Publications tend to spit out their annual “best places to retire” recommendations annually. The truth is, the best place to retire depends on what fits your needs and desired outcome. Are you considering small or big changes when you retire. Is this the time to make a leap of faith to fulfill that lifelong dream?
The onset of retirement brings on a desire for a change in lifestyle or at least a questioning of our current one. As time becomes more liquid and schedules slip away, it’s natural to want to ease into a life that’s more playful than productive.
What’s your plan once work is in the rear view mirror? Switching from working full tilt to shutting down completely can be disorienting. Once you’ve decompressed from your career and caught up on relaxing, you may miss having a purpose to your days. But how to make these the best days of your life?
The truth to finding your best place to retire is knowing what it takes to make your retirement satisfying, fun and rewarding. What are your passions and favorite pastimes? What can you see yourself doing for the next 20 or 30 years? Unless you’re an admitted beach bum who loves nothing better than lounging under the proverbial palm tree you may not be happy retiring to a beach lifestyle.
Most of us need something to engage us and give us purpose. Keeping mentally and physically healthy is so important to our longevity don’t you agree? Retiring without purpose can lead to depression or premature aging.
If the goal is to make the most of your well earned retirement, what will it take to live a life of joy and motivation?
What Are Your Retirement Goals?
- If you want to live close to family/children; then why not pick a spot to move closer to grandkids.
- If you love have lots of sporty options like golf or boating; then find a home by a lakeside or golf course
- If affordability and stretching retirement income sound right; where can you retire with a lower cost of living
- Had enough of long cold winters and shoveling snow and ice; pick a warm spot that gives you the lifestyle you crave
- If less stress and more manana sounds good; where can you enjoy a more laidback lifestyle in the country or a small town
- Ready to pursue a long held dream of trying something new; living abroad may give you the opportunity of a lifetime
- What if pursuing a second vocation is your cup of tea or glass of wine; grow your own vineyard in the south of France or Portugal.
The Best Places to Retire
The best place to retire is the one that fits your goals and dreams for the future. What comes to mind when you see the possibilities. Can you picture yourself in any one of those scenarios?
Don’t forget you can combine several “must haves”, especially if you’re retiring with a partner who has needs of their own.
Ready to live a more laidback lifestyle with plenty of golfing close to the kids – in a warmer climate if possible? Now all you have to do is narrow down the options. Start looking at locations within an hours drive or less from the kids. There may be some compromising, but don’t compromise on your main goal. Decide what is MOST important to you for a best place to retire.
If your children live in Florida and you’re craving sunshine to fully master your putt, your choice could be a no brainer.
Always dreamed of living abroad but want to stay close to the kids? If your budget allows, why not explore living somewhere like Costa Rica or Mexico. You’ll have plenty of sunshine, golf and a manageable flight time to visit the grandkids as often as you want.
If your recent European vacation left you wanting more, explore the idea of living abroad at least part-time. Keep a homebase close to a major US airport with good connections. You can spend chunks of time touring Europe and still return to be close to friends and family.
You’re ready to try living abroad if you want to be closer to your passions. If a trip just doesn’t scratch the itch then join the thousands of expats who choose to retire abroad. Dive deep into French wine and culture. Explore Bordeaux, Languedoc or Champagne and live la vie Francaise. Fancy an Italian home with easy access to lakes, wine, culture and history? The possibilities are there if you’re adventurous and ready to explore.
Start planning early and don’t put aside fulfilling those life long dreams any longer. Carpe diem!
Resources for your best places to retire.
- Where to Retire Overseas – CBS News
- Where to Retire Abroad – Telegraph
- Top 10 Places to Retire Abroad – Forbes
- Where to Retire US – Livability
- Where to Retire on Social Security Income
- Top Spots to Retire to Stretch Your Income – AARP
If you’re ready to relocate, my moving abroad checklist can help you get started.