The Best Places to Retire

The other night Dan and I went out to dinner with our closest college friends, Ken and Kathy, and the subject of retirement came up.  Ken blurted out that he wants to retire and move to Arizona, much to his wife Kathy’s surprise.  The conversation had never been discussed and Kathy had never considered moving to Arizona.

It started a lively conversation as to why Arizona as they have never visited the state.  Ken just thought it would be a nice place to spend his long awaited retirement, while Kathy had much different plans.

The question that all should consider is:   Where is the best place for you to retire?  There are a number of reasons people move to a new place when they retire.  Proximity to family, proximity to high quality medical care, better weather, affordable housing and interesting activities are just a few.  US News and World Report have selected 10 excellent places to retire in 2012.  Here are a few:

Flagstaff, Arizona (this one is for Ken)

Rated for the most pleasant year-round weather, Flagstaff‘s high altitude and low humidity generally leads to a pleasant four-season climate throughout the year.  There is plenty of sunshine and no extremes of temperature with the temperature only rising above 90 degrees an average of three days per year.

Boone, North Carolina

Rated for being an affordable mountain town, Boone offers spectacular mountain views without the high price tag.  Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone boasts three ski resorts as well as trails for cross country skiing, winter hiking and snowshoeing.

Walnut Creek, California

Rated for the greenest place to retire, Walnut Creek (which reminds me of Little House of the Prairie) combines the amenities of a city with abundant access to the wilderness.  Retirees make up more than a quarter of the population and downtown hosts high-end shops, fine dining and the arts.

Ithaca, NY 

Rated as a college town for retirees, Ithaca boasts a number of colleges with classes being offered to retirees at Cornell University or Ithaca College.  There are plenty of places to hike with the Finger Lakes being at your disposal.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rated as the best place for recreation and culture, Santa Fe is the country’s oldest capital.  The city is known for its character and is unlike other cities.  Home to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the Center for Contemporary Arts, most art lovers would find this unique capital the best place to be.

The complete list of the best places to retire can be found at http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2011/10/17/the-10-best-places-to-retire-in-2012?page=3

As much as people like to move to enjoy their retirement, there are many who stay closer to home.  The need to stay closer to family and friends have many people looking to downsizing and staying near their current location.  Either way, planning for your housing needs in retirement should be discussed with a financial planner to plan for your preferred retirement.  And you might want to include your partner in the conversation!

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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