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Five Reasons Why You Should Retire in Another State

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 14, 2011 — So you’ve been thinking about your impending retirement. We’ll bet you are wondering where in the heck you should retire to, even if you are pretty sure you will end up in the group of 70% of retirees that never move more than a few miles from home in retirement. This article will give even you some powerful reasons to consider moving a lot farther away, in fact all the way to another state. Most, but not all, of the reasons have to do with money. Part 2 of this series, “Becoming a Florida Resident”, will provide the nuts and bolts of how to… become a legal resident of one of our most tax-friendly states for retirees – Florida. See also our article, “Worst States for Retirement – Updated“.

1. Do you hate winter? If you are one of the many folks from the midwest or northeast who don’t want to be “cold and old”, it won’t much require much persuading to get you to move to another state. Moving farther south, at least for the winter, will let you escape that dreadful cold and those punishing snow and ice storms. You’ll get to enjoy perpetual springs, summers, and falls. But here’s an important thing some folks forget: if you are a snowbird make sure you go far enough south to really escape winter. Even northern and central Florida can be chilly, as can Phoenix. If you retire full-time to one area, however, you might be more willing to endure a few chilly days or even the rare snow or ice storm you might get in Georgia, South Carolina, or the Pacific Coast.

2. Are you paying too much in state income taxes? The obvious solution to this problem is to change your legal residence to a lower tax state. Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas are 4 southern states that have no income tax. AK, SD, WA, and WY have no income taxes if you are willing to move to a colder climate. See our article, “The Most Tax Friendly States for Retirement” for more details.

3. Do you have a government or military pension? These days government and military pensions tend to be the best pensions out there. So if the bulk of your retirement income is going to come from one of those pension plans, you might want to make sure you don’t lose too much of it to taxes. Obviously if you move to a no income tax state, it’s not an issue. But many states with an income tax have an exemption for government and military pensions, or at least a portion of it, from taxation. It is too complex to provide all details here, but some of the tax friendly states for public sector pensions are Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, and Pennsylvania. 15 states exempt all or a portion of military pensions from taxation.

4. Are you getting killed by property taxes? It’s no secret that states in the Northeast and Midwest have the highest property taxes. For example in the New York City suburbs a home does not have to be all that nice to come with a $10,000 property tax bill. States in the southeast tend to be much more favorable, sometimes averaging a $1,000 or even less. Making matters worse in many states like Connecticut are the lack of significant property tax protections for people over 65. In these states your property taxes can soar for 2 reasons: 1) the assessed value of your home goes up dramatically (hasn’t been happening lately, but it has in the past!), and 2) school and municipal tax increases exceed the rate of inflation.

Many states like Florida, however, have implemented circuit breaker and other protections that prevent property taxes from uncontrollable increases. Some states have protections for everyone in the state, while others provide the benefits only for lower income, disabled, or retired folks. See the Topretirements State Retirement Guides or consult the State Department of Revenue websites for more information on this topic.

5. You thought you would never be able to retire – not so fast! At Topretirements we hear this a lot. It is sad how frequently people tell us they are giving up; they just don’t think they will ever be able to retire. To that we say, you do have alternatives.

As Sandy said in last week’s story, “What Sandy Learned After 8 Years of Visiting Active Adult Communities“, if you haven’t visited the communities outside your state you have no idea how affordable some areas can be. There are hundreds of communities in Arizona and Florida where you can buy a nice resale home for less than $50,000. Buying a home in good condition for less than $10,000 is definitely possible. Rents can be had for $500-600, which puts them in reach even for folks on social security (in April 2011 the average retirement social security payment was $1,762 for a couple). Assuming you own a home already in the northeast, chances are you can sell it for more than $100,000, buy a new one in AZ or FL for $50,000, and have $50,000 left over to spend throughout your retirement. You have to live somewhere, so you might as well live somewhere where the living is cheaper and easier. (NOTE: In the years since we wrote this article real estate prices have recovered from the crash of 2008, and they are a lot higher than we mentioned here. But there still are bargains to be had).

Now – Find out How to Become a Legal Resident of Another State, and Why That’s a Good Deal
See related article, “How and Why to Become a Florida Resident“, featuring an interview with Florida attorney Barton Smith.

Comments, Anyone? Please share your ideas and thoughts about moving to a different state in the Comments section below. Your discussions help us all – keep ’em coming!

Posted by John Brady on June 13th, 2011


  1. Regarding post: Five reason you should retire in another State.

    You mentioned attorney Barton Smith’s article on Florida Resident, but there wasn’t a link.

    How do you find the article?

    Thank You
    Hi Bill: The article will be available in a few days in our Blog. Not sure what you meant by “How did you find the article”. We just thought this would be an an interesting topic for our members to learn about. We knew Bart is an expert on Florida residency, so we interviewed him about it.

    by Bill — June 14, 2011

  2. Hey, Tennessee has no income tax either.

    Thanks HEF- So true! We corrected that serious omission.

    by HEF — June 15, 2011

  3. In the future, you could perhaps reread your postings for some rather pronounced grammatical errors, one of which changed the way the post sub title was supposed to read.
    I believe it should have read, “You thought you would never be able to retire…not so fast.

    Laurie: You are absolutely right and we were absolutely careless. Thanks for pointing out this error (since corrected). We’ll sit in the corner for a few minutes and promise to do better! John

    by Laurie — June 15, 2011

  4. Michigan just passed a new law reforming the tax structure. I will beginning
    taxing all pensions beginning 1/2011.

    by Paula — June 15, 2011

  5. Sorry for the typo. Michigan will begin taxing all pensions 1/2012.

    by Paula — June 15, 2011

  6. One of the reasons we don’t move to another state is what I call “analysis paralysis.” Most of us live in a certain location because of our job, a spouse’s job, our parents lived there, or it’s where we went to college. When you retire and can choose just about any place in the world to live, there are too many choices, and it can seem overwhelming. So, it’s often easier to stay put, or just move a few miles away from what is known and comfortable. Of course, deciding not to decide is still a decision!

    by Jan Cullinane, co-author The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your LIfe (Rodale 2007) — June 15, 2011

  7. What’s your thoughts on Fla vs Texas as far as property taxes goes. Considering Ft Myers, Fl or DFW area.

    by Bren — June 15, 2011

  8. What would be nice to find out are ballpark figures for the incomes of those retired living in the different active adult communities. In one community, total income of 45,000 a year would allow a couple a very comfortable lifestyle. That may not hold true in a different state where maybe more financial affluent residents reside at.
    Many folks wonder if they can retire. They know what their retirement income is but what may make many folks reluctant is they don’t know if that amount is truly enough to live on. If they found out that ave. retiremnt income in a certain community development was 40,000 and they have figuered out they will live off of 45,000 yr., it would make them feel that they could in fact retire there.

    by Bill-CA — June 15, 2011

  9. Watch the “no income tax” states very carefully. Here in Washington we are almost fanatical about no income tax…but have a sales tax up around 9.5+ % that has to be seen to be believed!

    by Glen DeShaw — June 15, 2011

  10. Reply to Bren:
    I lived in the DFW area for 12 years (8 years in Ft. Worth & 4 in suburban Wise Cty). Although there is no ‘income’ tax on salaries, the property taxes are a 2-fold expense: regular county assesment and a seperarate school district assessment.
    First off, assessments run very high. I always asked myself whether I’d be better off selling to the Appraisal District as they were always higher than market. And even when values were flat (maybe a 1-2% increase) for the most part on Texas RE during the late 90s through 2007, appraisals were at 4-5% increases, especially on the school districts portion. So it was an effort to meet at the appraisal district offices every year to try to ‘beat down’ the appraisal to a more reasonable rate. Most residents there don’t even bother unfortunately.
    I can’t compare to Florida as I’ve not lived there, but may in the future. But I can compare to my more expensive home in VA where my RE taxes are about 1/3d (yes; 33%) of the TX taxes. So even adding a state income tax here, I’m feeling I’m financially ahead.
    I hope one of you Floridians can update us on RE taxes there.

    by Cary Mebach — June 16, 2011

  11. I have been surprised at what great retirement communities are found in Alabama–a state that meets every one of your “5 Reasons”.

    by Dennis — June 16, 2011

  12. Many older seniors are returning to the northern states or to the area where they living prior to retiring. Retirees who moved to Florida, Arizona and other warm areas in the south are returning north. Most go back when their health deteriorates, when their spouse dies or when they are worried about their moneys running out.

    In many cases this is where their children and grandchildren live and where they know their way around.

    by Art Koff — June 18, 2011

  13. Just wondering what you think of NC for retirement. I am hearing a lot of movement is going to that state.

    by Jim King — June 19, 2011

  14. […] 21, 2011 — The first article in this series, “Five Reasons Why You Should Retire in Another State“, explored the major reasons why it might be a really good idea for you to move from the […]

    by » Why Becoming a Florida Resident Might Be a Good Retirement Move – And How to Do It Topretirements — June 21, 2011

  15. Thanks for this! A great set of tips for anyone to consider.

    by Luc — June 30, 2011

  16. I’ve have almost 10 years before retirement. How far out should one even consider moving to another area? Has anyone experience with buying a vacation home in the intended retirement area? What was your experience? Good/Bad? What struck you the most about the experience? Thank you!!

    by AJ White — July 13, 2011

  17. I’m planning on selling my home in SC and RENT for a year in another state—son in CA, expensive and daughter in MA, also expensive.
    I should have rented for a few months before I bought. My mistake!

    by Jackie Gaines — July 14, 2011

  18. Living in SC, thinking of south Fla for warmer winters in age restricted community 10-20 miles from east or west coast. Is homeowners, wind, flood insurance expensive? In the event of a major disaster will the insurance companies including the state insurance pool have enough to cover all losses? Will property taxes for a new resident be significantly higher than for current residents? It’s nice to have no state income tax, however will the other costs might negate those savings?

    by Rob — July 15, 2011

  19. […] For further reference: 10 Worst States for Retirement – 2011 Not What You Thought: The Worst Retirement States for Taxes Most Tax Friendly States Five Reasons Why You Should Retire to Another State […]

    by » When It Comes to Choosing Your Best Place to Retire – The Most Important Financial and Tax Issue Might Not Be What You Think Topretirements — December 6, 2011

  20. This is an issue I have not seen addressed. OK, so you want to move out of state to a new city or town. But how hard is it to fit into a new community, find new friends, groups to join and activities to pursue? My husband and I grew up in Ohio but have lived in the DC area for 25 years. We are thinking of relocating when we retire because the traffic is horrendous in DC and cost of living high. But where to go? Would there be enough to do in another town? We are spoiled, the DC area is rich in history and activities. Lots of trips, lectures and activities for seniors. We love visiting historical sites. We have established roots in our area now; I belong to clubs and religious groups and have some friends, although my husband is much more shy and quiet and mostly works and comes home. He has pursued few outside activities except some history groups that we both belong to. I am the social one. How hard is it to move to a completely new state and make new friends? We have no children and I have no close family (he has his mother and brother in Florida but we do not want to move there). So this is the decision we wrestle with. Even fianances are not that much of a problem. We will have a nice house to sell and will have our government pensions. We could move back to Ohio but that is a depressed area now and really, not that much going on as to senior activities. Any advice? We would be about 66 when we move–still working now.

    by Karen — December 7, 2011

  21. My husband and I have similar circumstances and will also retire from the DC area with government pensions. We are looking at communities in the Southern Delaware Shore, Lewes, Rehoboth, etc. There are a number of active adult communities to consider. They are not geared to the over 80 crowd but more the 55-70 age group. They usually have community centers, pools, fitness areas, parties, golfing, etc., which make it easy to meet others with similar interests. Even the communities without age restrictions tend to have a large percentage of retired homeowners. Lewes is one of the popular towns that celebrates its historical heritage.

    by Kathy — December 8, 2011

  22. Good morning I hear what both Karen & Kathy are saying. I have just retired and want more from life than a slow pace. Staying active talking and reacting with other people is very important and is the one thing that I miss most. I can find alot of things to do at our home, but being around some of my coworkers is the one thing I miss the most. We are looking at some 55 areas to move to. The key thing is meeting and reacting dayly with others that will keep life and retirement exciting.

    by Brad — December 8, 2011

  23. We are also childless and have very little family, so we understand how some of you feel! My husband is a Mason, and when we have moved before, we have found that we are able to meet people and make friends that way. Volunteering has helped us to meet people, also. If you’re a church-goer, I’m sure that would help, too. We just joined a Unitarian Universalist church, and beside their liberal ideas, they are very active in the community helping others: snow shoveling for shut-ins, reading tutoring at a local elementary school, etc. If you put yourselves out there and find ways to meet your own interests, you will find like-minded folks that probably want to make a connection as much as you do.

    by KimbeeJean — December 8, 2011

  24. […] 5. Think about where you are going to live. That means writing down your priorities for a number of issues – climate, hobbies, expense, cultural preferences, proximity to family and friends, etc. “5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Retiring in Another State” […]

    by » Retiring This Year? Here Are 5 Things You Need to Do Now Topretirements — January 17, 2012

  25. @HEF,

    I have been thinking of retiring in Tennessee, however it actually charges an income tax on proceeds from stocks and bonds, ie. interest and dividends. 1/3 of my income will be from interest and dividends, so I am thinking that a 6% tax on that when I have very low income overall may not work out there.

    by Khem — March 20, 2015

  26. the biggest problem when retiring is deciding where to move and all the problems associated with the move, emptying the house and leaving leaving everything we have grown use to, Massachusetts is making it easy for us because of the high cost of living, fla probably in our future, we lived their for 10 yrs.

    by henry — March 8, 2016

  27. This article is from 2011 and no longer applies to Michigan. The law changed in 2013. If you are born after 12/31/1952, your pension is taxed—no matter the source. One of the many reasons we’re leaving Michigan.

    by Michaelle — March 7, 2018

  28. Timely “bump” on this blog! After several years of analysis and a few false starts, I’ve decided to go back North to be nearer to several of my kids. The cost of living will be higher, but it will be offset by travel costs and having family nearby as I age. I’m prepared to babysit and dogsit. My kids are prepared to Mom-sit when I need help. (You haven’t been scared until your health care professional kids dissect the medical resources in one of those great beachfront communities as part of their effort to get you to relocate nearer to them LOL.) I will be paying cash for my new home, but won’t put my current home on the market until I have a sales contract in place.

    The biggest surprise I’ve encountered about retiring to another state is that so many more locations are now Seller’s markets. Houses in my destination area in Ohio are selling in a day (if they are a reasonable price and in ok condition). One of my kids is buying his starter home at the same time, and counted 75 people going through a new open house with him on Saturday. He said the street was jammed with cars. Yes, the house sold immedately. When we had bought homes in the past, we were always in more of a Buyers’ market. I made an offer to buy a house above listing price a few days ago with the advice of my realtor. I found the Seller unwilling to repair anything identified in the inspection since there were so many other buyers in the wings — I ultimately decided to keep looking, but shopping for a home in a new location can certainly be more challenging when you’re hunting in a Seller’s market! On the flip side, my realtor in the Charlotte area has told me that we’re becoming a Seller’s market too. Whooo hoooo.

    by Kate — March 8, 2018

  29. Has anyone ever put together a checklist with weightings of desires, like 1-5, for picking a state?

    by Peder — March 8, 2018

  30. You have so much to say about how great Florida is for retirement. I am amazed that noone seems to be concerned about hurricanes! The hurricanes of only a few months ago were exacerbated by the warming of the ocean. I don’t see the ocean cooling down anytime soon. Seniors, most no longer working, living on limited incomes, will be most hard-hit by these climatological changes!

    by Marilyn Spivey — March 8, 2018

  31. Marilyn so very, very, true! My aunts who built a home in Bonita Springs in a gated golf course community, insisted on staying through the category 5 hurricane (Irma). They learned a lot from the experience. The preparation before, inconveniences during and cleanup after was not worth the experience of staying in their new hurricane resistant home. The windows are up to the latest codes and not one was broken. The new roof rises and falls with the wind and that worked well too all the roof tiles were still in place afterwards. The damage was that the pool cage was torn off the house and twisted and a few plantings had to be replaced (which was done by the community). The deductible on their insurance however is $10,000 and for one or two years maybe they can pay that BUT they are looking at other locations because if this year is a year where a hurricane comes through again, they will leave. They do not want to go through all the inconveniences again. By the way they contacted their insurance company one day after the hurricane passed through and the pool cage has yet to be replaced. Their community does all the lawn work so they replaced the trees and bushes that were lost. It is just a fact that “paradise” became a hassle.

    by Jennifer — March 9, 2018

  32. Florida has the lure common to many short term vacation locations. Palm trees beautiful beaches. But after living there for a while the hot humid weather day after day the high humidity and the afternoon rainstorms begins to wear at you! The snowbird tsunami of people relocating to Florida in the winter drives traffic through the roof!
    Florida is a nice place to visit but not for retirement at least not for me

    by Ron — March 9, 2018

  33. Marilyn Spivey and Jennifer, while I am definitely not a fan of the humid summers that begin in the month of May and end by mid October, name one state that does not have a threat of floods, tornadoes, droughts leading to raging fires, snow storm or hurricanes? For retired seniors Florida still offers no state taxes and no inheritance tax plus not having to pay for a 4 season wardrobe. The west coast is much hotter than the east coast and inland Florida like Orlando is even worse with humidity in the summer. A bad storm is a bad storm no matter where you live. Any roofer will tell you, if you are going to get hit by a 5 forget it, your roof will not make it. It is the tornadoe that does the most damage and they can hit anytime in the South and the midwest. What makes Florida very costly is the price of homeowners insurance. And for some reason, despite what you hear about low wages, those doing home repairs seem to charge more than other areas. This is true even with the 12 month of workable conditions. In South Florida, we are bubbling over with repair companies and individuals for almost anything a house would require. If you live in a state with very high property taxes and state taxes like Conn, NY or NJ, Florida is cheaper even with the preparation of hurricanes and the cost of homeowners insurance. It is just a matter where your family is and where you want and can afford to retire and also depending if you are in need of medical care more than the average retiree.

    by LMB — March 10, 2018

  34. Well, we always thought to retire in the Gulf Coast area after vacationing in the area from Gulf Port/Biloxi, Ms to the Destin, Fl. area over 20 years. So made the big retirement move to Gulf Breeze, Fl. a year ago. Boy, are we glad we did. Had we not we would always have thought about what we missed. So, with that being said…we are MOVING! We’d come back for a vacation…no problem…just don’t want to live here. Take all the negatives you read from the above comments and think about if that’s how you want to spend your retirement years. I don’t mind the humidity at all. It’s the snakes, bugs, constant wind that you are living with and can’t get rid of. Had a copperhead in our garage. Snakes in the yard. We have to be on the lookout each time we come out of the house. Moth balls do not deter them as some think. Because of the ponds and backwater areas, they are there everywhere. The salt in the air rusts anything outside. The rusty looking dirt in the air that settles over your siding and windows. Of course the area caters to lots of seafood offerings at the restaurants. They must all get it from the same vendor, because it’s all the same batter. It’s the ambiance, of course, that lures you in to sitting looking out over the gulf that is the spectacular part of it all. People are nice…but there’s nice people everywhere if you look.

    by BLE — March 10, 2018

  35. Ron,
    I sympathize with you and the description of the increase in the “snowbird tsunami”.
    However, I live in Long Island, N.Y. in very close proximity to the global magnet City of New York and NOTHING can compare to the massive increase in the number of people who have moved here from elsewhere in the world.
    I still plan on moving to Florida. The traffic I’ve experienced during multiple vacations to Florida at different times of the year are no match for the hoardes I currently have to deal with in the NYC area.

    by Curt — March 10, 2018

  36. Keep trying to deter people from retiring in Florida. Those of us who have already retired here love our little slice of paradise and would prefer it not become too overcrowded.

    by Linda — March 10, 2018

  37. If a couple is thinking of relocation anywhere it’s imperative they both want to move and both agree on where. In the community we rent in it seems the decision to move here is usually the husband’s and the wives just go along and make the best of it. This is a golf / fishing area but few if any the ladies participate in those activities and when hubby becomes dependent or dies the women move to be closer to family. In our case, we did both want to come here and now both want to leave; nice place, nice people, nice weather, great golf, but just not a place we want to spend the rest of our lives in. So now we’ll head back north to a fairly tax friendly state and will take long vacations in the winter.

    by jean — March 11, 2018

  38. While the California is working on driverless cars, Florida is one step ahead. One of the most entertaining aspects of Florida is to stay on the sidewalk and observe the headless cars go by. Usually they are Buicks or Oldsmobiles and you can see the driver’s knuckles tightly holding the top of the steering wheels.

    by Bob — March 11, 2018

  39. Good Morning LMB! You are correct that every state has some type of disaster, and one must choose what one can tolerate. The hurricanes are pretty horrible and my family is from Indiana which has had its share of tornadoes and the very occasional earthquake (luckily no damage from them so far). Still in regards to Florida, dealing with very damaging hurricanes which may get worse going forward, and the bugs and venomous snakes and the pythons too—that is a lot to bear in retirement as well. I now live in Washington DC and anytime any patients want medical care, they leave Florida and get their care up here. These patients live in Naples, Palm Beach, Jupitor, Gulf Breeze, Tampa, Ft. Myers, Ocala and Sarasota. We get a fairly good sampling from all over the state. Health care must be somewhat dismal in Florida as no one seems to trust the healthcare system there. I spoke with my Aunts yesterday in Bonita Springs and they said that their whole day is dictated by traffic flow–there are lots of snow birds and Spring Break is just beginning. I have huge traffic issues here in DC so I personally would not wish to be in such an area in retirement. If you do not mind it, for less taxes that is fine. Georgia is kind to retirees, so that is one state I may look at. Every state has some kind of taxes, they must, and if they don’t then there would be no services and who wants to live in a place like that?

    by Jennifer — March 11, 2018

  40. I think most people try to justify the place they have chosen to retire. And that’s probably correct if they’ve done their homework. Which usually means visiting the place often or renting for a while before making a final decision. And certainly don’t base your decision on what one or two people have said about a retirement possibility. You’ll always find people who either love or hate the exact same place!

    by Clyde — March 11, 2018

  41. Bob your comment made me actually LOL

    by Tomi — March 11, 2018

  42. Well my wife and I are on our final countdown and will be relocating Arizona in two weeks. No longer can take the cold, snow and high taxes in Minnesota. Both of us have had the privilege to travel during our careers, which gave us a chance to visit and work in many states, for me 48 states. We also have relocated to several states Wisconsin, Tennessee (Cleveland near Chattanooga and Knoxville) and Minnesota. We have always looked at these stressful moves as adventures. Everywhere the local people were great and still have friends we keep in touch with in all the states we have lived. Ready to turn the page and have another new beginning. Let the ADVENTURES begin.

    by Bruce — March 12, 2018

  43. Bruce, where are you moving to in AZ? I was just looking at Trulia this morning at some homes in AZ but first have never been there and second, have no idea where to live there. For some reason I am drawn there due to lower cost of living and low humidity. The heat might be too much for us too. We are in CT and sick of the snow too. Expecting another Nor’ Easter later today into tomorrow. UGH!

    by Louise — March 12, 2018

  44. Bruce, any thoughts to share about Cleveland TN? That is one of my retirement area targets. Thanks!

    by Gary — March 12, 2018

  45. Louise, many different places to look at in Arizona. Flagstaff and Prescott have cooler weather and even some snow in winter. We are moving to a community called Victory at Verrado. Verrado is an all age master community with Victory being part of that community, so we are not an isolated 55 age community. We also liked the southern and western side of Phoenix as the east side like Mesa and Scottsdale seem very crowded. Green Valley from what other write seems to be nice but never made a visit. I worked both in Tucson, Casa Grande and the Phoenix areas before retirement. We have friends and family located in Sun City West which helped with the decision. We made visits during all the seasons plus when I worked it was never in the winter time. Just don’t like much humidity.

    by Bruce — March 13, 2018

  46. Jim, Cleveland, Tn was very friendly and nice place to live. It was near Chattanooga and that is where I flew out of when I was working. If you like a smaller town Cleveland was that, but I’m sure it has grown since we lived there. It is also a religious town with two world church offices located there. I lived there because it was close to Athens and Mayfield Dairy which I did work for. It was also a dry county if that makes any difference to you. We moved to Knoxville as we opened a small office there and my oldest daughter wanted to go to UT. Tellico Village was just under the first phases of construction when we lived in the area, so didn’t look there at the time.

    by Bruce — March 13, 2018

  47. Bruce, Thank you for the information on AZ! Can you tell me more about the 4 seasons in Victory at Verrado? Are you able to tolerate the high temps of summer? How do people cope? Just do stuff in the mornings and chill out in ac the rest of the day?

    by Louise — March 13, 2018

  48. To help keep the discussion going on Why You Should Retire in Another State, we moved the last few comments that went off track and dealt with Downsizing and the moving process to a different Blog:

    by Jane at Topretirements — March 13, 2018

  49. Louise, I must admit that summers in the Phoenix area are hot. During those days you are correct mornings are pleasant and so are the evenings once the sun begins to set behind the mountains. I love the fact that Arizona receives over 250 plus days of sunshine, unlike Minnesota with many gloomy cloudy days. Our last visit was in February and 75 – 80 each day, before that was over the fourth of July with temps over 100. We played golf early in the morning and a nice BBQ with friends later in the evening and we found it pleasant. Like most areas of the country you acclimate to the weather and area. We don’t mind the hotter days, as the humidity was one of our deciding factors.

    by Bruce — March 14, 2018

  50. Any thoughts on retiring in Madison/Huntsville, Alabama area? Tornadoes?

    by CarolS. — March 14, 2018

  51. As I’m going through the probate process now I really have to decide where my hubs and I should retire to. I always thought the Pacific NW but now wondering if a drier climate would be best for arthritis issues. So now looking into just staying in S California or moving inland such as Palm Springs. Not sure if I can handle the summer months in the desert but lived in Fla so it can’t be worse than that!!

    by Mary11 — March 15, 2018

  52. We are retired in Illinois.We are tired of $12,000 real estate taxes. And the political termmoil in Illinois is so annoying.
    We are thinking of moving to Fayetteville or Bentonville Arkansas.
    Any info on Arkansas?

    by Lou — March 15, 2018

  53. Hi Lou
    Try “Search Retirement Towns by State” under the website for general info and 55+ communities. You can also enter your info into the search bar and see what comes up.

    by Moderator Flo — March 16, 2018

  54. This helps!! Lol

    by Moderator Flo — March 16, 2018

  55. Bruce, My husband and I plan to retire in AZ when I retire in Jan 2019.I’ve been looking at Sun City Grand,but have not been there.Do you or anyone have any info. on this comm.? thanks

    by Sandyg — March 16, 2018

  56. My husband & myself are retired and plan to move to New Hampshire from CT. Any suggestions of what cities in southern NH would be ideal to move?

    by Kathy K — March 16, 2018

  57. Sandy, Have no real data on Sun City Grand other then it is close to Sun City West. I have heard it was a bit more pricey then Sun City and Sun City West. We did do a play and stay at Sun City Festival and almost bought there. We would have but we could not come to terms. Having visited and drove through many of the Sun City locations they all were well kept, clean and great amenities.

    by Bruce — March 17, 2018

  58. I have a bunch of relatives who live in Sun City Grand. They love it there. I have visited many times. I find it a bit boring that all the houses look alike. I too would have trouble navigating without GPS. I’d rather be on the water.

    by Linda — March 17, 2018

  59. I retired to Phoenix a few years ago and love it here. Yes the summer is very hot but not humid and we do get breaks at times. 7 months is it glorious here! Real estates taxes are low and so is personal taxes. Lots of activities and fun events are always going on.

    by lora lee — March 17, 2018

  60. Sandyg, you want to check for pending, present and past lawsuits regarding 55+ communities.

    by Michael — March 17, 2018

  61. Thanks everyone for the info.,on Arizona.Sun city Festival looks very nice too.Any info on the medical care the area? Looking forward to sunny and warm and no more dark,cold and snowy.

    by Sandyg — March 18, 2018

  62. Lou – Take a look at Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. 11 lakes, 9 golf courses, 14 new Pickleball courts (coming this spring/summer), tennis, fitness center. A beautiful, rural setting with incredibly low taxes. 26,000 acres, no crime. Condos from $55,000, homes from $85,000 – $700,000. HOA fee is $65/month !! NO THIS IS NOT A MISPRINT !! When first visiting, I asked a number of people – “What’s the downside of living here?” The longtime residents said “None. This is simply the best kept secret in the USA.” Mixed age community, though many retirees.

    by blaine — March 18, 2018

  63. Looking for information on retirement community Britton Falls in Indiana. Would like any information on what it like to live there.

    by Nancy — March 19, 2018

  64. blaine, how far away are the stores, Walmart, etc? Is there a downtown for hospitals, Dr.’s?

    by Louise — March 19, 2018

  65. Michael is so right in reminding us to check pending past and present lawsuits. We were going to visit a Central FL property but found there is ongoing litigation between the residents and the builder. The local papers cover it, but you have to search it out. This one was serious according to the articles so we cancelled our trip and unsubscribed our email. Even the salesman when I spoke to him on the phone was like…”yeah, I know… ooookay…”

    by Dave C — March 19, 2018

  66. We are retiring and relocating to North Carolina., Researching the northern piedmont sections. Like the idea of small towns like Reidsville or Mount Airy. Any recommendations on these or other cities?


    by Susan&Ken — March 20, 2018

  67. Hi Nancy
    If you go to “Look up Retirement Towns by State” and scroll down to Indiana, Britton Falls appears under the town of Fischers. You can also use the search engine and check out the forum for more info.
    Hope this helps!!

    by Moderator Flo — March 20, 2018

  68. We have moved the last few comments concerning Hot Springs Village to another Blog that discuss large communities including Hot Springs Village:

    Does the Villages Have Any Large Competitors-You Bet (The West)

    by Jane at Topretirements — March 20, 2018

  69. We are considering renting a place June 1 around Summerville SC Does any one have an economical suggestion where we could stay? Thanks. Diane P.

    by Diane — March 22, 2018

  70. We will be moving for retirement to the Oregon coast but can’t decide if we should buy a small home or just rent…any thoughts??

    by Mary11 — March 23, 2018

  71. Diane, try looking at rentals listed on Trulia or one of the other real estate sites, or google home rentals in the city you want. We just ended a lease in a 55+ community in the Myrtle Beach area and are now renting a townhouse in Bucks County Pa. During our time in SC we explored much of the state but after a year there decided that it is a great vaca or even snowbird location but ot were we want to spend the rest of our lives. We are not closer to family and old friends, no taxes on pension or IRA/401K withdrawals, and feel more “at home” in the area. If we feel the same after a year we’ll look at buying.

    by jean — March 23, 2018

  72. Mary, you do not say where you are coming from when you speak of retiring to Oregon Coast. It is absolutely beautiful there but if you don’t like a lot of rain and need sun to not get depressed, this is not the place for you. I would strongly suggest you rent there first before making a firm decision. In full disclosure, I live in Washington State and our weather is similar. I don’t mind the rain because when the sun comes out, it is absolutely gorgeous.


    by Sharon Alexander — March 24, 2018

  73. Any suggestions on good rentals in the North Myrtle Beach area? Looking for a small condo or home near the beach and reasonably priced of course!

    by Shelia — March 24, 2018

  74. Mary, ditto Sharon’s comment for me too. I think I will rent before I make any firm decisions about Oregon. I have been told from November to May it is msty in the air ..great I’d you are a potted plant.

    by Jennifer — March 24, 2018

  75. Shelia, are you looking for an annual rental? Try, many of the realtors (and some individuals) who handle rentals post there. Also, if you are planning on moving there, there are lots of discounts available to residents – for example, you can get a senior passport to the state park for $37 a year. This will give you and as many people as you can fit in your car free access to the state parks – there are two in the area MB state park with a one mile long beach and paths through the wooded area and a fishing pier and huntington beach. in Murrells inlet with a 3 mile long beach and even more hiking!

    by jean — March 25, 2018

  76. Jennifer, but all that moisture in the air is wonderful for the skin. Always an upside to everything. LOL!

    by Sharon Alexander — March 25, 2018

  77. Ladies, I should be fine because I LIVED IN Portland for 8yrs. I am researching and found Brookings has 191 sunny days but limited shopping and a smaller hospital … still checking around. I’m down to Brookings, Florence, Ashland and Eugene…I’d love any input on any of these towns!!

    by Mary11 — March 25, 2018

  78. Hi Mary11,

    My friends who lived in Oregon and had hoped to retire there tell me Eugene is a college town with a lot of activities. The weather may not be as gray there. It seems that the people who love Oregon can always point out good things about living there–with a fierce loyalty. Let us know how it goes. Have you considered Bend, very beautiful there from the photos I have seen, but not on the beach. What is your criteria now?

    by Jennifer — March 25, 2018

  79. I have lived in Oregon&Washington most of my 56 yrs. I prefer Washington side as I’ve gotten older. Less taxes, less expensive homes, except Seattle area. We are in Vancouver WA, across the bridge from Portland. We wanted to retire to the Bend/Central Oregon area. But want to sell our home, buy a small 55+ home in Tuscon area. Or Los Lunas NM area. Will be able to buy for 1/2 what prices are here. Plus we don’t want cold weather anymore. It’s beautiful here but so are other places.

    by Tomi — March 25, 2018

  80. Well, my criteria has changed as of late. I’d like to live in a community with at least a medium size hospital nearby, grocery stores closeby, some shopping centers, somewhat low crime, and a lower cost of living. I know I probably won’t find everything but I’m trying. Also, since my mom passed away I now am an owner of 4 cats so unless I purchase a home with property I might not be able to take her cats with me and I’d feel terrible leaving them behind ….BTW, no Bend is not an option, too cold in the winter….

    by Mary11 — March 25, 2018

  81. Hi Mary11 – I look forward to reading your OR posts as I also enjoyed our short vacations to coastal WA and OR. They are both high on my list coming from extremely congested and high taxes in NJ. Your criteria is the same as us with multiple pets. We are still a few years away from DH full retirement (I was recently cut to part-time.) So we still need to research and visit some areas. I dislike extreme heat so FL and AZ would require visits during those times to see my tolerance. I don’t like being forced indoors for months on end due to weather (snow or heat). BIL/SIL live in Green Valley AZ and love it. I have a hard time seeing me living in the desert areas (visited NM in the past).

    by JoannL — March 26, 2018

  82. JoannL …
    SAME FOR ME concerning the heat…..I actually lived in Florida for 10 years and had to move because of the humidity. We were pondering thoughts on Las Vegas and palm springs but don’t want to live with air conditioning all the time. I am a little concerned about moving to a wetter climate though for arthritis issue that may come up later on. So it makes it tough deciding the best place to live. Living in southern California where the weather can’t be beat I will be sad when we finally leave. We just can’t afford to stay so am looking forward to our future adventures….

    by Mary11 — March 26, 2018

  83. Jean thank you for the information on Trulia..I didn’t think to look there for rentals. I’m thinking I might rent for a year to see if I want to live there full time. Ive been vacationing there for over 25 years and my husbands company owned a condo there for 11 years. It’s always been my home away from home! Thought renting for a year and traveling back and forth would give me a good feel for what living there full time is like..try before you buy!

    by Shelia — March 26, 2018

  84. Mary, look into Greentrees Village HOA in Florence. It is a 55+ community of modular and manufactured homes where you own the land. Don’t know if they have rentals but Florence has a lot of positive reviews.

    Be sure to get the right website as there are bunch with a similar name.


    by Sharon Alexander — March 26, 2018

  85. Sharon Alexander, I think Mary11 has mentioned this place before. If I remember, she was very interested in this place.

    by Louise — March 26, 2018

  86. Just a reminder for those interested in Oregon or Washington. Our post has great details and over 100 comments you might find useful.

    by Admin — March 26, 2018

  87. Right on Louise….that is one place on the top of my list. Problem is there is a den of bears right behind the park and recently they had to put down 3 of them because they had issues with the maintenance people. So that puts me off…..sorry I’m just not used to having wild animals in my back yard!! Lol….anyways Brookings is one of our faves because it has a milder climate with the most sunny days in the coast. Yes Sharon ,Greentrees do have rentals once in a while. Right now there is a 1500 square ft home by the river going for $1200 per month and it’s one of the nicer ones with a value of $250,000, and their pet policy is 3. Right now I don’t know how much we will be spending for our new home because the family condo I’m living in has been going up $3000-5000 every month.

    by Mary11 — March 26, 2018

  88. Shelia – That’s exactly what we just did – rent for a little over a year to see if we liked it and also to use it as a base to explore the rest of SC, Ga, and Fl. The Grand Strand has great weather and beaches, lots of golf and very nice people and it’s growing like crazy! After the year we were not ready to buy there so moved to Pa. and renting here to see if we like it. With all the new development in the Grand Strand not sure it is a good place to invest in real estate right now. We rented a 3 year old house in a 55+ community and were surprised at the poor quality of the house. The community is part of a larger development that is built out and now in the process of moving the HOA from the developer to the owners – what an eye opener!

    by jean — March 27, 2018

  89. I have been reading about how hot & humid FL is and it I really depends on where you are in the state. The west coast of FL and the interior is very hot & humid. The east coast is warm on the summer but there is always a breeze from the east. I agree that visit at different times of the year to see for yourself.

    by Ralph — March 27, 2018

  90. Comments that went off track of Why You Should Retire to a Different State and discussed probate were moved to Checklists for the Retiring Baby Boomer: 10 More to Think About:

    by Admin — March 27, 2018

  91. Jean, where in PA are you and what are your thoughts on staying there?

    by Tom DelPozzo — March 27, 2018

  92. Re the heat and humidity on the west coast of Florida: I do not find it any worse than summer in Minnesota. I do live on the water in SW Florida and we always have a breeze. Inland is probably different. What’s different is that in Minnesota I ran the AC all summer and the heat all winter, always closed up inside. In Florida, I run the AC in the summer, leave the windows and sliders open in the winter for lovely breezes and fresh air. I’ve never turned my heat on here–don’t know if it even works!

    by Linda — March 27, 2018

  93. Hi Linda:

    Where are you in SW Florida? It has actually been rather chilly there lately–my aunt in Naples says their heat came on a few times in the last few weeks. Regarding summer, I spent time there last August and it was lovely and no hotter /humid than it is up here in humid Washington, DC at that time of the year. The breeze at night was lovely and we would swim in their pool each night. They are maybe four miles from the beach in a gated community. I am just afraid of snakes and they are abundant in Florida…I have tried to get over this phobia, but I cannot seem to…oh well.

    by Jennifer — March 28, 2018

  94. Tom D – We are renting a townhouse in Newtown, just moved in last week. So far so good! If winters get bad we’ll be snowbirds someplace south of here. Once we get settled will look around the general area to see if this is where we’d like to buy.

    by jean — March 28, 2018

  95. Can anyone tell me about living in Las Vegas and the suburbs around Vegas. Moving with a family of 4 children and 2 adults.


    by JEB — March 28, 2018

  96. JEB – Your best bet is to check CITY DATA FORUM for Las Vegas. That forum will give you a lot of opinions on the Las Vegas metro area: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Also, is another good site. gives you a letter grade for different metrics such as crime and weather, etc.

    by Bubbajog — March 28, 2018

  97. for Jennifer:

    I live in Cape Coral, which is north of your aunt in Naples. Yes, it’s been chillier than usual this winter. My heat does not come on because I have the system turned off. I never thought I’d feel chilly at temps a bit under 70–who knew? A sweater or fleece or an extra blanket solves the problem.

    by Linda — March 28, 2018

  98. Folks I’ve had the pleasure of living on both coasts of Florida and I assure everyone the SW coast of Florida is more humid in the summer than the SE coast of Florida. We liverd in Naples and now Delray Beach and find the summer to be more tolerable due to the Atlantic Ocean breeze. You can actually enjoy swimming in the summer than the bathtub water of the Gulf! I love the SE coast and this is the best move we could have made for our retirement.

    by Skip — March 28, 2018

  99. JEB – we lived in Las Vegas for 9-1/2 yrs – it was not the best choice to raise children. The focus of the city is still the casinos and its all about money!!! It is very transient. The schools were very large and very crowded. They did have a great magnet program – not sure of the status now. We were much relieved to be able to transfer back to New England where our sons made life long friends and went on to college & careers.

    That said, in SW Nevada, there is a water issue (hard water too) – they haven’t stopped building since the 1990s and you have to drive a LOT to get where you need to go so traffic can be a huge inconvenience. The summer heat was hard to contend with and the A/C was constantly running. Medical support isn’t great. It is not a place I would ever, willingly, go back to. Fun to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. We still have friends there – e-mail me at if you have specific questions. Happy to help, if I can.

    by Flatearth6 — March 29, 2018

  100. Thank you so much Flatearth6. Appreciated your input.

    by JEB — March 30, 2018

  101. We are going to retire to another state in early 2020. Its located about a 10 hour drive from where we live. For various reason, I would like to work with my local dealer here in Wisconsin who I have a great relationship with and order the new car here, but have it delivered to our retirement city to a local dealer who we will be doing business with. The sales tax is 6% in our retirement state vs. 5.5% here. I am interested with any information you may have or be able to collect from your members about this. I was planning on doing my trade in in my current home state and I hoped to be able to process the purchase here also. I have read different thoughts on this and so I thought I would toss you the ball.

    If we didn’t do this then I will need to fly back here to Wisconsin at some point and bring my wife’s car there. I know there are transport options but this isn’t the reason for the question above.

    by Robert — February 22, 2019

  102. Robert, my understanding is you’ll pay the sales tax of the state/county you reside in at the time of purchase.

    by Jim — February 23, 2019

  103. Robert, Check the rules of the state you’re moving to. Some states may charge an “additional” sales tax there on relatively new vehicles you bring in for registration in the new state.

    by Clyde — February 23, 2019

  104. When I looked at this online, I found some information that leads me to believe that a dealer in one state can process the sale “money-wise” just like if you purchased it in the destination state. I know that dealers do this with neighboring states. I do believe it is state specific though.

    I was hoping that the forum might have some car dealers as members or connections that would no the answer. Of course car sales are regulated so maybe the state consumer protection laws would keep this from happening.

    by Robert — February 24, 2019

  105. We have a vehicle related question as well.
    We have several motor vehicle’s (one commercial type truck), plus 2 boats located in two different states where we spend most of our time. It has been quite a challenge and extra expense trying to keep up with the various insurance requirements. Has anyone had any experience with purchasing a “fleet” type of policy, where coverage could be flexible depending upon which vehicle’s are used for variable amounts of time?

    by Cap — February 24, 2019

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