Another half-baked and misleading list from another site desperate to attract readers.
U.S. News recently released a list of The 10 Worst Places to Retire. Wow, I thought, these places must be awful to be chosen as “the worst”. They must have deadly air and water pollution, rampant crime, unchecked disease, unsafe nursing homes, no public transit, and are probably bankrupt to boot.
Actually, the U.S. News analysis consisted of only one criteria, the metro’s cost of living. As the article explains their methodology, “Retiring in a city with an inordinately high cost of living means you will have to save more money and invest more successfully just to make ends meet.”
Can you really retire in America and only spend $100 a day? Turns out it’s a lot more possible than you might think.
When I started this recent study with AARP, I’d expected only about 20 or 30 U.S. cities would be this affordable. But I was surprised to discover that most U.S. metro areas have a low enough combination of housing prices and property taxes to meet this criteria.
So what are the best cities for a $100/day retirement?
Based on things like arts and culture, rich community and great restaurants, here’s the Top 10:
I’m assuming a 25% tax rate, which will reduce your yearly income of $36,500 to $27,375 spendable income. That’s $2,281 per month.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a percentage of 31.5% for the housing component of the Consumer Price Index. That means that we have $719 per month for mortgage payments and property taxes.
I’m assuming a 20% down payment, which means that with current low interest rates, we can afford a house priced at $192,000. Of course, putting up the nearly $40,000 (20% of $192,000) for the down payment may be challenging.
I recently had a great phone conference with members of the Paso del Norte Group, which “promotes the economic, social and cultural vitality of the El Paso region.”
I spoke with Richard Behrenhausen (Gen. US Army, ret.) and David Buchmueller (COO of the PDN Group), who spoke with enthusiasm about the many assets of their city, and even discussed the regions challenges and misconceptions.
For example, most people are aware of El Paso’s large Mexican sister to the south – Cuidad Juarez. Wracked by drug wars and corruption, Juarez recorded over 3,000 homicides in 2010, which is easily the highest murder rate in the world.
Yet just across the Rio Grande river, El Paso remains a world apart. El Paso has the lowest violent crime rate in the United States for cities over 500,000 population, with only five homicides in 2010.
Coinciding with Veteran’s Day, we just completed an interesting study about the best places in the U.S. for military retirees to start a second career. Since most veterans retire from service in their 30’s or 40’s, they have plenty of time to start a new professional chapter in their lives.
So what are the best places to enter the civilian job sector? To help us find out, we partnered with USAA (a financial services provider) and Military.com (the largest military and veteran membership organization). We looked at factors such as affordability, unemployment rate, prevalence of military skill related jobs, and number of veteran-owned businesses. But we didn’t stop there.
I just completed a really in-depth study on the best metro areas for seniors to live in. Minneapolis came in first, with Boston and Pittsburgh rounding out the top three. There’s an overview of the study here, with the top 25 cities:
We considered nine broad categories, each consisting of several specific measures: Healthcare, Economy, Health & Longevity, Social Life, Environment, Spiritual Life, Housing, Transportation, and Crime.
Here you can download a PDF of the entire study, with all 50 cities ranked, as well as full methodology and detailed city writeups: