After years of working and saving, you deserve to retire somewhere you can call “home.” But finding the right space for you can take some careful thought. For some, a beach within driving distance is all that matters. For others, you might be weighing a couple of factors, such as finances, transportation, medical care, and more.
Try these cities on for size and see if you could call any of them “home sweet home.”
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN PICKING A CITY TO RETIRE TO?
There are a couple of considerations that will probably play into your future retirement location. When you’re narrowing down your options, think about factors like:
- Cost of living
- State taxes
- Medical care
- Amenities for retirees
- Local economy
- Crime rate
- Your budget
- Housing market
WHAT ARE THE BEST CITIES TO RETIRE TO?
Every city has its charm. With so many scattered through the U.S., you’re bound to find one that suits your needs. You just need to research: what are your options, how does it fit with your retirement lifestyle, is there accessible transportation, is it close to family, etc.
Here are a few places to get your search started:
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
If this isn’t your first “Places to Retire to” list, you’re probably familiar with Asheville. Nicknamed the “Land of the Sky” and “Paris of the South,” this retiree-friendly city boasts endless natural scenery, like the Blue Ridge Mountains. But that’s not all—there’s also a thriving art and music scene, including the River Arts District.
Asheville’s medical services are a perk as well. It hosts world-class health care through its Mission Hospital, which offers the CarePartners PACE program for individuals age 55 and over.
There are financial pros and cons. While North Carolina doesn’t tax Social Security, the cost of living is slightly above the national average.
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA
For many retirees, the most crucial question is cost. Will the location fit comfortably within my budget? Sioux Falls is one retirement location that won’t break the bank.
The scenic river town has a median home price of around $260,000, compared to the national median of around $400,000 (Q4 2021). The cost of living is also below the national average – by 11%. Even still, there are other benefits. For example, Sioux Falls also boasts great medical care, good air quality, low risk for FEMA natural hazards, and no state income or estate tax.
The Gulf Coast city of Sarasota draws retirees with white-sand beaches like Siesta Key. But retirees also flock to the city for its vibrant arts scene, growing food culture, and renowned opera house. On the practical side, there are also highly rate hospitals, warm weather, and housing options.
In Sarasota, you get to take advantage of Florida’s multiple tax-friendly features, like:
- No state income tax
- No state tax on Social Security
- No inheritance tax or estate tax
Pittsburgh, or the Steel City, shapes up as a solid deal for retirees. The cost of living is on par with the national average (if not a bit lower), and there are several tax advantages. For instance, most retirement income, like your Social Security check and payments from your 401(k) or IRA, are tax-exempt.
Add on to that—you have some great attractions where you can spend your time, like the Pittsburgh Zoo, state parks, the Andy Warhol Museum, and more. And like some of the above, there is also excellent health care through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Ultimately, the best city to retire in is one that fits your needs. That requires balance. It should have opportunities to keep you active and engaged with the community, but also reflect your budget. And that means—there is no perfect place for every retiree!
In the meanwhile, focus on ways you can improve your savings. That’ll open up more options during your research phase.