If you\’re thinking about relocating after you retire, what characteristics should you look for in a new community? Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some general guidelines. Where to Retire magazine surveyed its subscribers and asked them to list what they felt was most important in choosing an ideal Retirement location:

  • Low crime rate
  • Active, clean, safe downtown
  • Good hospitals nearby
  • Low tax rate/low cost of living/low housing cost
  • Mild climate
  • Friendly, like-minded neighbors
  • Scenic beauty
  • Good recreational/social/cultural environment
  • Nearby airport
  • No state income tax
  • CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) available
  • Friends/relatives in area
  • Full or part-time employment opportunities
  • College town with adult education available
  • Quite a list, but it\’s helpful to go through it and see which of these are important to you.

    To make it easier to evaluate each potential location, keep these five “As” in mind: Access (transportation, health care, etc.), Amenities (golf, tennis, high speed Internet, etc.), Ambience, Affordability, and Atmospheric conditions (climate). Happy hunting!

    Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007). She gives seminars on the (primarily) non-financial aspects of retirement through her company, "Retirement Living from A to Z."