When planning to relocate after retirement, it is critically important that you understand the cost of living in the area and keep track of any changes over time. After all, you will need to account for the cost of living where you wish to live during retirement, not where you currently reside.
Investigating the cost of living early on can give you invaluable information. While it can show you that your plans may not be feasible if the cost of living in your desired location is too high, it can push you to save more and make your dreams come true.
Sometimes, a high cost of living is worth it for the other benefits a location offers. Some of the most expensive places to retire in the United States that actually have some great benefits for retirees include:
1. Burlington, Vermont
A small mountain city located close to Montreal on the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington is the ideal spot for retirees who plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. The city offers an incredible amount of different hiking and biking paths, not to mention some beautiful beaches ideal for swimming, kayaking, and watersports.
In the winter, the ski options throughout Vermont are incredibly diverse. Further, Burlington has a strong emphasis on green living, with a movement to consume local food and many companies developing eco-friendly products.
However, the taxes and costs of living here are high. The median cost of a home in Burlington is more than $120,000 over the national median. At the same time, the University of Vermont covers tuition for all students 65 years of age and older, even for-credit classes.
2. Denver, Colorado
One of Denver’s big draws for retirees is the city’s excellent health care. Colorado ranks fifth in the United Health Foundation’s senior health rankings, largely due to contributions from Denver. Meanwhile, the Milken Institute ranked Denver the 12th best big city in the nation for successful aging because of the area’s health care, which has led to a rather healthy and active senior population.
Another big strength of the area is its high economic stability, as well as its great infrastructure. Older adults have access to affordable mass transit and other options. Plus, Denver has great continuing-care centers and highly ranked nursing homes. The biggest downside of retiring in Colorado is that the cost of living is about 10 percent higher than the national average for retirees.
3. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor provides residents with a range of different cultural and sporting events, not to mention easy access to various educational programs, including the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The university also has a Geriatrics Center and the Institute of Gerontology, which focus on the healthcare issues that come with aging.
The center gives residents access to various programs and classes that help retirees maintain their independence and safeguard their health for the long term. Moreover, the city offers retirees great healthcare resources and public transportation options. The downside of living in Ann Arbor, however, is that the overall cost of living is more than 27 percent higher than the national average. Plus, Michigan is not a very tax-friendly state for retirees.
4. Hilo, Hawaii
The reasons to move to Hawaii for retirement are perhaps quite obvious. The state has incredible beaches and a climate that cannot be beaten in the continental United States. At the same time, the cost of living in Hilo, which is on the Big Island, is 36.4 percent over the national average.
The reason to retire in Hilo is that the cost of living is actually significantly cheaper than the more popular metro areas in Hawaii. Plus, the Hilo lifestyle is one of the best for retirees. The colonial town is quiet and calm and provides easy access to Mauna Loa, various rainforests, and waterfalls, not to mention Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Downtown Hilo features a charming waterfront area with various galleries, shops, museums, and restaurants, as well as the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.
5. Easton, Maryland
On the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay is Easton, a small town with a lot of history and charm that has become a magnet for retirees. Here you will find a number of restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, and more.
Last July, Easton officially became one of two new Arts and Entertainment Districts in Maryland, meaning that it provides various tax incentives for local artists and businesses that support creative pursuits. Thus, Easton is perfect for retirees who have a passion for art.
However, the area is home to many millionaires, and the cost of living reflects this, although the overall cost of living is much cheaper than in nearby Annapolis. Easton is also great for people who enjoy the water—the Chesapeake Bay provides countless opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, and more.