4 Questions You Must Ask Before Deciding Where to Retire

Whether you plan to stay put or move for retirement, first ponder these questions if you hope to enjoy a high quality of life.

3. How safe is this place?

Research crime rates in an area before deciding to relocate there. You’ll find plenty of free tools online.

Even the best sites, though, may have outdated information or fail to offer a complete look at a place. So, check data from local law-enforcement agencies. Some departments post their crime data online. Do a web search for words like: “Denver police department crime statistics.”

Look also for maps showing the prevalence of crime by area, and look for local news reports about crime in the city or town.

If you strike out searching online for crime data, call the local law-enforcement agency and ask how to learn about crime in specific neighborhoods.

And don’t stop there. Visit neighborhoods you’ve got your eye on numerous times, during the day and at night. Talk with many people — in coffee shops, hardware stores, parks and shops — until you feel you’ve got a good sense of the place.

4. How will I get around if I can’t drive?

At some point in their elder years, drivers have to face a hard truth: It may be time to hang up the car keys.

Moving in your later years means thinking ahead about the availability of public transportation, something that might not have mattered to you as a driver. So, check out articles like “The 30 U.S. Cities With the Best Public Transit.”

You might not want to retire in a metropolis. But bear in mind that wherever you are, you’ll probably need help with driving and shopping. So, look into senior services and transportation options. Steer clear of remote areas, however beautiful, unless you’ve got a sure means of transportation if you can’t drive.

If this is to be your last and best move, take time learning where you want to land. For more help researching neighborhoods, check out “20 Tips for Buying a Home in the Best Location, Location, Location.”

What’s your plan for retirement living? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Marilyn Lewis
Marilyn Lewis
After a career in daily newspapers I moved to the world of online news in 2001. I specialize in writing about personal finance, real estate and retirement. I love how the Internet ... More

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