Retire To A Community You Love

Deciding where to retire takes more consideration than opening a map, closing your eyes, and letting your finger be your guide. But no matter where you end up, your destination should put a smile on your face and a gleam in your eye, says Steve Gurney, founder of The Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook. “And the way to get that is by having a purpose in life,” he says. “Where we live should be a tool to make it easier to engage in this purposeful activity.”

To help you uncover what to look for in a retirement community, here are 10 factors that could turn a city, town, or suburb into a retirement destination that meets your unique needs.


If taking your pick of retiring anywhere sounds daunting, find comfort knowing there’s likely a Life Care ServicesTM senior living community close-by, whether it’s in an urban, rural, or resort setting. Some Life Care Services communities are even located in cities that made the Forbes “25 Best Places to Retire in 2012” list, including Austin, Texas; Columbia, South Carolina; and Phoenix, Arizona.


Do you dream of donating your winter coat or keeping it in the closet? Warm-weather destinations are often top retirement spots, but four-season states are also options. “The weather must support the lifestyle you desire, whether it is snow-skiing, boating, or golf,” says Thomas Wetzel, president of the Retirement Living Information Center.

Cost of Living

The nest egg you’ve worked hard to build can stretch further, depending on where you live. To determine how far your dollar will go in different cities, Wetzel suggests visiting

Health Care

When deciding where to retire, look into communities that are short distances from affordable, quality health care. In the event you need a doctor, it is important that you’re able to reach one quickly. To compare state health care stats, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation’s One of the benefits of living in a continuing care retirement community (also known as a CCRC) is having guaranteed access to health care.


Keep more of your money in your pocket by researching taxes before deciding where to retire. “While federal taxes are fairly consistent, there is a huge variation in state and local taxes,” Wetzel says. “Some states tax pension income or Social Security; others do not. Some give special tax breaks to seniors.” Find tax data by state at


Staying active is essential to healthy aging, so choose a locale that allows you to pursue the activities you love. If you’re a golfer, Pinehurst, North Carolina, may be your destination. Here, residents can become members at the Legendary Pinehurst golf resort, a perk that helped earn the community a spot on the CNN Money Magazine “25 Best Places to Retire” list.

Higher Education

Who says your college days are over? Relocating near a university can provide opportunities for continuing education. Plus, Wetzel points out that colleges attract a diverse assortment of amenities to an area, from restaurants to shops to venues for lectures, sporting events, and performances.


If you enjoy getting out and about, consider retiring to an area where your errands are an easy commute away or you can take care of them on foot. Also research the public transportation options. “As you get older, there is a chance you might not want to drive or be able to drive,” Gurney says. A nearby airport, cruise port, or train station might be appealing to travel lovers.

Cultural Offerings

Imagine an ideal day after retirement. If you picture strolling through museums or catching a show at the theater, look for a location with rich cultural offerings. One option might include Raleigh, North Carolina. The historic capital is noted for its numerous museums, which helped it make Smithsonian magazine’s “Guide to Cultured Retirement.”

Personal Preference

For some, proximity to grandchildren outweighs cost of living. For others, escaping city life trumps being close to sports arenas. In the end, it’s best to retire to a place that feels like home, whether it’s 30 minutes or 3,000 miles away.

Source: Life Care Services