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Retirement Heaven: Are You Kidding


Retirement Heaven: Are You Kidding

The legendary comedian Groucho Marx once said, “ I would never want to be part of any organization that would have me.” The back-story to this quip is even more amusing than the line itself, but that story will be saved for another occasion.

A survey by the Insurance giant Allianz Life reported the other day by CNBC revealed that almost half of Americans said the were “very concerned” or “terrified” about where is the best place to live in retirement. We noted in a recent article how many baby boomers are choosing to simply stay put in their own homes. This is especially true if the mortgage is paid off.

Government numbers tell us that inflation has been practically non-existent for years, but we all know better. The mortgage may be paid off but in many locations, property taxes keep going up far faster than the general index of prices. Then there are things like the ever-higher cost of food and prescription drugs etc, Oy vey!

To your rescue comes WalletHub.com that compared the retirement-friendliness of all 50 states ranking each on the basis of Affordability, Quality of Life and Health Care. Guess what state was number 1? Of course, it was Florida.

To paraphrase the late Mr. Marx, there is no place that you could afford to live that is suitable for human existence. We don’t wish to offend anyone; we’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves.

How about the great state of Texas? It ranks 3rd highest in affordability, 36th in quality of life and 44th in healthcare. With no offence to the lone star state, Texas offers a variety of temperatures from wintertime snow and ice to summer time parching heat. Oh yes, and then there are those delightful springtime tornadoes.

We don’t need to mess with Texas because nearby Oklahoma is just as bad on quality of life and healthcare, it just costs more than Texas.

Then there is other side in states like Massachusetts and California. In the land of Plymouth Rock you will find the 3rd highest quality of life and 10th best healthcare. You may also have to sell a kidney every once in a while to afford the nations 3rd highest cost of living. Ditto that for California but at least there is surfing and recreational weed is legal. (The weed factor was not considered in the WalletHub survey possibly explaining why California quality of life ranked way down at 8th.)

Thinking of Going Global?

There are lots of folks that would apply Groucho Marx’s adage to living outside the US. Sure it’s ok to go on a wild international vacation to foreign speaking places like Puerto Rico but to actually stay in a foreign country. . . . Nunca! Jamais! Nie! Mai!

On the other hand, if you like the Florida climate but prefer greater demographic variety, InternationalLiving.com has a list of the Worlds 10 Best Places To Retire.

Not a single name on the list comes from a US location. That could be because most of the places on their list have a lower cost of living than Florida and in some cases the healthcare comes at high quality levels and very affordable prices. For example, in the 10th ranked location, Malta, the cost of a general practitioner visit usually costs around $20 while a specialist may run up to $65.

Great weather seems to be the common denominator with 7 of InternationalLiving’s top picks in Central and South American locations like Panama and Ecuador. However, if Europe is in your thoughts Spain ranks 7th with great scores for healthcare and giving expats a sense of fitting in. Closely behind is Portugal in the number 9 spot.

With all the unrest in the world you may have second thoughts when it comes to safety. The image of Americans in certain parts of the world isn’t exactly favorable and friendly. And then there are some countries that just have an unsafe reputation. So when it comes to the country that ranks #1 on IL’s, it is none other than Mexico edging out Panama by the slightest of margins. So if you aren’t a drug dealer or get involved with one, and gravitate toward popular tourist areas, safety risks are pretty minimal.

So if you are ready to toss aside old notions and looking for something that even Mr. Marx might consider, you can check out the full details at InternationalLiving.com.*

* We have no financial or other interest in any publication we reference.