Many workers spend many years dreaming of a day they can finally retire, and for some, early retirement would be a dream.
About 60% of the soon-to-retirees say retirement will be the most liberating phase of their entire life, according to a survey by TD Ameritrade and 50% of respondents in the survey said they would retire 60 years. Although many workers want to retire so early, only a third said they expect to be able to do so.
When you save for retirement, a lot of focus is put on saving enough to meet your financial needs. But another factor to consider is whether you can lower the cost of retirement. By living a less expensive lifestyle, you can retire earlier and live more comfortably without breaking the bank.
General living expenses are likely to be your most important retirement expenses, and these costs are greatly affected by where you live. Move to one of these more wallet-friendly cities and you may be able to save enough to retire early.
. Sun City, Arizona
If you want to move to a community designed specifically for senior citizens, you can't beat Sun City. The median home value in the city is around $ 180,000, according to Zillow – much less than the median US home value of $ 229,000.
When you start collecting Social Security benefits, you don't pay state income taxes on them in Arizona. Although you should not rely too much on social security at retirement, the tax cut can help save money.
The overall cost of living is a bit higher in Sun City than the national average, but the city has many activities for retirees. With various clubs, events and other leisure activities it is easy to stay busy during retirement while staying on a budget. And because you are surrounded by other retirees your age, it will be easier to make friends and find ways to stay occupied without spending too much money.
This is key if you plan to retire early because you will probably have decades of leisure time. If you spend all your free time traveling or learning expensive new hobbies, there is a good chance that you are blowing through retirement savings too quickly.
2. Fort Meade, Florida
That's why Sunshine State is such a popular retirement destination. Not only does it have beautiful beaches and almost sunny weather year-round, but Florida residents do not pay state income taxes on Social Security benefits – making it one of the more tax-friendly retirement goals.
There are several cities in Florida that provide ideal retirees, but Fort Meade is one of the most affordable. Median household income is just under $ 60,000 a year – almost $ 20,000 more per year than the national average – but the city still has relatively low cost of living. The median home value in Fort Meade is only $ 108,000, and the total cost of living is almost 20% lower than the national average.
Fort Meade, a small town with a population of less than 6,000 inhabitants, is a good alternative for those looking for a quieter retirement life. Still, the city is also just an hour's drive from Tampa, so there are still plenty of entertainment options as you itch to get out of the house on a day trip.
3. Idaho Falls, Idaho
Idaho may seem like a strange retirement choice, but it has the potential to be the perfect retirement destination for many people. Just over a third of people who have moved to Idaho in 2018 said their primary reason for moving was to retire, according to a United Van Lines survey, and the state is one of the most popular destinations in the country for those looking to relocate .
Idaho Falls has the best of both worlds in that it is a relatively large city with many amenities, and yet its cost of living falls close to 10% below the national average. Idaho is also among the states that do not tax social security benefits, so the tax benefit can help your retirement income go further.
The city has many museums, restaurants and other social activities, so you will have no shortage of ways to look forward to retirement life in Idaho Falls. The town is also a nature lover's dream, with miles of hiking trails along the Snake River and beautiful scenery, complete with the city's famous waterfalls. For those on the adventurous side, you can even visit the Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas to enjoy a hike through the mountains from the back of a llama.
Is moving under retirement the right option for you?
Before You Get Up Early to Move Be sure to do your due diligence across the country and determine if it is the best retirement option for you. If you are determined to leave early, take a closer look at your savings to see how early you are able to withdraw.
Don't forget the health care costs and benefits for the social security. You are not eligible to enroll in Medicare before age 65, and the earliest you can begin to claim Social Security is 62 years. There is also a possibility that social security benefits could be cut over the next decades. So while planning retirement, make sure you are not going to rely too much on your benefits to cover your expenses.
If you have decided that early retirement is right for you, be sure to do some research before moving to a new city. Take a few weeks to visit your potential new city to find out if you could see yourself living there. Try to live like a local and see if it feels like home. Do you fit into your potential new community? Does the city have enough facilities to keep you busy with retirement? Will friends and family be able to visit? Giving the new city a test drive can make sure you are happy there before you start packing your bags.
Not everyone can retire early, but it is not impossible. You will probably need to add your savings to ensure you have enough to last for decades, but lowering your costs by moving to a less expensive city can also help your money last longer – creating a more enjoyable retirement life for decades to come.