The best places to retire isn’t something everyone is thinking about now. For some, it may be years away and not worth the bother now. But for others, it is the next giant step they must make.
The best retirements require great planning. And one important question that surely comes up is, where is the best and cheapest place to retire?
Nobody would fault you for wanting a bit of paradise for all the time and effort you’ve put into work and building your career. This is why in this article, we will show you just what you need to have the retirement you truly want and the best places to retire.
How Much Do You Need to Retire?
Retirements do not fund themselves, and neither will a suitcase of cash suddenly appear on your front porch. After you retire, you will be free of active service for the rest of your life.
So, there must be a plan for how much you need to live on without ever having to go back to work. There are many rules and principles as to how much you should have to retire, but they all boil down to you answering two fundamental questions:
When Do You Want to Retire?
Retirement funds grow over the years, and the time you choose to retire determines just how much you can receive. Take, for example, two men who have been working at the same factory for the same period of time.
They both have a financial savings plan for their retirement. If the first man decides to retire at the age of 56 and the other decides to do the same at 67, both men will have retirement funds, but there will be a difference in just how much each leaves with.
How Do You Want to Live During Your Retirement?
Retirement is your ticket to paradise. But how you spend that paradise is up to you.
You alone can choose the kind and quality of life you get to enjoy after you retire. If you are interested in a rule for planning your retirement fund, a simple one is the 4% rule.
Multiply your annual income by 25 or divide it by 0.04. The result is the amount of money you would need to retire.
Set a Plan for What You Are Looking for
Each person has a different retirement plan. But one thing every retirement plan should have is the choice of the best location for retirement.
In choosing the best place to retire, there are some factors you should consider and pay attention to.
Money plays an indispensable role in life after retirement and so should be top of the list in deciding where you live when you retire. Yes, there is retirement funds, but you want to know which locations will give you the best value for your money.
You want to know how friendly the economy of the location is. How do taxes operate there? Should you choose to get a part-time job, will there be good financial opportunities available?
Because being retired doesn’t mean you can’t earn.
Nature can be beautiful and brutal. Like it or not, climate change is upon us all. And the reports of people losing homes and livelihood because of bad weather is enough reason to pay attention to this.
Ideally, you want to retire to a location with the most favorable weather conditions for you and some stability level. You should pay attention to the weather patterns of the places you choose to understand better what you’re getting into.
Healthcare is a priority for everyone and no less when you’re planning retirement. Having access to good and quality healthcare facilities is an essential factor to consider in choosing a location.
Being able to access them easily is equally as important, bearing in mind that as you grow older, the need for proper health care increases.
One of the most exciting aspects of retiring to new locations is the wealth of culture you encounter. You’ve known life through certain patterns and cultures of your own and the people around you.
But, choosing the right place to retire will give you a breath of fresh air and new perspectives. This should influence your planning as well.
You want the cultures you can honor and accept and have positive implications on your life.
Crime & Quality of Life
Security is also essential in choosing where you want to retire. Whether you are retiring alone or with a spouse or family, you want a location that offers the best form of security.
You should look into the crime patterns of the places you choose. What is prevalent? Would this place be safe for my family and me?
The quality of life shouldn’t be lower than what you want either. After years of living according to a standard of living, changing to something far below what you are used to maybe too dramatic.
Again, this is where investigating and adequate research pay off.
Retirement Locations Outside the United States
Many great locations outside the United States are perfect for retirement and offer you several benefits. Here are a few we’ve listed below.
Portugal is one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions and a great location for you to retire. Here are the pros and cons of living in Portugal:
- Tax exemption applies for foreigners who are aged 65 and over. This way, you don’t have to worry about the government dipping hands into your retirement funds.
- The cost of living is low. You can easily find good food and wine without paying a fortune living in Portugal. It is also relatively lower than other European countries.
- The Climate is mild and beautifully warm. Adding many historical sites and natural attractions, retiring here would be great.
- Healthcare is also of excellent quality. There is a National Health Service program with great healthcare services and a range of private health care facilities and clinics.
- Portuguese isn’t the easiest language to learn. So you will face issues from the language barrier here. This can be frustrating when trying to move around or locate places.
- There is also a slow pace of life to the way people do things. If you are used to the fast life, this may be a bit too slow for you.
- Because Portugal is one of the top tourist locations in Europe, there are always tourists traveling. This may mean increased noise pollution and a lack of serenity.
- And yes, while the weather is great, when it gets cold, it can be really cold.
Thinking of going to Asia instead, Malaysia remains one of the best locations for retirees in Asia.
- Prepare to encounter new and exotic foods available everywhere in the country ranging from local to continental delicacies.
- There are great island locations that would be great for settling down.
- Transportation is also super affordable for all forms of vehicles.
- Malaysia has beautiful and exotic locations and super-friendly people who you can make new relationships with.
- There is a language barrier. Although some areas there speak English, they are pretty few. Learning the language and navigating the country can be more than you bargained for.
- There are high levels of pollution because of the increase in population and infrastructural development.
- There isn’t much variety of available entertainment activities when compared with other locations around.
Home to some of the world’s most unique cities, Spain is a great location many retirees choose.
- Living in Spain is relatively cheaper than living in some European countries and far more affordable than living in the UK.
- The warm climate makes Spain a beautiful and comfortable place to live in.
- New cultures and experiences are abundantly waiting for you.
- You also have great access by road to other European countries.
- Spanish is not hard to learn, but if your grasp of Español is weak, you will face some language barriers.
- The healthcare isn’t bad but not easy to get access to, especially for foreigners.
- There may be poor exchange rates when converting to the local currency.
Looking for something still within the American continent? Costa Rica offers a great choice of places to retire.
- Costa Rica has one of the lowest and cheapest costs of living on the planet. This means you get well-deserved value for your money.
- It’s also closer to the U.S, which gives you an excellent opportunity to reconnect with family and friends still in the States.
- There are great investment opportunities because of the vibrant and open economy of the nation.
- You don’t have to worry about language barriers because the majority of people living in Costa Rica also speak English.
- The cost of housing is quite expensive and varies depending on the size of the city and the geographic location.
- Crime rates are also high in Costa Rica but comparable to the rates in other neighboring countries.
Go into central Europe, and Czech Republic offers a beautiful location for your retirement.
- It is safe to live in the Czech Republic. The country has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.
- It is also affordable, and the average expenses are pretty decent.
- The country also has excellent healthcare and makes it easy for foreigners to access it.
- You may run into lousy customer service much sooner than you expect. And it is rampant all over the country.
- Your international driver’s license does not do much, and you would be required to apply for a national license.
- There are a lot of scams in the country. You will find mischievous people trying to take advantage of foreigners.
Retirement Locations Inside the United States
If you’re thinking of the best places to retire within the United States, here are a few states you can consider, along with the advantages and disadvantages of making the move.
The sunshine state is still a number one pick around the world not only for tourism but also for great places to retire. Take your pick of incredible locations such as Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples, and you will find paradise here in the U.S..
- The state got its nickname for a reason. You can be sure of a warm subtropical climate.
- There are great tax-friendly offers for seniors retiring to Florida.
- There are beautiful beaches with white sands to give you the paradise experience.
- Florida is full of people; tourists and youngsters coming to catch a break are not uncommon. And this makes competition for amenities higher.
- There are local taxes that can dip into your retirement funds and make you think twice.
- There is a high cost of living in the state.
- If you are not used to such high temperatures, the heat will get to you.
Going to the southeastern region, North Carolina is the 28th largest state and the 9th most populous. The state boasts of incredible places to retire, such as Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham.
- There is a solid and growing job market available in the state. The economy is also strong and booming.
- Healthcare systems are also great and can easily be accessed by retirees.
- There is a wealth of history and culture for you to learn and experience.
- The cost of living is pretty decent as well.
- There is a high rate of crime in the state
- If you are looking for tax-friendly locations, North Carolina may not be the best option for you.
- The weather can be scorching and humid, especially for people living along the coast.
South Carolina offers great shorelines with subtropical beaches and sea islands. Take your pick of great locations like the coastal city of Charleston as a great location to retire.
- Residents are friendly and very hospitable. You will waste no time in building new relationships here.
- The state has several natural attractions, from mountains to lakes, for you to explore.
- There are also great historical monuments and sights to visit.
- You will find that the state has a large and diverse population of bugs. If critters are not your thing, then South Carolina may not be your ideal place to retire.
- It can be mostly expensive to live in the state.
- There are high rates of crime in some areas as well.
Colorado State has a beautiful range of landscapes from deserts to river canyons and lofty mountains. Denver is one great place to retire in the state, amongst others.
- There are significant tax benefits for retirees in the state.
- There is also great health care available and easy to access.
- Colorado has great cultural experiences, and you get access to beautiful city life and good quality amenities.
- It is expensive to live in the state.
- There will be issues of traffic and congestion because of the population density in the state.
- Winters can be extremely cold.
New Hampshire offers small but old-fashioned towns spread out across large expanses of wilderness with beautiful mountain ranges. You will also find unique wildlife such as the black bear and moose in abundance here.
- New Hampshire is truly a beautiful state to live in, with a wide range of natural sights that are simply breathtaking.
- There is no sales tax in New Hampshire which makes it pretty easy to own a property in the state.
- Crime rates are also exceptionally low.
- Winters can be exceptionally long. Sometimes they can last as long as four months. Summers too, can get very hot, and it makes a breeding ground for lots of mosquitoes.
- There is poor public transportation in the state. Getting a car and driving may be a top priority on your list if you choose to stay here.
Home to the Grand Canyon, Arizona offers great natural sites, including the National Park and beautiful desert landscape. Looking for a different feel? Arizona may be the perfect place for you to retire.
- There are significant tax benefits for retirees who choose the state of Arizona.
- The state has beautiful parks and natural wonders coupled with good weather.
- There are also world-renowned golf courses and several luxurious locations.
- Crime rates are higher than the average in Arizona.
- The weather is good but the summer months can be a real blaze.
- There isn’t a strong interstate transportation system, so you may need to own your car and know how to drive.
Texas is the second-largest state by both its area and population. The state provides a friendly place for people seeking to retire.
- The tax system in the state is very friendly, especially for retirees.
- You can live in the state of Texas and never have to bother about the high cost of living.
- Texas has a wide and varying cultural diversity and is also home to a lot of country music and other musical acts.
- As beautiful as the state may be, the weather can get pretty severe and dangerous.
- The effect of urbanization is everywhere and quickly spreading all over the state.
- There is also a high crime rate in some areas of the state.
How Are You Planning Your Retirement Today?
Retirement is a whole new phase in life, and you should take out quality time to research your options before making decisions. A financial advisor can help point you towards the best places to retire as you prepare your finances for the big move.