As you begin retirement planning, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is where you want to live. While there’s comfort in remaining in the same place, moving in retirement presents an exciting new adventure along with potential financial benefits, affordable living, and a climate upgrade. Check out our tips on deciding where to retire, as well as our recommendations for the best states to retire in!
Factors to Consider in Retirement Planning
You’ve worked your entire life to earn the perfect retirement, but what does the best place to retire look like to you? Do you want to remain in your current house? Downsize to a smaller home? Want a change of scenery? Here are some things to keep in mind when considering retirement relocation.
Cost of Moving
There are a number of closing costs that come with selling your home—not to mention, relocating expenses. Moving costs may not be a big factor if you’re downsizing in your city or moving somewhere nearby, but they can add up quickly if you plan on making a cross-country move. And if you’re moving to a popular state for retirement, your next home may cost more than you can make selling your current one. As you plan for retirement, set a retirement budget to help you understand what type of moves are realistic possibilities.
Taxes & Cost of Living
If you decide to move, you need to consider how your expenses will change. The cost of living and taxes vary greatly from state to state and, depending on your savings, could have an impact on where you can move. Start by researching the states with the best cost of living and taxes and compare them to your current situation.
Types of Housing
What type of retirement housing do you want to live in? You may want fewer cleaning and upkeep responsibilities, in which case downsizing or moving into a condo or townhouse may be desirable. Perhaps you’ve saved up all your life so you can retire in the luxury of a larger home with great amenities. Or maybe you enjoy the comfort and nostalgia of your current home and don’t have any desire to leave. These options present a wide range of costs and considerations, so factor them into your retirement budget.
Proximity to Family & Friends
Being near family and friends is often one of the most important factors in retirement planning. If you currently live near family members or close friends, you may want to stay close to them. Or maybe they live elsewhere, and retirement gives you an opportunity to move closer them!
Knowledge of Surroundings
Relocating for retirement means re-learning everything about your home—directions and street names, favorite restaurants and coffee shops, hairdressers, gyms, etc. You have to familiarize yourself with a new area and establish new routines. If you’ve grown comfortable in your current setting, you may not want to go through that learning period again. On the flip side, relocating after retirement may present a new adventure!
Climate & Amenities
Think about your ideal climate. Would you prefer to live in a city where it’s sunny every day, or do you want to experience all four seasons? And how does that weather affect your ability to have fun in retirement? Whether you want to lounge on the beach all day or hike through snowy mountains, the climate and amenities can ultimately decide if and where you want to move.
Medical care costs make some states more retirement-friendly than others. Keep medical care access, quality, and healthcare costs in mind as you search for your perfect place to retire.
Best States to Retire In
If you choose to move after retirement, you’re faced with a lot of options. It might be difficult to pinpoint which retirement state is right for you! To help, check out our nine best retirement states in the U.S.
Colorado is routinely recognized as one of the best states to retire in the U.S. for its majestic mountain views, agreeable weather, and wealth of recreational activities. The Centennial State boasts some of the lowest taxes rates for seniors, as well as great economic stability and potential. Living in Colorado is also great for your health, thanks in part to its abundance of national parks and hiking opportunities, including Garden of the Gods, Mesa Verde National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition, Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in America and offers quality healthcare, making it one of the best U.S. states for aging.
There are several reasons why more retirees move to the the Sunshine State than anywhere else! With pristine beaches, warm temperatures, and no state income tax, Florida is one of the best places to live for retirees. Social Security retirement benefits, pension income, and income from IRAs and 401(k)s are all untaxed in Florida, and the state has a lower cost of living than the national average, making it one of the best states to retire in financially. If you love to hit the links, Florida also has more golf courses than any other state!
If you’re looking for a quiet lifestyle with a mild climate and mountain living, Idaho is one of the best retirement states. One of its greatest benefits is the amount of outdoor recreation opportunities it has for hobbyists and nature lovers. Idaho is home to seven national parks and reserves, including City of Rocks National Reserve and Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, and it provides easy access to nearby Yellowstone National Park. Idaho also has a lower cost of living and lower healthcare expenses than the national average.
With a mix of low living costs and stress-free living, Iowa is one of the best states to retire in. Social Security benefits are untaxed in the Hawkeye State, and Iowa has some of the best senior healthcare systems you’ll find in America. The state provides plenty of avenues to get outside and exercise, including Pikes Peak State Park, Maquoketa Caves State Park, and West Okoboji Lake (one of the best boating lakes in the U.S.).
New Hampshire is a popular destination for financially-motivated retirees, as it has some of the lowest retirement taxes in America. In addition to having no state sales tax, New Hampshire doesn’t impose taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, or distributions from retirement plans. The Granite State’s economic benefits aren’t the only reason it’s a great place to retire, however. It’s also one of the healthiest states for seniors, due in part to having one of the nation’s highest rate of doctors per capita. On top of all that, New Hampshire offers stunning outdoor beauty that can be appreciated at nationally-recognized locations like Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains.
As one of America’s most fiscally sound states, South Dakota provides a dependability few others can match. This contributes to low living costs, especially when it comes to housing and transportation, and some of the nation’s best tax rates. In addition to the financial benefits, South Dakota has all kinds of outdoor areas to explore and appreciate, including Custer State Park, Black Hills National Forest, and Badlands National Park. The combination of financial stability and natural beauty, along with robust senior healthcare, helps make South Dakota America’s top-ranked state for well-being and one of the best states to retire in!
One of the most important factors in retirement planning is how senior-friendly a state is, and Virginia passes that test with flying colors. With no state tax on Social Security benefits and a $12,000 tax exemption on some forms of retirement income, Virginia is a very tax-friendly state for retirees. The Old Dominion State has 89 hospitals, including renowned institutions like Inova Fairfax Hospital and University of Virginia Medical Center. And while Virginia offers plenty of fun events and big city living, it also allows you to get some peace and enjoy the natural beauty of areas like Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.
Wisconsin has so many great cities to retire in that you might have trouble settling on one! The Badger State draws retirees with its healthcare access, low living costs, and excellent outdoor recreation. You can get out and hike natural areas like Lakeshore State Park, Havenwoods State Forest, and Cave of the Mounds. And if you just want to kick back and enjoy some Midwestern grub, Wisconsin is recognized for its love of beer, cheese, and brats, so it’s the perfect place to relax and indulge!
Wyoming is best known for its rolling prairies and massive national parks—most notably, Yellowstone and Grand Teton—but there are other factors that make it one of the best states to retire in. It’s extremely tax-friendly, is one of the best states for nursing homes, and has some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Retirees looking for incredible views, friendly neighbors, and a slower pace of life should strongly consider making the move to Wyoming in retirement.
Are you thinking about relocating for retirement? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities all over the country, so we can help with your move as you downsize for retirement. Find self storage near you today!