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Periodic Contributor

What are the Best States for Seniors to Retire?

I know AARP does their own articles on best places to retire.... but what are your thoughts based on your own experiences.

 

Keep in mind.... cost, weather, transportation and most of all excellent health care for seniors.

 

Thanks for your inputs.

 

PannB
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In the past eight years, I’ve lived in seven states. Currently in Nevada, I predict yet another moving adventure in 2020. I enjoyed growing up in northern MI with lots of snow, so South Lake Tahoe last winter where I shoveled snow until spring was heavenly. I’m so grateful to be a reasonably healthy/young 74-year old (according to me) with at least 26 more good years ahead of me. Throughout my life, I’ve traveled to 40 states and lived in 16. I would say that the best state for seniors to live in is any state where you feel at home. I’m still looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling.

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I am an 81 year old married male. In good, but managed health.  I am semi-retired for two reasons.  First, I need intellectual stimulation beyond just reading books.  I recently obtained my health and life insurance license with the intent to sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans to seniors.  I have been in a Medicare Advantage plan since I was eligible for Medicare (or soon thereafter).  The second reason, is one of haves and have-nots.  I can't afford to retire.  All that I get is social security and not a lot of that either.  Closely related is that I absolutely have to have a Medicare Advantage Plan.  The best of these, typically, are in large metropolitan areas where is there are large numbers of medical facilities and doctors of all types.

 

We live in Spring, TX, a northern suburb of Houston, and adjacent to The Woodlands.  Texas has very high real estate taxes (because there is no state income tax), and only limited relief for seniors.  The largest part of the tax hit is by the school districts.  I have been advocating that the current tax relief seniors qualify for automatically at age 65 should be increased by 10% annually (or an annual rate that would reduce the senior's tax contribution to the school system to $0 at age 75).  

 

I joke that I have lived in 35 locations by the time I was 35 years old.  I have been to every state and all of the larger cities.  Born in Washington, D.C., I have lived in D.C., the Shenandoah valley, Fairfax, VA, Rehoboth Beach, Del, Baltimore, Egg Harbor, NJ, New York City (twice), Milford, Conn, Boston, Mass, Toledo, OH, Pittsburg and Norristown, PA, Salt Lake City, UT, Denver CO,  Honolulu, Hawaii, Fort Worth and Houston (Spring and other suburbs), TX.

 

I have also traveled extensively around the world, compliments of the U.S. Navy, and a personal desire to travel after my navy service.  My wife runs a travel club for seniors and she travels extensively around the U.S. as well as all over the world.  She is 8 years younger than me.  I take a blood thinner (warfarin--I can not afford Eliquis and don't quite qualify for a medication reduction program).  Warfarin requires, for me, testing at least monthly as I have had thrombophlebitis 3 times and DVT once.  So, 11 hour flights are no longer recommended.  My last trip to Europe, about 10 years ago, I knew on the flight over there that I had another case of thrombophlebitis.  Then my left side chest began to hurt and I was short of breath.  I was afraid that I had developed a blood clot in my lungs.  We managed to limp back to home and after dropping my wife off at the house, I went to the emergency room.  Immediately admitted.  Yes, I had a blood clot in my right calf, and my side/chest problem was pneumonia.  I yelled, "thank God I have pneumonia."  The alternative was much worse.

 

I have driven across Canada, taken the trains both ways, and have been to all major cities, and even went to the Calgary Stampede.

 

Ok, so where is the best place to live?  It will vary for each individual.  But there are several  important factors.

 

1, what is your level of happiness?  Are you a happy person?  I am, I can be happy anywhere.  Happiness is a choice.  You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable.  I recognize that some unhappiness may be due to depression, a medical condition.

 

2,  How much intellectual stimulation and of what type do you need.  Are there groups that provide that for you in the locations you are considering.  Closely following this is there broadband internet service there and is it reasonably priced?  The internet is like your key to the Library of Congress (did my college thesus there), and every enclopedia every published.  So, the internet can satisfy a large component of intellectual curiosity.  That keeps the mind active and alert.  Are you curious about lots of things?  Do you volunteer?  Do you have hobies?  Do you exercise, indoors or out of doors?  A little silky Yorkshire Terrier and I have walked about 6000 miles over the last 12 years.  Her little legs move like a centipede, and she is always ready to go walk.

 

3.  How does the weather effect you.  Can you handle shoveling snow or does the risk of skin cancers keep you off the beaches?  I am no longer interested in either.  I have skiied the rockies, and lived right on the ocean in Rehoboth Beach, DE and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii.  No longer interested in either of them.  Like the three bears, don't want it too hot, or too cold, but just right.  Well, a few days of bitter cold can be tolerated, as well a a few days of extreme heat.

 

4.  What type of medical insurance plan do you need, and you can afford?  For me, it has to be a Medicare Advantage plan.  Most places around the U.S. don't qualify.

 

5.  What is the cost of housing and other expenses?  AARP and others publish this information.  This probably gets most people to at least a small number of possibilities.  If money is no concern, you can live anywhere you want.  As the old saying goes, "money doesn't buy happiness, but you can be miserable in the right part of town."

 

6.  How mobile are you?  Can you walk without a cane or walker?  Can you and your spouse each drive?  When we lived in Fort Worth we drove to the Grand Canyon to have Christmas dinner in the lodge overlooking the canyon.  Then it started to snow...beautiful!

 

7.  Finally, how close do you need to be to your extended family?  What if they are gravely ill, or you are?  How easy and costly is to get from where you are to them, or vice versa?

 

So, that's my take on the issue.  For now Spring, TX is home.  But, we have looked at Laughlin, NV (for me, not good Medicare Advantage Plans there). We intend to visit anumber of locations in Florida (been there many times over the years and have travelled extensively throughout the state).

 

Last consideration, but unrelated to location.  Have you considered being an organ donor?  It can be your last act of charitable giving.  Everyone qualifies, even if you give your body, with all kinds of medical ailments, to the medical community for study.  My wife and I have chosen to be cremated when all me has been used or studied to the medical communities' satisfaction.  My ashes will be scattered at a grave site in the veteran's National Cemetary in Houston, TX.  Same for my wife.

 

But, not to rush things, I should have about 47 more years before that.  LOL  

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Three years ago we moved to Delaware from New Jersey to escape high property taxes and congestion. We took our New Jersey house sale equity and built a new home in an existing subdivision were some of our New Jersey friends had moved. We later found out that our decision to move to Delaware was not a good one.

 

Over 90% of the waterways, streams, ponds and wetlands are polluted with excess nitrares from farms and will not support aquatic life. Each year a horeshoe crab survey of the Delaware Bay is done and voluteers are required to wear hipboots so their skin doesn't make contact the the bay water. Roboboth Beach, one of the most expensive communities in the state, has a sewer pipe one mile off the beach dumping sewage plant treatment water into the ocean right were your swimming. When there is a heavy rain fall in Rehoboth the beaches close because the bacteria levels are too high. Most days the ocean water looks brown. The closer you are to the mouth of the Delaware Bay the darker the water looks.

 

Many private wells contain excessive levels of nitrates and bacteria yet Delaware has no well testing requirement when an owner sells a home. Unlike New Jersey, were every well owner is required to test and remediate private wells that do not meet the state standard. Well testing requirements were opposed by the real estate community in Delaware.

 

The state and counties rely on real estate transfer taxes for most of their income so development is out of control. In Sussex County the Planning and Zoning Board can't approve developments fast enough. Thousands of residential units are approved each year with no increases in police, rescue or fire personal. Wastewater disposal is often done by spray irrigation on sandy soil that flows down into the underground water supply.

 

Route 1, the main throughfare to the Sussex County beaches is a parking lot from Lewes to all beaches south in the summer. Ambulances and fire trucks sit in traffic with sirens blarring while drivers can't move over because there is no were to go. The absence of police along Route 1 makes it a free for all. Posted speed limits mean nothing. Running red lights, passing on the right and ignoring bike riders contributed to multiple deaths this past summer.

 

Health care isn't what your used to if you come from NJ, NY, Conn or PA. It takes months to see a doctor and the quality of care is not great. According to the Center for Disease Controll Delaware has one of the highest incidences of new cancer cases in the nation.

 

The state is run by a bunch of self serving politicians who are controlled by corporate interests. Public health takes a backseat to political contributions. The state agency tasked with protecting the environment defends polluters and ignors public heath issues.

 

If you thinking about moving to Delaware do your homework. Don't rely on the real estate community to help you or the local home builders. They only want to sell you a home. Be smart, ask lots of questions before you commit to putting your life savings into a home that you may not be able to re-sell. I wish we had!

 

 

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Gold Conversationalist

I love shoveling snow so I retired to Michigan's upper peninsula.  

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I'm from Sault Ste. Marie, MI and lived on Sugar Island between the U.S. and Canada. Where are you from?

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Social Butterfly

I'm a Buffalo native living in Mtns. NC and  I have to confess I miss those snow storms.

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Contributor

As everyone knows, Florida is a great place to retire. I lived in Orlando for 20 years and now in Jacksonville.  I am a 30 year real estate Managing Broker. If anyone wants to move to Florida, shoot me a message and I'd be happy to get you all of the info you need, no obligation.  John Nadler

1johnjnadler@gmail.com  

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I was born & raised in Amherst and I know what you mean about missing the snow but currently live in Jacksonville, FL
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Social Butterfly

Did you ever go to ARTPARk?
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The best state to retire to is not a physical state, it is a state of mind.  When I retired, I was the caretaker of my Dad who had Dementia.  Upon his death, I lived in the same home for another 7 years but found a two-story house required more than I could handle.  I checked out the Independent Living Communities in my area and found one that provided a lot of activities to keep me busy, a chance to volunteer, and meet new people that became my friends.  No more mowing the lawn or shoveling snow too!  And I was still close to other friends and relatives that I would see.  So, to sum it all up, it doesn't matter where you live, it is how you mentally feel about it!

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Periodic Contributor

I'd love to be able to agree with you about it being "how you mentally feel about it"...… but if a community doesn't do a good/great job of making services available for it's seniors, than it's definitely more than how you feel about it mentally.
PannB
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Boy do I agree with you.  Where does your physical body reside?  I would to be your friend.  I live outside of Chicago.  Each town around me has there own park districts Senior Center.  Some do a good job and some do a great job with there programs.  I know they each are backed by each towns tax dollars, but if some of them would join together Seniors woud have a fantastic place to go.    Ilene, Buffalo 🐃 Grove, Ill. 

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Social Butterfly

Now, let's get serious?

 

I'm looking to re-locate; while I love living here (Las Vegas), where my two youngest and their fams are, I'm also really over the population count...

 

any suggestions small to medium town/city where snow is not normal and retired people can and would be appreciated would be great!

 

#VegasStrong

 


#VegasStrong
Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Gold Conversationalist

Florida!
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Periodic Contributor

Florida is too hot and humid. Arizona is not usually humid, and the heat can be avoided.
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Periodic Contributor

Phil, Hi, I met you some 30 years ago when you and Sammy Davis did things together. You were the guest of Gibson Guitars for dinner before his show. You and someone else I do not remember. For dinner you sat with me and my husband Stuart. You certainly made an impression on my life, THANK YOU PHIL HARRIS. Ilene
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@WebWiseWoman wrote:

Now, let's get serious?

 

I'm looking to re-locate; while I love living here (Las Vegas), where my two youngest and their fams are, I'm also really over the population count...

 

any suggestions small to medium town/city where snow is not normal and retired people can and would be appreciated would be great!

 

#VegasStrong

 


If you can stand the heat year round (I can't), maybe somewhere in Florida. Yes, some locations will have way too many people and congestion, but they do have some locations that are peaceful. And they do welcome the older generation. Hugs, Angela

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Payson, AZ is less than a day from Las Vegas.  It is a small town with a large senior citizen population.  It snows occasionally, and only gets above 100 degrees when it is 120 in Phoenix.  But you must be in fairly good health, since we are at 5,000 feet and breathing is hard for some (like my daughter who is only 50, but has COPD).  We love it here, since we can still drive down to Phoenix for special doctors' appointments and occasional shopping for things we can't get at Wamart.  There is currently a bus for the main streets, so if you don't drive you have to be careful to pick a house near one of those streets, but I don't know what you would do about specialist appointments.

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Periodic Contributor

We retired to Baja, Mexico about 15 minutes from the San Diego border and LOVE it. The cost of living is amazing. 

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I've heard Baja is amazing! Would love to hear more about the area. John 1johnjnadler@gmail.com
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We moved to Baja about a year ago from Phila. We are about 15 min from the border and we love it more every day!! First of all, it is very safe!! I have never felt unsafe. That is nonsense. The cost of living is very low and so affordable. The Mexican people are SO nice and caring. This was voted the best weather in the world. There is no humidity!! Yeah. We went to dinner and I had an amazing Beef Wellington for $14. This is the place to go to the dentist! I just had a root canal for $300 in a modern office. Most of the dentists here go to American schools. We bought an amazing home by the sea for $275,000. Our taxes are $100. a year. We go to San Diego all the time and love exploring the west coast. I wish we had done this as soon as my kids graduated. I could go on and on. Love, Love, Love

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Social Butterfly

I found Asheville NC to work well for me.  Weather is awesome - four seasons, mountain air, outstanding medical, diverse population, first rate restaurants, senior friendly.  The County provides free transportation to and from doctors appointments, shopping etc. A 3 hour drive and you can be at the Ocean.  Flight to major Cities from the uncrowded Airport.

Can you tell I like it here?

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@mimi0000 wrote:

I found Asheville NC to work well for me.  Weather is awesome - four seasons, mountain air, outstanding medical, diverse population, first rate restaurants, senior friendly.  The County provides free transportation to and from doctors appointments, shopping etc. A 3 hour drive and you can be at the Ocean.  Flight to major Cities from the uncrowded Airport.

Can you tell I like it here?


Lol, I can see you like it. Thank you for sharing with us. Hugs, Angela

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Periodic Contributor

Thank you for your input about Ashville NC......I know other people thought the question was to general, but it was just to get people sharing their opinions about what they have experienced..... Thanks again!!   

PannB
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@pburdi56 wrote:

Thank you for your input about Ashville NC......I know other people thought the question was to general, but it was just to get people sharing their opinions about what they have experienced..... Thanks again!!   


Hi, glad you did post this subject. Any updates on your decision on relocating? Hugs, Angela

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@AngelaS579497wrote:  "Hi, glad you did post this subject. Any updates on your decision on relocating? Hugs, Angela"

 

Still doing a lot of research.... Thanks Angela !

PannB
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Honored Social Butterfly

I don't buy into any idea that an entire state is better, or worse, to retire in than another. There are large differences in taxes on retirement, real estate, food, general goods, general cost of living, etc.

   As far as health care, can't generalize for a state. You can find info on health care facilities for cities and some general regions.

   But what is best for retirement?  Weather, indoor activities, outdoor activities, politics, access to public transportation, cultural activities, interest groups you might want to join, neighborhood programs, crime statistics, demographics, etc. Endless facts about specific areas that you would want to live in. Just picking a state is just too broad. 

   If one has family, that may trump all other considerations regardless of the negatives of living in that area. Some people move for inexpensive housing but find there is nothing going on of much interest in their community. Lots of anecdotal stories that I've heard of people moving to places in Arizona, from the midwest, to escape the winter and snow around here. Then, they find that for a good portion of the year, it's too hot to go anyplace unless you're out at 5:00am or after 9:00pm. I know someone who moved back from California because they missed the changing seasons.

   You have a lot of research, and thinking, to do.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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@retiredtraveler wrote:

I don't buy into any idea that an entire state is better, or worse, to retire in than another. There are large differences in taxes on retirement, real estate, food, general goods, general cost of living, etc.

   As far as health care, can't generalize for a state. You can find info on health care facilities for cities and some general regions.

   But what is best for retirement?  Weather, indoor activities, outdoor activities, politics, access to public transportation, cultural activities, interest groups you might want to join, neighborhood programs, crime statistics, demographics, etc. Endless facts about specific areas that you would want to live in. Just picking a state is just too broad. 

   If one has family, that may trump all other considerations regardless of the negatives of living in that area. Some people move for inexpensive housing but find there is nothing going on of much interest in their community. Lots of anecdotal stories that I've heard of people moving to places in Arizona, from the midwest, to escape the winter and snow around here. Then, they find that for a good portion of the year, it's too hot to go anyplace unless you're out at 5:00am or after 9:00pm. I know someone who moved back from California because they missed the changing seasons.

   You have a lot of research, and thinking, to do.


Excellent points, thanks for giving me something to think about. Me, personally would like to stay in Virginia but over my city/lol. Now to figure out where to relocate this year or next. Either way your comment will help with deciding. Hugs, Angela

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Hello!

 

Are you relocating or doing this for research?

 

From my own ONLINE research, I am kind of at a crossroads as far as staying in the SAME state or moving. My present location here in VA has very few sidewalks. I need my sidewalks as I love to walk and explore. Yes, they are very good with fitness establishments and trails, but I get bored very quickly once I have have walked ONE time through a neighborhood or a trail.

 

I also found there are a lot of Senior Retirment communities. I am not into the GROUP set up, so have no interest in those

 

What I am looking into is maybe finding states (or countries) that allow TINY cottages. Not the ones on wheels/lol. Don't need my home hooked up to someone's vehicle and towed away.

 

Hugs,

Angela

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