Most lists of top retirement destinations focus on medium to large cities. For LGBT baby boomers, as well as many others who prefer places with diverse populations with thriving arts and culture scenes, larger cities usually have the most to offer. Larger cities also provide more options for medical care and senior support services.
But if you prefer the more relaxed pace of small town living but still hope to find an inclusive and welcoming community with a fun, artsy ambiance, you’re in luck. Here are five small, affordable, LGBT-friendly towns with big personalities that are worth your consideration as retirement destinations.
For over 60 years, millions of retirees have chosen to move to age-restricted active adult communities where they can live out their remaining years surrounded by golf courses, swimming pools, organized activities and – perhaps most important – other retirees.
Many people are drawn by the appeal of living in a safe, leisure-focused environment that is isolated from many of life’s realities, such as rush-hour traffic jams, undesirable neighborhoods and families with children.
Although many active adult communities are located in warmer states such as Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas, they may be found throughout the United States and in some foreign countries.
While the lifestyle and amenities that age-restricted active adult communities offer are a good fit for many retirees, these places are not for everybody. If you are considering moving to a retirement community, here are ten questions you must consider before you put your house on the market and start packing.
When it comes to selecting a highly desirable retirement destination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people have a few additional criteria to consider than do most Americans. In addition to considerations such as low cost of living and low taxes, LGBT people tend to value cities with strong LGBT communities, higher levels of acceptance and the presence of non-discrimination laws.
Cities that are most famous for their prominent LGBT communities, such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are also very expensive. LGBT baby boomers who want to stretch their retirement dollars farther would do well to consider these cities that offer lower cost of living, cheaper real estate and lighter tax burden, but still have thriving LGBT communities. These cities are excellent retirement choices for non-LGBT people as well, because cities where LGBT people enjoy greater acceptance tend to be more welcoming of all types of diverse people and offer plentiful art and cultural amenities.
For years, LGBT retirees have suffered indignities during their final years. For example, same-sex partners have been denied the opportunity to share the same room, staff members who personally object to homosexuality have treated LGBT elders insensitively, and finances and benefits normally given to heterosexual partners have been withheld from surviving same-sex partners. The loneliness and isolation that can accompany aging is often compounded by discrimination and the fact the LGBT people are less likely to have children and may be ostracized by their families. Many seniors have to go back into the closet when they entered the senior care system.
While the situation has improved in recent years, there is still a great unrealized demand for supportive retirement communities for LGBT people. Here are the LGBT-focused retirement homes and communities that are currently operating in the United States.
If you have traveled internationally, you have probably visited charming, exciting places and thought about how great it would be to retire there. You may be motivated to stretch your retirement dollars in a place with lower cost of living and cheaper health care. Maybe you want to enjoy your leisure years in a locale with a warmer climate and breathtaking natural beauty. Perhaps you are ready for a new adventure and the opportunity to discover new lands and experience new cultures. Or maybe you are formulating an escape plan in the event your least favorite candidate makes it into the White House.
Whatever your motivations are, if you are considering retiring to another country, here are twelve factors to research and consider before you start packing.
It's fun to think 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. Perhaps you want to move someplace warmer, closer to the water or where the cost of living is lower. But with so many factors to consider, choosing a place that's right for you can quickly become overwhelming.
In a poll of readers of this website, these ten factors emerged as the top criteria for choosing a good retirement location.
Are you facing the prospect of a retirement in which the defining characteristic is financial struggle?
Are you concerned that you haven’t saved enough for retirement?
The internet is awash with stories and articles about how you can live comfortably overseas for just $1500-2000 a month – which is within range of most couples’ Social Security checks.
These figures are said to include rent for a two-bedroom furnished apartment, meals (including some meals eaten out), and utilities, including internet service. The people who write these articles claim that you don’t have to pinch pennies to achieve these results, nor do you have to live in squalor.
Can this be true? Such claims always prompt the skeptical me to think, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Colombia?
I’ll be honest. Up until recently, the first thing I thought of was drug cartels – cartels so prominent that they were named after major cities such as Medellin and Cali. Just two decades ago, Colombia was a dangerous, lawless country overrun by crime.
That has changed. While there is still a drug industry in Colombia (there’s a drug industry in the United States too, if you hadn’t noticed), the government has made great strides with keeping it in check, and the decades-long civil conflict between the government and leftist and right-wing rebel groups appears to be coming to an end. (More on this later.)
In recent years, Colombia has appeared high on many “best international places to retire” lists, so in this article I will take a closer look. Fortunately, I have three friends who have first-hand experience with staying in Colombia, and they have graciously provided me with thorough, thoughtful inputs about their experience. One friend lives in Medellin permanently now, one spent a month last summer visiting Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena for an architecture Masters degree project, and one is currently spending a month in Bogota and will spend next month in Medellin.
All three friends report very favorable impressions of Colombia.