grandfather with his granddaughter outside

When you think of your retirement what comes to mind? Palm trees and a beach condo? An apartment in the city? Maybe you don’t want to move at all? If you haven’t thought about where you’d like to spend your retirement, now is a great time. As you begin contemplating possibilities, here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

1. Do you prefer a bustling city life or a quiet life close to nature?

Regardless of your lifestyle, there is a town or city that can fit your needs. Your options will vary by cost of living and personal preference, but think through the pros and cons as you decide whether you want the excited energy of a metropolis or the peaceful tranquility of a small town.


  • Activities for seniors
  • Entertainment
  • Proximity to healthcare
  • Shopping
  • Transportation
  • Crime
  • High cost of living
  • Noise


  • Less pollution
  • Low cost of living
  • Potential for larger home or extra funds for travel, etc.
  • Proximity to nature
  • Quiet/peaceful
  • Safety
  • Few transportation options
  • Less access to healthcare
  • Less retail options

Home (wherever it is)

  • Comfort
  • Familiarity with location and people
  • No moving or starting over
  • Maintenance costs
  • Too much space

2. Do you prefer a beach climate or something more temperate?

Climate can have a significant effect on your health and mood. There are potential health benefits and risks from both cold and hot temperatures, so you’ll need to determine which setting works best for you. As you consider options, remember that your retirement will be quite a bit longer than a weekend vacation, so be sure to consider how you’ll like the climate over time.


  • Comfortable
  • Extra vitamin D
  • No slipping on ice or snow
  • Outdoor activities
  • Cancer threat from sun exposure
  • High cost of living
  • No change of seasons


  • Comfortable
  • Cooler exercise
  • Less sun
  • Outdoor activities
  • Slight variety in climate
  • No distinct change of seasons


  • Better sleep
  • Cleaner air
  • Cost of living
  • Higher energy exercise
  • Less insects
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Few outdoor activities

3. What are your anticipated future care needs?

Whether you have current care needs or not, you’ll want to consider what may happen in the future. For seniors with significant healthcare needs, retiring abroad or in an isolated village may not be a viable option. Consider your financial options and be sure to plan accordingly.

Nursing Home

  • Constant care
  • Food service
  • Housekeeping
  • Safety
  • Social environment
  • Costs
  • Lack of privacy

Home Care

  • Independence
  • Maintain privacy
  • Personalized care
  • Stay in home
  • Costs

Retirement Community

  • Maintain privacy
  • Personalized care options
  • Safety
  • Social environment
  • Costs

4. What will your finances look like during retirement?

Retiring comfortably requires significant advanced planning, saving, and budgeting. If you envision a luxurious retirement, you’ll need to prepare now and evaluate realistic possibilities for you and your budget.


      • Numerous options
      • Comfort
      • Excellent care
      • Requires advanced planning and substantial resources


      • Ample options
      • Comfort
      • Adequate care
      • Requires advanced planning and resources


      • Limited options
      • Limited comfort
      • Limited care
      • Requires less planning
While there are pros and cons to every retirement option, it’s valuable to evaluate each and determine which is the most desirable and viable option for you. You’ll find that as you set more solid goals for your retirement that you’ll be able to better plan to make your dream a reality.