If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
For now, assume that cost is not a factor and you could afford to live wherever you want.
Hopefully you have at least one place in mind, and maybe several.
Now for the bigger question: Why?
What characteristics of the place(s) you thought of seem so appealing to you?
It’s fun to dream about where you want to retire. Once you no longer have your job tying you to a particular area, there’s no reason not to relocate to a place that’s more to your liking.
The Internet and various magazines offer hundreds of ‘Best Places to Retire’ lists as well as some ‘Worst Places to Retire’ lists. This is a topic that apparently attracts a lot interest and curiosity.
You may be considering moving for any number of reasons. You may want (or need) to find a place with a cheaper cost of living or lower taxes. Perhaps you seek a more desirable climate. Maybe you only live in your current place because that’s where your job is, and you would really rather live someplace else. You may wish to be closer to family and friends. Or maybe you’re just ready for a new adventure!
All of these are legitimate reasons to move after you retire.
Contrary to what all those ‘Best Places to Retire’ lists try to tell you, there is no one perfect place to retire. If there was, millions of people would flock there. It would quickly become dense and overcrowded, and it would cease to be a desirable retirement destination.
No place is perfect. No matter where you live, there will be some aspects of living there that are less than ideal.
Simply moving to a place where it’s cheaper to live and where the climate is more to your liking won’t necessarily ensure that you will enjoy your retirement more. In my opinion, the most important consideration is this:
Can moving to the right place really make you happier?
Well, yes and no.
As the old expression goes, money can’t buy happiness. That’s true, but a lack of money can certainly cause unhappiness. And beyond meeting basic needs, a sufficient amount of money will enable you to afford some of the items and activities that you will enjoy, bringing happiness.
Similarly, the place you live, by itself, will not make you happy. However, living in a place you dislike, for whatever reasons, can easily make you unhappy. You can satisfy your basic needs almost anywhere, but choosing the best place to live will enable you enjoy the activities and people that will make your retirement satisfying.
So in that sense, moving to the right place will enable you to be happier.
But with a nearly limitless range of possibilities for where you can live and dozens of factors you might consider when searching for the best place to move, how can you make sense of it all?
With so much to consider, choosing the place that’s right for you can become overwhelming.
My new book, The Quest for Retirement Utopia: How to Find the Retirement Spot That’s Right for You, covers all the possibilities and helps you cut through all of the daunting and often conflicting information.
The Quest for Retirement Utopia will help you at least four ways:
- It will help you clarify what is most important to you, and suggest some considerations that you may not have thought of.
- It will suggest new possibilities for where – and how – you might retire. In other words, it will help you think outside the box.
- It will dissuade you from making a poor choice for where to retire. It’s easy to think about places to live in idealized terms, and many websites and brochures accentuate only the positive. Choosing where to live is as much about avoiding the negative factors as it is about maximizing the positive ones. Often warts are hidden and you don’t discover them until after you have moved.
- It will provide you with the resources you need to properly evaluate the places you are thinking about retiring, so that you can make the most informed choice – the choice that is right for you.
This book will prepare you with the facts and resources you need, the questions you should ask and get answered, and the factors you should consider as you embark upon your quest for your Retirement Utopia – the retirement destination that’s right for you.
The book is packed with useful resources, and you will receive a link to an extensive Resources webpage that will continue to be updated in the future. This wealth of resources is worth the cost of the book alone!
The Quest for Retirement Utopia is one of the most thorough and thought-provoking books you will find on this topic.
The book presents dozens of factors you should consider as you evaluate places to live. More important, it helps you identify which of those factors are most relevant to you according to your plans for what you want to do with the rest of your life.
There’s a section that helps you make sense of the tax structures of each state and helps you put taxation in the proper perspective relative to all the other considerations.
There’s a brief summary of the pluses and minuses of each state, as well as some suggestions for prime spots in many states.
There’s a discussion of the pros and cons of 55+ active adult communities, and a look at how changing retirement trends are impacting these communities now and in the future.
The book tackles other discussion topics such as staying in place, downsizing, and renting vs. buying.
The book also considers other alternatives for how you might live in retirement, such as full-time RV living, living on a houseboat or a cruise ship, and living as a full-time world traveler.
The book contains several first-hand accounts from people who have actually moved in retirement. Their stories contribute a relatable, personal touch and bring the book to life with color and human interest to complement all the facts and data.
You’ll read the stories of two couples who moved from cities to beautiful but remote rural locations. And you’ll meet a retired veteran, who is now exploring the United States and Canada in an RV as a solo female traveler, photographing and writing about her discoveries along the way.
There’s an extensive section (about one-third of the book) devoted to retiring outside the United States. It covers a wide range of topics including visas, taxation, real estate, healthcare, culture shock, and finding expat communities.
You’ll read the stories of two couples who have moved to Mexico. They discuss why they moved, the challenges they faced, and the adjustments they have had to make along the way. The numerous bits of wisdom they share will be applicable and useful no matter where you move outside the US.
Despite the challenges and adjustments, both couples are happy that they made the move. Almost all of the other expats whose stories I have read are also enjoying their life overseas.
Even if you’re not considering retiring outside the US, this section will increase your knowledge and appreciation of other countries and cultures throughout the Americas and Europe. It may inspire you to add some places to your travel list!
For my LGBT readers, there’s a section of the book devoted to the additional layer of considerations you should take into account as you search for your ideal place. In fact, if you are part of any minority demographic, you’ll want to consider places that will be most accepting of diversity.
I choose to view retirement as an adventure, and I hope you will too. Moving, if done purposefully, can be an immensely rewarding part of this adventure. Moving can place you in the best position, literally, to enjoy your retirement to its fullest.
The Quest for Retirement Utopia is not just a quest for the most beautiful or most economically advantageous place to live.
The Quest for Retirement Utopia is the quest for the place where you can live an optimal, fulfilling, and wonderful life!
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© 2020 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.
Moving van: Jack Keene. Some rights reserved.