The place ought to I retire ?: I need to retire in a college metropolis with heat climate and decrease taxes – the place ought to I am going?

Dear Catey,

We are a couple of doctors and engineers who plan to retire in 10 to 15 years. After spending most of our adult lives in several cold places (including Wisconsin and Illinois), we want to move south and retreat there. Our plan is to take up jobs in or near areas where we ultimately want to retire.

We're looking for liberal, medium-sized, culturally diverse university cities with access to good health care and low taxes in Arizona, Tennessee, or North Carolina. Your suggestions are very much appreciated.

Thank you,

Dear NM,

First of all, congratulations on your retirement planning so far. While many people can't do what you plan to do, moving to where you plan to retire all day is a smart idea. By working in the area, you can meet people and make friends before you retire.

Another compliment to both of you, it sounds like you've done a lot of research on where to retire after narrowing it down to three states. Here are a few points to consider.

Chattanooga, Tenn.

A view over Chattanooga.


External magazine calls it “the best city of all time” (it won two best cities for this publication), and both Kiplinger and our sister publication, the Wall Street Journal, hail it as a great place to retire to kick.

A look at the benefits of Chattanooga shows why: “Chattanooga, Tennessee, is located on the Tennessee River at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains and has transformed itself from a humble city into an extremely clean high-tech city (gig) in the past few decades # 39; was the first company in the US to offer gigabit internet speeds.) An outdoor family destination that has hiking trails, rock climbing, museums, one of the best educational aquariums in the world, and tons of dining and entertainment options, ”The New York Times writes, which adds that Chattanooga is a "breath of fresh air".

It has a lot to offer you in particular, as it is liberal and a medium-sized city (approx. 175,000 inhabitants) that is also a university town (home of the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga). Kiplinger highlights the hospitals in the region: "Health care is provided through the Erlanger Health System, which has five hospitals in Chattanooga," he writes, and there are others about an hour and a half from Atlanta. That has countless other hospitals.

Plus, the cost of living in the US is well below average, which can offset a somewhat high sales tax. Tennessee has no income tax, and Kiplinger concludes that it is one of the most tax-friendly states for retirees.

The Cons: It can get hot and humid here, and as the Wall Street Journal notes, it can sometimes look like there's a lot of construction going on.

Tempe, Ariz.

Papago Park in Tempe.


Tempe checks many boxes for the two of you: it's a university town (home of Arizona State University) that is liberal, somewhat diverse (roughly one in four residents is Hispanic and more than one in ten is either black or Asian), and is medium ( 175,000 inhabitants), according to Sperling & # 39; s Best Places.

Thanks to its proximity to Phoenix and year-round warm weather, it also offers great access to health care. Granted, summer can get very hot, and Arizona isn't quite as tax-friendly for retirees as some states – thanks in part to a high sales tax rate (although property tax rates tend to be low and doesn't tax social security). For more information on Arizona taxes, please visit here.

Other Tempe perks: There are more than 100 shops and restaurants in the downtown area, and it's a little artsy too (there's an orchestra, a place that shows Broadway shows, lots of museums, and a big annual arts festival). Plus, you'll have great access to the great outdoors (and great weather to enjoy) including hiking, biking, a city lake, and more.

Winston-Salem, N.C.

Reynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem.


I have recommended this city to a retiree in the past for many reasons: It's a university town with a low cost of living, a friendly atmosphere, lots of shopping and recreation options, and solid health care options – so you can read my full description here. I'll add a couple of things you asked for that I didn't mention there: The city is liberal according to Sperling's Best Places, and North Carolina is a mixed bag when it comes to the taxes that retirees charge, according to Kiplinger to worry about.

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