One of the greatest benefits that retirement provides is the opportunity to choose where you want to live. You no longer need to be concerned about living close to where you work. Instead, you can choose to live in a place that offers the climate and surroundings that will enable you to enjoy your retirement to its fullest.
Many of the criteria you will use to select your ideal retirement location are obvious, such as the cost of living, taxes, safety and climate. However, there are many other important criteria to consider that might be less apparent.
Here are ten important qualities you should evaluate when you are looking at potential retirement destinations.
If you dream of retiring to Europe, Portugal is well worth your consideration. It is the least expensive country in Western Europe, its immigration requirements can be satisfied by most retirees, and the country enjoys mild, sunny weather.
Portugal has long been a favorite of expats from Great Britain and other European countries, but it has only recently begun to attract more attention in the U.S. and Canada.
Low cost of living is not the only benefit Portugal offers. It also offers beautiful landscapes and architecture. The Algarve region at the southern end of Portugal boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. High-speed internet is available in 90% of the country and 4G service in 95%. Portugal has been rated the 17th safest country in the world.
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.