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This is probably the most important retirement question (after Is there enough money to retire?). What should I do in retirement?
This question needs to be divided in half: In which community or neighborhood should I live? What kind of home should you choose?
Right place, right time
Ryan Frederick's new book, Right Place, Right Time, is full of smart ideas that will help you answer your second half of life questions. These were his thoughts when he spoke to me about Next Avenue and the new episode of Friends Talk Money.
Frederick stated that people often overlook the importance of place when they think about how to live a long and healthy life. It is often overlooked how vital place is to healthy aging.
He noted that many of us focus too much on the appearance of a potential home's primary bedroom and its appliances, but not enough on the social connections we have in the surrounding area.
Frederick, who hates moving, is a consultant and researcher for SmartLiving 360. His company focuses on the link between real estate and longer life.
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He also has a lot of experience and can speak with authority on where to live in your 50s or 60s. Frederick and his family moved two years ago from Baltimore to Austin Texas. However, he admits that he didn't do everything right. He said that although it is all going well, we would have been better off if we had done more research years ahead.
Investigating neighborhoods and communities
Frederick recommends reviewing the Milken Institutes Best Cities For Successful Aging and AARPs Index to help you do your research. Nextdoor.com is a great resource for neighborhoods, he said. Frederick noted that Redfin.com offers a Walk Score to help you determine how walkable an area is.
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Frederick suggests that you do some research to determine how well the area is set up for the future. You'll likely be there for many years, if you don't mind a few decades.
Frederick stated that you want to work in an area with a dynamic element, where there are additional opportunities to make money and grow. This also includes assessing the ability of the area to attract workers capable of providing the services you need, such as long-term care.
Pam Krueger, Friends Talk Money podcast host, advised that you start your research by creating a list, maybe five, of areas where you could live day-to-day.
You can see: We would like to live in a small city near the beach, but with little traffic. What is the best place to retire?
Access to top-quality health facilities is something you should look into. Terry Savage, cohost of Friends Talk Money, said that she did this when she decided to move to Lake Nona in Florida, a planned community close to Orlando.
For me, medicine was very important. She said that she knows that emergency care is more common as you age. Savage said that there is a medical complex near her called Lake Nona Medical City. This is where the MD Anderson Orlando Cancer Research Institute can be found.
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Krueger also suggested that you check out the tax system in your area.
She said that she would prefer to live in a state that could reduce my taxes and income. There are nine states without an income tax, and about a dozen with no estate or inheritance taxes.
Selecting the right home
Frederick suggested that when choosing a place to live, Frederick recommends that you consider what you will need in your own space.
He said that one of the most sad things that I see is people who love their homes and their neighborhoods but have a fatal flaw that will force them to leave.
Also, see: Where is the best place to retire? MarketWatch's new tool alerts you to climate risks and helps you find your ideal spot.
You have to be firm when you are considering a home. Frederick did this.
He said that we did some landscaping work in front of his Austin home. Our landscape architect was convinced that a walkway could be built with no stairs and that it would still look attractive. He was not convinced. There was some education.
Savage said: Part of it is thinking about the environment that will make your happy. Because you might have difficulty with stairs as you get older, you don't want to live in a three-story home with your bedroom on top.
She added, "Don't ever believe you will find the perfect spot." Don't move if you are in the perfect spot.
Richard Eisenberg, the Senior Web Editor for Next Avenue's Money & Security channel and Work & Purpose channel and Managing Editor of the site is his title. He is the author of How to Avoid Mid-Life Financial Crisis. He has also been a personal finance editor for Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping and CBS Moneywatch.
This article was reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org, Inc. 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
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