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Friday, August 24, 2012

Top 5 U.S. cities to retire in

 Retirement real estate in high demand areas puts upward pressure on property price
Different state tax laws make retirement decisions more complex

In terms of tax laws, cost of living and affordable quality healthcare, several U.S. cities and states stand out as being retirement-friendly. Other factors such as low levels of property crime, commuting and climate add to the benefits or retiring in some of these places. Although these are all important variables to consider when seeking a place to retire, it's also a good idea to review personal retirement goals with a financial professional in order to optimize financial aspects of retirement decision making.

1. Charleston, SC


Located in an area known for its tax friendliness and relatively low cost of living, Charleston offers warmer winters and numerous cultural charms for a multitude of retirees. Affordable access to beautiful public beaches and parks also make Charleston a great place to retire. According to Trulia real estate listing services, South Carolina properties rank in the middle tier in terms of average national costs.

2.  Louisville, KY


Home of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Louisville is listed in Kiplinger's most tax-friendly states for retirees. It is also in the sixth least costly state to live in per the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center (MERIC). And while healthcare is not as affordable in Louisville as in other places, neighboring Indiana just a few miles away does score higher in the Commonwealth Fund healthcare rankings. Real estate in Kentucky is also more affordable than many other places in the country per the Trulia real estate heat map, and state crime rates are lower than average according to U.S. Census data.

3. Pittsburgh, PA


Pittsburgh offers some considerable financial benefits to retirees, many of which can be transposed to the whole state. Pittsburgh ranks among the five best U.S. cities for commuting and top 25 for retiring by Forbes, and the state is considered among the most tax-friendly to retirees by Kiplinger. Pennsylvania also scores higher in healthcare quality per the Commonwealth Fund, and low in cost of living per MERIC. Additionally, despite having relatively high inner-city crime rates, Pittsburgh has safe suburbs per Neighborhood Scout.

4. Oklahoma City, OK


Oklahoma places first among U.S. states with the lowest cost of living  which lowers retirement expenses for those living around Oklahoma City. Moreover, in addition to having affordable real estate prices, Oklahoma is also considered to have some of the best municipal and state taxes for retirees in the country per Kiplinger. U.S. News reports Oklahoma City to have comprehensive healthcare coverage, and retirement here may benefit those retirees seeking to live with a demographically younger population.

5. Honolulu, HI


Although Honolulu is among the U.S. states with the highest cost of living, it's rated among the top 10 safest cities to live in with populations above 500,000 by the Morgan Quitno Press State & City Ranking publications. This, nearby deflation of real estate purchase prices and its reasonable climate can offset some of those costs with lower property insurance premiums, heating and cooling costs. Additionally, U.S. News ranks Honolulu  among the best cities for public transportation. Honolulu is also ranked within the top 10 states for overall healthcare services by the Commonwealth Fund.

Image attribution: FreeDitigalPhotos.net; standard royalty free license

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