How to Choose Where to Live in Retirement

“Where should I retire?” Well, that depends on what you want to do in retirement. Some retirees want to spend more time on the golf course. Others want to continue working part time, or get their hands dirty in the garden or art studio. Maybe you want to see the world or make it a better place by volunteering.

Once you’ve figured out what’s important to you, the answer to “Where should I retire?” becomes clearer. We can help point you in the right direction. Consider the factors below as you weigh the pros and cons of the best retirement locations for you.


For many retirees, how to decide where to retire is as simple as following the sun. Florida’s beaches, weather and low taxes make it a prime destination for retirees. Arizona is one of the best retirement locations for golfers. But not everyone is looking to migrate to warmer climes. Oregon is one of the top 10 states for retirees to move to, and it’s not for their number of sunny days. Good wine, beautiful scenery and a laid-back lifestyle are the attractions. Of course, if you love being near the water where you can sail, kayak or paddle board to your heart’s content, the Connecticut coast is hard to beat.

Small Town or Big City

Small towns generally cost less to live in than a larger city. And the pace of life is slower than the hustle and bustle of city life. But larger cities have their attractions:

  • Public transportation — You don’t have to rely on a car to get around, which means no car payments, costly maintenance or insurance premiums.
  • Bigger hospitals — Some of the country’s best hospitals are located in major cities.
  • More entertainment — There are more concerts, museums, restaurants and entertainment options in a larger city.

On the other hand, small towns have lower crime rates than cities, traffic is light, and the vibe is relaxed and unpretentious. If you’re wondering what there is to do in our neck of the woods, here are 10 fun things to do in Mystic, Connecticut.

Family and Friends

Maintaining social and family relationships is an important factor in how to decide where to retire. Do you want to be closer to your children and grandkids? And if you do move to be closer to your family, is there a possibility they could move away due to a career change? Senior living communities like StoneRidge offer many opportunities to engage with other residents and forge new friendships. There are social events, fitness and educational classes, special interest clubs, outings, and volunteer opportunities, to name a few. The sense of community at StoneRidge is like having a second family.

Cost of Living

A city with a lower cost of living can make your retirement income go further. You’ll have more money for dining out, traveling, shopping and entertainment (assuming life has returned to normal in your new location). However, don’t forget to factor in taxes. Except in a handful of states, you’ll have to pay income taxes on your retirement account withdrawals. Social Security benefits are also subject to federal and state taxes. If you plan to buy a house, a shrewd move to a smaller home in a more affordable market can free up cash built up in your home’s equity.

Health Care

Having access to high-quality health care is especially important for seniors. That’s because, as we grow older, we need more than the occasional antibiotic or allergy pill to relieve our symptoms. There are chronic conditions that come with aging: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, arthritis and, if we’re unlucky, stroke or cancer. Plus, our vision and hearing tend to deteriorate. All these conditions require ongoing management, preferably by experts in their field. To help you evaluate doctors and hospitals in cities across the country, check out these helpful resources provided by the U.S. government.

At StoneRidge, residents benefit from having a medical practice on-site, in addition to a full continuum of care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation in our top-rated health center. Just as important, we help residents maintain an active, independent lifestyle with programs that support their health and well-being, including fitness classes, health screenings, and a menu that’s as healthy as it is delicious.

To learn more about how we can support your ideal retirement, see what StoneRidge residents say, take a virtual tour of our community, or call us at 860.222.0748. We’re here to help you make an informed decision about your senior living options.


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