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  • 3-Minute Article
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  • Nov 08, 2017

7 Go-To Resources for Deciding Where to Retire

Trying to decide where to relocate during retirement? Here are 7 resources to help you choose.

Created in Collaboration with Kiplinger as a part of our Moving in Retirement series.

Relocating is a big decision, and part of a growing trend: three out of five Americans say they plan to consider a move once they retire, often driven by desires to be closer to family and to live more affordably.¹  These online resources can help narrow your choices by answering questions about quality of life, cost living, and more.

1. What Makes a Big City Shine for Retirees?

Best Cities for Successful Aging
Milken Institute/Center for the Future of Aging
Milken’s list highlights 381 metropolitan areas that enable an “optimal quality of life for mature adults.” Rankings analyze 83 indicators that experts commonly cite as important to age-friendly environments, such as financial security, transportation, healthcare, wellness, education, and community engagement.

Top 5 large cities for retirees

 

2. Which Smaller Towns Promote Quality of Life?

Top 100 Best Places to Live
Livability
Livability’s rankings focus on 2,000 small-to-medium-sized cities – those with populations between 20,000 and 350,000. Rankings consider 40 data points in eight broad categories, including economics, housing, transportation and infrastructure, demographics, community engagement, education, healthcare, and amenities (such as farmers markets, parks, and golf courses).

Top 3 Small and Mid-Size Cities for Retirees

 

3. What’s the Neighborhood Really Like?

NeighborhoodScout
Location Inc.
For clues, zero in on specific communities with a search on NeighborhoodScout. It features information on residents, real estate, school ratings, crime rates, commuting options, and lifestyle characteristics of 61,000 U.S. neighborhoods.

Top 5 Safest Towns for Retirees

 

4. How Affordable is One Place Over Another?

Cost of Living Calculator
Bankrate1
Bankrate’s calculator compares the affordability of cities you select. Through a 50-item breakdown of many common and uncommon expenses, these comparisons will show whether the places that top your list are more or less affordable than your current home, and estimate the equivalent income needed to maintain your current standard of living if you move.

Cost of Living

 

5. Which Communities Excel in Well-Being?

Well-Being Index
Gallup-Healthways
Where you live can impact health and well-being, so it’s wise to vet relocation plans with a nod to how an area may enhance overall wellness in the years to come. This index scores nearly 200 U.S. communities based on metrics within each of these five essential elements of well-being: purpose, social life, financial, community, and physical health.

Highest-Ranked Communities in Overall Well-Being

 

6. Which States Are the Healthiest?

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report
United Health Foundation
Healthful behaviors, plus the strength of community and environment, health policies and programs, and clinical care quality guide this ranking. This analysis ranks mature adult health and wellness on a state-by-state basis across 34 measures, including independent living, social services, and dedicated health care providers.

10 Healthiest States for Retirees

 

7. Where Does Tax-Friendliness Prevail?

State Guide to Taxes on Retirees
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Kiplinger’s research identifies the most and least tax-friendly states, particularly when it comes to retirees’ special concerns regarding property tax breaks, whether Social Security and other retirement income is taxed, and if the state imposes its own estate tax. Compare the tax picture for up to five states at a time via an interactive feature.

10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Kiplinger has an in-house content studio, which reports on investing, retirement planning and wise money management for its partner organizations, providing trustworthy advice and guidance for their readers.