The Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement: Survey Results Are in

Category: Retirement Planning

Sept. 17, 2012 — The fun thing about this series of member surveys on retirement is that the results never come out exactly like we predict. Our most recent one, “The Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement” is no different. Its most pleasant surprise: the runaway worst thing about retirement is… “Nothing”! That makes us happy that so many of you are enjoying your retirements. Equally interesting were the hundreds of write-in comments provided by our members, full of insights about the best and the worst aspects of retirement planning. One typical example of a planning tip: “Find meaningful activity you absolutely adore doing and develop a circle of uplifting friends”.

But we need to start by thanking the more than 250 members/subscribers who took a few minutes to answer our most recent 8 questions. Without your input, these incredible retirement insights wouldn’t have happened – thanks! And to you who are coasting along on this input from your fellow members – next time it’s your turn! As a matter of fact, here is your chance, our current survey on Medicare and what you think are the best ways to fix it.

Top Conclusions
The information herein should be very useful for anyone who has not yet retired. It reflects the collective wisdom of 250+ of our peers, real life advice that we ignore at our peril.

1. Financial issues are the top ranked things to prepare for if you want a healthy retirement. Participate in your company’s retirement plan, and start saving early!

2. Most people filling out this survey are very happy with their retirements. They appreciate the freedom it gives them, as well their reduced stress.

3. Responding members seem to be conflicted over the conventional wisdom that living near children and grandchildren is a top retirement priority. Although that issue was the least important rated item under “best” thing about retirement, and “living too near/too far from family/friends, it was the highest rated choice for “worst” thing about retirement. All we can conclude from this is that it seems like the issue can cut 2 ways. In retrospect we wished we had split “living too close” from “living too far” – although we suspect there are folks who are in both camps.

Findings
1. Are You Retired Yet?
Most of you taking the survey are retired (55% yes, 31% no, 11% partially). There might have been some self-selection here, as many people contacted us to say they couldn’t fill out the survey because they are not yet retired.

2.Best Thing You Did to Prepare for Retirement
Three choices emerged as the top things you did to prepare for retirement (rating is in parentheses, the lower the more important):
Participated in company retirement plan (2.84)
Saved enough money (2.98)
Planned and discussed before retirement (3.13)
Following those choices were… retiring at the right time…. researched where to live. Not having a hobby was the least picked choice with a rating of 4.91.

3. Best thing you did to prepare for retirement NOT on our list.
As always, our members’ comments are more instructive than anything we could come up with. There were an amazing 149 write in comments covering a variety of topics. Here were some of the most frequently mentioned (See end of article for link to all comments, which make for highly recommended reading!):
– Finances (saved a lot, downsized possession and interests, paid off debts and mortgages, kept track of expenses, talked to investment advisor, planned when to take social security etc.)
– Personal (married the right woman, looked forward not back)
– Planning (talked with spouse, friends, or co-workers; visited different retirement spots, researched weather conditions, developed a hobby)
– Health (tried to stay healthy, started exercising)

Here were some of the more interesting comments:
– Visited the retirement communities and asked a lot of questions and looked at different size houses and prices
– Find the right person to retire with
– Be a minimalist. Buy only what you need. Saves you money and keeps your head clear.
– Listened to other people’s experience and there opinions on where to retire, then ignored it all, did our own research.
– Have been taking extended visits to various retirement destination options
– Had a part time enjoyable job ready when I retired
– I was so out of shape and stressed that the most important plan I set up was how to get into shape and take care of my health.

Plus, there were so many positive and interesting comments we can’t even begin to mention them all here. A personal favorite: “Dared to think about retirement as a new adventure after a life of responsibility”.


4. Is there anything you would NOT do again in your retirement planning?
There were 96 thought-provoking write-in comments on this question. Top mentions were:
– Financial (waited too long to start saving/didn’t save enough, too much in aggressive stocks or in my company stock, took social security too soon)
– Planning (waited too long to start, not buy a 3000 sq. ft. house in my 50’s, not rush into buying big ticket item like RV or second home, pick a different neighborhood, retired too early, locked ourselves into location based on children/grandchildren)

5. Best thing about your retirement.
Three choices were clustered together as the best things about your retirements:
– Less stress (3.43)
– Get to do what I want (3.56)
– More time (3.80)
Following those 3 choices were “Having enough money” and “travel”. Surprisingly, the least highly rated choice was “living near family and friends”.

6. Best thing about your retirement not on our list.
There were 62 write-in suggestions for the best thing about retirement. Many of you must have strong marriages, because the number 1 write-in item was “getting to spend more time with my spouse” – nice! Others mentioned spending time with grandchildren, time for volunteering, freedom, time to work on hobbies, less stress, meeting new people, or just relaxing. (See end of article for entire list)

7. What is the worst thing about your retirement?
It’s interesting that we started out this survey with 8 choices, including “Other”. But as soon as the first write-in responses started coming in it became apparent that we had overlooked what would become the number 1 choice – “Nothing”! We quickly added that as a choice, and in the end it was the runaway favorite (with a rating of 3.85). All of which makes us happy that so many of you feel great about your retirements.

Following “nothing”, the next highly ranked “worst” things about retirement were:
– Living too far/near from family and friends (4.58)
– Poor health or medical care (4.78)
– Not having enough money (4.80)
– Not having enough to do (4.81)

More distant rankings came up for this next cluster of worst reasons:
– Wish I had picked different city/community (5.13)
– Should have moved and didn’t (5.24)
– Wish I was still working (5.43)

8. Worst things about retirement not listed here.
Once again there was a long list (70) of worst things about retirement not on our list of choices. The range of items is so diverse it is hard to summarize, but here are a few consistent themes: retirement is hard because it involves so many choices, nothing wrong with retirement, paying for children’s education/caring for elderly parents, expensive medical insurance, poor economy, getting older. Others found it hard to meet new people, one person had too much time with spouse (!)

For further reference
Here is the link to an Excel doc of the complete BestandWorst-survey2012-Topretirements-excel, which include hundreds of interesting comments. For those without Excel, this is a csv.doc with the full BestandWorst-survey-Topretirements, which are incredibly interesting!

Other member surveys in this series:
Retirement Housing Preferences
Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing!
Top Concerns about Retirement from Our Members (Finding the Right Active Community)
Topretirements Members Not Worried: Better Prepared Than Most

Comments? How do these best and worst things about retirement resonate with you? Are you enjoying your retirement, or do you wish you were still working? Any additional advice for people who haven’t yet retired? Can you add anything to the question of living too close or too far away from family and grandchildren? Please let us know in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on September 17th, 2012

50 Comments »

  1. One thing I don’t think I stressed enough in the survey was to be totally debt free. No house payment. No car payment. No credit card balances. It’s amazing how well one can live on a relatively modest income being debt free. Of course it’s important to have savings to tap into in times of need, but being debt free makes a huge difference.

    by Linda — September 18, 2012

  2. Linda, I am presently debt free, but actually want to buy a house using debt once happy with a location. I will want the tax deduction. My savings are in an IRA and only 8,000 was after tax…wish they had brought in Roth earlier.

    by eric — September 18, 2012

  3. Thanks for these surveys. The results are always an interesting read. +1 to Linda’s comment! We were fortunate enough to purchase a home in a down real estate market and are debt free.

    by Forrest — September 19, 2012

  4. Yeah, the idea of participating in company retirement plan is great but a bit unrealistic for many of us. I bought into the idea of getting a good education to secure a good job. But the education never landed me a good job and the jobs that I have had to take to survive never paid enough to be able to save much for retirement. My current employer just slapped us with pay reduction so that is even more impossible as we have not had raises in 5 years plus the facvt he pays well below market for the work we do. You can’t particpate in a retiremnt plan if your wages are so low you can barely pay your bills. No wonder I hate working but will have to until I am 70 to maximize my SS.

    by Jeff — September 19, 2012

  5. Just last night i was talking with a new acquaintance who was in a quandary about where to live vis a vis his grown children. He and his wife live in Boston, 1 child is in Los Angeles, the other (who has children), lives in Pensacola. Neither place particularly calls to him, yet the urge to be closer is strong. Any suggestions?

    by John Brady — September 19, 2012

  6. The hardest thing for me so far is taking the leap into retirement and leaving a high paying job. I am afraid if I wait too long it will be too long and I will not have enough time to enjoy my retirement while I am healthy.

    by CANDACE — September 19, 2012

  7. The first rule of personal financial planning and advice for anyone who ultimately wants to retire one day is “pay yourself first.” I know there are some people out there who say they can’t save (or more specifically invest) for retirement. However, even if its only a small amount each month, it is absolutely essential that if you are working, that you start saving, start early and begin a program of investing on a regular basis. If you have a company defined contribution retirement plan (i.e. 401K or similar), especially one that matches a portion of your savings and you don’t take advantage of it, you are throwing money away. With defined benefit pension plans going the way of the Dodo bird and the insecurity being brought on by an inept and increasingly irresponsible government, each person is even more responsible for themselves these days. Let’s hope Wall Street and our Gov’t don’t throw us all down another black hole from which we won’t be able to get out of. You would think if a person is going to be made accountable and held responsible for his own finances and well being that a Gov’t of “experts” should be able to balance a budget.

    by Artie — September 19, 2012

  8. Having looked a number of locations with the same issue in mind, we are looking at smaller cities (Raleigh) with smaller, easier airports to navigate allow travel to multiple locations (NJ, CA, NY)

    by curt — September 19, 2012

  9. John Brady: I live in Southern California and I don’t recommend it. It’s crowded, expensive, and unfriendly. The state taxes 80% of social security and 100% of pension plans, 401Ks, etc. The cost of living index is higher than the national average by around 14%. Weather is the only thing to recommend California.

    Florida, on the other hand, is not so crowded, not so expensive, and not so unfriendly. The state has no state income tax so pensions are safe there. It is a federal law that the state you came from cannot tax your pension. The cost of living index for the state is below the national average. For Pensacola is is about 7% lower. Pensacola seems to have a relatively low crime rate. I read the Pensacola Journal everyday and am impressed with the town.

    It is important to remember when choosing to compare the towns, not the states, because big cities make the average higher for the state. Here is my favorite cite for comparisons: http://www.bestplaces.net/col/ Do a spreadsheet.

    by Phyllis — September 19, 2012

  10. John, The man who lives in Boston might consider the Denver area–good airport and about half way to each coast. Main problem with relocating to live near kids/grandkids is that with the unstable economy their jobs could be eliminated, forcing a move, and that leaves one living where he doesn’t want to be and with no family nearby anyway.

    We went thru that in the telephone industry starting with the breakup of the Bell System on 1-1-84. From that day on, every year there was downsizing, reorganizing and job eliminations. People I worked with for many years in one location now are located all over the country due to the chaos of all that. That was when my husband and I decided where we would consider moving and what we would do if push came to shove. For me, imagining the worst case scenario, and even making financial adjustments as though it had already taken place (cutting my budget to bare bones, etc.), gave me confidence to know that if it really did happen, I’d be okay.

    As it turned out, within an 11 month period I lost my husband to cancer at age 48 and then learned my job would be done away with less than a year later. That did happen, so I retrained 3 times in 2 1/2 yrs in order to hang on to get to my pension eligibility. When the office finally closed I chose to take early retirement rather than move, which was the best plan for me, even though I was only 51 and took a 30% hit on my pension. Of those who moved to follow their jobs, many were surplussed within 6 mos and found themselves without a job anyway, living where they didn’t want to be, and too poor to do anything about it because of what it had cost them to move. Despite the deep loss from my husband’s death. I was hopeful for my future (rather than discouraged like the others), worked part-time to supplement my pension and did just fine for the 10 yrs until I started collecting SS as a widow at age 61. The key for me is being debt free. Once we paid off his college loan after we married, my husband and I never owed for anything other than one vehicle at a time (when we had always had two) and our home. We both grew up with nothing so adjusting back to a lower income after he died wasn’t difficult for me to do. There is a huge difference between “wants” and actual needs.

    by Sandy — September 19, 2012

  11. John…I lost my husband, mother, son and nephew all within 4 years of retiring. I wanted to live near my remaining children but they’re busy lives and high cost of living in that area made me look for other places. I have moved to The Villages in Florida and although it’s been an adjustment, you can still keep family ties. My daughters and families use Skype with me once a week and we call or text everyday. I am able to remain independent here and give my children their turn at life without worrying about me. I visit for six weeks from Thanksgiving through Christmas and for six weeks in the summer when my grands are off from school. Of course it helps to be an hour away from Disney so my children and families like to visit me too! My son-in-laws (2) do not have that much security in their jobs as is the case most places now and who knows where they will go if their jobs end. As a widow with a small savings account and limited income, it would be impossible for me to follow them if they moved away and I had to stay where I was. It’s really the same old saying — “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. You can stay connected anywhere now and we need to always remember that the best gift we can give our children is to live our own lives…my children are more than happy when I tell them each day I have activities (more than 1000 clubs here plus golf, pickleball, tennis, bowling, pool, bocci, etc) to enjoy and meet new friends. 😆

    by Char — September 19, 2012

  12. Always interesting to read about retirement in your part of the world. We live in Knysna on the Garden Route in South Africa. Our ,wife and 2 Grand daughters live in Dubai, and our daughter lives in Florida USA. After living in a major city all our lives we retired here 3 years ago. What a fantastic move for us. A most beautiful area with far friendlier people. We miss our family,but commute at least 2 times a year to visit. Our son is with a major airline so great perks. We fortunately are financially fine and enjoy all the good lord provides , but like in the States many folks are really battling with low interest rates and inflation..:…

    by Ed Jamieson — September 20, 2012

  13. Me and my husband know exactly what we don’t want in retirement. A 55+ community sounds like a real drag. These communities don’t allow alcoholic bevs or food by the pools. What are they afraid of? Senior getting too frisky? If we want to hang by the pool all day and drink Margaritas that’s our business. We aren’t teenagers and resent being treated as such. We also don’t like rules like community gardens and we don’t want a bunch of social biddies harassing us to attend a potluck. Our ultimate nightmare is looking at photos of people’s grand kids for the rest of our lives. We don’t have kids, don’t like them and don’t want to be around them. We are seeking privacy. Anything less is unacceptable.

    by Eileen — September 20, 2012

  14. To John Brady, re: Boston vs Pensacola vs LA – use SKYPE. I just read my granddaughters a bedtime story from 400 miles away.

    by Linda H — September 21, 2012

  15. Eileen, that should be easy. Buy a house with a pool in the country. Privacy can be easy to find. I envy you for knowing what you want and that those needs are relatively easy to meet. Of course, if you add other factors it might make it harder.

    by Eric — September 21, 2012

  16. John Brady – I suggest your friend try lower Baldwin County, AL (Fairhope, Daphne, Foley, Gulf Shores, Spanish Fort, etc). Great quality of life at a very reasonable prices. The folks in this area are warm and friendly. About 30 minutes to Pensacola but that still leaves quite a trip to L.A. The suggestion of Denver is also a good one as we lived there for 10 years and really liked the lifestyle there. Wonderful airport. Lastly, as noted above, moving near an offspring is risky because of the possibility there could be a work-related transfer. IMO, it’s best to find a spot with which you are really comfortable.

    by Forrest — September 21, 2012

  17. To Eileen: Good Grief! I don’t know what 55+ community you are referring to but it sure isn’t the wonderful one we moved to in FL this year. We have a beautiful outdoor pool and yes beverages are allowed – just not glass bottle ones. There is a community garden here with a long waiting list. It is wonderfully maintained by the developer. Those who like to garden share their bounty with their neighbors. We just attended a neighborhood potluck at the community center. No one was “nagged” to attend. We all received one email inviting us to participate. It is a nice way to meet your immediate neighbors. Not one person here has showed us pictures of their grandkids. They do talk about their families and grandchildren but not excessively as they are all having too much fun with their own retirement. I suspect you and your husband would not be happy in any type of retirement community. Best that you go way out in the country and find a private place to retire where you can keep to yourselves. Good luck….

    by toni — September 22, 2012

  18. Eileen: You don’t like kids. That is sad and I feel very sorry for you.

    by Susan — September 23, 2012

  19. Eileen is entitled to her personal opinions. This forum is not a place to express our opinions on whether she’s right or wrong. And, she doesn’t need our sympathy!

    by Carole — September 24, 2012

  20. Carole, I agree after all this is still America!! We all have different views on what retirement should be like.

    by Barbara — September 24, 2012

  21. I was forced to retired due to medical issues. However, it was always my goal in retirement to live in a community. We were lucky that my husband had just turned 55. He has cancer and is on hospice. We moved in Century Village in Boca Raton, Fl. last year and have found that it fits our needs. Indoor heated pool all year round and outdoor heated pool for the season. Our son has just moved down to live with us since my husband health is declining. While I was not able to plan very well for retirement since my more productive years at a higher salary were still occurring, I was lucky to have a disability plan with my employer that will pay two thirds of my salary until I reach 65. We are now debt free and intend to stay that way. Here in Florida, since our condo is worth less than $50,000, and we are both disabled, we do not have to pay property taxes. In all, I am glad that we have chosen to move to a lovely two bedroom condo in a great retirement community with a full service clubhouse and many free activities. We also have over 500 cable channels that are included with condo since there are over 5000 people in our community. It seems the larger the community, the better the cable channels. We are also working on getting internet access for only $1 per month.

    by Joan — September 26, 2012

  22. This information is great for me, searching for a retirement home. I am beginning to think climate/weather should be the first consideration.
    Tellico Lake in Tennesee was recommended. Is it all high-end homes? Sites
    I looked at were $million dollar homes. Any modest rentals?
    Any modest rentals in east Tennessee near lake, or just look elsewhere?
    Thanks.

    by Constance Birch — September 29, 2012

  23. Constance,
    You’ll find that Tellico Village has lots of price points, for both rentals and homes. It’s been around since 1986, encompasses about 4600 acres, and has about 7,000 residents, and lots of amenities. I’m not a realtor, but take a look at a site such as http://www.villagerealtytn.com/ to see if Tellico Village’s pricing meets your needs. (I have no affiliation with them.) You are smart to list your priorities and determine your non-negotiables. Climate may be your #1 priority, and it is for many people. Also think about cost of living, social support, medical care, transportation, cultural and recreational opportunities, lifelong learning, the economy of the potential location (if you feel you may need a job at some point), crime rate, scenic beauty, proximity to a city (Knoxville is about a 35-minute drive away), and friendly, like-minded neighbors. I visited Tellico Village doing research for my previous book.

    Jan Cullinane
    The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (John Wiley & Sons)
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — September 30, 2012

  24. Constance, I don’t know what reasonable rents would be for you, but I just spoke to someone who owns rental property in Eastern TN, in the Crossville area – he in fact has rental property on a lake – and he mentioned the rentals here are very low. As an investor he was complaining that he could not actually cover all his costs, a poor situation for him, but a great situation for a tenant! The realtor we used when we bought our home does provide a rental service for landlords looking for tenants. It is Gwyn Realty in Crossville TN. I hope this helps you to find just what you’d like.

    by Holly in TN — September 30, 2012

  25. […] note. This survey is closed, but here is where you can see the fascinating results. Meanwhile, click on the link below to take our newest survey – what you think are the best […]

    by » What Is the Best… And Worst… Thing About Your Retirement Topretirements — October 12, 2012

  26. Is California really that bad for retirees? The weather looks perfect. If it is so bad, what would be close to it weather-wise?

    by Mark — October 13, 2012

  27. Mark: No, it is not in certain areas. California has so many great things and if one watches one’s money, it can be done…I think. Groceries and gasoline are pricey, that is for sure. There are soe great areas, but if you want coastal living it will be expensive! Property taxes are 1 % plus Mello-Roos can add up; Gov Brown is going to cut some more things, so it would be wise to follow the politics closely.I have not found one place that compares to CA weather wise 🙁

    by DianaF — October 14, 2012

  28. Mark I was born and raised in Northern CA. in a town known as Vallejo about 30 miles north of San Francisco and I’ll tell you California is expensive. I moved to Knoxville,TN in 1998 and although I miss the Bay Area and it’s weather Knoxville is 27% cheaper and not as crowed. California has over 36 million people and it takes forever to get anywhere. It takes 3 hours to get to Lake Tahoe from Vallejo on a 3 day weekend but takes over 8 hours to get home. Weather means something but how much are you willing to give up for it, only you can answer that

    by Terry S — October 14, 2012

  29. Mark, I lived in California many years and moved to the Phoenix area almost 2 years ago. I love California and the weather, so we are close here that I can go almost once a month. A lot of my friend left over the years, and I finally decided to do the same. I have to say the taxes are really high, as well as most other things, utilities, Mello-Roos taxes, etc. They don’t give retirees any breaks! I agree with DianaF, the weather elsewhere does not compare to Ca!!

    by Holly2381 — October 14, 2012

  30. We live in Northern California , in the bay area ,great weather. Taxes, housing etc are very high. Food is not expensive with fresh fruits and vegetables available all year long with several weekly farmers markets around the bay .Traffic on the freeways are a nightmare.I am retiring in 2013, looking for a place close to military bases and where military pensions are not taxed .

    by lucienne — October 14, 2012

  31. I have lived in So Cal most of my 62 years. California weather is 2nd to none.
    However, the state is way to crowded. Traveling and commuting is very frustrating. Water is becoming a lot more expensive, and lack of will continue to be a long term problem. Growing up in So Cal during the 1960’s, and seeing what So Cal has become, is quite frustrating.

    by Bob P — October 14, 2012

  32. CA weather IS perfect; that’s why they “paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”–otherwise known as every freeway in the state!

    by Kimbee Jeanq — October 14, 2012

  33. I’d like to hear from anyone who has DIRECT experience about life in the Valley Springs CA area. Someone who’s LIVED there or near there who knows about the comparative cost of living, things to do for recreation for such as biking, hiking, motorcycling as well as single life.

    I can see the demographics; price of homes, property taxes, food, motor vehicle fees, crime online.

    Thanks! doug0613

    by doug061363 — October 15, 2012

  34. Lucienne check out this site, it tells you which states do not tax your benefit
    .http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-R-0131.htm. I know here in Arizona, $2500.00 is excluded from State, Federal and Military pensions!

    by holly2381 — October 15, 2012

  35. Southern CA is a great place to retire if you ALREADY live here when you decide to retire. Property prices “by the coast” are at least $600k or higher and when you talk about a place (condo) with a view of the coast ($950k+).

    There are other options however. Palm Springs offers a number of excellent condos and 55+ communities that are not that expensive, but only for a second “winter home. No one would want to live in Palm Springs in the Summer when it’s over 110 degrees on a regular basis.

    Taxes in LA, Orange, San Diego Counties are very high and everything is taxed here. Our gasoline tax is among the highest in the country. Taxes in Palm Springs are not as high but your pension and all retirement benefits will be taxed. Medical services, while plentiful are among the highest cost in the country. CA state debt is well over $350 BILLION dollars, to get a sense of what the financial condition of CA is take a look at this website: http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-california-debt-clock.html

    I live in CA now and when we retire we plan to move out of the state, However we’ll be renting our home, because it’s paid for, and it’s a nice update home with 4 bedrooms and three baths, with a separate guest house and a pool. Our house has a $0 electrical bill (full solar and LED lighting) and our temporary housing management company says we should be able to generate $5,000 – $6,000 a month from the house – which will nice additional income! Another item in CA that is expensive are utilities. SoCal is basically a desert on the ocean. We have buy all of our our water, we longer have the oil fields that kept our gas prices reasonable so we are now paying over $5.00 for a gallon of regular gas.

    Yes, the climate is perfect. No humidity, warm days and cool nights – but if you are looking to move here now for retirement, you’re going to need a fat nest egg! One other area that is much over looked in CA is Cambria. It is North of Los Angeles and South of San Francisco – near Hurst Castle and it’s a great little artist community that is quiet and very fun. That is where I would look if I were going to stay in CA for retirement! http://www.cambriachamber.org/

    Hope this helped. -Jeffrey

    by Jeffrey Morgan — October 15, 2012

  36. I have read the Calif exempts S/S from income taxes but Phyllis said they tax 80% of it? How would it work if I resided in Oregon like I do now or better yet VAncouver Washington (no income tax) then winter in So Calif? I wouldn’t be subject to any income taxes in Calif would I? I too have read about Pensacola, Fl. And Have a friend there. Pensacola has a little bit better weather I think than Orlando. Humidity is unbearable in Orlando or anywhere in Central Florida. My friend said Orlando is a “furnace”!! Humidity looks to be tolerable in Pensacola. The only downside is Pensacola might be in “hurricane alley”.

    by Mark — October 16, 2012

  37. Mark, forget Pensacola! I have friends who retired there from New Hampshire and cannot wait to leave. There is a ton of humidity–they are on the Gulf and severe thunderstorms all summer long. The healthcae is mediocre at best and no major airports nearby. I would tell you honestly to look in south Georgia or Oregon. The heat and humidity may be better than Orlando in Pensacola, but not by much.

    by Jennifer — October 16, 2012

  38. NEVER MIND input about Valley Springs, I found a house in Sedona

    by doug061363 — October 16, 2012

  39. Congrats Doug061363! You are gonna love Arizona, so much to do out here, and Sedona is beautiful!

    by holly2381 — October 17, 2012

  40. Holly & Doug, give me a little taste of Sedona. What kind of a place did you make an offer on. Where exactly is it located, like I said in another post I have kids in Vegas. How far from Vegas are we talking about. Thanks…..Roy W.

    by Roy W. — October 17, 2012

  41. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a beautiful place in the summer, but the transition from spring into summer is agonizingly slow. This year it stopped raining June 30 but didn’t really get warm until mid July. But when it did it was fabulous. We had nearly a 100 day run of sunshine with virtually no rain. Statiscally we only get 40″ of rain annually, however only 60 to 70 sunny days
    so you see it is cloudy and overcast or drizzle much of the time.So a warmer sunnier place in the winter would be nice.I know of several people who spend summers in the northwest and winter in Florida. Georgia might be an option.

    by Mark — October 17, 2012

  42. Does anyone have any opinion or knowledge about retiring in Bluffton or Beaufort SC or Naples FL? My husband and I are still a few years out from retirement, but are starting to think about where we want to live. He wants to be near water and I want to live where it is green and we both want decent weather and good arts experiences. Thanks

    by Dianne C — January 4, 2013

  43. […] to Previous Surveys Medicare Survey Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing Top Concerns about Retirement Plans for […]

    by » Our Members Speak: One Story Living, Easy Walking Dominate Retirement Living Wants Topretirements — March 5, 2013

  44. […] further reference: See previous survey results on the Best and Worst Things about Retirement, Buckets Lists, Retirement Housing Preferences, and […]

    by » Adventurous Topretirements Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves Topretirements — August 6, 2013

  45. […] surveys from Topretirements: Our Members Getting Ready for Big Moves in Retirement Best and Worst Things about Your Retirement (also, see list at end of this […]

    by » Topretirements Members Report High Degrees of Compatibility and Retirement Happiness Topretirements — September 17, 2013

  46. […] further reading: Best and Worst Things about Retirement: Our Members Speak Finding Your Most Tax Friendly State for Retirement (a 2 Part […]

    by » 5 Thoughts on Why Taxes Are the Worst Reason to Pick a Best Place to Retire Topretirements — January 30, 2014

  47. […] to Previous Surveys Medicare Survey Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing Top Concerns about Retirement Plans for […]

    by » Florida and Southeast Top Your ‘Where to Retire’ Preferences Topretirements — June 24, 2014

  48. John:
    This is in response to your new friend wondering where to move in retirement with his children’s families in California and Florida.
    Short answer…….where ever you want…..NOT driven were the kids live.
    Following our kids is a fool’s game for retirees. Young families move for lots of good reasons. Are John’s friends going to follow again if the child moves?
    Retire to a warm place with a nice pool or near water…..and the kids will follow. :cool::cool::cool:

    by Dave C. — June 25, 2014

  49. […] Big Retirement Moves- 2013 Retirement Living Preferences – 2013 Medicare Survey – 2012 Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing Top Concerns about Retirement Plans for […]

    by » Good News: Topretirements Members Very Confident About Retirement - Topretirements — September 16, 2014

  50. […] further reading: For Some T’is A Gift to Be Simple Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement New York Times – Ordinary Experiences of Life Mean […]

    by » Sometimes the Greatest Satisfaction in Retirement Comes from the Little Things - Topretirements — January 9, 2015

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