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What are the 25 Best Retirement Cities in the US?

Posted by David Cheatham, March 13, 2018

When we plan for retirement, we’re often thinking about “when” and “how much will it cost?” But another huge part of retirement planning involves choosing a location. That’s because, now that you’re free to live anywhere you want, you might prefer a different climate, a more affordable local economy, or proximity to family or leisure activities.

Those are just some of the reasons that retirees often choose a particular destination for retirement. And it seems that some destinations are quite popular among retirees, who have figured out which destinations offer the right mix of affordability, high standards of health care, low taxes, low crime rates, and other qualities that appeal to them.

So which towns are leading retirement destinations right now? According to Forbes, the following 25 cities ranked in the top 25 for 2017:

  • Athens, Ga.
  • Bella Vista, Ark.
  • Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Brevard, N.C.
  • Clemson, S.C.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Green Valley, Ariz.
  • Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Jefferson City, Mo.
  • Lawrence, Kan.
  • Lewiston, Maine
  • Lincoln, Neb.
  • Maryville, Tenn.
  • Ocean Pines, Md.
  • Peoria, Ariz.
  • Port Charlotte, Fla.
  • San Marcos, Texas
  • Savannah, Ga.
  • Summerville, S.C.
  • The Villages, Fla.
  • Wenatchee, Wash.

You might have noticed that nine of these cities are also college towns, probably due to the variety of cultural events that college environments tend to foster.

Taxes also appear to be important. In particular, retirees often prefer states with low or zero income taxes. But it’s worth noting that in many cases, states that don’t impose income taxes do compensate for the “lost” revenue in other ways, such as with higher real estate or sales taxes. So, if you do choose a retirement destination based on affordability, be sure to do the math. Low or zero income taxes are not always worth the trade-off, particularly if you’re living on a lower fixed income anyway.

As for health care, Medicare is of course available in all 50 states. But out-of-pocket expenses can vary greatly by geographic region, so supplemental insurance coverage might be important. Give us a call to discuss your Medicare plan if you feel that your budget doesn’t adequately provide for your medical expenditures.

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