Retirements are supposed to be a reward for a life spent working hard, but the transition can induce stress. After all, you have to consider your pension, resolve debt, and maintain health, with the biggest and most important decision being where you want to live.
Those choosing a place to spend their retirement years have to think about crime rates, cost of living, the quality of life they can expect, as well as local tax rates, and how close their family will be. Having in mind the sheer size of the U.S., you can luckily pick from a lot of locations.
We’re here if you need help, but instead of giving you the most desirable places, we will share the cities you should avoid.
New York City
New York is a city that offers a lot, but retirees should think twice before moving here. First of all, NYC happens to be among the most expensive U.S. cities. For example, renting an apartment with two bedrooms can easily cost you $2,500 per month. Other than that, the city suffers from congestion and the taxes are high. NYC is great for those who like to walk, but the weather may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to severe blizzards and scorching summer heat waves.
Fans of the Indy 500 or blues and jazz bars and concerts will look to Indianapolis and think it’s a wonderful place to live as a retiree. Sadly, that’s not true. Indianapolis is ranked 15th by population size in the U.S. but suffers from very high crime rates. Worse yet, activities that might appeal to seniors are few and far between, while the hospitals and clinics are subpar in quality. Lastly, the city is in Tornado Alley.
Detroit is incredibly affordable at first glance but life here carries many problems. For example, it’s ranked as perhaps the most dangerous U.S. cities, it has a terrible quality of life rating, and retiree benefits have been reduced since 2013 because of city bankruptcy.
If money is not a problem, Seattle is a great place to live. But if you’re on social security or even a decent pension, you will struggle to pay rent when the average price is practically $2,000 per month. Apart from a high cost of living, the weather in Seattle can be very rainy and bleak, especially during winter, and traffic is a big problem.
Los Angeles, California
There’s no denying that the weather and healthcare in LA are amazing, but the cost of living here is very high with rents for a single bedroom apartment near the center of the city costing some $2,000. Droughts and wildfires are also a problem and in the last 1,200 homes were burned down.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Incredible national parks and a low cost of living cannot offset the high crime rates and inaccessible health care in Little Rock, Arkansas. Summers here are hot but also humid which brings out mosquitoes, and you can expect a few dozen tornadoes each year. In 2018, there were 34.
Hawaii may seem like an island paradise, but everything is incredibly expensive here, while gas prices are among the highest in America. Crowding from tourists is also common, and volcanic smog can strike and cover-up clear blue skies.
Fishing, wildlife, vast national parks — Alaska seems like a breathtaking place to retire but think twice before you move. Yes, there’s no sales tax here, but the capital is very expensive to live in as many things have to be shipped or flown in. Finally, health care is so expensive that people often fly to Seattle to save money.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Many retirees will be priced out of Jersey City, where the cost of living soars above the national average. Health care quality also depends very much on your income and the bustle and urban sprawl doesn’t help you keep up physical activity.
Memphis is where rock, blues, and soul came from, but it’s not for senior citizens. This iconic city is the fourth most dangerous in the U.S. Moreover, the volatile weather carries with it thunderstorms, flooding, and tornadoes. Worst of all, health care is terrible with fewer hospitals and low federal funding.
Getting everything ready for retirement is not easy. There are many things to take care of, but picking where you’ll live is the most important one. The spot you think offers peace of mind may end up being a nightmare. That’s why it’s important to research and choose the best place for you.