October 21, 2014 — Recently one of our members asked a very helpful question: “Why don’t you get people who have actually retired someplace to tell us where and why”. The request makes a good addition to other articles we have written about where people are thinking about retiring. Sorry we can’t find who it was who made this suggestion, but whoever you are – thanks for the great idea to get feedback from people who have actually retired somewhere.
In preparing for this article we found that we already have received some
input on this topic. We have incorporated a tiny fraction of where people are retiring below. We’ve also provided references at the end to previous posts where these inputs came from. Some of those posts had astonishing numbers of comments – for example Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire had 745 fascinating comments!
The sample comments below are meant to start the conversation. We would really like to learn about where you have retired, and why. So please help everyone out by adding a short comment at the end of this article about your experience. That way we can all learn about some great places and make the most of our retirements!
A selection of previous suggestions from people who retired to particular places
This is just a tiny sample of the comments we’ve received over the years to this question, and which can be seen in the Blog posts referenced at the end of this article. In most cases we provide the first name of the person who actually made the comment.
Holly: Fairfield Glade TN Great views & nature Many choices of home types and styles. Low cost of living. Low taxes. 4 seasons. Close to 2 major cities
Jane: New Bern, NC. It’s on the water, near the ocean, lots of sunshine, friendly people, fascinating town with lots of history, affordable.
Sebastian: South Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. It is at least 20% cheaper to live there than in CT. My Financial Planner (FP) said that I will have enough money to retire to North Carolina as opposed to retiring in Rhode Island. I love the beach area and that it doesn’t get as hot as Florida which is why I pick North Myrtle Beach.
Susan: Lodi CA from Alaska 2014 – beaches on one side, mountains on the other, good friends, easy travel.
Ida: If I ever retire, I want to stay as close as possible to New York – always something new to see or do; great diversity; great medical; how folks in NE pick up and move to places on the list is beyond my comprehension.
Carol: My best place to retire is Lawrence, Kansas.
The reasons include the following: College town – University of Kansas. One hour, at most,from Kansas City. Current events climate with the Lied Center and the Dole Institute. My encore job is a sorority house director
Ramad: Retirement place (Philadelphia Suburb) within where we live now. Great overall tax benefits in PA on our retirement income. We will rent a place out in sunny states during the winter months.
Peter: 7-Oaks Rancho Bernaedo, CA 92128 55+ community (1750 Homes)Activities, Major Shopping Mall, Major Restaurants, Major Groceries, Hospital and Doctors, all within a 10 mile radius.
Margaret: Lititz/Lancaster County PA for the unusually high quality of care at most assisted living facilities due the fact that a majority of the employees are from the surrounding Mennonite communities. Also, for the four-season year and being close to where I was raised (Berks County) and close to the magical hamlet of Mount Gretna with its outstanding cultural resources. PA is tax friendly for retirees (my pension won’t be taxed and I have no heirs to be concerned about the inheritance tax) and relatively safe from hurricanes and earthquakes.
Ken: Retired Americans with incomes over $26,600 yr. could enjoy the highest level of life retiring in Bangkok Thailand from 1971 when I arrived there up until 2010 when I left. That is the amount of income required in order to obtain a retirement visa and stay in Thailand un-interrupted. I think Oceanside CA offers the best year round weather, beaches, available for me even though I am struggling and living month to month.
Deborah and Dave: My best place to retire is Port St. Lucie, Florida. This area offers a large selection of homes, stores and medical facilities. This is a regular working of city and not a touristy city. Everything is only minutes from your home. Cost of living, weather, and things to do where our factors. Dog friendly too.
GlennP: Puerto Rico is the place to be.The most wonderful people you’d ever meet (and) almost all the things on the list of retired people. Will spend summers in NY where our kids are and where we own a small house and pay cheap re taxes and little income taxes on our soc sec and none on our federal and union pensions. NY has every kind of activity, all accessible by cheap transportation.
jc: Delaware in a house that has low taxes. Great Fishing and Hunting. Great Tax breaks for Seniors. Close to family and we like 4 seasons, but mild winters. Many cultural amenities.
Alaskajack: We have lived in Alaska for the past 15 years. We need WARM weather, but if you LOVE winter, Alaska could be for you. Living n Anchorage, there is no Sales tax, and no state tax anywhere. Every October, every Alaskan citizen receives the “Permanent Fund” distribution from the state. Last year, each man woman and child in the state, (over 600,000) received a check from the State of Alaska for approx. $1200. It varies a little each year.Housing is on the high end and Alyeska ski resort is a mere 35 miles away from Anchorage. So if you like winter, Alaska beckons!
Richard: As a resident of New Smyrna Beach, FL, an idyllic, ocean-side, quiet little town we find Prince Edward Island, CAN, the land of Anne of Green Gables, an optimum Summer retreat where Celtic entertainment, great golf, lobsters, sunshine and warm ocean water prevail.
Dan: Delaware is the little known “gem” of the east coast for retirement. Delaware offers all the seasons yet, they are not harsh. The State beaches are well maintained and as nice as other beaches along the east coast. Taxes and the lack there of is a big plus. We found our retirement home in the Longneck area. It is Delaware’s best kept
Lareen and Craig: We have chosen Savannah TN due to the small town with everything and Pickwick lake 20 minutes away. Three international airports two hours awway.
Gail: We also bought at Province in Maricopa. The Community is a gem Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the Phoenix area, but close enough for major shopping. The residents are friendly and there is lots to do.
Ralph: We moved into Vitalia at Tradition located in Port St Lucie FL in February. Tradition is the master planned community, and has 7 subdivisions with Vitalia as the only 55 plus. These are single family homes. Very nice community. Everyone is very friendly and there are lots of activities. We would recommend this community.
Lori – we bought several acres in WV so we can enjoy the quiet and nature. Definitely not for everyone but it will work for us as long as we are healthy.
Linda – Looked in all over -settled in Leland NC. Beaches, great medical, reasonable real estate,close to Wilmington with all it has to offer!
Howard – We bought at Robson Ranch in Eloy, AZ. Besides the normal stuff all of them had, We had a feeling of warmth and belonging there.
David – We are sticking with our choice of Winter Haven FL, a city with 36,000 between Tampa/Orlando and an hour from coastal beaches on either side. Beautiful places with lake views under $75,000 in a city with lots to do and it is clearly on the upswing.
Jan – We live directly on the ocean in NE Florida, and pay $3200/year for Homeowner’s insurance, which includes wind damage. Flood coverage is an additional $500/year. If you look at the stats for NE Florida through NOAA, you’ll see very little damage from hurricanes in this part of Florida over the past 20 years.
Bonnie – We have been full time RV ers for 12 years. Have saved many dollars with no income tax, Texas residency, thru Escapees organization. No property taxes and live where we chose in nice Rv resorts. Now in the thinking process to have a home.
Jim – After looking at Utah, Nevada and Arizona, we decided on Granbury, TX (SW of DFW). Low taxes, low cost of living (literally 50% of what it was in Maryland), on a beautiful lake. And, we live in a gated community on a pecan plantation – how cool is that? Unlimited golf included in low HOA fee.
Lisa – Morgantown, WV has mild winters, college town, top notch medical college. Moved from Albuquerque, NM. way too dry, severe drought issues, crime, high housing costs, Winters are cold! There may not be a lot of snow(drought) but the wind will get you! I will travel south a couple winter months to avoid what snow there is.
Jim – Sandpoint, Idaho – Nice town – close to Spokane. Great local skiing and easy access to many other resorts. Beautiful Lake surrounded by mountains. Great boating and fishing. Great hiking and biking. Easy access to Glacier NP, North Cascades NP, British Columbia, Alberta.
Holly2381 – I was able to retire young, and moved to Phoenix Az 2 years ago near Scottsdale…close enough…but with lower home prices, and low real estate taxes. I was able to buy a beautiful new home in a lovely friendly community. I moved here from Californis with crazy taxes, but I summer there
Bigfoot – I’d love to get out of here (Viera, FL) but the cost of living is hard to beat. Climate (heat) and culture (none) leave much to be desired.
These comments are from un-named sources
We bought in March 2011 at Del Webb’s Sun City Festival.
The Great Outdoors Resort Titusville fl (for Rvers.)
I’m closing on a house in The Villages, Florida in two weeks
Visited San Luis Obispo and fell i love with a small community in Atascadero just north of SLO.
Williamson/Rutherford County TN,
Staying put in DC
Retirement location is a very personal and complex decision. With couples it is even harder, because that requires balancing the dreams and needs of 2 people. Learning from the experience of real people – what they found, how they liked it, what didn’t work out so well – all that stuff will be very useful to know!
Your comments requested! If you are retired, please share where and why in the Comments below. Try to keep your response brief – not more than 3 lines if you can. Because you have to be brief, that will make it easy for you to create and for others to read. Your experience will be a real help to yourself and everyone else in this community. Just say where you have retired, and why others should consider it – that’s it, and thanks!
For further reading:
Florida and Southeast Top Your Retirement Preferences
Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire
2014 Most Popular Active Communities – Florida Dominates
2013 Most Popular Active Adult Communities
Want to Maximize Your Retirement Dollar – Move to These States!
Sandy’s 8 Years of Exploring Active Adult Communities
Destination Williamsburg: Hop On Jay Michael’s Retirement Tour Bus