Retire to Shangri-La

Theres more to retirement planning than simply saving enough money. Deciding where to live is important, too. In addition to popular destinations such as Florida or Arizona, retirees are heading to Las Vegas, North Carolina and even Mexico and the Caribbean. Here are some factors to consider in picking the perfect retirement spot:

Cost of living. Its more expensive to retire to New York City than to Texas. Make sure your retirement income will stretch far enough.

Availability of adequate health care. Make certain hospitals and other medical facilities are nearbyespecially if you have an existing condition that requires special care.

What its like to live there. Consider renting for three to six months before buying a home to make sure its where you really want to live.

Climate. Phoenix can be plenty hot in July; make sure you can handle it.

Income, estate and sales tax rates. Some states, including Florida, Texas and Washington, have no income tax, making them potentially attractive retirement destinations.

Diversity of housing stock. The day may come when you have to move to a retirement community, perhaps one with nursing or intermediate care facilities.

Availability of part-time employment. Many retirees need to work part-time to make ends meet.

Proximity to major airport. If you want to see them frequently, make it easy for children and grandchildren to visit.

Access to cultural and arts facilities. Cabo San Lucas is a beautiful place but its a long drive to attend the symphony.

Foreign language and visa requirements. If you plan to live abroad, study the language and the legal requirements.


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