Best Places to Retire

Photo by Philip Taylor PT

In my last blog post I wrote about determining how much you need to save before retiring LINK.

What about where? Are you lucky enough to live in an area that meets all your requirements? Have you thought about your requirements? Even though it is still far away, the time will go by quickly and I’d rather think about this topic now and plan for it. Think about where you were ten years ago. Me? I was running the Accounting department and my youngest was in grade school. It seems like just last year. I’m sure I’ll be saying that about today ten years from now.


I’ve thought long and hard about what I would require and what my wife would want. Here’s some of the questions we asked.

1. Where will the kids be and how close do we want to be to them?
2. Do we love the change of seasons and the cold winters or should we head south?
3. City or country?
4. Culture shock from north to south?
5. Cost of living; taxes, medical, house prices, utilities?
6. By the beach, by the mountains, by the forests…?
7. What will we do for fun; golf, save whales, teach english, run a small business…?
8. How good is the government? Will they go bankrupt? Make bad deals? Use coal instead of natural gas?
9. Do I need to be close to major interstates, or an international airport?
10. Will I find places to meet my cultural needs; concerts, education, plays, restaurants, churches…?


There are a number of resources to assist you.
AARP Ten Best States to Retire LINK

CNN Best States for Retirement LINK

Kiplinger State by State Guide to Taxes LINK

Forbes Ten Best and Worst States for Retirement LINK

Five Best Retiree Tax Breaks LINK

Twelve States Without Pension or Social Security Taxes LINK

Huffington Post Best States for Retirement LINK

CNBC Best States for Retirement

My Requirements

1. Be reasonably close to my children…rules out Thailand!
2. Great local geography…I want to be close to water or mountains.
3. Reasonable distance to a major airport (plan to travel a lot).
4. Close to a major university (want the culture and stable economy).
5. Good cost of living (cheaper than Illinois!!).
6. Great government (after Illinois any state is better).
7. Warm or mild weather.


Here are the finalists that my wife and I picked.

1. California – wife likes it for weather and ocean. Cons – expensive, terrible government
2. Florida – makes me laugh to think about retiring to Florida
3. Hawaii – we’ll never be able to afford it, but hey we can dream.
4. North Carolina – we’ve been here before and liked it; always a plus.
5. South Carolina – need to take a vacation here and check it out. I’ve been there but it was a while ago.
6. Tennessee – my dad’s family moved there years ago. I don’t think any of them are still alive.
7. Virginia – another state we need to explore
8. West Virginia – and yet another to explore


I’d love to hear from anyone else if they have thought about retiring to another state and what you found to be the best places to retire, or from someone who has actually done it. Please comment below if you have.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.