compared to the rest of the states. Kentucky property taxes are the 36th highest as a percent of home value (tax-rates.org). Both taxfoundation.org and tax-rates.org refer to these as “property taxes”, which tax-rates.org goes on to say are taxes on “real estate”. So it appears personal property taxes are something else again, and are more often a local than a state wide tax.

    by wgiles51 — April 9, 2014

  6. Flatearth6 makes a good point. We retired in the Pittsburgh area, where property taxes are high, but there is so much to offer in this area. We love it here!

    by Pat — April 9, 2014

  7. I can’t wait to dive into this list! We are thinking of selling and renting a year here and there to explore the United States. This looks like a great list to start on. Has anyone ever done this and might you have an opinion of it? Thank you so much!

    by Allison — April 9, 2014

  8. Love the articles. Need to recalculate the summary. South Carolina should have 3 instead of 2 on the summary. Low tax rate, weather and climate and interesting places to live.

    Editor’s note: Thanks Don, how right you are. We have corrected article.

    by Don — April 9, 2014

  9. Flatearth6: Taxes are ridiculous in California yet the roads, infrastructure and American Way of Life are down trending fast here. My bride and I just retired. We are moving to Texas.

    by David Rivers — April 9, 2014

  10. Georgia does not tax retirements either .. why are they not on that list?

    Editor’s note: Good point. On this list we only listed the states that have no income taxes at all. No retiree has to worry about taxes on their retirement income in those states. The problem with expanding beyond that is the various states have a crazy quilt of what kind of retirement income is taxed and what is not. For example – in state pensions, out of state pensions, military pensions, railroad pensions, distributions from retirement funds like IRA’s, Social Security, etc. The complexity makes it impossible to have a general discussion – it depends too much on your personal situation.

    by Mark — April 9, 2014

  11. It seems you’ve forgotten Oregon altogether. We moved to a 30 acre site 8 years ago, our taxes are still under $1,000. Per year because we live in a forest area. We can log our trees, sell them for a profit, and replant with seedlings and our taxes remain the same. The countryside is drop dead, gorgeous, outdoor life amazing…

    by Phyllis robinson — April 9, 2014

  12. Susan, welcome to San Antonio. I’m glad you are happy here. As I’ve said on this forum before, we are retiring at the end of 2016 and looking to move out of Texas. Property taxes are outrageous, the state is running out of water, we have high rates of uninsured and undocumented residents which puts a strain on medical resources. If you have enough money saved to own a home and pay ridiculous property taxes… Texas is my home. We’ve lived here off and on for more than 50 years. I’m heartbroken at what it has become. But I have had enough. I’m on the way out. (some comments edited)

    by Dorothy — April 9, 2014

  13. Flatearth6: Taxes and cost of living are out of control in CA. When an average home price is $850k for a 3/2 in a residential area with minimal property, it’s difficult to stay as a retiree. In the SF Bay Area if one doesn’t have cash and several $100k above an asking price you will not be buying a home. The area is absolutely one of the best areas for “close to” trips, events and locations. But on a fixed income with taxes of all kinds, it’s difficult to be retired here.

    by Jan — April 9, 2014

  14. Why don’t you ever consider quality and quantity of medical care as a key measure for state retirement suitability? Low taxes are great but if you can not find a competent doctor or hospital, are they worth it?

    by Chuck — April 9, 2014

  15. Flatearth6: We are looking forward to moving from Illinois to Tennessee later this year. Over the past three years, the Illinois income tax rate has gone up 60%, toll road fees have gone up 80%, we have the highest gas tax in the country, property taxes are high, and the infrastructure is falling apart. On the plus side, we probably lead the country, if not the world, in the number of elected officials who have been imprisoned.

    by Gary — April 9, 2014

  16. With respect to state rankings, it is confusing to say 45th highest or lowest. It might be better to say “was ranked 45th among the states”. The Tax Foundation publishes a booklet of tables called “Facts&Figures, How does your state compare?”. The booklet can be downloaded or purchased from Amazon. I Googled “per capita property taxes by state”.

    by wgiles51 — April 9, 2014

  17. Pat: My husband & I are interested in looking at Pittsburgh. Can you be more specific as to what it is you love about that location? Thanks.

    by Maureen — April 9, 2014

  18. Florida is an amazing place to retire, which is a prime reason it makes this list year after year.

    Our weather is perfect all year long, and as we say “you can’t shovel sunshine”. Plus we have so many different options for affordable housing. Plenty of competition keeps the cost low, too.

    We manage 55+ retirement communities all across the state, and each one has a unique personality. The residents live happy, active lifestyles and love where they live. How many people can truly say that?

    There is so much culture and vibrancy in Florida, it should be at the top of the list!

    by Newby Management — April 10, 2014

  19. Flateart6
    Looking at how financially sound states are, Texas is a wealthy state. There is an oil boom right now. We are educators and I know they put our schools in Wisconsin to shame. Medical services are critical to us and they are good. We researched things thoroughly and are happy. We are all so fortunate to be able to make our choices. Many people can not. We are all different. It is a good thing since it prevents all of us from ending up on the same square mile of this great country. Lol. Have a great retirement everyone.

    by susan — April 10, 2014

  20. I moved from California to Wisconsin for a variety of reasons in retirement. California property taxes depend so very much on when you bought. I paid less tax there on a property worth $600,000 than I am paying here on something for $170,000. But I have the same amount of space, a wonderful library system (which CA does not have), a wealth of opportunities to take free classes and go to lectures, hear music, etc. at a world class University – “student” tickets to an excellent symphony for $15, great medical care and so much to do that I don’t know where to start. Because it is a smaller city than the SF Bay area, I can go to all these things with a 20 minute drive at most. And now I have more money to travel. I do miss the climate, and I am thinking of getting a winter place in AZ, but I can have both for less than the cost of one place in the SF Bay area. Not every place in CA is that expensive. San Francisco and Palo Alto, yes, but there are other places.

    by Stevi — April 10, 2014

  21. Has anyone checked into retiring in Bend, Or?
    We fell in love with the place but don’t know how practical it would be. Any thoughts or comments would be extremely helpful.

    by Dan — April 11, 2014

  22. Reply to Newby Managment..you sure paint a beautiful picture and the statements are in fact true..
    However, what seems to never be mentioned is the ‘Disaterous’ situation in Florida with regard to homeowners insurance,,,
    First..maost major carriers will no longer issue policies to new customers..
    second..the companies that do provide are ‘new carriers’ with very little credability..
    Third..florida has a State run company “Citizens’ which has been and is currently, paying the unknown carriers over 44 billion in bonus sums to take over the Florida policies as the state want out..
    Fourth..companies that issue policies usually only provide a policy with a 10 mthousand deductable for any damage..and now a new gimmick is ‘wind coverage’ is extra..
    Fifth..flodd insurance is not in any policy as that is covered by FEMA..who has decided to no longer subsidize payments..instead the ho,me owner will pay a full premiom price that will be phased in over the next four years..
    andthat will increase existing policies 4 fold in premium..and they will only issue a new policy after inspection and determing the value of the home..homes 10 yrs ols were not built to flood structure rules of today…so beware if you buy them..may be NO insurance allowed..
    All the info I talk about is readily available on web sites and in Fla newspapers if one wants to research…
    don’t want to be the ‘grim reaper’ but we were planning to buy in a beautiful new 55 community until we did the homework about acquiring insurance..
    so “DO YOU HOMEWORK”

    by Robbie — April 11, 2014

  23. Robbie, I have lived in Florida for 12 years in a 55+ community. We live in central Fl. No one in this area had trouble getting insurance and NOT with a state run company!! My house has great coverage, wind, flood, etc. The value of the Ins. and my house is $268K The cost is under $1000K
    with 200.00 deductible. This is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, if what you say is true no one would be moving here. There are many 55+ communities in this area, no one is having a problem getting good inexpensive insurance. I might add with Top companies like USAA
    and the like.

    by Dianne — April 11, 2014

  24. Stevi – we have a daughter in Madison, WI and gave some thought to moving there when we retire in 2015. However the winters are fierce and property tax is 4th highest. Curious why you picked Wisconsin?

    by glenns — April 11, 2014

  25. Stevi – read your post again and I don’t see how you did not pick some place in say Arizona. Seems like you can get what you like about WI and have warm weather too.

    by glenns — April 11, 2014

  26. 😎 I’ve been reading the comments re: Florida home insurance. I am not informed re: coastal homes but I live just north of central Florida (see Orlando as the center of Central). We’ve been here 20 years – the insurance stuff Robbie is talking about is ‘old hat’ .. at least for now. That all came about after we had hurricaines come thru – & now it’s gone. & that was only if you lived on the coast. I have no ‘insider information’ about what the insurance companies are going to do but it is my opinion, whatever they do here, they will do everywhere to some degree. Unless you’re very well off, there are few people who actually ‘live on the coast-line’ & once you get past the condos & the extremely expensive homes — well — you’re not gonna see the ocean from your front yard so pick the less expensive ‘inner areas of Florida’ where home insurance costs less. Please do your homework re: sink hole prone areas & flooding & you’ll be okay.

    by Jeanne C — April 12, 2014

  27. Robbie…I don’t know where you get your information on Florida and housing/flood insurance but as others who live in Florida like we do are NOT having a problem getting reasonable house insurance or flood insurance (if needed) with good reputable carriers. You are needlessly scaring potential new homeowners from moving to Florida. Like any state with coastal locations and there are many besides Florida, the closer you want to live to the ocean, the more you will pay anywhere for house/flood insurance. You simply need to do your homework before you buy. We live in a 55+ community in Fort Myers and find all costs very reasonable, including HOA fees.

    by Toni — April 12, 2014

  28. Stevi, we are seriously considering Madison and wonder where you ended up purchasing a home? It will either be there or Arizona, Maybe Wisconsin in the summer, renting in Madison might work. My husband’s family is there and our sons, grandchildren live in CA. Any tips?

    by sue cook — April 12, 2014

  29. Interested in any input about Stonecrest in Fl. It is near the Villages and we have been told that you get more house for the money. Access to the Villages via golf cart.

    by Vickie — April 12, 2014

  30. Toni, I would be interested to know what 55+ community you picked in Ft. Myers, how long you have been there and how you would rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. And if you wouldn’t mind divulging what you pay for a monthly HOA fee, that would be appreciated. Thanks so much for your time. My husband and I are thinking about Ft. Myers also.

    by Nikki — April 13, 2014

  31. To Vickie, I have lived in Stonecrest for 12 years. It is a very nice community. You will get more house by far for the money, than The Villages. If you have a street legal golf cart you can get to the Villages, but the Villages developer blocked us from from getting to their bridge to get to the Town Square’s. We had access for many years before I moved here. There was never a reason given. You can drive a car there, it is only 2 miles. We are closer to the town square then many of the people that live in the Villages. It is less expensive to live in Stonecrest by far. It is worth checking us out.

    by Dianne — April 13, 2014

  32. For what it is worth . . . we have been looking in the Venice area, non waterfront, in the $250K-$325K range and even with the highest deductible allowed, the quotes we are receiving for HO Insurance is ranging between $4,000 – $4,500! And this is with national companies. When I questioned why the rates are so ‘off the charts’, I was told that it had more to do with the high vandalism rate throughout Florida than with the storms and floods. They explained that there are so many foreclosed and ‘shadow’ properties that they are illegally occupied and vandalized and that is what is driving up the rates. Go figure! 😯

    by Jane — April 13, 2014

  33. P. S. – those that already live in FL are not seeing these kind of increases. I was told it was the new policies that are being written that are bearing the costs of these increase. We have credit scores well into the 800’s so we should be getting quotes on the best available rates πŸ™„
    If anyone has recently purchased a policy or received a quote and you think it is reasonable and would like to share the name of the company, I am all ears, oh actually eyes!

    by Jane — April 13, 2014

  34. My wife and I have raised our family in the San Francisco Bay area. As we travelled the last 5 years we have looked at AZ, MI, SC, NC, AK, NV, UT, OR, HI, FL and WA as possible retirement states. If we rate weather, proximity to family, geography and taxes in descending order then Northern CA keeps coming out on top. I really could embrace the northern NV area but that would mean a divorce which kinda screws up any financial incentive to save on taxes! Oh well, at least booze is cheap in CA which helps one stomach the wacko politics πŸ™‚

    by Peter — April 13, 2014

  35. Dianne, thanks so much for the info. We will check it out. So right now no golf cart access to the Villages from Stonecrest only by car. Correct??

    by Vickie — April 14, 2014

  36. We are looking to retire to south-central Pennsylvania. We’re told the pensions including social security are not taxed. Can someone confirm this and what it’s like to retire there. We are looking to purchase on a 55+ development.

    by Bev — April 14, 2014

  37. Stonevrest is of interest to me also. Could someone shed some light on the dr.’s and hospital situation. I’ve heard it’s not very good. Hopefully, this is not true and if it is would someone tell me where they go for good medical care. Thanks so much

    by jeb — April 14, 2014

  38. To Vickie, Jeb and Jane, Vickie I have heard some people have found a way in their regular golf carts, many people have street legal carts. JEB, The focus is on having the best medical services
    by the Villages developer and he is succeeding. We have some very good Doctors and they are expanding the hospital. I had a 2 day stay in the hospital 1 year ago and found nothing to complain about, I was very pleased. You just have to do your research when looking for a Doc. like anywhere else, word of mouth is best. JANE I can not comment on the Venice area for Insurance, That is not the case in central FL.

    by Dianne — April 14, 2014

  39. A little off topic except for the reference to the Villages. I just finnished reading Leisureville: Adventures in a World without Children by Blechman on my Kindle. My prespective on 55+ communities (particularly the Villages and Del Webb, which he features) was turned upside down. His bias shows, but there’s a lot of good information. It added about 10 more important items to research to my retirement planning. I have another visit planned to a 55+ community in N. Carolina, and will view things a little differently after reading this book. And yeah, there’s a section on golf cart.

    PA tax site states that it doesn’t tax pensions and 401K withdrawals (it taxed the income going in). Might be safest to do some test tax returns for states where you might retire to check the results. This year I’m going to buy the extra states for Turbo Tax, and play around with different scenarios. Someone had posted awhile ago that many states have tax returns on line to do this too.

    by Sharon — April 14, 2014

  40. Nikki…to answer your questions: We live in Pelican Preserve, moved here March 2012, rented here while waiting for our new home which we moved into November 1, 2012. No community is perfect but on a scale of 1 to 10 we would rate it at least a nine (9). HOA fees in total for the neighborhood we live in, the master HOA association, etc. all total to $381.00 per month. We are not in a flood zone; however, we are on a lake and elected to get flood insurance which for 2014-2015 will be $404.00 for 12 months. Our homeowners insurance based on a $320,000 home is $1682.00 per year and is through Florida Peninsula Insurance. Please let me know if there is any other information that would be helpful to you as you look around Fort Myers! We wanted to live in the SW area of Florida and looked at just about every 55+ community from Tampa/Clearwater/St.Petersburg south before we found Pelican Preserve. Homes here range from $160,000 on up to $500,000 – wide variety of homes…

    by Toni — April 14, 2014

  41. I am astounded that you keep touting Texas as a retirement mecca! Are you unaware of the oil and gas industry that is poisoning the entirety of this backward, consumer driven state? Well blowouts, elevated toxic chemicals replacing air, hydrogen sulfide, flaring of toxic chemicals into the air, injecting toxic and radioactive waste into the earth, oil spills and the conception that the Earth is for the destruction of man abounds. Elevated rates of cancer of all kinds around extraction zones (read All of TX)and asthma. Let’s remember earthquakes connected to fracking and injecting toxins as well where none have ever existed. I have to live here now and am counting the days until I can flee. I think you need to look at health, air and water quality plus industrial activity when you rate a place.

    by Susan — April 15, 2014

  42. I am very interested in the Rehoboth Beach area in Delaware. Our choice is to live in a private area not a planned community. If anyone has any advice or information on Rehoboth or any of the beach areas in Delaware we would appreciate anything you might share. Have lived on the water for many years and would like to continue to do so. Love the look of Rehoboth Beach.

    by patbickford — April 15, 2014

  43. Hi Robbie..the information you have read or heard is not entirely correct. Insurance only gets very high if you live on the ocean or the intracoastal. I am on the beach so it is very expensive,my son is in Orlando and it is very reasonable. The middle of the state is more than manageable in all cost of living areas. Not familiar with 55+ communities except the “Villages” where our friends tell us it is quite inexpensive.

    by patbickford — April 15, 2014

  44. PA doesn’t tax pensions or SSI. The taxes are high on property and depending on your jurisdiction/school district property taxes to fund schools can be raised without a vote. That was why I moved to MI. Now MI taxes pensions. Go figure.

    by Shumidog — April 15, 2014

  45. Toni, thank you for all the information about Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers. It was very helpful!

    by Nikki — April 15, 2014

  46. Another 55+ community we have interest in is Solivita in Kissimmee, FL.
    Anyone familiar with this community.

    by Vickie — April 15, 2014

  47. Susan,

    I feel much the same way about Texas. Have lived in Houston for 5 yrs. and can’t wait to get outta here. Don’t forget congested highways, high property taxes, lousy roads, horrible drivers. If anyone is considering retiring here, I would definitely suggest renting first. You may be glad you did!

    by Fionna — April 16, 2014

  48. Fionna: I’m in Houston this week on a business trip, and I can’t agree with you more. The traffic has been unbearable. It’s taking me 45-50 minutes to go five miles. I’ve been asking people what their quality of life is like, and they’re all miserable. Everything they do is scheduled around traffic patterns, and they say they learn to live in their immediate community since it’s too much effort to go anywhere else. The local news is nothing but crime. I’m sure there are some nice parts of TX, but Houston isn’t on the list.

    by Ted — April 16, 2014

  49. Vicki,
    We are in a sister site of Solivita called Vitaila at Tradition in Port St Lucie.
    We are new to Fl and closed on our house in Feb this year. We are 14 miles from the ocean have insurance through Progressive and including flood insurance we are payingl less than $1,200 .

    by Ralph — April 16, 2014

  50. Vickie, We rented for several months in Solivita several years ago. I also have a cousin who lives there. I made many new friends there, but didn’t want to live in Central Florida….just a personal preference….I like the West Coast. The actual community of Solivita was great though in my opinion. I played poker, bunco, joined their bowling league and used the exercise room a lot. I even took a calligraphy class while I was there, played bingo, walked a lot and I can’t tell you about the golf because I am not a golfer but plenty of people were golfing. I loved the whole experience. Just wish I could move it more towards Ft. Myers or Venice, Florida. Also, I don’t remember the figure, but I was told that the HOA fees were very reasonable there. I hope this helps.

    by Nikki — April 16, 2014

  51. Does anyone know anything about Ivy Hall in Raleigh, NC area? I keep getting ads from them. It appears to cater to the 55+ crowd, but not sure. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

    by Mary K — April 17, 2014

  52. Looking into Austin Texas and surrounding area for retirement. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    by Bren — April 17, 2014

  53. Aaron: I’ve looked at TX, FL (no state income taxes), and am looking at both Carolinas, PA, and starting to look at VA and MD. States with no or low state income taxes on 401K withdrawals and SS seemed like the easiest way to winnow down retirement possibilities. I’ve been learning that no income tax isn’t necessarily the answer, since we also have to consider home insurance costs, sales tax, car registration fees and personal property taxes, expected utility costs (whether heat or air conditioning), availability of medical care, quality of life, and family issues. The net cost of living in some states with no income tax can end up being higher than states with an income tax. If weeding through all of these criteria would give us all the same result, it would be simple. That’s one of the reasons that this forum is so helpful. We get to hear what other people are thinking about particular locations. I’ve learned a lot, and we can get very helpful information from posters about their research and experiences with different locations.

    by Sharon — April 18, 2014

  54. Sharon: That’s a direct hit, a great summary of the search process. I agree with every word you’ve said. So much of it also is personal preference — where you feel comfortable, where it feels like home. Once you’ve narrowed your list, go eat with the locals; listen, talk, consider whether you can see yourself in this community. Good luck with your search!

    by Ed LaFreniere — April 18, 2014

  55. to admin:
    Why am I not recieving all the blog posts? I used to get them!

    from admin: Jeff, we see you as a subscriber to the Daily Alert. Perhaps the messages are going to your Spam box? Maybe your email changed? You can sign up for the Daily Alert at http://www.topretirements.com/newsletter/thanks.html

    by Jeff — April 18, 2014

  56. Are medical costs considered part of the retirement scenario since they vary widely across the country?

    by Russ Wilson — April 18, 2014

  57. Sharon: Look carefully at Maryland. I moved here from NY thinking it would be more cost effective and it isn’t. Maryland, I found, is not an inexpensive State. I am looking to move out but not sure where I am going just yet.

    by Kathy — April 18, 2014

  58. I know this is a very simple format but we started with the various lists. The must haves, ok to have, do not want which included every point we could find from family, size of town, taxes, weather to medical facilities as well as the surrounding areas and how those areas affect where we are interested in. We have a list of states we have no interest in living in. This is great information and input from everyone! I appreciate the insight.

    by Jan — April 18, 2014

  59. I knew a co-worker that was living in Austen, Texas. He said it was so hot one summer his sweat was sweating

    by Mark P — April 18, 2014

  60. To Kathy – I am orig fm Maryland and would not move back there if someone paid me. Taxes are thru the roof and Baltimore City (Born) is one of the worst crime cities in the USA. Stay away or Get out of Maryland in my opinion.
    Last I heard is the Gov is a nut and now wants to tax rain water coming off of roofs – fact or fiction – tend to blv it.

    by Robert — April 19, 2014

  61. Just relocated to st Louis, mo. I haven’t heard heard of anyone mentioning this area for retirement. After a lot of research and travel I found this to be a great location. My priorities for now and in the future was cost of living, taxes, medical care, transportation, diverse community politically and socially, , universities that offer stimulating educational opportunities…it’s all here. Along with museums, a free zoo, a great botanical garden, farmers market, and erhnic neighborhoods with great little restaurants and events going on. I wasnt looking for an over 55 community…my parents lived in one for many years in California…too many elderly together in one area..i like a mixture of ages.

    by Iwashere — April 19, 2014

  62. Robert: Hi, and thank you for confirming it’s not just me thinking Maryland is expensive. I love Baltimore but I’m aware of the high crime. It’s such a shame no one can get the crime under control. The city has so much to offer. What state did you move to?

    by Kathy — April 19, 2014

  63. Oh dear…trying to find a state with a reasonable governor??? This retirement stuff is hard.

    by Elaine — April 19, 2014

  64. wellcome to the st.louis area. if you want all that and to be out of the city head to ill out of st.louis i would think you would want a basment for our active storms and,but yes it does have a nice mix of things.

    by kitty — April 19, 2014

  65. Iwashere – You forgot to mention the St. Louis Cardinals. One hell of a baseball team and one of the best franchises in professional sports.

    by Bubbajog — April 19, 2014

  66. We first moved to Daytona Bch and remained for 15 years. I am a motorcyclist but it became so run down (when the economy went in the pits) that if it wasnt for the Bikers and the race crowd I dont see how it could even exist. Of course the Beach is the best in the world. Moved back to Carlile, Pa but that was a mistake – very expensive here and again the RE taxes are killing us. Coldest winter in 20 years and again very expensive here. we are now in the process of moving BACK TO FLORIDA BUT TO THE GULF COAST = Crystal River Area. (some comments edited). Good Luck Robert

    by Robert — April 20, 2014

  67. Iwashere says
    Just relocated to st Louis, mo. I haven’t heard heard of anyone mentioning this area for retirement. After a lot of research and travel I found this to be a great location.>>>

    Interesting to read your comment as I’m planning to visit (check out) St. Louis in September.

    by TravlinGal — April 20, 2014

  68. Robert,
    Thanks so much for the information. Best of luck on your move to Florida.

    by Kathy — April 20, 2014

  69. I haven’t seen any comments on bend Oregon. Any thoughts, good or bad. My wife and I really like it on vacation but are looking for a place to retire. Hope someone can help.

    by Dan — April 20, 2014

  70. Hi Dan,

    Bend is very beautiful but it gets a lot of snow and ice and not much rain.
    Also, I believe the home prices are a little higher than rest of Oregon.
    If the climate suits you go for it.
    We are also considering Oregon but looking at the southern central area.
    Good luck
    Tony

    by TonyG — April 21, 2014

  71. Thanks for posting about Carlisle. I’m in Western PA but am looking at Eastern PA including Carlisle. I also have Ormond Beach (outside Daytona) on my list. I add a location, do a lot of research, and end up taking it off the list and replacing it with someplace else. Good thing I have a little time to do this, because I can’t seem to make up my mind. This winter I was sure I wanted to go to Florida, but now that summer is coming I’m rethinking PA and focusing on the Carolinas.

    by Ted — April 21, 2014

  72. We are looking at On Top of The World in Ocala. Looking for comments on this community. Thanks!

    by Patti Fendley — April 21, 2014

  73. Ted & also Kathy. (to Kathey – made a political statement in my reply to you but they EDITED IT OUT!!

    Ted = Pa doesnt tax ur SS but they get u just about every where else. Everything here in Carlisle is very expensive but nice – at least in my opinion and compared to Fl. Pa has to have the very worst roads in the USA/lol

    we had a home in Ormond Beach in 2008 B4 we lived in Daytona and when the economy went nuts our house depreciated over $65,000!! Sold it as a “short sale”. I just read where Ormond Beach is coming back somewhat in RE but surely not the way it was before. Ormond Beach is a million X’s better than Daytona but again be careful with RE Tax – of course if you “homestead” it will save you some money. Like you, I have been conducting a lot of research. We also had NC on our list (love the Smokey Mntns) but again NC gets u on taxes. More expensive than SC. We were looking at the Myrtle beach area. It seems like the Gulf Side of Florida is the cheapest to live. We are conducting reasearch in the Homosassa and Crystal River Area. Our home is for Sale here in Carlisle if interested.

    We recently made a decision to RENT for awhile no matter where we chose = give us more time to determine if we like it where we choose to relocate.

    My dream was to RV for 4 years and spend one month in each state before setteling down. Too old now and do not have the finances now. DUH.

    Editor’s note: Yes, we are going to edit out all political comments we see. Everytime we leave one, the other side has to rebut, and the other side then has to explain why God is on their side, and so on. So it saves a lot of anguish and keeps us on the retirement topic. It is pretty clear what the political leanings are in various parts of the country. But if you must, there are other places to go if you want to discuss politics.

    by Robert — April 21, 2014

  74. Kitty….did get a basement…lots of small, cute brick homes here with great prices
    Bubbajog…I did forget the cardinals…also the music scene, forest park (one of the largest urban parks in US) and all of the beautiful architecture…and the list goes on.

    Travelingal…hope you enjoy……I’m originally from California…too expensive to go back…this gives you a larger city with a small town feel .

    by Iwashere — April 21, 2014

  75. Robert..we recently moved to Bluffton SC wich is 10 miles from Hilton Head, 20 miles from Savannah, 22 miles from Beaufort and 70 miles from Charleston..I would suggest that you look at the area here as there are many options, such as gated communities or not, new construction especially in Bluffton….Taxes for retirees are very low..For example, my wifes and my social security are not taxed and my penions I recieved from another state (KY) is not taxed, Real Estate tax exemption is 50K, property tax is much less if you own a home..ex: 320K home 1280 year.. Vehicle tax is low and if you own a home you pay no school tax…many other benefits. Email me at paul.schmidt@twc.com if you need any info…Good luck..

    by paul schmidt — April 21, 2014

  76. RE: St Louis I only made one short visit and was told they have great restaurants which I did not have time to try. Did manage to see the AKC Museum of the Dog as well as the Arch…that was about all I saw. Would love to hear more…what section has the cute little brick houses with basements.

    by Elaine — April 21, 2014

  77. Robert: Thanks for the info. I was looking into Delaware but it appears it is a moderately high crime area. Now, I am looking into NC and FL. I have to get this move right! I am getting too old (and too broke) to be moving every two years. I will be renting wherever I move to so I am not too concerned about property taxes for my situation.

    by Kathy — April 21, 2014

  78. To Editor, ok understand but one must remember if you are s Conservative and move to a Blue State and in a very Liberal communit, you must admit that might not be the best choice especially if you plan to socailize quite bit.

    very very soon you may just be ostracized – therefore I think you are omitting a very important consideration.

    Wonder what others might have to say or think?

    Editor – I appreciate you and the site – even though u do censor me/lol

    Editor’s note: Robert, I think I speak for a lot of members in saying that we find your comments about places to retire very helpful. You have a lot to add! Sorry about the censoring, and appreciate your good humor about our efforts to eliminate talk show style arguing and keep on topic.

    by Robert — April 22, 2014

  79. Editor – humor = Even Atheist claim God is on their side.:wink:
    Being ex military I am often reminded of the old adage, “in foxholes there are no atheist!” One that has served me well is, “show me a person who never changes their mind and I will show you a person who never corrects their mistakes!” Ahhhh, how many mistakes have I corrected in my life time?
    Did I make a mistake here with this post? πŸ˜₯

    by Robert — April 22, 2014

  80. Paul: Thanks for giving the tax rate on a $320,000 home. I’m adding Blufton to my research. Can you explain the tax on the car? Is it a personal property tax of some kind? I remember paying a lot of money as a tax on my car when I lived in CT, but PA only has the annual $36 auto registration fees and inspections that cost about $72/yr or so. Someone may correct me on the actual amount – it usually ends up being buried in a bigger bill for tires, brakes, or other automotive service every time I bring the vehicle in.

    by Ted — April 22, 2014

  81. Patti, Hi not sure if you have been here to look or just looking on line? We have been here about 1 1/2 years, a short time but like the community and the homes that are built. Ocala is a nice area to live in and Medical and Doctors are plenty. We have looked at homes in the southwest and other ares in Florida and found On Top Of The World to be the right fit for us. The homes are very well built, a lot to do here and a lot to explore here in Florida! Yes I would give it a look! Brad

    by Brad — April 22, 2014

  82. Paul Schmidt – tks, will check it out – missed that one. I will send u an email.

    by Robert — April 22, 2014

  83. Kathy – I certainly can relate to that comment. My wife is also getting tired and even angry about moving around. I too have to get this one correct.
    I goofed up when we moved to Carlisle Pa.

    Hey, I told her, “if u ever leave me – I am going with you!!”:wink:

    by Robert — April 22, 2014

  84. Brad – just looking online and received the brochure. We are planning to do their Discovery package in July to check the area out. My parents lived in the Villages for 20 years so I am familiar with that area but not Ocala which I know is only a short distance away. Thanks for your feedback.

    by Patti — April 22, 2014

  85. Paul,
    Can you tell us what house insurance costs on that $320K house per year in Bluffton? Very interested in SC but have no relatives or friends to discuss best places to live. Looking to save on all the stuff you mentioned. I live in CT and it is so expensive to live here. I hear almost daily that people are getting OUT OF DODGE in CT. The Governor’s answer to everything is raise the taxes. With that mentality ANYONE could be governor. There are for sale signs everywhere here on houses. CT is a very pretty state but our goal is to conserve our savings as much as possible to make it last. In CT it would be eaten up. Today I looked up the cost of the Obama health care insurance and compared SC to CT and the costs for me and the hub were identical. I used $62K as yearly income. I do believe that you can only get reduced health care prices if your income is a max of $62,040 a year. If you make more it goes up a LOT! Your SS and I believe all income is included as INCOME for Obama care. I have been to Myrtle Beach about 3 times in my life and did enjoy it but that was vacation. Hub and I are ready!:lol:

    by Louise — April 22, 2014

  86. Elaine…I moved into an area call boulevard heights, bought a 50’s brick ranch style home, 1300 ad fo $138k.there are a lot of great areas in south st Louis…holly hills…Princeton heights…st Louis hills…and many more. Lots of gingerbread homes, small ranch, and more. Most everyone takes care of their home and has pride in their pride shows. When I was looking I wanted to be in the city bcloser to ammenties. There are also a lot of nice suburbs…Webster groves. Kirkwood…Clayton…and many more. You should look on zillow and type in zip code 63109 or 63116… You can see a lot of the cute houses listed for sale.

    There is so much to do here and I so appreciate the diversity of culture after being in the south for so many years. Since ive been here (few months)…celebrations for mardi GRAS (in French soulard area of town)’ st Patrick’s day celebrations in different parts of town, then fish Fridaysjust ended last week (over a hundred churches offer fish dinners cooked by volunteers…an event that all like to try out each Friday during lent). ..not a religious thing…offered to all for a good price. Outdoor and indoor concerts…art fairs…just lots to pick from.

    by Iwashere — April 22, 2014

  87. Thanks Iwashere. Good info about St. Louis. I keep flipping back and forth between a city and a planned community. Like most people, the perfect place doesn’t exist and I prefer not to have too many more moves. I try to prioitize, but??? I moved a lot to stay employed and liked everywhere but the Hanover NH area…too rural for me. However, most are places although were great at that point in my life that I either do not want to move back to or are too expensive for me.

    by Elaine — April 22, 2014

  88. Paul Schmidt, Robert here. checked out Bluffton, SC

    Unless I am missing something one has to be extremely wealthy to live in this area.

    I would have to rob several banks and at this point in my life I am not interested in serving jail time plus I am anti criminal activity/lol

    We both are on SS and I have a small pension – do not qualify for this wonderful looking place BUT I wish you well.

    If you ever feel like “sharing the wealth” I am very receptive to any offerings.

    Be well and Good Luck.

    Robert

    by Robert — April 23, 2014

  89. Louise your price for health insurance (Obamacare) will also depend on whether or not the state expanded Medicaid. South Carolina did not expand coverage.

    by easilyamused — April 23, 2014

  90. to easilyamused: yes, you are correct about states not expanding Medicaid coverage, but the reason for not doing so was the federal government would only promise the subsidy for a few years, and what happends after that? If you move because Obamacare is affordable in this state now, you don’t want to be in a position in a few years depending on something that’s not there any more. I’m from CT also, and can’t wait to “get out of Dodge”. Try paying $12,000 a year in property taxes alone :cry:(car and home) and you’d be moving too.

    by Joyce — April 23, 2014

  91. I’m not sure why NH is on the list as a best place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great state, been here for a little over 30 years. But it is not a state to retire in. Sure there is no state income tax or sales tax. But when retired, income is usually less and you’re not buying big ticket items. The property tax can kill someone on a fixed income.

    We’re in the process of moving to Shallotte, NC where Brunswick county is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Our property tax will go from 7K to 2K. I’m sure that will easily account for any income or sales tax additions we make.

    by Charles Pietras — April 23, 2014

  92. Haven’t heard from anyone regarding Rehoboth Beach, De. or any town near the water..HELP PLEASE!!

    by Pat Bickford — April 24, 2014

  93. TEXAS — I am living in the Rio Grande Valley (Harlingen) in Texas. I really love it here (17 years). The property taxes are outrageous and so I have decided to move. I’ve been thinking about Arkansas, even though its also got the crime and not so good medical I heard. Another year of working and it will be time to decide where to move.

    by MarciaTX — April 24, 2014

  94. Brad – I’m also interested in On Top of the World. I’m early in my search and have only visited a few communities, but it seemed to me many of the standard features in the homes there are upgrades in other communities. I still have lots of looking to do but was favorably impressed. I also want to do one of the visits where you can stay and try out some of the amenities. Any other info you want to share about On Top would be appreciated.

    Jan – I just started reading your book. Lots of good info so far. This will be a big help to me as I prepare for retirement.

    by Tessa — April 27, 2014

  95. Brad – The question I just remembered that I wanted to ask you was about the rules. I’ve seen some people comment about the restrictions in certain 55+ communities. Do you find the rules and regulations reasonable? Thanks.

    by Tessa — April 27, 2014

  96. We have just returned from Dataw Island in SC, in Beaufort. We purchased a lot there last year and met with several builders last week, although we will not be moving for a few more years as my husband is not yet retired. Yes, Tessa, there are rules in this gated community -good thing because the grounds are pristine, no unsightly junk anywhere, all of the common areas are beautifully maintained, all houses are reviewed by a board of residents to make sure that setbacks are met etc. to maintain privacy and a common standard of maintenance of properties. The homeowners own the community and the clubhouse and all amenities, so all decisions are made by elected residents, often with votes of the whole community. This may not be for everyone but we have looked around at communities in Florida and SC, as well as non-community settings, such as in-town homes without any rules at all and decided that we liked the “rules” to maintain our property value. There is something for everyone out there – good luck!

    by SandyZ — April 28, 2014

  97. Thanks, SandyZ. Agree, those kinds of rules are needed. I’ve seen where some people say the rules some places are ridiculous, but what you describe sound fine to me.

    by Tessa — April 28, 2014

  98. We left Appling, GA (near Augusta) after owning a home there for 7 years. Although we thought we would move to New England during our retirement, we decided to move to western Michigan instead. We bought a single family home with 3-car garage in a condo association (on a golf course) The price of this home ($250,000.00), low condo fee ($195.00/month), access to Lake Michigan and four seasons fit all of our criteria. In addition, a lower cost of living than all the New England States. As a veteran, I will always treasure the places and people we have met on our travels. We are hikers and campers and the fire ants, snakes and extreme heat and humidity was just too much for us. Lastly, living in the deep south is not always less expensive than living in the north. Western Michigan is our little piece of heaven.

    by Gail — April 30, 2014

  99. We left Appling, GA (near Augusta) after owning a home there for 7 years. Although we thought we would move to New England during our retirement, we decided to move to western Michigan instead. We bought a single family home with 3-car garage in a condo association (on a golf course) The price of this home ($250,000.00), low condo fee ($195.00/month), access to Lake Michigan and four seasons fit all of our criteria. In addition, a lower cost of living than all the New England States. As a veteran, I will always treasure the places and people we have met on our travels. We are hikers and campers and the fire ants, snakes and extreme heat and humidity was just too much for us. Lastly, living in the deep south is not always less expensive than living in the north. Western Michigan is our little piece of heaven.:wink:

    by Gail — April 30, 2014

  100. Hi, looking to retire in Wyoming. Live in Bradenton Florida and want colder weather. Any one pick this state? Thinking of the Casper area.

    by Debbie Sullivan — April 30, 2014

  101. SandyZ how are the fees at Dataw Island? Did you look at any other places around Beaufort.? Would you mind sharing the information you’ve gathered?

    by Debra — May 1, 2014

  102. I think I found most of your posts on Dataw, should have searched first. How long does,it take you to get to Beaufort? Dataw has homes in many price ranges it seems.

    by Debra — May 1, 2014

  103. To Debbie, We relocated to Oregon from New England 40 years+ years ago. We left Massachusetts in late October. All my relatives said I was leaving way too late cause we had the Rockies to drive thru. They were right. We got caught in a storm in Western Nebraska/Cheyenne, Wy. And just like the Donner party, had we been one day earlier we would have got thru there before the storm. We stayed several days in Cheyenne. Then spent 4 hours! to get to Laramie!! due to severe road and white out conditions. Then after a couple days in Laramie made a run for Rawlins. Had we not been able to get past Rawlins our plan was to return to Cheyenne and look for a job and spend the winter there. We talk about that often. We almost Stayed in Cheyenne. We really liked it. Had we done that we may still be there. If you haven’t done so google “tax friendly states for retirees” I think Wyoming is actually pretty good as far as tax breaks. They tax their natural resources. As for myself the thought has crossed my mind but I think we will opt for a warmer climate. Florida is just too humid tho.

    by Mark P — May 1, 2014

  104. Is anyone familiar with the plantations in Leland, NC? I would appreciate any comments re this area near Wilmington, NC. I have been looking online and condos and townhouses are very reasonable.

    by Sherry — May 1, 2014

  105. Debra -to answer your question, Dataw Island is 10 minutes from downtown Beaufort. There are lots of retirement choices in the Beaufort area in all kinds of price ranges. We stayed on Dataw Island and enjoyed their Experience Dataw package, and also stayed in town at the Rhett House Inn (splurge!). We kayaked with local guides, and rode bikes around, spoke to everyone we could, before finally meeting with builders and settling on our future at Dataw. Now, we can’t wait! I recommend immersing yourself in any area for a week or so for those places on your “finalist” list, and even then a long term rental if you are still not sure. We “kicked a lot of tires”, sent for lots of brochures, spent hours on websites, and then narrowed down to our top three final choices, took advantage of the visitation packages for these three areas before settling on Dataw Island. Good luck and enjoy the journey!

    by SandyZ — May 2, 2014

  106. Thanks SandyZ,

    by easilyamused — May 2, 2014

  107. Joyce you are correct about states expanding Medicaid. The same could be said of Medicare, Social Security etc. Seems better for people to have access to healthcare.

    by easilyamused — May 2, 2014

  108. Does anyone have 55+ apartment rental info for Austin Texas and nearby areas.
    Want to rent before deciding what part of the Austin area I want to purchase a home in.

    by BREN — May 2, 2014

  109. Does anyone have any feedback on Ave Maria, Florida – it is a Del Webb 55+ community within a larger all ages community.

    by Nikki — May 3, 2014

  110. SandyZ…just curious what were your other two areas that you did visitation packages

    by Elaine — May 3, 2014

  111. Nikki,
    We visited Del Webb Naples in Ave Maria last November. It is a very interesting place and well worth a look. It is sort of out in the middle of no where and takes about a half hour to Naples.
    The community itself is still small out growing. If you like water features there are many.

    by Vicki — May 4, 2014

  112. Elaine -we did official visits – sounds like college! – with Woodside in Aiken SC and Del Webb PonteVedra in Florida. We also looked at surrounding communities in both places while there. We “unofficially” visited SO many more communities while on vacations during the past five years and while staying with family and friends all over Florida. Also, if any one lives near one of the cities they visit, the “ideal Living” show that came to Boston three years ago was very helpful – lots of retirement communities in one setting to see and speak with representatives. I just threw away all the brochures and marketing things we had collected- felt great!

    by SandyZ — May 4, 2014

  113. Another list…we all know that these lists are just that…lists! this one is interesting…read the comments…all the usual comments appear.

    What i found interesting is that you can also click on the 2013 list that has different methodology and different results. The old list used number of hospital beds per population and the newer list says AHRQ, but doesn’t mention methodology for this particular study.

    The possible sunshine was interesting…as you would expect, in general, less in morth and more in the south.

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/best-places-retire-how-state-ranks.aspx

    by Elaine — May 12, 2014

  114. Elaine,
    What made you choose Dataw Island over Beaufort?

    Thanks,
    Diane

    by Diane — May 13, 2014

  115. We retired in Mesquite, Nevada. The winters are warmer than Georgia. We never get snow except on the mountains.

    Mesquite Nevada, by far, is the most interesting state because it is close to Bryce, Zion, Cedar Breaks, Tuacahn in Ivins Utah, Cathedral Gorge State Park, The North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, as well as Las Vegas!!!

    We have lived here for 6 years and have only experienced the “tip of the iceberg” in things to do.

    by Ava — June 7, 2014

  116. Seems to be there used to be a website where you could set parameters (temperature range, crime level, cost of living, hospitals within “x” (5?) miles, etc.) but I can not find it now. Anyone have a link to such a site?

    Gracias,

    Glenn

    by Glenn — July 12, 2014

  117. Today, according to our newspaper, the coldest spot in the US was Big Bear City and the hottest place in the US was Death Valley: both in California. The drive between those two spots is 202 miles, about, four hours, according to my map program. I think that this says a lot about using a State’s weather as too important of a rating factor when it comes to retirement location, particularly in a larger state or one with mountains. Better to think local!

    by Lynn — July 13, 2014

  118. Ava, how is the water situation in Mesquite?

    by Lynn — July 13, 2014

  119. Glenn, check these websites for comparison studies of different cities on topics such as climates, crimes, cost of living, schools, etc. at Sperling’s Best Places , and the other helpful site is: . Have fun!:lol:

    by Buddy W. — July 13, 2014

  120. Glen, ooops … sorry, those websites did not come up legibly maybe because of the tags, so let’s try again with a different way here, please check:
    http://www.bestplaces.net/
    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/
    Have fun!

    by Buddy W. — July 13, 2014

  121. Lynn, this explains the temperature differences rather well
    Β» Retirement 101: Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah Topretirements

    by Godsgirl — July 14, 2014

  122. Sorry, i guess I don’t know how to post a link
    http://www.topretirements.com/blog/great-towns/retirement-101-arizona-new-mexico-and-utah.html/

    by Godsgirl — July 14, 2014

  123. SandyZ what did you think of the jets in Beaufort?

    by Debra — July 22, 2014

  124. Debra, I never heard the jets during any of our visits, but that was before the new fighter plane squadron arrived just recently. I am the daughter of an Air Force pilot and spent my childhood on an air base in NH, so I don’t think the sound will bother me much! The Marine base where the flights come and go is northwest of downtown Beaufort and Dataw Island is east of Beaufort. The local newspaper there published a graphic showing the circle of noise levels from the new jets and Dataw was way east of the circle. You can check it out in the archives of the Beaufort Gazette online. Did you visit the area yet? What did you think?

    by SandyZ — July 23, 2014

  125. SandyZ I did and I didn’t hear the jets. The realtor told us about the areas in the flight path, Habersham being one. We bought a house under construction with community access to Battery Creek. That was my preferred place to kayak.

    by Debra — July 24, 2014

  126. Airplanes/Jets. Former USAF member and we lived (in Apt)at the end of a B47/B52 runway at a SAC Air Force Base. First month I thought I would go crazy – shortly thereafter hardly noticed it anymore except for the occassional ratteling of windows/LOL Amazing what one can get use to – ESPECIALLY if u have to.

    by Robert — July 25, 2014

  127. Debra-congratulations! Maybe we will see you kayaking around the area! Beaufort Kayak Tours offers great guided tours of good kayaking spots in the area. The issue is the plough mud for launching and returning – many rescue calls for folks stuck in the mud! We did a Beaufort River tour with them and launched on the eastern side of the Woods Bridge -a nice paved boat ramp. The winds and currents are tricky around the bridge but the two guides were super! Good luck!

    by SandyZ — July 26, 2014

  128. SandyZ I am super excited. I want to learn to row also. See you on the water.

    by Debra — July 27, 2014

  129. […] Best States for Retirement – 2014 TopRetirements.com – April 8, […]

    by Best Places to Retire Lists – Fact, Fiction, or Fantasy? - — February 5, 2015

  130. We have gleaned a lot of good information as we plan for retirement from this website and blog, especially the reader comments. Thank you all. Is there enough interest in a “best places for military families to retire” blog/forum?
    Much of the information we are looking for, low taxes, no tax on military pensions, no tax on social security are covered in many discussions however, would like to hear opinions and thoughts from military retirees.

    by Steven W — February 5, 2015

  131. I agree with Steven. Many military retirees will want to live near a base to take advantage of health care, exchanges and commissaries and Space A travel. It is now even possible for retirees to rent houses on some bases. I’d love to hear from other military retirees. In particular are there good places that folks have found? USAA sometimes publishes lists, but I think these have been controversial.

    by Lynn — February 7, 2015

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