You may have heard glowing stories of retirees that head for warmer weather and now you want to give it a try. Before you do this, know you’re about to commit one of the most common retirement mistakes: moving too soon. This faux pas can land you with years of wasted money and time.

The decision for your retirement location should come only after careful consideration. Keep reading to discover the answer to your burning question: ‘where should I retire?’

Family and Friends

The first deciding factor of where you retire will be the proximity to friends and family. Spending decades building a family and social group isn’t easily given up. If these things are important to you, they must be a part of your hunt for the perfect location.

You don’t need to live next door to your kids to have a great retirement. Simply having access to them can improve your options. For instance, you may decide to live somewhere that can accommodate large gatherings or allows you to live inexpensively. This way you can travel whenever you want or host your entire family easily.

Another option is to stay where you are and purchase a second home. Many couples decide to travel to warmer locations when its winter in their home town. A summer home then turns into a common space for the whole family to gather.

Cost of Living

Retirement savings are easily eaten up by various expenses including healthcare and cost of living. Avoid living check-to-check in your golden years by considering the cost of daily life in the new location. Three of the most affordable cities to live in in the U.S. are Boise, Idaho, Raleigh, NC, and Madison, Wisconsin.

These cities rank high on affordability and also the community. A quick glance at new home prices shows that a couple can purchase a brand new townhome for under $800/month only a few minutes from the Downtown area. In New York, Los Angeles and other cities, one-bedroom flats are twice this amount. This balance creates a unique opportunity to join new groups, foster relationships, and travel.

These cities rank high on affordability but also community. This balance creates a unique opportunity to join new groups, foster relationships, and travel.

Health Care

Part of aging gracefully is maintaining good health. Retirement centers allow you to remain independent with the added security of 24/7 access to health services. The national CCRC list is a list of continuing care retirement communities around the country.

Each center is unique in style and options to fit your level of need. Finding the right place for you depends on your need for adventure, health services, and community. As you age, the level of care you need adjusts to better suit you.


The best places to live for retirees are the easiest to get around in. Walkable cities allow you to maintain your independence without the hassle of driving everywhere.

Public transit and proximity of amenities are a large ranking factor for the most walkable cities in the country. The top 3 are Minneapolis, Washington D.C., and Seattle. 

Visit the city you have your eye on before making a major decision. You’ll want to check out the local culture and laws to really get a feel for the city.

Where Should I Retire?

Asking ‘where should I retire’ is a rite of passage everyone must face. The perfect location will meet your financial goals, personal interests, social needs, and healthcare concerns. Use this criterion to scrutinize the list of your favorite places.

Doing so will ensure you have the retirement of your dreams.

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