The Best Locations to Retire With a Loved One
You've worked hard, saved when you could have splurged and are now ready for retirement. But you have one last thing to do before the non-stop fun begins: decide where you'll spend your time. From the quality of life to the affordability of locations, there is a lot to consider when you and your spouse or partner are picking where you will spend your glory days.
We've rounded up some of the best options across the globe for you both to consider. Whether your retirement is quickly approaching or you have plenty of planning still left to do, read on to learn about some of the best places to retire.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Real Estate: $179,000
Highlight: 52 State Parks
Arkansas is known as the natural state, and while it isn't as glamorous as some of the options on our list, it is a popular destination for retirees, especially in Little Rock, the state’s capital. More than 50 percent of folks who relocated to the state were over the age of 55, according to United Van Lines 2018 Movers Study.
The state's outdoor adventures are great for couples who are filling their retirements with vacation. Arkansas has more than 52 state parks, seven national parks and three national forests that cover more than 2.9 million acres. And when you're looking for a city adventure, hop in the car and get to nearby cities — St. Louis and Kansas City in Missouri, Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee, and Dallas — in just a few hours.
Since you'll be having one grand adventure after another, it's crucial to consider cost. Thankfully, Arkansas scored an A+ for cost of living, taking the second place spot for most affordable places to live in the U.S., according to CNBC. The state also offers a bonus for retirees by not taxing social security income and only partially taxing retirement and pension incomes.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Real Estate: $235,000
Highlight: 27 Miles of Beaches
If you and your beloved always dreamed of setting up shop at the beach, then consider one of the world's best, Panama City Beach in Florida. It provides the tropical vibe some retirees demand with more than 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and stunning emerald green water. It consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in the world by nearly everyone from TripAdvisor to Conde Nast Traveler. Plus, it has one of the highest concentrations of bottlenose dolphins in the world.
You won't be stuck on the beach all day every day, though, as Panama City Beach also has state parks for hikers and countless restaurants for foodies. And with more than 320 days of sunshine per year and a year-round average temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit, Panama City Beach has year-round events and festivals.
Portstewart, Northern Ireland
Real Estate: $201,544 (141,344 IEP)
Highlight: Golf Resort Communities
If you love golf, traveling internationally and living on the coast, then we've got a destination for you: Portstewart in Northern Ireland. While we hadn't heard of it before, it does sound like a dream come true for a particular type of retiree.
"It's an ideal retirement spot for couples, as it boasts fantastic coastal treks, great beaches for walking and warm weather from spring to summer," says Stuart Cooke, a manager with Uni Baggage, a company that specializes in international moves. "Portstewart and neighboring Portrush have some of the best golf courses in Ireland, so if you are planning on keeping active in retirement or taking up a new hobby, it's a golfers paradise."
Plus, prices for houses are much lower than mainland U.K. properties, so you could snag a home on the coast for a great price and still visit the rest of Europe easily.
Real Estate: $206,000
Highlight: Historic Charm
AARP Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, Reader's Digest and several other publications have listed Winchester as a perfect place for couples to retire. One of the main draws are the endless activities available at places like farmers markets, orchards and wineries. The charming Old Town Winchester historical district has museums, restaurants, boutiques and is the scene for year-round events. The town also has a thriving civic and nonprofit sector for retirees who want to get involved with causes close to them.
Add to that the fact that Winchester has a lot of communities created especially for active adults, including Trilogy at Lake Frederick, Village at Orchard Ridge and Westminster-Canterbury. Plus, the town only has a population of about 28,000, so you'll enjoy all the benefits of Winchester without a crowd. And let’s not forget the low property tax rates, which will make your dollar go further.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Real Estate: $391,250
Highlight: Water Sports
If you plan on spending your retirement on the golf course, why not pick one of the most popular regions for it in the world: Hilton Head? The South Carolina island has 24 championship golf courses, with a grand total of more than 40 courses throughout the Hilton Head Island–Bluffton area.
Hilton Head offers year-round sunshine for couples who are looking to stay active while in retirement. If golfing isn't your favorite thing, the island has plenty of other outdoor adventures. Think kayaking the coast, biking and hiking more than 60 miles of trails and paths, and fishing in the Atlantic.
The Algarve, Portugal
Real Estate: $280,868 (250,000 EUR)
Highlight: Beautiful Beaches
If you are looking for a low cost of living, an international adventure and the beautiful waters of the Atlantic, then consider The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region. CNN and Forbes have listed it as one of the best places to retire thanks to the region's beautiful beaches and more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Plus, you won't run through your savings in the first month.
“The Algarve is also very affordable. Here, a café (espresso) will cost around $0.50, while a 3-course lunch will typically cost less than $12 — often that includes wine as well. Apartment rental prices start at around $300, but the average is closer to $550,” says James Cave, who runs The Portugalist, a blog dedicated to life in Portugal. “Unlike many retirement destinations, Portugal is also incredibly safe. In fact, it's considered to be one of the safest countries in the world.”
Real Estate: $190,000
Highlight: Southern Hospitality
If you love history and a good ghost tour, then consider Savannah when researching your retirement options. "Savannah is a front runner for senior citizens looking to retire," says Sophie Kaemmerle, a communications manager at Neighbor Who, a business dedicated to helping people understand neighborhoods better. "Between the gorgeous year-round weather, beautiful city views and cost of living that 10 percent less than the national average, it’s a win-win for most retirees."
You won't be lonely either, as Savannah boasts a 15 percent retiree population. Plus, the state of Georgia is one of the most tax-friendly states, so retirees can stretch their savings even further.
Real Estate: $124,250
Highlight: Friendly Residents
If you are looking for some southern charm at a great price, then consider retiring in the state of Kentucky. The state is one of the most financially friendly for seniors, according to new research by Stannah. Plus, the state is known for being friendly to new residents. In fact, the town of Murray in Kentucky was named the "Friendliest Small Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today.
The state is also a favorite among retiring couples because of its low tax rate and mild weather during all four seasons.
Le Marche, Italy
Population: 1.54 Million (Entire Region)
Real Estate: $160,000 (143,000 EUR)
Highlight: Scenic Hills
If you've ever seen "Under the Tuscan Sun" with Diane Lane, then you know the idea of retiring in Italy is a great one. But did you know you can save even more money for fun if you retire to the region of Le Marche? In fact, it was recently named one of the top places to retire abroad, according to Forbes.
"It's like Tuscany without the price tag: It's less publicized and, as a result, offers more affordable housing and rentals than its more famous neighbor," says Chantelle Kern, who runs The Italian on Tour. "It's all of Italy wrapped up in one region: In one afternoon you can go from eating the catch of the day by the seaside to skiing the snow-capped mountains of the Apennines."
Well, that does sound quite lovely. Plus, as Kern points out, the healthcare system is excellent. "Italy's healthcare system consistently ranks in the top 10 in the world, according to the World Health Organization," she says. "And as an expat retiree, you can buy into the system to equally enjoy its benefits as if you were a citizen."
Population: 1.63 million
Real Estate: $245,000
Highlight: Desert Hiking
You might already know how great Phoenix is for couples who are retiring since retirees make up 14 percent of the population. But allow us to highlight some additional points that might make you consider spending your golden days in the desert. "The weather is good year-round, the average household income of seniors is more than $52,000 a year, and there are a lot of wonderful amenities and attractions," Neighbor Who's Kaemmerle says.
Plus, there are countless activity options for outdoor enthusiasts. Sedona and the Grand Canyon aren't far by car, and there are lots of parks to explore and peaks to climb in the Phoenix area. Plus, there's hot-air balloon rides, desert-guided tours, zoos and museums.
Des Moines, Iowa
Real Estate: $145,000
Highlight: Museums & Botanical Gardens
If you're a fan of the Midwest but want to escape the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities like Chicago, then consider Des Moines. "The cost of living is 10 percent below the national average, yet the average household income is nearly $50,000," Kaemmerle says.
Plus, the city is set up with the kind of things you'll want and need as a retiree. "Des Moines has plenty of healthcare facilities specializing in aging-related services, and tons of activities for retirees such as museums, botanical gardens and shows," Kaemmerle adds.
You'll also have the chance to make new friends, as 12 percent of the population is 65 years old and up.
Population: 1.62 million
Real Estate: $516,629 (459,896 EUR)
Highlight: Museums & Art
If you're looking for your retirement to have the feel of a trip of a lifetime that never ends, then moving to Barcelona might be a great option for you and your partner. Spain's second-largest city sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is home to about 1.6 million people. Barcelona is bursting with art, restaurants, architecture, theaters, beaches, parks, plazas and countless shops. And despite all of these attractions, locals assure us that Barcelona won't leave you feeling busy and drained.
"Barcelona is a metropolis with the size of a village and a laid-back atmosphere; in other words, it has everything at hand," says Andre Arriaza, a travel expert and co-founder of the site, Barcelona Eat Local. "The Mediterranean climate is amazing with 300-plus days of sunlight per year and a stretch of beaches along the coastline."
Since Barcelona plays a significant role in the business world, there are also enough flights available that your kids and grandkids can still easily visit. Plus, U.S. News and World Report counts moving to Barcelona as a good financial decision for couples. "Considering the quality of life available, the cost of living qualifies as one of the world’s best bargains," the magazine reported. "A retired couple could live here on as little as $2,000 per month. And this city’s property market is a global buy."
Real Estate: $395,000
Highlight: Outdoor Activities in Rocky Mountains
If you like experiencing the four seasons but also enjoy a steady amount of sunshine, then Denver should top your list for places to retire. "Although the cost of living in Colorado is higher than many states, the state’s positives outweigh the negatives," Kaemmerle says. "Colorado ranks fourth in the United Health Foundation's senior health rankings."
Plus, the average household income for retirees is $60,234, which is one of the highest for senior citizens in the country, according to Kaemmerle. And thanks to the endless outdoor options for hiking, biking and mountain climbing, Denver's senior population is among the most active in the U.S.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Real Estate: $144,500
Highlights: Golfing & Fishing
If you are a Jimmy Buffett fan, aka a Parrothead, then you've probably already heard about retiring Margaritaville-style. For those less dedicated to the singer-songwriter, allow us to catch you up: You can retire in Daytona Beach and live the Buffett lifestyle at Latitude Margaritaville.
The active adult community has a Margaritaville theme and all the amenities you'd want for a lovely retirement: resort-style pools, fitness activities, game and hobby rooms, arts and learning programs, and live entertainment. Plus, with its location in Daytona Beach, you'll have access to 23 miles of beach, the Daytona 500, and countless golfing and fishing options.