May 21, 2019 — Possibly you are one of those baby boomers who can’t wait to retire and do all the things that your job wouldn’t let you do. If so, here is our list of 10 great places to retire where you can go, go, go from dawn to sunset, and maybe not even quit then!
By active we mean all kinds of things, not just sports. Your best retirement town might be in the mountains, where hiking and skiing is available in your backyard. It might be at the beach, where you can swim, sail, fish, or surf. Or maybe a vibrant community where you can catch a concert or play, get dealt into a bridge game, or find volunteer work – just about any day of the week. We gave extra points on this list for towns and cities that are walkable and have good biking, since we don’t consider riding around in our car active living. One thing is certain, it staying busy is your thing, there is a retirement town where you can be very happy.
Here is our 2019 list of the best places for an active retirement. We concentrated more on mid-sized towns and cities since just about every big city offers opportunities to stay active.
Madison, WI. The city boasts a 30-mile web of paved trails that are lit, snowplowed, and biked year-round. Beautiful lakes surround this walkable town. The University of Wisconsin and all its attractions. You can be busy all year round in Madison, a great place to retire.
April 9, 2019 — The Carolinas are extremely popular retirement states, with good reason. Their winters are warmer than in the midwest and northeast, taxes and the cost of living are agreeable, and there are many great retirement towns. Here are some of our favorite retirement towns in Carolina, based on how attractive they are. The competition for prettiest retirement town in the Carolinas is pretty stiff, in fact you probably have some of your own favorites. Please share your suggestions in the Comments section at the end.
Beaufort, SC. The Old South lives on in the quaint seaside charm of this town, pronounced b’yoofurt. Known as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”, the Spanish came here in 1514 and it was chartered by the British in 1711. It lies in the Sea Islands or “Low Country” area of South Carolina near Hilton Head.
April 3, 2019 — So many times we are asked, what are the best states for retirement? There are many ways to answer that question, and in fact over the years we have tried several. You could consider it from a tax viewpoint, as in which states retirees will experience the lowest taxes. Or you could compare on other economic factors like cost of living. Alternatives are best climate, natural hazards like hurricanes, geographic features like beaches and mountains, political climate, financial health of the state, medical care, etc.
Ultimately, identifying the best state for retirement is a very personal question. In the end it boils down to what is the best state for YOUR retirement. It is very possible that your best state is where you live now, if it meets your desires, since 80% or more retirees do not cross state lines after they retire.
In this year’s best states for retirement roundup we are going to attack the question in a very practical way. First we’ll look at where the most people are actually moving in retirement. Then we’ll add some states that folks seem to be very interested in retiring to, based on the ones they spend the most time reading about on this site.
Where people actually move First, let’s look at where people actually move for retirement, because that is the acid test of retiree preference. SmartAsset.com has done a great job extracting U.S. Census data to track the net migration of people ages 60 and over – that is, where more people that age move into a state than move out.
March 26, 2019 — Not everyone is looking for an active adult or 55+ community. Many prefer to stay where they live now, but there is another interesting group too – people looking to move to the city.
The attractions are many, particularly for people who are tired of the suburbs or small town living. The idea of walking to restaurants, coffee shops, the library, and cultural events can be very appealing. So is being able to take public transportation, and do without a car most of the time. For others the attraction is being around interesting people of all ages. Cities can be great places to retire – and they come in all sizes – from the huge (New York, Chicago, Miami) to midsize like Sarasota or Columbus (OH).
NPR did a very interesting radio program that you can listen to, see “Listen” in this NPR link. It describes several different baby boomers and why they decided to move to various cities, including Hartford, CT.
March 13, 2019 — Over the years millions of Americans from the Midwest and Northeast have packed up and moved to Florida for their retirement. They move there because of the warm winters and long coastlines, and retirees have been doing it for at least 100 years. But the Sunshine State has its detractors too; a Florida retirement is not for everyone. To wit, a recent article from Kiplinger, “11 Reasons Not to Move to Florida,” caught our eye.
We agree that there are some valid reasons against retiring in Florida (and we will include them later in this article). But we have to say that the ones cited in the Kiplinger article seemed a bit grasping. These are the basic reasons why their editor said you shouldn’t retire to Florida:
Notes: This is a reprint of an article from 2012, which appears to have disappeared from our site. Over the years we have produced many of these “Worst States for Retirement Lists”. Connecticut has been the “winner”, so has Illinois. Hope your state is not next! In Feb. 2018 we updated this article – see”Worst States for Retirement – 2018“.
January 10, 2012 — There are plenty of best places to retire lists. But how about the places where it’s not such a good idea to retire? Last year our “Worst 10 States for Retirement” article caused quite a sensation, so we are back at it again for 2012. The purpose is to try to help baby boomers understand where, all other things being equal, they can enjoy their hard-earned retirement without taking on more problems. To make sure you don’t miss updates to this and other lists like it, sign up for our Free weekly “Best Places to Retire” newsletter.
Your retirement is unique
Every individual has to consider his or her own criteria for identifying the worst or best states to retire. One of the most important factors for anyone is proximity to family and friends. So, if you want to be near your grandchildren the worst state on our list could be the best state on your list. Likewise, you might not share the same considerations we used to develop this list. Tax issues might be most important for you, or you might not care about spending winters in a warm state. Our 2012 list is based on 5 considerations that we think will be <!–more–>important to most people, but freely admit that these factors could be totally irrelevant to many other folks.
Note: This is a reprint of the 2010 version of our “Worst States for Retirement”, which disappeared from our site. Over the years the “winners” for Worst State have gone back and forth. Illinois won the dubious distinction in 2010, then Connecticut and Illinois took top honors. Our methodology has changed over the years in an effort to be fairer and more objective. Don’t miss the 2018 version of this list, “Worse States for Retirement: New Tax Law Takes it Toll“. Note: Some tax and other info from the 2010 article may have changed.
December 7, 2010 — The 50 U.S. states are in a beauty contest. Whether they know it or not, they are being judged by a tough jury of 76 million or so baby boomers looking for the best place to retire. These baby boomers are hard to please, they are used to moving to new places, and are not going to settle for second or third best when it comes to enjoying their retirement years. This article provides our list of the 10 (or so) worst states for retirement, 2010 edition. Note: We are honored to report that this report was quoted extensively in Robert Powell’s “10 Worst States for Retirement” at WSJ-Marketwatch, the Huffington Post, and AARP. To get regular updates on articles like this sign up for our free weekly “Best Places to Retire” newsletter.
Everybody’s situation is different Every individual has to consider his or her own criteria for selecting a list of the worst or best states to retire. Lists from USAA.com and Military.com is a perfect example of a list that makes sense for a specific set of retiree needs. Their lists were carefully tailored to U.S. military retirees who typically have a nice pension that they don’t want taxed at the state level, and who need to be close to a base for shopping and healthcare.
February 11, 2019 — Our “Dueling States” comparison articles remain all-time favorites at Topretirements.com (see complete list at end of article). Yet none is more popular than the one on “Dueling Carolinas“. At last count there were 631 Member comments going back several years, and right up to several made yesterday. In fact, although the main article laid out the facts about each state when it comes to real estate prices, taxes, climate, geography, and where to retire, the best information about what it is like to retire in either of the Carolinas is contained within all of those comments. This article will reprint two recent comments which were exceptionally interesting. We’ll also give you a tool on how to use these Comments to do customized Carolina research on topics that interest you. We look forward to even more comments too!
January 16, 2018 — Late in 2018 we published a series of Best Places to Retire lists for four U.S. regions. They were based on popularity – the 20 towns and cities in each region that had the most online visits at Topretirements. To kick off the new year we are picking the “2019 best of the best” from those 80 – the 10 retirement towns that we think are the best places to retire. While the original 80 made it because of popularity, these 10 represent our subjective best places selections. Some of the factors we weighed were cultural and recreational opportunities, climate, expense, taxes, the quality of the downtowns, and beauty. Obviously, your personal criteria might make for a different list. (Note that we did not include active adult communities on this list, which meant that places like The Villages did not get included).
1. Asheville, NC Asheville is a prosperous small city of just over 75,000 in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina. The downtown is filled with cafes, restaurants, and art deco buildings. Because it is in the mountainous part of the state it tends to have 4 seasons. The surrounding area has other towns popular with retirees, along with a huge number of 55+ and active adult communities.
2. Sarasota, FL. Some consider this thriving city midway down the Gulf Coast to be the cultural capital of Florida, after Miami. Sarasota has a great downtown with many interesting neighborhoods. An impressive array of cultural facilities is available in Sarasota. Barrier islands like Siesta offer great beaches and developments where retirees can put their feet up.
November 17, 2018. We would love to share with you solid information about how many retirees are interested in becoming a snowbird. Where they come from, and where they go to for the winter. How they found the places they snowbird in. Rent vs. own. And more.
But to do that we need YOU to fill out this quick 10 question survey. We promise it will be easy, and the info we get interesting (we’ll have a full report out after Thanksgiving). But seriously, we need everyone to contribute by investing just a few minutes in the survey. This is your chance to say thanks for this FREE site!