“One size fits all.” Actually, not so much. The item in question may fit many, or even most, but it doesn’t fit right on you. The arms are too long or the legs are too short. The collar pokes up. You were looking for something to make you look sharp. Instead, you look a little rumpled. Which brings us to the subject of retirement. You’ve seen the “best places” articles, but they don’t fit your retirement plans. That’s because they are niche places. A gated community in Florida may fit a few of us, but certainly not everyone. Some of us want lower humidity and bugs without their own Social Security numbers. This is where Money Examiners comes in. Today, we look at the tricky question of “best places for retiring Baby Boomers” from a different perspective. We think you will find yourself in one of our categories.
The Retiree Who Still Wants to Work: Do you know why the retirement mark for Social Security was originally set at 65 years of age? On August 14, 1935 (the birthday of Social Security) life expectancy was 65 years old. Anyone who lived beyond that age beat the odds. That isn’t the case anymore, and the number of healthy retirees is growing rapidly. Many don’t want to stop working and sip iced tea on the porch for three decades. For these folks, a chance to still contribute to the workforce is an important consideration. Utah and Iowa have the largest number of employment positions for people of retirement age.
The Retiree Who Desires Quality Healthcare Above All: None of us are getting around like we used to get around. The young man who ran across the street feels a certain heaviness in his legs. The young lady who rode horses for fun has hips that make climbing aboard difficult. These are the unavoidable consequences of a large number of candles on the cake. However, more serious and chronic ailments need expert professional care. For these retirees, the best in healthcare is paramount. While they should look for good care in the specialties specific to them, the best geriatric care is found in Minnesota (Mayo Clinic), Maryland (Johns Hopkins), and New York State (Mt. Sinai).
If You Want to Be Around Other Retirees: Kids these days! They don’t remember Vietnam, Watergate, or the Chevy Chevelle SS! Of course, they don’t. Those things were around years before “kids” 40 years old were born. Retirees who want to visit with people whose life experiences match their own will want to live somewhere where the population skews older. Old reliable, Florida. The weather never drops to bone-cold numbers and the neighbors remember Elvis when he was pretty. California is another good choice for retirees who wish to consort with their own kind.
If You Want a Low Cost of Living: For many retirees, money is going to be tighter than it was during their salad days. These folks need to live in a place where the price of a home or the price of a hot dog is in line with the resources they have. Of course, cost of living varies even within each state, but here are a couple of tips. Among larger cities, Pittsburgh has a lower cost of living than almost anywhere else. It also has cultural opportunities galore and the highly-rated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. States with low costs of living across the board include Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
If You Want a Little Bit of Everything: You want access to decent healthcare, but you are fairly healthy. You don’t want to spend a fortune on housing, but you’re in an okay place financially. You wouldn’t mind a little more sun in your life, but a crisp fall morning, complete with changing leaves, still holds some appeal. In other words, you’ve arrived at retirement desirous of a balanced life. You may be interested in Colorado, South Carolina, or Nevada. Each one offers a quality of life and balance that may appeal to someone such as yourself.
The nice thing about choosing a retirement place is that you aren’t locked into a life sentence. Retirement lifestyle experts suggest renting for a year if you’re moving to a new area. That way, you have the flexibility needed to find a new spot next year. You may discover the gated community in Florida was just what you were looking to find. Or, those gates may represent where you don’t want to be. Either way, enjoy your search.