For anyone who is thinking about where to retire, no doubt you’ve stumbled on at least some of those Ideal Places to Retire prospect lists online, in magazines, or in books. But which lists are credible? And which suit your circumstances? To learn, MoneyWatch. com analyzed them and came away with surprising results. porto travel gallery
Seeing that you shouldn’t choose a destination to live using outdated information, our analysis of retirement-places lists excludes any created before 2008. That remaining five leading raters: Circumstance. S. News, Money, Wise Money, TopRetirements. com, and RetirementLiving. com; together, they name 454 places.
The key thing to keep in mind: The rankings vary extensively in the scope of the places they consider and the statistical puritanismo they bring to their ranking. A few of the rankers, such as TopRetirements. com and RetirementLiving. com, consider a wide variety of affordable standards to get at a more rounded picture of “livability. ” Other folks give attention to one or two key factors to produce a very narrow sense of what makes a place “best. ” Circumstance. S. News, for occasion, lists best-retirement places varying from ones that slim Republican (hello, Cincinnati) to ones filled with leisure areas (Albuquerque).
Perhaps the best way to work with the “best retirement places” rankings is to get started on with a narrowly focused list (such as cities speckled with golf courses or ones with affordable homes) and find a small number of potential winning places. Then, use other prospect lists and Web sites to see how these places compare on broader standards, such as livability or recession resistance.
Here’s how these “best places to retire” raters rate on MoneyWatch. com’s scale of one to five actors. (Another site, FindUtopia. contendo, doesn’t compile rankings but has a wealth of useful information about choosing a location to retire. )
How it rates places: This site’s Ideal 25 Places to Stop working list is essentially a popularity contest. It includes the towns with the most online visits among the 208 featured at TopRetirements. com. The site also sells an guide of its Top 90 Retirement Towns ($12. 95).
What’s good: Site writers and members of the public have visited the winning places. Zagat-like points note the negatives, too. So although No. you Asheville, N. C., gets high marks for weather, water activities, downtown, and senior housing, a commenter warns that “overdevelopment is coming. ” Top places include the familiar (Sarasota, Fla., and San Diego) as well as the not-so-familiar (Paris, Tenn., and Green Valley, Ariz. ).
What’s not good: The fairly small database of places limits possible winning trades. You can’t sort the list to find places matching your own conditions.
Best for: Finding places that other retirees like.
MoneyWatch. com rating: 4 Stars.
U. S. Information
How it rates places: U. S. News will not have one grand Ideal Places to Retire list. Instead, working mostly with Onboard Informatics, a data-gathering firm, the magazine regularly churns out narrowly described Top 10 lists from its database of 2, 000 retirement places. The latest lists: Healthiest Spots; Low-Tax Places; Places for Swinging Singles to Stop working; Cities for Job-Seeking Pensioners; Brainiest Places; Outdoorsy Spots; Places for Golf Nut products; Places for Winter Activities Nuts; Places for Sports Fans; Greenest Places; Areas for Foodies; Places for Democrats and Republicans.