Florida cities take nearly half of top 10 places to retire list

Senior couple looking to retire walking together on beach – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by iseeu2

When it comes to choosing a place to spend your retirement years, several cities in the Sunshine State take up nearly half of the top 10 spots, according to WalletHub’s 2022 Best and Worst Places to Retire survey.

While the historic Charleston, South Carolina takes the cake as the best U.S. city to retire in, Orlando, Florida comes close at second.

The survey rates 182 cities based on four key categories of the same weight: affordability, quality of life, healthcare, and activities. Their study also assumes retirees will be living on a fixed income. 

The top 10 best cities to retire:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Cincinnati, Ohio
  4. Miami, Florida
  5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  6. San Francisco, California
  7. Scottsdale, Arizona
  8. Wilmington, Delaware
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Although four cities in Florida ranked in the top 10 best places to retire overall, they all scored much lower on the list in terms of cost of living. Orlando was the highest on the affordability list ranking at 25th, Tampa at 34th, Miami at 78th, and Fort Lauderdale at 87th.

According to Tamara L. Wolske, a University of Indianapolis assistant professor who specializes in Aging Studies, when deciding on a place to retire, taxes and the cost of living should be two of the most important financial considerations. 

In addition, be sure to plan your expenses and lifestyle accordingly if you’ll be living on a fixed income in retirement. 

“The non-negotiable expenses should be tended to first each month, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, credit accounts, insurance, and taxes,” she advises. “Whatever funds you have left over can be used for controllable expenses such as groceries, gas, and leisure activities.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make while planning for retirement is not properly calculating their additional medical expenses and taking them into account when planning. According to Fidelity Investment’s August estimate, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2022 will spend an average of $315,000 in medical and healthcare expenses throughout their retirement.

“Older adults are the greatest consumers of healthcare services,” she explains. “Most people do not realize that Medicare does not cover every health-related need and there are deductibles and copays.”

Most Americans believe they will only pay approximately $41,000 in total on retiree medical care.

“Many people plan for the good times after their job ends, but they do not take action steps across their life course to navigate the uncertainties of living as an older person in this country,” she says.

Saving is key when preparing for the golden years.

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