How to Choose Where to Retire in the US

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When considering retirement, many people choose to move to another area of the country. While Florida is a traditional haven for retirees, the Sunshine State is just one of many popular spots. According to the website TopRetirements.com, a number of popular periodicals, including Forbes, Money Matters and U.S. News and World Report publish annual lists of the best places to retire to. When choosing where to spend your golden years, take into account factors that are specific to your situation--what's right for someone else may not be the best place for you.

  • Determine your health needs--this is perhaps the most important consideration in picking a place to retire. Many elderly people have health problems that can be exacerbated in certain climates, such as climates that are cold or moist. In addition, elderly people with chronic health problems may wish to be near certain kinds of medical care facilities, such as oncology clinics.

  • Consider the cost of living and your monetary resources. There are a number of websites that provide information about the price of homes, food and transportation in a variety of areas. Also consider the tax rates in the states and cities you're looking at--states without income tax may be more attractive if money is a major concern.

  • Decide what you want to do during your retirement. Many retirees choose to retire near their children, grandchildren or other relatives. Others wish to embark on a private passion, such as writing, or spending time at activities such as fishing. Consider how location will affect your ability to do these things.

  • Determine the importance of your social life, and what kind of social life you want. For example, many retirees want to be surrounded by people of similar age, such as in a retirement community. Others want to be close to old friends and relatives, or to stay near the place they've worked and have a support system.

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