Best Place to Retire: You Choose!

Best Place to Retire: You Choose!

Earlier this year I wrote about a article recommending South Dakota as the best place to retire (   I remarked that since we are all different, it would be more helpful to create a database of factors and leave it to us to decide for ourselves.  The people at Reuters must have read my blog, because they’ve just introduced an online tool that does just that: it calculates the best place for retirement based on factors that you select yourself.  The site was developed in partnership with Zillow, the online real estate company, and as such naturally has a strong focus on housing.  Regardless, I’m glad to see that companies are starting to develop tools to enable us to customize our retirement location decision based on our individual preferences.

The site recommends the best cities or towns for retirement based on population size, weather, crime level, healthcare access, entertainment access, and a few other factors.  You get to specify values for some of the factors as well as the level of importance for others.  And if you are serious about moving in retirement, Zillow (of course) makes it easy to find properties for sale or rent as well as brokers to help you take action.

The site still has its limitations.  Some of the recommendations appear to be highly subjective.  For example, it comes up with Ventura, California as the best location for weather without providing any details or data other than the fact that it has the greatest number of “mild” days each year.  What’s mild?  And what are the extremes?  The best big city (50,000 population and above) is Venice, California.  That’s not a very big city in my book.  And what makes it best?  Your personalization choices are also somewhat limited.  For example, for healthcare access all you can specify is “Very Important”, “Important”, or “Not Important.”  Nonetheless, the website is certainly a step in the right direction in helping us decide for ourselves the right place to retire.  And unlike the Bankrate analysis, the Reuters tool recognizes that people do not retire to entire states but rather to individual cities or towns.

There are many decisions to be made prior to retirement, and a good place to live is one of the most important.  For those of you who are considering a possible change, here’s the link to the website.  Let me know what you think!

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