About this time of year, publications tend to spit out their annual best places to retire recommendations. The truth is, the best place to retire depends on what fits your needs and desired outcome. Are you considering small or big changes when you retire. Is this the time to make a leap of faith to fulfill that lifelong dream?
The onset of retirement brings on a desire for a change in lifestyle or at least a questioning of our current one. As time becomes more liquid and schedules slip away, it’s natural to want to ease into a life that’s more playful than productive.
What’s your plan once work is in the rear view mirror? Switching from working full tilt to shutting down completely can be disorienting. Once you’ve decompressed from your career and caught up on relaxing, you may miss having a purpose to your days. But how to make these the best days of your life?
The truth to finding your best place to retire is knowing what it takes to make your retirement satisfying, fun and rewarding. What are your passions and favorite pastimes? What can you see yourself doing for the next 20 or 30 years? Don’t be under the illusion leisure time is all it takes, unless you’re an admitted beach bum who loves nothing better than lounging under the proverbial palm. In that case, head for the sun.
But most of us need some form of engagement and purpose to keep mentally and physically healthy. Retiring without purpose can lead to depression or premature aging! If the goal is to make the most of your well earned retirement, what will it take to live a live of joy and motivation?
Do any of these desired outcomes fit your goals for a best places to retire?:
- Live close to family/children – Move closer to grandkids.
- Sporty options like golf or boating – Perfect your golf game.
- Affordability, stretching retirement income – Less expensive cost of living is bueno.
- Warmer climate – Had enough of winter?
- Casual lifestyle – Less stress and more manana
- Living abroad – A new exciting lifestyle.
- Pursue a second vocation – Oenophile? Manage a vineyard in southern France.
If your children live in Florida and you’re craving sunshine to fully master your putt, your choice could be a no brainer. But if you’ve always dreamed of living abroad and your budget will allow, you may want to explore living somewhere like Costa Rica or Mexico. You’ve got lots of sunshine, golf and a manageable flight time to visit the grandkids as often as you want.
If your recent European vacation left you wanting more, explore the idea of living abroad at least part-time. Keep a base close to a major US airport with good connections and spend chunks of time touring Europe. Or settle in one country that fits your passions. Love wine and wine culture? Explore Bordeaux, Languedoc or Champagne and live la vie Francaise.
Here are some resources for best places to retire. Start planning early and don’t put aside fulfilling those life long dreams any longer. Carpe diem!
- Where to Retire Overseas – CBS News
- Where to Retire Abroad – Telegraph
- Top 10 Places to Retire Abroad – Forbes
- Where to Retire US – Livability
- Where to Retire on Social Security Income
- Top Spots to Retire to Stretch Your Income – AARP
If you’re planning a pre-retirement trip to Europe, here’s some ideas to get started!