When you retire, the first question is where will you live?
To help you answer, Storage Café, an online storage listing service, has compiled a ranking of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, ranked second to best for retirement.
It probably won’t surprise you that Florida is home to five of the top 20. But it might surprise you that 11 are in the Northeast and only two are located west of the Mississippi River, in California and Texas.
The study ranked cities on 15 metrics, including life expectancy, crime, retirement income, cost of living, number of health care workers, air quality, climate, taxes, house prices, rents, number of parks , number of golf courses.
Here are the top 10 cities on the list.
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
- New York-Newark, NJ-Jersey City, NJ
- Dayton Kettering, Ohio
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater. Fla.
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California.
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut.
Looking at Florida, “every list of retirement places should include The Sunshine State,” the study says. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan areas are both “clearly primed for older residents,” the study said.
Seniors “make up the majority of the population there than in any other major metropolitan area, 53 percent and 63 percent, respectively,” the study said. “And they receive high average incomes in excess of $35,000.”
Cape Coral-Fort Myers has the best safety score among all 100 ranked metropolitan areas and residents have a “very high” average life expectancy of 82.4 years, the report said.
Includes general comments on the retirement of three experts.
“For many people, retirement could be summed up in a few words: downsizing their home while improving their lifestyle,” says Doug Ressler, head of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix, a real estate information service.
“Often it’s an opportunity to do more of the things you love in a place you enjoy, unencumbered by work-related restrictions.”
Some of you may be interested in foreign cities. But beware: “There are reports that the cost of retirement has risen in working-class areas,” says James Refalo, a professor of finance at California State University, Los Angeles.
“Notably, Costa Rica is no longer the cheapest place to retire in Central/South America. Similarly, the influx of expatriates has driven up house prices in countries like Portugal” and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain a residency in Mexico.
For low-income people, retirement isn’t easy, of course. “As you move up the income ladder, the difference between living from paycheck to being able to save and afford wants and not just needs becomes apparent,” says Steven Lee, a professor in the finance department at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.
“Retirement is the realization of that difference in which many Americans live only on Social Security benefits while others have pensions … [and other assets].”