Business and Finance

We want to retire in a place with a low cost of living, no humidity and no colder than 50 degrees — I freeze easily! Where should we go?

I am 62, my spouse is 64. We plan to retire in 5 years. Here are the situations which might be necessary to us. We would love to dwell in a state the place:

-The cost of dwelling is low;

-The temperature is a most of 80 degrees and no decrease than 50 through the day (my spouse can’t take way more warmth than that — and I freeze simply!). It’s OK if it’s cool in a single day however I nonetheless want it warming up through the day. No snow please.

A low tax burden could be helpful, however not essential. Our home price range is open. I would guess $250,000 to $450,000. Sorry if that’s a massive vary. 

I have used the “where to live” calculator a quantity of occasions, however nothing actually useful comes up, so I determined to write for assist.


Dear Jeff,

The excellent climate you want is in brief provide and given the demand for it…nicely, that’s why it received’t be a low cost place to dwell.

So it’s time for trade-offs, as I hope you’ve realized. The South has the winter temperatures you want however is sizzling and humid in the summer season. Head to the mountains there, and it’s usually too cool to your winter temperature necessities. Hawaii might be pretty — but it surely doesn’t come with a below-average cost of dwelling (though I’ve suggested it here). Ditto for San Diego. 

The MarketWatch “where should I retire” tool tells me you might be headed to the Oregon coast, to a few spots in California or presumably to New Mexico. You don’t say what’s improper with them, however I’ll make three options that transcend what you’d already dismissed.

But a few extra phrases in regards to the climate. Your spouse could discover she will be able to deal with a increased temperature if it’s a dry warmth. That opens up another areas, as you’ll see with my options. Perhaps you determine to put on an additional layer outdoors and look extensively in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

You may settle for a small quantity of snow and let another person do the shoveling. Or you would go for a place that provides you what you want for 9 months of the yr and deal with the remaining months as a excellent time to go away.

Finally, the choice about the place to dwell is about extra than climate (or taxes). You’ve given no indication in regards to the kind of neighborhood you’re on the lookout for, whether or not dimension or facilities. Please spend a while fascinated by that; a unhealthy transfer is an costly mistake. All the extra motive to contemplate spending a few months in a place as if it’s your new house, not simply a trip spot, earlier than you signal on the dotted line.

Hiawasee, Georgia
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Brasstown Bald in the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Hiawasee.


Neither this small city nor Hayesville throughout the state line in North Carolina come up on MarketWatch’s “where to retire” device as a result of we have up to now restricted our information search to government-defined metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas, and they aren’t half of one.

Moving to both Towns County, Ga., or Clay County, N.C., means rural dwelling; every of these two counties has 11,000 to 12,000 folks, with about one-third of the inhabitants 65 and older. You’d be dwelling in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so away from the southern warmth. The common highs are just about in the vary you want, and there’s barely any snow.

The focus is Chatuge Lake, a man-made reservoir virtually 11 sq. miles simply outdoors Hiawasee, which has a small hospital. The Appalachian Trail comes by means of the world, should you want to hike.

Here’s what’s available on the market in Towns County and in Clay County. Median costs of properties available on the market in February 2021 had been increased in Clay County, however each are on the backside of your vary.

If you possibly can ease up a bit extra on the humidity requirement, chances are you’ll want to contemplate Chattanooga, Tenn., suggested here, and Sevierville, Tenn., east of Knoxville and suggested here.

Read: Before you move to a new town in retirement, check the local Walmart – and 5 other hard-learned lessons

Placerville, California
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This city of 11,000 folks in the Sierra foothills — above the fog of the Sacramento Valley, beneath the snow line in the mountains and not in an earthquake zone — meets your want listing on common winter highs in the 50s and low summer season humidity.

But summer season temperatures will get into the low 90s; is the low humidity sufficient of a tradeoff to make it comfy?

One of 5 residents right here is 65 or older, and you’d discover a few senior dwelling communities, if that’s what you’re on the lookout for. The city boasts that its dial-a-ride service will take seniors to docs’ appointments and even the grocery retailer for a cheap price, and these senior communities have their very own shuttle providers.

For big-city facilities, it’s much less than an hour to Sacramento. In the opposite route, it’s a half-hour to Jenkinson Lake and Sly Park Recreation Area and nearer to 90 minutes to Lake Tahoe. 

El Dorado County’s declare to fame is that it’s the place gold was found, so count on a lot of fourth-graders visiting Placerville as half of their California historical past lesson.

OK, taxes. California means doing all your due diligence on property taxes, on condition that the state caps will increase for present homeowners at 2% a yr and your invoice undoubtedly might be increased than what the present home-owner is paying. But the state could also be a bit extra senior-friendly than you suppose; Social Security isn’t taxed, and there’s no state-level property tax. 

Read: 37 states don’t tax your Social Security benefits — make that 38 in 2022

If politics matter, this once-red city has turned purple, thanks to an inflow of folks from round San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A phrase of warning: Placerville is on the higher finish of your own home price range. Here’s what’s on the market now, in accordance to

Farmington, New Mexico
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New Mexico’s badlands: The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area.


I began in Colorado Springs, half of the state’s “banana belt” and suggested here, and adopted I-25 south, on the lookout for a low-humidity spot that additionally wouldn’t have a lot snow. I sought to go no additional south than I-40 in New Mexico as a result of of the summer season warmth and then seemed west.

I settled on Farmington, N.M., house to 44,000 folks in the northwest nook of the state. There’s no snow to communicate of. No rain both. Humidity is low. That may assist offset these common summer season highs in the low 90s you’ll discover right here identical to in Placerville. Winter highs are in the 40s, although, so chillier than Placerville. 

It’s additionally far cheaper than Placerville; the median house listed on the market in February 2021 was priced at $185,000. Here’s what’s on the market now.

What’s there to do right here? This is the “Four Corners” area (4 states meet at one level), and the vacationer of us boast of six nationwide parks close by, the mountaineering, the mountain biking, the water choices for fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Check out Aztec Ruins National Monument and the hoodoo rock formations in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area.

When you want the massive metropolis, Albuquerque (read about it here, and its suburbs, suggested here) is three hours away. 

Readers, the place should Jeff and his spouse retire? Leave your options in the feedback part.

Read extra of MarketWatch’s “where should I retire” column

I want year-round outdoor living — dry summers and no snow — on $4,000 a month. Where should I retire?

‘Work and a few vacations each year is all we’ve done for the past 34 years’ — This couple has $2.6 million and no idea where to retire

‘I hate the humidity and can do with a lot less snow and ice, and my husband hates the extreme heat’ — where should we retire?

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