The best ways to work out where to live in retirement

Senior couple with their dog sitting by a lake

Image: Yastremska/Bigstock.com

Where do you retire? Stay? Move? Downsize? Rightsize? Do you move interstate or overseas?

There are so many things to consider.

A recent article said that Australia ranks well in terms of countries to retire. In fact, it said Australia is in the top third of ‘best countries’ to retire when you look at the various ageing and retirement ratings. The researchers looked at nine different indices.

But the experts found that they couldn’t decide what should be included when evaluating countries. Some indices look at how a country treats its people, while others look at the untapped potential of older people, or assess levels of retirement readiness and savings—the list goes on.

The question was also asked: Are surveys and lists subjective? And who decides what items to include in the surveys?

Should there be such an emphasis on financial matters when looking at ‘best countries’ and retirement?

On a more practical level, if you ask someone living in a remote part of Australia for their list of things that make a place the ‘best’ you’re likely to receive a different answer than if you asked people living in a metropolitan area of Australia.

Pre-retirees are likely to give different answers to those who have been retired for some years. Males and females are also likely to respond differently.

Sensibly, medical facilities should be at the top (or near the very top) of a ‘best retirement location’ list. What access do locals have to GPs, specialists and other medical professionals? Do they have to wait a long time to see a medico?

The security of an area is important. Questions include: How many police are stationed nearby? Is the station a 24-hour station? How about Neighbourhood Watch? Is there a Neighbourhood Watch in the area?

How affordable is housing? Is there a choice of housing available? What are the options for retirement living? What’s the cost of living like? Does it rise in certain seasons? If you live in a tourist area, do the prices of goods and services increase in busy times?

Is the community inclusive? Would ‘everyone’ fit in or is it more suited to a certain type of demographic?

What sort of activities are there in an area for older adults? Is there an active arts, hobbies, sports or leisure scene pleasing to the NETTEL group? (NETTEL: retirement is so busy that there’s Not Enough Time To Enjoy Life?)

Does the community provide help for those who need it? What is the proportion of people over 65? and under 35? For some people moving to a ‘good’ area in retirement means there will be a significant number of over 65s; for others, having a younger age group is just the thing.

What’s the climate like? Four distinct seasons? A tropical climate with humidity and cyclones? Or one that has crisp winters?

There are so many factors to consider when rating ‘best’ places and we will all have different items on our lists. It’s wise, however, to consider all the factors and actually go and visit possible retirement locations.

Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways to Retire and co-author of Where to Retire in Australia and Retire Bizzi. She is a regular contributor to ABC radio.

To receive a free copy of Three Things that Really Matter (in retirement) sign up here for the weekly RETIRENOTES.com email.

Category: Where to Live

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Retire Notes