Move to a retirement commnunity


Where you’re going to retire is as important a decision as what you will do during retirement. The idea of joining a community of like-minded retirees has its appeal. One of the greatest benefits of retiring overseas can be the opportunity to enrich your lifestyle while dramatically reducing your cost of living. In many cases, you could decrease your monthly expenses, perhaps significantly, simply by relocating to a new country. Deciding to relocate requires a host of considerations, including the type of community, if this is your last move, costs, and more. Is moving to a retirement community, possibly out of your home state, right for you? Whether you’re just exploring this option or have decided to move to your future Shangri-La, the information on these pages will provide you with clarity and direction.

Am I right for this?

10 yes/no questions to help you determine if this is a good direction for you

Do I want to live in an age-restricted community?

Am I ready to leave the community where I currently reside?

Do I have the energy to start all over with new people, places and things?

Are my family members/spouse on board for this change?

Am I comfortable with possibly not having family live nearby?

Do I want to abide by HOA rules and regulations?

Are there health considerations that would impact or influence this decision?

Have I fully researched the tax implications of relocating?

Do I have the financial resources to pay for a move and all that it entails?

Will my politics and life values dovetail with retirement community living?

Learn More

If you answer six or more “yes,” this is probably a good direction to pursue.

Types of retirement communities

  • Warm weather
  • Cold weather
  • Near water
  • Mountainous
  • Activity oriented
  • Spiritually oriented

Advantages of relocating to a retirement community

  • Opportunity to start over
  • Community
  • Support
  • Safety
  • Access to health and medical resources (in some cases)
  • Ease of transportation

Best states in which to retire*

*According to

  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Tennessee
  • Missouri
  • Massachusetts
  • Wyoming
  • Arizona
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky

Best cities in which to retire*

*According to

  • Sarasota, FL
  • Naples, FL
  • Daytona Beach, FL
  • Melbourne, FL
  • Lancaster, PA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Pensacola, FL


Here are questions and answers that address common issues and concerns for those interested in moving to a retirement community.


What is the difference between a retirement community and a senior living community?


Retirement communities and senior living communities can be thought of as different or similar, depending on how the phrase is being used. The main difference is whether it’s designed to provide an active adult environment, typically for age 55+, or to accommodate health considerations and concerns that would generally be associated with older age groups.


How do I know if I have the right personality for a retirement community?


Retirement communities often rely heavily on group activities to provide a sense of community and connection. These activities are sometimes highly organized. You will want to consider if you are someone who prefers to do your own thing, or if you like to be part of organized activities.


Is a retirement community a good option for me if I am single and looking for a partner?


As in any community, the dating pool may be hit or miss, but with a combination of residents who may be widows and widowers, alongside like-minded and similarly aged otherwise single people, retirement communities can be a good place to make social connections.


What should I assess or evaluate in picking a specific retirement community?


There is a wide range of retirement communities across the country. Each has its own personality and features. Consider recreational opportunities, the environment, the social culture, proximity to healthcare if that is a factor, especially if you think of the community as a forever home.


How important is it for my beliefs and values to align with those of the community I am considering?


If the retirement community that you are considering has political or value systems that do not coincide with yours, you may want to reconsider your choice. Values and beliefs are core parts of who we are, and a mismatch on these personal characteristics can be problematic when it comes to retirement communities. Some of the value systems that permeate a particular retirement community may not be obvious, so keep your radar up when evaluating them.


Are there financial advantages to living in a retirement community?


Many retirees consider a move to retirement communities in states that have no personal income tax. However, this is not an advantage for everyone. The financial considerations in moving to a retirement community depend largely on the specific community you choose, and what your financial plan allows for. One potential advantage is in having a smaller space. There are many different financial configurations associated with retirement community living, and many different price points.


Are there advantages to moving to retirement communities outside the U.S.?


For some this marks a time to finally fulfill a dream of living in another country. There can be many advantages to moving abroad, including a much lower cost of living, a healthier lifestyle, access to much more affordable healthcare, as well as cultural stimulation, and the opportunity to broaden your perspective.

Additional resources

Next steps:

Step 1

Determine what kind of community you want to live in and carefully evaluate the “Is this Right for Me” section.

Step 2

Talk to your financial advisor if you have one.

Step 3

Use a tool like this one from MarketWatch to narrow down potential locations you might want to explore.

Step 4

If you are considering a move to a community which will be your forever home, consider the long-term healthcare resources you will need.

Step 5

Reach out to five communities and ask for a virtual or in-person interview/walk through. Speak to locals who have lived in the community for five years or more.

Step 6

Before making a permanent move, consider renting in either the community you’re targeting, or in the surrounding area to get a realistic sense of your compatibility with the location.

Getting Started Icon

Get started

Talk to an expert. Explore the options. Dig a little deeper. See if this is right for you.