Not sure where to live as a senior? This guide will help you better explore your choices.
We work hard during our careers to enjoy a comfortable retirement, and for many of us, that means settling down someplace where our nest eggs can go the furthest.
But for some folks, finding an affordable place to retire is a matter of basic survival. More than 40% of households aged 56 to 64 have no retirement savings to show for, or so states the Economic Policy Institute.
And even among older workers who are saving, confidence about retiring comfortably is declining. With that in mind, WalletHub recently did a review of the top cities to retire in this year, as well as the least desirable cities for retirees. Here's what they came up with.
Though money isn't everything when it comes to retirement, it's a big factor to consider. Even if your tastes are modest, and you're naturally not such a big spender, you're bound to encounter certain expenses outside your control. Take healthcare, for example, which, according to recent projections, could cost the average healthy 65-year-old couple today over $400,000 in retirement. It therefore stands to reason that finding a city with a relatively low cost of living can be crucial to your overall happiness as a senior.
But while affordability is one of the metrics WalletHub reviewed in its recent study, it's not the only one. Factors such as recreation, senior services and population, hospital systems, and even climate were all considered in compiling this list.
So which cities offer the best overall quality of life for retirees? Among the 150 cities reviewed by WalletHub, here are the top 10:
Keep in mind that these 10 cities aren't necessarily the most affordable. In fact, some, like Honolulu and Denver, scored relatively low on affordability alone. If a low cost of living is paramount in your mind, here are the top 10 cities you might consider as a retiree:
Of course, what you gain in affordability, you might forgo elsewhere. Take Laredo, Texas, the cheapest city for retirees. Though you might snag housing and groceries on the cheap, Laredo scored pretty low with regard to activities and amenities, and it came in nearly last on healthcare.
So which cities might you try to avoid as a senior? Here's what the list of the 10 worst retiree states looks like:
Most of the cities on this list scored relatively low in terms of affordability, and all landed at the bottom of the heap with regard to healthcare. Interestingly, none of the cities with the highest cost of living, including New York, New York; San Jose, California; and San Francisco, California, came even close to making the bottom 10 overall, which goes to show that money shouldn't be the only factor to consider when determining where to live as a senior.
Clearly, the place you spend your days in retirement will have an impact on not just your budget but your everyday quality of life. If you're not sure where to go once you stop working, try asking yourself the following questions:
Choosing the right place to retire is crucial to your overall happiness. The more thought you put into where you retire, the more content you're likely to be down the line.
The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
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