Episode 48: Where’s the Best Place to Retire?

Published: June 10, 2021 | Updated on: August 17, 2021

Thank you for joining us for episode 48 of our Money Wisdom Question Series, where we answer common financial and retirement investment questions. Today’s question is, “Where’s the best place to retire?”

Cost of Living in the United States

Depending on where you live in this country, there is a narrative that goes on that says it’s cheaper to live somewhere else. It’s less expensive and the cost of living is lower to live somewhere else. You know what? That’s absolutely correct. Depending on where you are, it may be less expensive to live somewhere else. Now, what am I talking about? I’m talking about primarily the states in the Northeast, Northwest, and the California coast. These are the most expensive places to live in this country if we factor in goods and services, especially taxes. Also, if you factor in other things like gasoline, etc. Here are some of the most expensive states to live in in the United States:

  • Washington
  • California
  • Oregon
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Now, the politicians in some of those states want to tell you “Oh, well it’s more expensive, but you get better services.” I would suggest to you that is not true. I think there’s an ignorance that goes on because some of those politicians are telling you that have never lived outside of those states. Also, they just aren’t necessarily forthright with the facts. Fact is, it’s less expensive to live in Florida than it is in New York. It’s less expensive to live in Texas than it is in Massachusetts. Texas and Florida both have fantastic health care systems, a great style of living, and zero state income tax, etc.

Reasons for Staying or Relocating

As a financial planning firm primarily domiciled up here in the Northeast, most of our clients live here. Some reasons that people stay in the Northeast when they retire is maybe they like the change of seasons or the atmosphere. Primarily, people stay here because they have grandkids and children that they want to live close to. If this is purely an economic decision, the states across the smile of the United States tend to be much less expensive. What do I mean by the smile? I’m talking about the following states:

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Florida
  • Georgia

For the most part, services in many of those states are just as good. Health care is just as good as we would be getting here in the Northeast or in the Northwest or the West Coast.


There are many different factors to consider when deciding where the best place to retire is. If it’s just purely an economic cost, certainly you want to stay away from the big states in the Northeast and the states along the West Coast. I’m not telling you to do that. I’m just telling you to get all the facts so you can make a good decision and obviously there are more factors than just finances.

Thanks for joining me and I hope you found this information helpful!

P.S. If you enjoyed this topic and want to learn more, download your copy of our offer, “Retirement Relocation Checklist”.

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