Planning for and in retirement usually encompasses more than just the financial aspects. A recent article published by US News and World Report analyzed 150 metropolitan areas titled “Best Places to Retire in the U.S. in 2022-2023.” Five of the top ten metropolitan areas are in Pennsylvania (Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Reading, and Allentown. The ranking considered weightings of the following indexes: Happiness, Housing Affordability, Health Care Quality, Retiree Taxes, Desirability, and Job Market Index.
As you know, JFS provides financial planning services to clients across the United States. As it relates to the Metropolitan areas listed, we have offices and professionals with firsthand knowledge and directly serving and living in these communities.
Deciding where to retire is indeed an important consideration, but it is only one factor of many. Planning for and during retirement involves various aspects that should be thoughtfully evaluated with your JFS advisor to ensure a fulfilling and comfortable retirement. Retirement planning is individualized and not “one size fits all.” Below is an overview of considerations that should be discussed in a more meaningful way:
1. Financial Situation: Assessing your financial position is crucial. Consider your retirement savings, pension plans, healthcare costs, and other financial obligations. Determine whether your chosen retirement location aligns with your budget and financial goals.
2. Cost of Living: Different regions and countries have varying costs of living. Research and compare housing prices, taxes, healthcare expenses, utilities, and daily living costs. Ensure that your retirement income can adequately cover your expenses.
3. Climate and Environment: Climate preferences differ among individuals. Consider potential retirement destinations’ weather conditions, seasonal variations, and natural surroundings. Decide whether you prefer a warmer climate, proximity to the ocean or mountains, or other environmental factors.
4. Healthcare and Accessibility: Quality healthcare services are crucial in retirement. Evaluate the healthcare infrastructure, availability of healthcare facilities, and health insurance options in your desired locations. Additionally, consider the proximity to family, transportation infrastructure, and accessibility for any specific needs you may have.
5. Lifestyle and Amenities: Think about the lifestyle you envision for your retirement. Do you prefer a peaceful rural setting, an active urban environment, or a vibrant community with recreational activities? Consider the amenities and cultural opportunities, such as parks, restaurants, entertainment venues, and social clubs.
6. Safety and Security: Assess the safety of the potential retirement locations you are considering. Research crime rates, political stability, and the overall security of the area. Look into factors such as community safety, emergency services, and the availability of healthcare in case of emergencies.
7. Social Connections: Consider the availability of a social support network and opportunities for socializing and making new friends. Evaluate the presence of community organizations, volunteer opportunities, clubs, or groups that align with your interests and hobbies.
8. Income Tax Considerations: Income tax laws can significantly impact your retirement income. Review the tax regulations for retirees in potential locations, including income tax, property tax, and sales tax. Some regions offer tax advantages or incentives for retirees.
Remember that retirement is a personal decision, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is essential to consider multiple factors and prioritize your preferences and goals when deciding where and when to retire. As part of our ongoing lifetime planning continuum, Your JFS advisor and team members are eager to facilitate a constructive discussion and analysis to make informed decisions.