Best Places to Retire Depending On Who You Are

best places to retire

I’ve been looking at some recent lists of the best places to retire. They aren’t bad options. However, I think retirement locations really depend on the individual. No matter how cost-friendly it is, a place isn’t the right place if you don’t love it. After all, you’ve worked your whole life to reach retirement; you should definitely love where you live in those later years! Luckily, the lists do tend to reflect a variety of options for people with different lifestyles.

Retiring on the West Coast Requires Money

Forbes recently came out with their 2019 annual list of the 25 best places to retire. They specifically note that you’re not going to find many options in the Northeast or anywhere on the West Coast. That’s because affordability is one of the main factors that they take into consideration when ranking this list. Yes, the West Coast can be very expensive. If you want to retire in a place like the San Francisco Bay Area then you need to have a decent amount of money in the bank.

That said, I love San Francisco. I love living here. In fact, I really don’t want to live anywhere else. Will I be able to retire in San Francisco? I don’t know. I’m working towards it. But even if I can’t, chances are that I’ll want to stay somewhere on the West Coast. It’s the way of life that I prefer, even if I have to sacrifice financially in other ways to make it happens. Therefore, these lists of the best places to retire often exclude the very places I want to live.

Variety in Options of Best Places to Retire

Although the list excludes much of the West Coast, it does offer a lot of variety in other ways. The 25 cities they claim are the best places to retire range in population from 8000 (Brevard, North Carolina) to 1.5 million (San Antonio, Texas). While that excludes the largest cities in the US, it does offer a decent range for people to choose from. There’s also a range in median home price from $135,000 (Savannah, Georgia) to $297,000 (Wenatchee, Washington). That’s not a huge range but it reflects the opportunity to choose from different living styles. Whereas most cities listed are in warm locations, there are a few cities for those who think the best places to retire have many months of snow.

US News offers even more variety in their report. They include 100 best places to retire. These are generally larger cities than those on the Forbes list. Population ranges from 500,000 in Santa Rosa, CA (a West Coast option!) to the many millions of New York City (which actually ranks #16 on this list of best places to retire.) The difference between these two lists really highlights that people seek many different things when it comes to retirement and therefore it’s not easy to rank cities this way at all.

You Don’t Have to Retire in the US

Of course, these lists all offer options in the United States. However, you don’t have to retire in the US at all. If you’re adventurous, have family elsewhere, or just want to spend your later years somewhere new, then you might consider retiring abroad. US News has listed the ten best places to retire in Latin America, and many of the cities on that list hold broad appeal. So, if you’re looking towards retirement, don’t just rely on lists or what others have to say. Really think about who you are, what you want, and what’s realistic for you in your later years.

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most expensive cities

I live in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. In fact, San Francisco is arguably the most expensive city in the United States. Manhattan is the only other city where rent and mortgages compare to those in San Francisco. It isn’t uncommon to see $15 cocktails on a menu here.

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Housing Risks During the Winter Months

As the weather changes and the temperature in the northeastern coastal areas turn cold, more people move indoors to stay warm. This means your heating system will be run more often and many people turn their heat way up to keep warm. This is a natural reaction to the blustery outside air, but there are a few precautions you should take no matter what type of heat system your home has. Below are five tips to staying safe when the weather turns cold this winter, and remember this rule: stay warm but stay safe!

Heating System Safety

When running your heating system, it’s not a good idea to run it on high for too long. Always select the “auto” option rather than the “fan” to get the evenest heating and turn it to around 68 degrees when you leave the house. Check pilot lights to make sure they are all working. If your heat does not start up for the first time this winter, you may want to check the pilot light. Sometimes the pilot light can go out over the summer or early fall months when it is not in use, or strong wind can blow it out. There is a specific technique you should follow for lighting your pilot light with most electric furnace systems. There are various videos on this procedure, but the basic process is the same. It’s also a good idea to vacuum out your furnace once in a while to keep dust and debris from collecting around it.

Fireplace Safety

Many people enjoy starting up their fireplaces during the winter months, especially in the eastern locations where it is typically colder. Fireplaces are a wonderful asset to a home, and they create a warm and inviting atmosphere. But you should take care to make sure the flue is clean as this is the cause of many house fires, so on the east coast ensure you have adequate home insurance coverage in Ontario and other parts of Canada, where the winter wind blows colder than in other locations.

Radiators and Standalone Heaters

One of the greatest dangers when heating your home inside is the use of standalone electric heaters and radiator units. These units can overheat quickly and, when left alone, they can catch fire. The key to avoiding this disaster is to make sure there are no blankets, clothing items, or flammable materials within at least 10 feet or more of the unit. Also, never keep these standalone units burning by themselves or run off and leave them running when you leave the house.

Watch Christmas Trees

Christmas is near and it is a time many people enjoy with the introduction of a real tree. The disadvantage to real trees is that they can catch fire from the Christmas lights. This is especially true if you use the bare larger light bulbs that increase in heat as they are used. They can overheat if they are next to a tree branch and catch your tree and house on fire. Don’t risk this. Use smaller more contained lights and keep your real tree moist by watering it daily. This may reduce your chance of fire from a Christmas tree.

Burning Leaves: A Hazard Waiting to Happen

In addition to the potential for fires in your home due to heating units or Christmas trees, you should be careful when burning leaves near your home as well. Never burn your leaves on a windy day and watch for “no burn warnings” in your area.