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While some retirees live in comfort and peace, others struggle with high bills, a high cost of living and a home that does not fit their needs. This is why retirement planning should include a list of places of where you would like to live since many don’t realize how living expenses can quickly drain your retirement savings. Why do some retirees live better than others? It all comes down to affordability and knowing the risk factors of cost of living in certain geographical locations ahead of time. If retirees were smarter about where they lived they can enjoy life more without the constant worry of depleting their retirement capital within a couple years. It doesn’t matter if you complied with the rules and regulations with your IRA, Roth IRA, and pension fund withdrawal limits. Avoiding the idea of living beyond your means is something worth keeping in mind when laying the foundation for your retirement plan.
After all, retirement is supposed to mean freedom – freedom from your career, freedom to do what you want, and freedom to live where you want. Maybe you’ll fantasize about wanting to settle down somewhere near by a nice warm, sandy beach. Or perhaps you want to live closer to your grandchildren. That’s just one of the perks of being retired. You’re not tied to one specific geographic location. However, not all areas are created equal. Your choice of where you’ll move will likely impact your ability to pay your bills, to buy groceries and to ensure that your retirement check can stretch as far as possible.
Your Cost of Living and Your Retirement Planning
The key to ensuring that your retirement funds last you is to live frugally, but also to move somewhere that has a low (or relatively low) cost of living. For instance, you probably wouldn’t want to move from a rural area in the Midwest to New York City – the cost of living is significantly higher. In fact, many people are opting to move to the Midwest simply because it has a lower cost of living and higher quality of life. Cities like Akron, Ohio, regularly make national top 10 lists of places for retirees to live. Other cities include Augusta, Georgia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Des Moines, Iowa, Greenville, South Carolina and Little Rock, Arkansas, to name just a few.
The Best Cities for Retirement
This isn’t a recommendation to “follow the herd”, but it does make sense to go where there’s a higher concentration of retirees. You’ll find that cities with a larger retiree population usually do a better job of catering to the specific needs of your demographic. For instance, they might have better public walking trails, or a higher concentration of medical facilities. The point is that when an area has a high percentage of any demographic, it caters better to the people within that segment. The fastest growing areas in the country in the past few years for retiree relocation include Raleigh, North Carolina, Las Vegas, Nevada, Atlanta, Georgia, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina and Boise, Idaho.
Living in your town for Retirement
Many people move after retirement, but they only move locally. That’s because they realize that the home in which they raised their family is now too large for them, or it might present mobility issues (stairs are not friendly to most retirees). These people choose to remain locally, which makes sense because they’re familiar with the area and have family and friends around, but they opt to downsize to a smaller home, usually just one level.
When it’s time to retire, consider the area where you’ll relocate very carefully. Base your decision on the cost of living, the ability of the area to cater to your needs and the type of housing available.