What factors should be considered before deciding where to in retire?
A crucial component of retirement planning is deciding where to retire. Some factors are subjective: Are you a big city person or do you prefer a small town? How important are recreational, educational or cultural opportunities? Is climate change a priority?
Other factors are less subjective than they are retirement facts of life, among them tax rates, crime rates; access to public transportation; and quality of available health care.
Scouting for the ideal location to spend your retirement years can have the first blush of “love at first sight,” but Bankrate.com cautions to not rush into a lifetime commitment. “Beware of the beach! Watch out for historic neighborhoods, vineyards, sweeping verandas,” the website urged in its recent post of the 10 worst states to retire. “These places will steal your heart and get you thinking about a permanent move before you’ve considered all the angles.”
Take Delaware (please). Bankrate.com ranks The First State as the 10th worst state to retire, despite its temperate climate and relatively low state and local taxes. Its biggest drawback, according to the survey, is its high cost of living and high crime rate.
Let’s run down the five worst states to retire, according to Bankrate.com:
· Wisconsin: If the temperatures don’t leave you cold, then perhaps the 11.2 percent state and local taxes will.
· California: California dreamin’ could turn into a retirement planning nightmare, according to the Bankrate.com survey. The Golden State has one of the nation’s highest costs of living. Its state and local taxes rank behind only Connecticut, New Jersey and New York
· Washington: Beautiful to look at, but dangerous to behold, the Evergreen State has an above average crime rate, the survey found. It also has an above average cost of living and is one of the colder states in the country. While Washington doesn’t levy a personal income tax, the state and local tax burden is calculated to be 9.3 percent of income.
· Alaska: While Alaska places the lowest tax burden (7 percent) on its residents, it’s cost of living is the second highest in the nation (just behind Hawaii). Its average annual temperature is a mere 35.9 degrees
· Oregon: The Beaver State ranks atop the Bankrate.com rankings of worst states to retire for its crime rate, state and local tax burden and cost of living, all above the national average. Still; beautiful scenery.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.