Here Are the Best and Worst Places to Retire — 2016

If you’re thinking about moving to a new location to retire, whether it is to be closer to your family or to downsize, the verdict is in on the best and worst places to retire this year, according to new findings from Bankrate.

The ranking is based on the cost of living, cost and quality of healthcare provided to seniors, the percentage of income taxable by state and local governments, wealth, crime, culture, walkability and the overall well-being of the people living there.

worst places to retire Over the falls? All wet? Why is Niagra Falls one of the worst places to retire?

Best Places to Retire 2016

The number one best city to live in as a retiree is Arlington, Va., according to the Bankrate findings. The suburb of Washington, D.C., may have a cost of living that is higher than the national average, but the low health care costs, for seniors, in particular, make up for it. Arlington was also found to be extremely walkable, have a great cultural scene and very happy residents.

Another perk of Arlington is that it is located right on Washington D.C.’s Metro lines, which makes it even easier to travel around in the area.

Coming in second place is a suburb of Nashville: Franklin, Tenn. Franklin boasts low crime rates and Tennessee is extremely friendly when it comes to state taxes. Currently, the state does not have a standard income tax; and Social Security retirement benefits and income from retirement accounts are not taxed at the state level.

The population of Franklin has increased in the last 20 years, now with more than 70,000. The median home value is about $400,000, which is higher than the national average of $240,000. The only downside of Franklin is that it was given the lowest score in the top five cities for walkability, Bankrate notes.

The third best city in the country for retirement is West Des Moines, Iowa. The only city in a cold climate in the top five, West Des Moines’ top rating is based on the extremely low health care costs for seniors, which can make life there inexpensive in retirement. The median home value in West Des Moines is $192,000, which is well below the median for the rest of the U.S.

Also in the top 10 places to retire are Sarasota, Fla.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Round Rock; Texas., Glendale, Calif.; Cape Coral, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; and Kendall, Fla.

Worst Places to Retire 2016

As one of the worst places to retire in the United States, Niagara Falls, N.Y. comes in at the No. 1 spot. The city scored low in most categories including cost of living, taxes and health care. Niagara Falls does attract millions of tourists each year to see the city’s famed landmark, but the community itself leaves much to be desired for a retiree.

Following Niagara Falls was Milford, Conn. for its below-average performance in almost all categories. The city has a high cost of living, cold weather, a low walkability score and a lack of cultural vitality. The only perk of this area is that it has the lowest level of crime when compared to the other cities in the worst five cities.

In third place is San Bernardino, Calif., for its extremely high cost of living as well as expensive health care for seniors and a lack of cultural vitality.

Also among the top 10 worst cities to retire: Troy, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.; Little Rock, Ark.; New York, N.Y.; East Hartford, Conn.; Fresno, Calif.; and Rochester, N.Y.

Where to Retire? Is it a Lifestyle or a Financial Choice?

There are two key factors that should determine where you spend your retirement:

  • Where you want to live
  • What you can afford

Whether you stay put or move, it is important that you choose a place that you like and that offers you the lifestyle you want for retirement. However, it is also extremely important that the place where you retire be affordable. Housing is usually your most valuable asset and biggest expense. As such, it is critical that you think carefully about how to manage housing as an important piece of your overall retirement plan.

You can find out how much you can afford to spend on housing by using the NewRetirement Retirement Calculator. This award winning system helps assess your current situation and gives you the tools to find out what happens if you downsize or relocate to another location.

You might also want to explore the pros and cons of downsizing or how to use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home.  (Or, a reverse mortgage as a way to stay put in your own existing home.)

NewRetirement Planner

Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable

NewRetirement Planner

Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable.

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