5 Crucial Factors When Choosing Where to Retire

If you are thinking about where to retire, you must consider these five crucial factors. If you neglect even one of them, it may cost you a bundle for the rest of your life.

First thing to consider is your social life. Many people get caught up in location, climate and cost of living (and we’ll talk about those as well), but really your happiness is dependent upon an engaged life.

Is your location going to cost you time with loved ones? You may think that being in a sunny climate or in a resort-like atmosphere will entice visits, but if you are a long distance from your family and friends, they may only be able to visit once a year, if that. Is that enough for you?

Second factor is location. Being in a certain area can be very appealing, but have you checked out the amenities within a five mile radius? Unless your sources of food, entertainment, and recreation are close by, that location is going to be like a ball and chain whenever you need something.

In addition, have you visited during alternative times of the year? If you have gone to the shore (for example) and loved the month of May in Orlando, be sure to check out the area in August and again in December. Places have many faces, and you need to be able to endure, if not enjoy, them all.

Third factor is the cost of living. This is one most people do look into. They will see the price of food and gas and check out housing prices and maybe make a decision based on those, but what about taxes and insurance? Some places have higher tax rates to make up for the low cost of housing, and in certain locations you will find your auto insurance is suddenly twice the cost. Many monetary factors need to be considered when you are choosing where to retire.

Climate is the fourth item to be considered. Phoenix, with its low humidity and warm winters, may seem ideal, but when you hit the summer and temperatures are above 100 degrees for weeks on end, how are you going to deal with that? Climate also involves local flora and fauna (including insects).

If you are a big fan of green lawns, maybe Arizona isn’t the best choice for you; likewise if you don’t like cactus.  But if you can’t deal with mosquitos, maybe a humid climate is a bad choice. If scorpions scare you, desert locales may need a second thought.

The last item on this list (which is by no means all inclusive) is health care. Whether you are in good health today or not, realistically you need to think about the “what if” factor. This is a huge selling point in some areas. Specialized medical practices can be found around areas that have a high number of retirees, and many retirement communities have different levels of assistance and housing available.

Retirement is about planning for the future, and you really have to think long and hard about these and many other factors as you prepare to make that move. Figuring out where to retire and how that location will impact you should not be an impulse decision.