March 5, 2013 -- There is no shortage of best 100 places to retire or"10 best places to retire" and so on. Money Magazine/CNN has a list, AARP has one, and so do Forbes, Yahoo, US News, and a number of "retirement places" websites. Topretirements.com has also published our own lists: "100 Best Places to Retire for 2013, "Best States for Retirement", list of the "100 Best Active Adult Communities for 2012"), not to mention Worst States for Retirement - 2012.
How good are the best places to retire lists?
Choosing the best place to retire should be about who you are and what you are looking for - rather than blinding following someone else's list. Nevertheless, they can be useful as a starting point to help you identify places you might want to visit in your search process. Here is how we recommend using this best places to retire list:
Step 1- Do a self-assessment
To help determine what kind of town is right for you the editors at Topretirements have put together a practical little eBook. the"Baby Boomers Guide to Selecting a Retirement Community: 16 Factors You Need to Consider" Sign up for our free weekly "Best Places to Retire" eNewsletterand we'll send you a free copy of the eBook.
Step 2 - Check out the best retirement towns that fit your criteria
There's not much point in checking out small towns if you've already determined that you love those big city lights. Or if you abhor the idea of a gated over 55 community, don't waste your time visiting conventional active adult communities. If you want to live in an community with a special focus - like an airpark, marina, equestrian center, astronomy oriention, tennis club, etc. - you will obviously need to narrow your search.
Step 3 - Sources for lists of the 100 best retirement towns
You can also consult one of the many widely available "Top 100 places" or "Best 10 places to retire" lists on the Internet. Here are links to the top 100 lists:
- MSN Money 10 Best Places to Retire
- Wall Street Journal -MarketWatch - "Top 10 Places to Retire"
- Kiplinger's Retiree Tax Heavens (and Hells)
- Forbes 100 Best Places to Retire 2013
- AARP 10 Best Places to Retire Happily
- US News Best Places to Retire
Of course if you take all of this too seriously, be sure to check out our "Who Puts Out the Wackiest Best Places to Retire List".
"Best Places Books"
This is a list of the books we have found helpful in locating top communities. All are available at either your local bookstore or Amazon.
- "100 Best Retirement Towns" - Topretirements Editors
- "America's Best 100 Places to Retire" - Elizabeth Armstrong
- America's Best Low-Tax Retirement Towns
- "The New Retirement" by Jan Cullinane
- "Where to Retire" - Howells
Top 10 places to retire at Topretirements.com
These are the top 10 from the 10 Best Places to Retire for 2012
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Sarasota, Florida
- Venice, Florida
- Austin, Texas
- Prescott Arizona
- Beaufort South Carolina
- Naples, Florida
- Fort Myers, Florida
- San Diego California
- San Antonio, TX
Step 4: Get out and visit and form your own opinions
Many people decide to retire in a place they know from experience. Being comfortable with a community and even knowing some people who live there might just be the factor that makes a place "best" for your retirement. So don't be a slave to these lists - get out and visit the places that make your initial cut. Every time you visit a community you learn more, and put yourself on the road to a good decision.
Find reviews of 700 great retirement towns and 1700 active communities
You can start your search at Topretirements. Take our new Retirement Ranger Quiz to get a Free report of the towns that best match your criteria. You just answer 10 short questions - and presto you get a custom resort.
State retirement guides