Find and Test Your Ideal Retirement Town

Author: AB Staff

Find and Test Your Ideal Retirement Town

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There are a fair number of retirees that plan on staying put in their current home, but there is an even bigger number that are looking for a change of scene. Whether it’s a chance to experience a new adventure or downsize and save money, many retirees are looking for and moving to new towns.

If you’re going to count yourself in the group that moves to a new place upon retirement, you need to do some planning. While a lot of the decision and move itself should be based around what you want, you do need to do some practical thinking. Use these tips to help:

  • Don’t Focus Too Much On Climate – Yes, moving to a warmer climate would be great, especially as you age. However, the climate shouldn’t be your main focus when choosing a new town to retire in. You want your retired life to have purpose and meaning, not just a great tan.
  • Plan For All Stages – Don’t plan a retirement move on one stage of your retired life. What you want to do and are able to do at 65 might be very different once you’re 75. For example, a rural, peaceful farm is ideal when you’re 65 and have plenty of mobility. However, that same farm would be very challenging as you age and have less mobility or need more care.
  • Fitting In – Fitting in and making friends might not feel as hard as it did when you were in middle school, but it might prove to be difficult if you chose the wrong town. Try and find a place where your beliefs, needs and preferences are in line with the majority. For example, a more liberal couple from San Francisco might have trouble fitting in in a Bible Belt Tennessee town.
  • Do Some Research – There are a lot of helpful tools out there to make it easier for retirees to find a great new town to live in. Websites like com rank, review and list places to retire so you don’t have to do as much legwork yourself, and sites like Successful Aging offer studies and rankings for retirement towns based on simple yet helpful criteria. You can also visit sites like for more general information on neighborhoods.

Once you come up with a short list of potential towns, test them out. Its crucial to spend at least a week at a prospective home to give you a good idea of what its like, and if you’ll like living there. If you have the time and the means, you should spend more than a week over a few different trips. Take one week long trip, then go back during a different season for two or three weeks. Use these visits to meet with realtors and do some research for potential homes. If you want to be really sure, book a short-term rental for a month or so and really check the place out.

Finding a new home for retirement is exciting and fun, and will go a lot smoother if you use these tips.

Are you moving when you retire? Share below, and keep an eye out for more helpful articles about retirement living.