If you’ve started researching when — and where — to retire, we don’t have to tell you that living in an affordable location is very important for most of us.
WalletHub recently released its Best & Worst Places to Retire rankings. The report compares U.S. cities for older Americans on fixed incomes.
To come up with the data, the finance website looked at 182 locations and gauged them on four factors: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care.
Report: Best Retirement Cities in America
Money expert Clark Howard says if you’re a retiree or are close to retiring, and you’re thinking about relocating to a more affordable area, it’s good to pace yourself.
“One of my key rules is you should always rent first for six months, a year or even two years if you’re thinking about relocating for retirement. If it turns out that you don’t like it, at least you’re not all-in owning a home that you’ve now got to get rid of,” he says.
But where would you go? Here are some key findings from the report:
- Four of the top five cities in the overall rankings are in Florida.
- Three out of five of the cities with the lowest adjusted cost of living are in Texas.
- California’s Glendale, Riverside and Bakersfield are listed in spots 1, 2 and 3 for “Best Mild Weather.”
To a large extent, financial freedom for retirees has a lot to do with what you’re paying for your home, says certified financial planner Wes Moss.
“If you are planning to move while in retirement, be sure that you can move into a new home without having a mortgage,” Moss says, “essentially swapping your current home equity (or paid-off mortgage) for a home owned ‘free and clear.’”