Eight Excellent Cities For Retirees

Are you planning to retire soon? Are you thinking about moving from where you have lived and worked for decades?

Millions of people “follow the crowd” and do what so many of their parents, friends and neighbors do — look for a retirement home in a warm weather state. Florida has been very popular for decades. Arizona has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Too many people, though, are disappointed by their retirement choice. Lounging on the beach just isn’t for everyone. Neither is hot weather. Besides that, many retirement properties in Florida and Arizona are just too expensive, an increasing concern since The Great Recession.

Why should you limit your retirement options? You shouldn’t, but finding the best cities to live in during retirement can require a lot of research. Best Retirement Destinations, though, has decided to help you with your research. We have scrutinized seven “best cities to retire” lists and have found that eight cities are on more than one list. Below are those eight cities in alphabetical order.

  1. Cape Coral, Fla.


Located on Florida’s southwest coast, off the Gulf of Mexico, this city of more than 150,000 has an incredible 400 miles of canals, according to the Forbes magazine article “The Best Places To Retire In 2015.” Forbes’ profile of Cape Coral reports that the city also has an excellent economy, a low cost of living, great weather, and a low serious crime rate. Cape Coral also made the top 10 on a list produced after a survey by Bankrate.com. The list was published in a USA Today article entitled ironically “The best place to retire isn’t Florida.”

  1. Colorado Springs


Colorado Springs also made the lists published in Forbes and USA Today. Both lists factor in health care quality, tax rates, the availability of walking trails, cost of living, and crime rates. The Forbes profile notes that Colorado Springs has a booming economy, great opportunities for bicyclists, an “atmosphere of volunteering,” and beautiful scenery, including nearby Pike’s Peak.

  1. Columbia, Mo.

Columbia is one of 25 cities on Forbes’ list and one of 10 listed in a Kiplinger article entitled “10 Great Places to Retire in 2015.”Residents of Columbia age better than all but two small cities in the entire nation because it has excellent hospitals and job opportunities for seniors, according to the Kiplinger article. It also is a college town with the kinds of amenities that college towns have such as bookstores and excellent restaurants.

  1. Mesa, Ariz.


The Phoenix metropolitan area, including Mesa and Scottsdale, is the best place for retirees in the entire country, according to theUSA Today article. Mesa, Arizona’s third largest city, is listed by itself on the Forbes list. Prices and taxes are relatively low in Mesa, reports the Forbes profile.

  1. Pittsburgh

People don’t generally think ‘Pittsburgh’ when they think ‘retirement,’ but it is listed first in the CBS article “10 most affordable U.S. cities to retire.” “Pittsburgh, once a dying steel town, has revitalized itself by investing in both education and medicine, which provide ample quality-of-life services for seniors,” the article reports. The Forbes profile notes that Pittsburgh has a high doctors per capita rate.

  1. Portland, Ore.


Portland is list first in the U.S. News & World Report article “10 Bargain Retirement Spots” because the prices of its homes are declining faster than anywhere in the nation. In addition, its neighborhoods are pedestrian friendly with plenty of stores and other amenities, it has moderate weather in the winter and summer, and it “bursts with theater and music,” reports the Kiplinger article.

  1. Rochester, Minn.

“Nobody retires to Rochester for the weather,” notes the Kiplinger article. Thus, the city must really be good in other ways for it to be listed by Forbes and Kiplinger as one of the best places in the nation for retirees. Rochester’s primary appeal is its doctors. The Mayo Clinic is in Rochester so it is first in the nation in doctors per capita. It also has a booming economy, a downtown loaded with amenities, and a very low crime rate.

  1. Tucson


If this list was based on a points system for being including on “best places for retirees” lists, Tucson would be listed first. It is on the lists published by Forbes, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report and was ranked the eighth best place to retire by Livability.com. “Tucson scored high our assessment of the best places to retire in the categories of health care, housing affordability, golf options, employment and taxes,” the Livability article “Best Places to Retire,” says.

So there’s the eight cities on at least two “best cities for retirees” lists. Six of the seven lists have been mentioned in the article so far. The seventh list is in the U.S. News & World Report article “10 Best Places for the Wealthiest Retirees.” The 10 cities are great if you have the money — Hillsborough, Calif.; Paradise, Valley, Ariz.; Wolf Trap, Va.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Mercer Island, Wash.; Bethesda, Md.; Hinsdale, Ill.; Kailua, Hawaii; Newton, Mass.; and Brentwood, Tenn.

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couple on the beach

Top 10 Retirement Destinations Around the World

Retirement does not have to mean a one-way ticket to the Floridian peninsula like it once did. Alluring retirement properties can be found in every corner of the planet. Here are ten of the top retirement destinations around the world.

1. Cork, Ireland

Central Cork is home to an array of dining and entertainment attractions, but the beautiful coastline is right within reach. If the city lights are not your thing, West Cork is more of a village atmosphere, lined with small harbors and affordable housing options. According to Irish Central, you can land a modest one-bedroom home with around 2,000 square feet of living space for as little as $64,000.

2. Sardinia, Italy

Beautiful beaches, warm climate, and low cost of living make Sardinia, Italy one of the more desirable retirement destinations. Housing in Sardinia is in sync with the rest of Italy, in spite of the attractive island surroundings. Plus, this is one place that has good health care, plenty of opportunities for entertainment, and a reasonable cost of living for retired expats.

3. San Ramon, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is well-known as one of the best retirement destinations because of the many perks it offers retirees, such as health care that is as low as a fifth of the cost you would pay in the US. If you want to find the most affordable retirement life, forget the most well-known parts of Costa Rica and head to the outskirts in San Ramon, which is not as touristy, but still within driving distance of the beach.

4. Salto, Uruguay

Salto, Uruguay offers small-town atmosphere in the city and is an exceptional retirement choice for two reasons: It is an inland area, which means cost of living is especially low, and two, the area provides an ample amount of things to do and see even though it is not a popular travel destination. You can expect to live just fine in Salto on about 800 bucks a month, with a small house or apartment only costing you between $175 and $250 per month.

5. Menorca, Spain

The laid-back island atmosphere of Menorca, Spain is an attractive destination for retirees for several reasons. This small island has less land mass than the neighboring islands, making everything from beaches to markets within reach. Cost-of-living is considered reasonable and retirement properties in Menorca are only slightly higher than on the mainland.

6. Silema, Malta

Silema in the Maltese Islands is a popular destination for American retirees, partially because of its reputation as being one of the friendliest places of South Europe and its welcoming climate. However, Silema is also considered an affordable place to relocate with one-bedroom apartments as low as 150,000 Euros.

7. Cencua, Ecuador

Affectionately dubbed the ‘Paris of Ecuador’, Cencua is known for its charm. Ecuador is a desirable landing place for retirees, with affordable healthcare, housing, and even entertainment. A modest and furnished three bedroom apartment will come at about $600 a month, and the fact the Ecuador uses the US dollar makes it even easier to determine how far you can stretch your retirement fund.


After years of working hard and building your life and wealth, when the time rolls around when you can finally kick up your feet and retire, finding a retirement destination that caters to a more laid-back lifestyle is surely at the top of your list of things to do. So grab a map, do some research, and check out some of the retirement properties across the globe that may very well offer you just what you need.

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Top Things to Consider When Selecting a Retirement Destination Beyond the U.S.

Is retirement the end of the line or the beginning of a new adventure? If your idea of senior life goes beyond just watching TV and playing the occasional round of cards, you might be considering relocation to a part of the world that offers you more.

U.S. News reports 3 million people each year decide move to other countries to take advantage of what these destinations offer retirees. How do you decide what location is the right choice, though?

Cost of Living

First and foremost, look at the cost of living in the region. The housing expense is a good barometer for the cost of living. Your goal is to choose a location with less expensive retirement properties, whether you are buying or renting, so you can squeeze the most out of your retirement income.


Your retirement location should offer some appealing amenities based on your interests. Beach-goers are drawn to countries like Panama or Costa Rica, for example. If you love golf then Scotland may be your dream location.

Health Care Options

Health care is an obvious concern, especially if moving overseas. Research the medical facilities in the area and whether the doctors are taking new patients. If you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes, then ensure the local physicians are able to help manage it.

The cost of health care is another consideration. Uruguay has an effective public health system, as well as catering to many private insurance companies.


What is the tax impact going to be if you relocate? You will still be responsible for taxes in the U.S. as long as you are a citizen there. If you move out of the country, you may have to pay taxes in the adopted region, as well. Get advice from a tax professional to avoid increasing your tax obligation when you move.

Travel Options

Look at both the public transportation systems and the international travel infrastructure. How close are you to the airport? What about driving locally? Does the community offer any senior transportation options? In the colonial city of Cuenca, you can take a taxi across town for just two or three dollars, according to Forbes.

Job Opportunities

Maybe you are not quite ready to give up the paycheck yet. Many people keep a less stressful job or work part-time after they retire to stay busy and supplement their income. If you plan to work, what are the rules in the hosting country about work visas? What jobs are available to non-native residents?

Consider the resources of the location, too. If you have a portable skill that you can do online, what is the Internet service like locally? Can you buy electronics after you move?


The local culture might be what draws you to specific locations. Maybe you love art and are looking for areas with a large artist community. Culture goes beyond just what you like to eat or do, though. How about local currency? Is the U.S. dollar accepted there? Does it maintain its value?

What about the language obstacles? Do the residents know English? Panama is one of the most sought after retirement destinations because of its culture. The local currency is the dollar, for example, and most of the people speak English.

Political Climate

You want to be comfortable in your new home, but you need to be safe at the same time, so the political climate is an important consideration. Make sure you understand the politics of the area and move to a stable region.

Some countries have strict rules about who can retire there, too. For example, you may have to prove you have a set income level.


The environment is another key feature that draws retirees to a new country. Equador offers 75 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. If you want something a little warmer, Panama stays around 86 degrees and rarely goes over 89. Costa Rica, on the other hand, is known for its microclimates, so you get a variety.

They call it the golden years for a reason, the question is how are you going to spend yours and where? The current trend is to look beyond the U.S. borders for a country that is senior-friendly and provides you with a sustainable way of life.

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