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10 Best of the Best Places to Retire – 2019

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Updated February 2020 – This list has been updated for 2020 with some new faces: See “10 Best of the Best Places to Retire for 2020

. January 16, 2019 — 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).

Here goes:

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.

Sarasota on Gulf of Mexico

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.

Downtown Tucson

3. Tucson, AZ. The area is warm in winter, blessed with sunshine almost 300 days per year, and has beautiful surroundings. At 233 performing arts dates per year, it also has one of the nation’s highest numbers of arts performances. To see 70 and more reader comments and an inside look on Tucson retirement, see “Why I Retired to Tucson“.

4. Green Valley, AZ. Near near the hiking and birding areas of the Santa Rita Mountains in extreme southern Arizona, Green Valley is an unincorporated retirement community composed of 59 Homeowner Associations. It consistently ranks as the #1 or #2 most popular retirement town on

5. Charleston, SC. “The Holy City” is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. as well as being one of its top tourist attractions. Located on the coast of South Carolina, until the mid 1800’s it was one of the 10 largest cities in North America. The area around it, including Kiawah Island, is very popular with tourists and retirees alike.

St. George has an interesting downtown

6. St. George, UT. Saint George has spectacular red rock bluffs overlooking the town, a mild climate in winter, and amazing recreational opportunities.

7. St. Petersburg, FL. Saint Petersburg has been a classic retirement and tourist destination since the 1920’s because of its winter warmth, great beaches, and ideal location on a peninsula in Tampa Bay. The area has had a wonderful resurgence in the past 10 years, with the city becoming much more attractive and livable. Prices have gone up but it is still relatively affordable. Gulfport is a funky little town that is part of St. Pete. (Note: After rereading what we wrote about this town in the 1/16 newsletter, we decided to include St. Pete on our top 10 list – it just has too much going for it to be left off!)e

8. Bellingham, WA. If there was ever a town with momentum it is Bellingham Washington. Kiplinger’s called Bellingham one of the top retirement communities in the U.S. It boasts unbelievable natural scenery from Puget Sound on the west and Mount Baker to the east.

9. Portland (ME)  Maine’s largest city is an ideal retirement community – in fact it is often mentioned as one of America’s most livable small cities. It combines New England history (founded in 1632) with a vital downtown centered on the Old Port District, pristine beaches, and a friendly, small town feel. Portland has many attractions for active adults, and is bursting with good restaurants and interesting stores. In fact, Bon Appetite thinks Portland is the Restaurant City of the Year. It is certainly cold in Portland, but for people who want to be snowbirds its summers are ideal.

10. Pittsburgh (PA)  Pittsburgh consistently makes the “Best Places to Live” lists, and attracts a community of retirees who want to reside in a livable city with many colleges and cultural opportunities. It has a beautiful setting where two major rivers, the Allegheny and the Monongahela, combine against a backdrop of steep hills to form the Ohio River. Pittsburgh has a solid economy, low cost of living, and growing educational, cultural and medical infrastructures.

More Best Places to Retire lists

20 Best Places to Retire in the Southeast
20 Best Places in the Northeast
20 Best Places in the Southwest
20 Best Places in the West

What do you think? Please use the Comments section below to share your opinion about the best places to retire. Do you live or are you considering a town that should have made the list? What in your opinion are the best criteria for selecting a place to retire?

Posted by Admin on January 15th, 2019


  1. It is hard for me to believe that The Villages, FL is not on this list. There is no place on this earth with more activities than The Villages. No matter your interest you will find it in The Villages. There are the most golf holes in the world (more than twice as many as second place), 80+ swimming pools, 185 pickleball courts (the most in the country), about 35 recreation centers, and over 3000 clubs and activities.

    by Bart — January 16, 2019

  2. Why anyone would ever want to retire to Portland Maine is beyond me. Lived there for 4 years. It’s winter 8 months of the year and if you’re lucky, you get one week of summer. Downtown Portland is nice, but not something you would want to visit on a weekly basis. It’s just plain very cold!

    by Barry — January 16, 2019

  3. Re The Villages.. To each his own. I visited friends there and it would be the last place I would ever want to live for exactly the reasons that Bart stated. As far as the friends were concerned the husband loved it and his wife hated it. After living in Florida for 46 years, I am leaving to become a “halfback” and heading for So. Carolina. Much better weather and much less crowds during snowbird season 6 months of the year.

    by Diane — January 16, 2019

  4. Central Florida and the Villages is too hot most of the year. We chose NE Florida, specifically Palm Coast. If you buy a beachfront home, you always get a cool ocean breeze, much lower chance of a hurricane than the Carolinas, and the beaches are empty of people. Numerous country clubs, lots of golf, just an “old Florida” feeling.

    by Dave M. — January 17, 2019

  5. This is so depressing. I’ve lived in #10 Pittsburgh (south hills) for my entire life, and can’t tolerate the gloom, snow, or pollution anymore. If you need clean air and lots of sunshine, this isn’t the place. We were rated the 4th gloomiest city in America, right up there with a Portland, Seattle and Buffalo. Just yesterday with the wind coming from the SE, the stench from the Clairton Works was overwhelming, and we’re 13 miles away, usually upwind. Luckily most Pittsburgers have lost their sense of smell by retirement age so they don’t notice. Fracking has only exacerbated the air and water pollution. I could start yacking about our warring medical community of two giants holding the rest of us hostage as they battle it out for a monopoly, but enough. Yes, I expect blowback from the “no place is perfect” crowd, but now that we’re retired, family is dead and we’re and free to leave, I’ll check out #1- 9 instead.

    by Daryl — January 18, 2019

  6. I find articles like these puzzling. There should be a better way to find out how to choose a dream retirement place than where other people are looking.

    by Robin Gronsky — January 18, 2019

  7. Ashville is number one? I like visiting Ashville, but there are no adult (over 55) communities even close. And If you’re an outsider forget making friends with the locals. Lots of people make look at Ashville and visit the Biltmore (over rated) but I don’t think many over 55 people move there.

    by Jim Raney — January 18, 2019

  8. Wow! Pittsburgh and Portland in the same list with those others! Someone does not share my definition of desirable. To each their own! Once again quoting Jimmy Buffet, “I wanna go where it’s WARM!”

    by RichPB — January 18, 2019

  9. I laughed out loud when Pittsburgh was on the list. Although I have never been a resident of that city, I did spend 20 years of my career working there, from a few days to weeks at a time. The city itself has changed for the good during the past 30 years. The weather is gloomy a great deal of the time when it’s not snowing. Traffic, like most cities, is a nightmare but it’s much worse in Pittsburgh because of the 3 rivers and all the bridges. If you want any amount of sunshine, Pittsburgh is NOT the place. All the urban development can’t change the weather.

    by Blues traveler — January 18, 2019

  10. Well, I live in Green Valley, near Tucson, and agree that both are great places. Only thing to watch in green Valley is what happens in the next board election. There is a group that wants progress at all cost and would hike dues each year. Hopefully the ones who want to maintain it as the wonderful community it has been will prevail. But this is something that one needs to investigate for any move.

    Other than that this is a great place with much to see and do, almost no crime, and beauty all around you.

    by Pat Reynolds — January 19, 2019

  11. The Villages is very homogeneous in terms of its residents. There are exceptions, of course, but, having visited it on several occasions, it seems like a conservative Stepford Wives for seniors. And though Orlando and Tampa are 60-90 minutes away, I prefer my culture and truly major medical facilities to be considerably closer than that. But, to each his or her own.

    by Clyde — January 19, 2019

  12. Just want to give a shout out for Portland, MAINE. We moved to, just outside, Portland a year ago (from the southeast) and we LOVE it! Hot weather was killing us and, BTW, 2018 summer was HOT in Maine. Snow? Bring it on! The towns keep the roads and parking lots clear. There is so much to do here we haven’t had time to settle in or get bored. If anyone wants more info – my e-mail is:

    by HEF — January 19, 2019

  13. I love reading these lists and the comments that follow. Just goes to show that there is not one perfect place to retire where everyone would be happy…..again, to each his own, and you can learn a lot from the follow up comments/opinions. I myself find it interesting that FL and SC are the two most spots of interest in surveys. I have lived on both coasts of Florida over 46 years coming from a town in Westchester County, NY. And have missed the change of seasons, the winding roads, the hills, mountains, waterfalls etc. all that time. Florida is flat, hot and humid 11 months of the year and the lovely little beach town on the Atlantic thatI have lived in for 43 years got discovered by too many people, developers have moved in replacing the citrus groves with cookie cutter mansions and beach condos. Forget about going out to dinner 6 months out of the year unless you want to wait over an hour at least to be seated once the snowbirds hit town. Hurricanes have taken the toll with my homes too many times and insurance rates go up yearly. So, I am heading for the hills! At the tender age of 72 I am heading to a small town in mid state SC that I first read about on this site as a great place to retire. Visited twice, checked it out, love the location, very affordable. Can take quick short day trips to the beautiful mountains in SC and NC,get my fill of leaf peeping in the Fall, and if I ever wanted to see another beach again, a quick short trip in the other direction to SC shore. I can deal with 3 months of hot humid summers as opposed to 11 and winters are very mild. Anyone want to buy a house in FL? LOL ?

    by Diane — January 19, 2019

  14. Diane, would you mind sharing the name of the little town in mid-South Carolina that you are moving to.
    My husband and I live in New England and would like to relocate. Not interested in Florida but having difficulty finding a place in the Carolinas. Thanks for your post it was very helpful.

    by Jane 66 — January 20, 2019

  15. Very interesting list and totally enjoy reading the comments too! So far, the vacations we have enjoyed the best were either in NE or PNW – as in ME, WA, and OR. Visiting these coastal states provided many beautiful scenic experiences from hiking in local parks to wonderful eateries. The extreme humidity / heat of the southern states during summer months does not appeal to us. Likewise, desert landscape in AZ may not work long term either. My guess is we will may end up in a state not far from the coast with four seasons – just not NJ anymore!

    by JoannL — January 20, 2019

  16. Diane,would you want to share the town you are moving to? Are there major hospitals and good medical care nearby? I would like to move out of Florida for the same reasons but have found it much more cost effective to stay here especially when I am so close to the services I need. Enjoy your new home!

    by Virginia — January 20, 2019

  17. Virginia, Aiken SC does have a regional medical facility……Aiken is located just across the Savannah River from Augusta GA and less than an hours drive from the SC state capital, Columbia, and airport. Very nice downtown area, stores, very reasonable home prices……also winter home to many NE thoroughbred horse lovers, and weekend races. Rolling green fields, cotton fields, a definite change of scenery and climate.

    by Diane — January 20, 2019

  18. We moved these comments about Pittsburgh from a from a different blog:

    Oh, boy this list is puzzling! Pittsburgh??? I wouldn’t want to spend more than a weekend there. Wow! I have never in my life heard of anyone dreaming about retiring to Pittsburgh! Very strange!
    by Maimi — January 19, 2019

    My hub & I considered the Pittsburgh area but got a bit spooked by comments about traffic. We first retired to Greenville SC (which I liked), then to Summerville SC to be closer to the ocean and to Charleston. Surprise! Traffic is so bad here that we are considering going back to Greenville. Things move very slowly here and “the powers that be” have finally started discussing the traffic & roads situation (it’s SC after all). I also don’t care for being stuck out in the middle of nowhere with limited choices for shopping. Everyone is looking for something different as far as weather, culture, shopping, privacy, etc. and that’s ok. I really agree with what many have said about renting – we did that but apparently it wasn’t close enough to where we are now as far as highway access. Oh well!

    by Fionna — January 20, 2019

    by Jane at Topretirements — January 20, 2019

  19. Diane and Virginia – we loved Aiken – great downtown, fbeautiful area but the air/pollution is bad for respiratory problems. Not sure what causes it but it had a very bad rating.

    by Dian — January 21, 2019

  20. Diane and Dian Thanks for the information about Aiken. It sounds nice and no place is perfect. I’ll need to do more research on it and see where it falls on my “must have” list.

    by Virginia — January 21, 2019

  21. Dian………did you experience poor air quality when you were in Aiken? The only complaint I have heard is in regard to the occasional prescribed control burns in Hitchcock Woods to control underbrush. Other than that the air quality index is about par with US averages and when I visited was fine……

    by Diane — January 21, 2019

  22. Diane – Here’s the info from

    Health in Zip 29801 (Aiken, SC)
    Health is ranked on a scale of 1 (worst) to 100 (best).

    Aiken (zip 29801) air quality is 54. (The US average is 58.)
    This is based on new measures of hazardous air pollutants from the EPA, called the National Air Toxics Assessment. This analysis models respiratory illness and cancer risk down to the zip code level, providing better detail and insight than the previous analysis based solely on results from air monitoring stations.

    by Dian — January 22, 2019

  23. In defense of Pittsburgh, I loved my 30 or so years there. It had great, friendly people along with good public transportation. There are two excellent medical systems with hospitals everywhere, including specialty hospitals. Medical care seems to be enhanced by having highly regarded medical, dental and nursing schools in the city. The Pittsburgh area has 2 award winning daily newspapers, all of the usual stores & movie theatres, sports (Steelers, Pirates & Penquins) with relatively affordable tickets, and multiple universities (including Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University, LaRoche University, a huge community college with several campuses, and others). Most of the colleges offer senior programs. The airport was a former US Air hub and has lots of parking. There are multiple state-of-the art movie theatres, a symphony, a casino with free indoor parking, Kennywood Amusement Park, a theatre district that gets Broadway shows & top performers, ballet, museums, a great zoo, science center, large public libraries, and other entertainment offerings. The city and the suburbs offer many free senior programs (including free senior transportation), have good community centers, free concerts, festivals, etc., and there are two large outlet malls within driving distance of the city. There’s no problem finding reasonable and reliable service people like handymen, cleaning services, plow guys, landscapers etc. The malls have walking programs for seniors, sponsored by the health care systems. Pensions and 401k withdrawals as well as Social Security are exempt from the state income tax. Sales tax doesn’t apply to clothing, medicine and most foods, and there is no personal property tax on cars or boats. Pittsburgh is an easy drive for visits to other cities like Columbus, Cleveland, Charleston WV, or even Buffalo/Toronto and Niagra Falls. Yes, there are also negatives. Real estate taxes are very high to support all those amenities. When sites talk about very low housing prices, they are talking about more undesirable neighborhoods or fixer uppers. Finding updated, one-level senior housing (garages tend to be built under homes) is not easy, it’s a Seller’s market and prices are climbing. The weather can be bitterly cold in the winter, even though Pittsburgh may not be subject to hurricanes or tornadoes. The hilly terrain on 3 sides of the downtown (and getting through the tunnels out of the city on two sides) can make for challenging winter driving, although the natives are very used to handling “slippy” roads. There are a lot of older, narrow roads and countless bridges over the three rivers. Natives tend to identify themselves by whether they live on the north, south, west or east of the city because the rivers and hills have created natural barriers. Most Pittsburgh suburbs are low-crime with great public schools. In recent years, a few small 55+ communities have been constructed to accommodate the older population, but they don’t offer the amenities of the large Sun Cities and similar communities of FL, AZ and the Carolinas.

    I spent a few years in the Carolinas (Charlotte area) for work, and found the cost of living was less there primarily due to the real estate tax difference. My annual home & auto insurance and utility costs were similar, and food expenses in SC/NC were slightly higher. I adjusted to the hot summers and shorter winters quickly, and definitely preferred the Carolinas weather. IMO, I thought the quality of medical care was better in Pittsburgh. I considered retiring back to Pittsburgh, but ended up moving elsewhere to be near family. Pittsburgh will always feel like “home” to our family, and I find myself missing many of its wonderful amenities. I also liked that Pittsburgh has a very down-to-earth, comfortable feeling. Want to wear sweat pants to the grocery? No problem. That lady next to you in the produce section may be a multi-millionaire, wearing her own sweat pants. Getting your car worked on? The mechanic will profusely apologize if the cost is high, and offer to try to figure out ways of cutting the bill. Need a ride to a doctor? Neighbors will volunteer to drive, or you can call a senior service for a free ride. Looking for a nursing home? Easy to find a good one near your home. Have a yen for an Italian rum cake, French macaroon or unsmoked, fresh kielbasa? Ethic stores can be found that carry anything your heart desires. Sigh. Great community.

    by Kate — January 22, 2019

  24. One more note about Pittsburgh. When I returned for visits from the Carolinas, Pittsburgh did look kind of drab and beat up compared to all of the new buildings and housing in the Charlotte area. Houses didn’t look as fancy or as cared for. Lots of potholes from the weather lol. A lot of it is due to the age of the cities. Some of it is due to Pittsburgh’s working class history even though the steel mills are gone now. Pittsburgh and its suburbs is very down-to-earth.. As an example, I even encountered Big Ben shopping in our Walmart once. That can be very relaxing, especially when you can afford to head to warmer climates during part of the winter.

    by Kate — January 23, 2019

  25. Your last line says it all, Kate. A lot of us are willing to trade Big Ben and all three rivers full of kielbasa for more sunshine. It all depends on what you need most to feel happy and healthy.

    by Daryl — January 23, 2019

  26. Portland Maine? They are having a refugee problem in Portland Maine. The WSJ recently ran a story about the problems there. Add the lousy weather to the mix and one would think it would be on a list of places you wouldn’t want to retire.

    by Sal — January 30, 2019

  27. We moved from Venice, Fl to Camden, Tn. Everyone says; WHY? The snowbirds come in at the most beautiful time of the year. You can’t enjoy the weather because you will get run over by the 4 or more to 1 increase in population. Med costs are usually higher, due to all of the older people needing more of it. Oh yes, I’m over 70 and look for the best med I can find; and afford. Paris, Tn is only a few miles from us; first class Dr.s and hospital, if needed, Nashville is very close, with top med/hosp & Drs. I’m a motorcyclist and love the beautiful roads and places to go are all over the place! We have all 4 seasons; sometimes a little colder than I like, but doesn’t last long. Homes are very reasonable, taxes are do-able for retirees. My wife and I love it.

    by L. Brann — January 30, 2019

  28. Have you done any research about retiring on Marco Island?

    by William — March 9, 2019

  29. This site has been extremely helpful for me ?. I’m 66 and single. Looking for comfort and happiness as I grow older. I want a affordable, friendly place.

    by Carol A Taylor — July 22, 2019

  30. RE: The Villages

    Know that the Villages is an extremely conservative area. They pipe Fox News through the outdoor public speakers, and Democrats may find they are hassled when trying to express their opinions publicly. Not everyone will have the same political view; I try to disagree without being disagreeable, but I find the attitudes found in The Villages very disturbing. Do your homework before selecting this area.

    by Scott — August 14, 2019

  31. Anyone looking at Georgia? Wanting to move from Southern California. Too hot, crowded, too much crime, cities are so big they just run one into the next. I’ve been looking at Realestate around Blue Ridge.
    Or Eastern Texas, where it is green, forested? Looking anywhere, everywhere.

    by Retiring Vicki — September 17, 2019

  32. Retiring Vicki…… sounds like Tennessee would work for you……

    by Jimcat — September 18, 2019

  33. Disagree somewhat with Scott’s negative comments on The Villages. The Villages radio station is broadcast in some public areas in The Villages and it includes Fox News for a few minutes each hour. There are active groups from both conservative and liberal viewpoints, as there likely would be in any community. With over 3000 active clubs and activities any person should be able to find and participate in any activity that they enjoy. There is no place on this earth with all that The Villages has to offer.

    by Bart — September 18, 2019

  34. Maybe The Villages should broadcast public radio so as to get a diversity of opinion.

    by Fionna — September 19, 2019

  35. Fiona- I LOVE your thought process! And I love NPR!

    by Barb — September 20, 2019

  36. Although it’s doubtful that The Villages would broadcast NPR over their loudspeaker system, the area is primarily served by the NPR station in Ocala (Cedar Creek), as well as those in Orlando and Gainesville. In addition, NPR is almost always available for live streaming on smartphones and other smart devices from any location, usually worldwide.

    by Clyde — September 20, 2019

  37. Disappointing that all of the new communities are so expensive. Even the ones advertising mid $200’s have all sorts of extras. We went to Margaritaville in Daytona Beach and every single lot had a separate price tag. Then, if you want any type of quality interior the upcharges were ridiculously overpriced.
    Resale seems like a better option. But the “resort” lifestyle is so tempting. I never went to summer camp. Now retired, I wish I could!

    by Helene R. — September 25, 2019

  38. I am retired now and waiting for my wife to retire. Then we are getting out of Illinois. We are taking little vacations in various states we are considering. We have 2-3yrs before she retires. We’ve been to South Dakota and are going to Tennessee next month. If you have the time and money I believe this is another way with research to find your special spot.

    by Joe — January 8, 2020

  39. These lists are hilarious. And the “quiz” that helps identify places to live is a joke.
    All this really does is show people are different and have different needs and desires.

    I’ve lived in 27 states and three countries over the past 50 years and I will say with certainty-there is no perfect place to live – it depends on YOU and what you’re willing to make of where you find yourself. You get back what you put out.

    It WOULD be helpful to find out how welcoming to new comers a place is – and also how tolerant residents are of diversity.

    Apparently there are no good places to live in the great fly-over zone of the Midwest? That’s absurd. Some of the prettiest places in the country are between the coasts – AND some of the nicest people.

    Some places recommended in the comments (I’m looking at your Tennessee) are not doing what’s necessary to accommodate the rapid growth in population. Low taxes may be a fact today – but there’s little tolerance for investment in infrastructure For example, Nashville has a huge traffic problem but an initiative to build rapid transit met with stiff resistance. So guess what will happen? Either lifestyle suffers or taxes WILL rise.

    BTW – The Villages is very red politically. – Deep in Trump country – by a WIDE margin (I think 75% of residents voted for Trump). Politico recently published a report – a fair and balanced one but they are a political publication. They spoke to people are both sides of the great political divide. Anyone who does not support Trump is hassled for having an independent thought. The ownership of the Villages is decidedly Trumpian. So if you’re from elsewhere and believe there are alternatives to Trumpism, the Villages is probably not going to be very welcoming.

    I’m sure my comments ruffle some feathers – but I think it disingenuous to pretend that in today’s messed up political landscape, everyone is welcome everywhere.

    by Informed — January 30, 2020

  40. Informed is informed!!

    by Steven Kaufman — January 31, 2020

  41. Middle Tennessee (which includes Nashville) does include some growth problems with some 90 people or more relocating to this area per day. Nashville itself (Davidson County) has some issues of its own financially where the state has told them recently to solve their economic woes or they will! Politicians have been “kicking the can down the road” for some time now and they are starting to have big city problems already! If they had built mass transportation years back, we wouldn’t have the congestion on the highways, same as Atlanta, where I lived for 5 years. AMTRAK is working with CSX railroad for trackage right to run thru here (with Murfreesboro as a stop, where I live—30 miles DE of Nashville) which could help somewhat……………..also , let’s go back to the days where political and religious affiliations were kept to yourself!

    by Tom R — January 31, 2020

  42. I agree with “Informed” on most points. But it’s true that folks seem to love lists, so that’s why they’re seen so often. As to talking about political affiliations, as I’ve said before, I do think the political leanings of a particular retirement location are important to many. So I don’t think that pointing out voting records of retirement places is out of line for a forum like this. We want to make sure those records are relatively accurate, though. The political leanings of The Villages do appear, from voting records, to be pretty far to the right. And some readers will very much appreciate that. Others will say “that’s not for me.”

    by Clyde — January 31, 2020

  43. Living in Southern California, I have come to believe that the overwhelming majority of retiree’s are praying that they are able to remain in their current living environment until DEATH DAY!

    by Bubbajog — February 1, 2020

  44. You can retire to Southern CA….it just depends on your style of living and what city you decide to retire to . We sold our home and now rent in a retirement community where the rents are not so expensive and provide many amenities such as free food and cable and offer many activities.

    by Mary11 — February 2, 2020

  45. I believe retiring to Southern California from other region”s of the country would be a difficult endeavor. I love Southern California, especially the climate and the abundance of sunshine. However, I have lived here almost 70 years and Southern California is my home. I have incredible memories of growing up here. I know I was blessed to grow up in Southern California during the 60’s and 70’s. This is where I learned to surf and where I graduated from college. However, all that being said: I would not recommend people from other region’s of the country to retire to Southern California. The cost of living is cruel for both young and old. Honestly!!! This region suffers from overpopulation galore. Way too many people!!! You feel the population in your daily life. The traffic situation throughout this massive region will test both your sanity and your humanity.

    by Bubbajog — February 2, 2020

  46. We lived just south of Portland Maine for 38 years and 4 years ago, we retired to Beaufort SC. We are not snow birds but we do an extended trip during August or September back to the New England area, including Maine. We do miss the fresh sea breezes that Maine offers during the short summer months of July through Early September, but the cold winter months last from mid October through April. Spring is non existent – it is known as mud season there due to the massive snow melt. Fall is glorious but brief. We could not imagine aging in place in Maine – yes, the roads are plowed, but a good coating of ice remains and walking is treacherous giving new meaning to slip and fall accidents. We love the warm sunshine in SC vs. the gray cold days in Maine! If fair weather is important to you, cross Maine off your list!

    by Sandyz — February 3, 2020

  47. Sandyz
    I will soon be making the move to Beaufort. I am from Central NY. I moved to FL in 2018 and it is not agreeing with me for too many reasons. Beaufort was my first choice and now I am honoring that. I love to spend time in Maine; try to get there in September when I can. Would love to meet more Maine people! Maybe once I get to Beaufort we can meet.

    by Brenda — February 3, 2020

  48. We live in Oceanside, CA and only pay $1600 per month for a 2 BR condo with free cable. Traffic here isn’t that bad either. Before we retired we lived on a monthly income of $2000 per month ….without any assistance. It can be done if you don’t have debts and dont take yearly vacations. I did my worldwide traveling in my youth so we are happy doing stay vacations now. Ive lived in all 4 corners in the US and you can’t beat the weather here. Also, the state provides many benefits for those who are lower income or disabled.

    by Mary11 — February 3, 2020

  49. Wow I would love to know about your place

    by Virginia — February 4, 2020

  50. The community we live in Oceanside is called Oceana. It’s a 55+ community of 2000 homes and condos 5 miles from the ocean. They offer over 40 clubs and many activities. Local grocery stores provide free food on Saturdays . The city provides free rides to grocery stores as well. If you prefer to buy a home they start at $200,000.

    by Mary11 — February 4, 2020

  51. Q: I would like to see you do some pieces on the new trend called co-housing, a “woke” model of intentional living which deliberately mixes residents of different generations into a cooperative community oriented modern day version of “village” living. Where ppl actively engage and contribute to and depend on each other within the community.

    Reply from Editor: Thanks for your questions. Co-housing is interesting and we have written about it several times. See and

    As for legal requirements about retiring abroad, we decided this was such a good question we posted it to our Blog. see our response at the end of the Comments there.

    by Leslie — February 5, 2020

  52. Brenda – I would be happy to meet you when you get settled in Beaufort. I would definitely think about renting first. Another reader on this blog also contacted me a few years ago. They bought a house and found that it was not a perfect fit. Another thing to consider – rent in a gated community. Reasons: Security and privacy. Low if any crime at all and no solicitations, as well as constant safety monitoring – they even wrangle the occasional wayward gators! And beware: you will fit in very well if you are a staunch Republican or, like us, avoid political discussions!

    by Sandyz — February 6, 2020

  53. Sandyz
    Thanks for your comments. Not sure how this website can connect us. My email is I am very aware of the political situation in SC. Sure hope we can meet.

    by Brenda — February 7, 2020

  54. I read that flooding is a problem in Beaufort. It seems like all the areas we were interested in —Charleston, New Bern and both Beauforts lol are experiencing more flooding conditions. How bad is it?
    Has this been your experience?
    Any information would be helpful

    by Staci — February 17, 2020

  55. I am considering moving from Southern California to Staunton, VA. Can anyone provide info about Staunton? Thank you!

    by Lynn — March 17, 2020

  56. Re Marco Island,I have done a lot of research on Mark up Island and have stayed at the JW Marriott for the last 30 years on Super Bowl Sunday week so ask away.Mark up Island is what the Realtors call Marco

    by JD — September 23, 2020

  57. Here are 3 resources for Staunton, VA:,_Virginia

    Regards, Danno

    by Danno — September 26, 2020

  58. For me the best place to live in after retirement would be Thailand. The cost of living is quite low, people are extremely friendly and welcoming. More importantly the country has a world class health care system, and there are plenty of hospital in each state to cater to the need of foreigners. Health care and health insurance are also much more affordable than in many other countries. Lastly, and most importantly attaining a retirement visa for Thailand is quite simple and inexpensive.

    by Paul — January 19, 2021

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