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  • Writer's pictureMark Fonville, CFP®

Top 10 Places in the U.S. to Move for Retirement

Top 10 Places in the U.S. to Move for Retirement

Are you nearing retirement and considering a change of scenery?

Whether you're looking for a peaceful coastal town, a vibrant city, or a serene desert oasis, the United States offers a wide array of retirement destinations to suit every taste.


Retirement is the perfect time to discover a new chapter in life, and where you choose to spend it can make all the difference.

Here, we've compiled a list of diverse retirement destinations, each offering something special. Be sure to download the same checklists we use to help clients retire before you continue reading.

So, let's embark on a journey to find your ideal retirement spot!

Austin, Texas: The Live Music Capital of the World

Austin, Texas: The Live Music Capital of the World

Austin, Texas, is a vibrant city renowned for its live music scene, cultural diversity, and outdoor activities. If you're a music enthusiast, you'll find yourself in paradise, with countless venues offering live performances.

Why Choose Austin for Retirement?

Austin, the capital of Texas, has earned its reputation as the "Live Music Capital of the World" for a reason. The city's music scene is legendary, with live performances happening throughout the year. Whether you're into rock, country, blues, or jazz, you'll find it all here. From the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) festival to the local dive bars, Austin's musical offerings are diverse and captivating.


But Austin isn't just about music. It's also a hub for cultural richness and outdoor adventures. The city boasts numerous museums and art galleries, showcasing a wide range of artistic expressions. You can explore the vibrant culture of Texas and beyond right here in Austin.


If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you're in for a treat. Austin's beautiful natural surroundings offer endless opportunities for adventure. Kayak on Lady Bird Lake, hike in the picturesque Hill Country, or simply take a leisurely stroll in one of the many parks dotted around the city.


Another compelling reason to consider Austin for retirement is its favorable tax policies. Texas has no state income tax, which means you can make the most of your retirement income.

Boise, Idaho: The Gem State's Hidden Gem

Boise, Idaho: The Gem State's Hidden Gem

Boise, Idaho, may not be the first place that comes to mind for retirement, but it's a well-kept secret worth exploring. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Boise offers a balanced lifestyle with outdoor adventures and urban amenities.

Why Choose Boise for Retirement?

Idaho's capital city, Boise, is often referred to as the "City of Trees" due to its lush greenery. It's a place where the great outdoors is just a stone's throw away, making it an ideal choice for retirees who love nature.


Boise's proximity to the Rocky Mountains provides endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter, you can hit the slopes for some fantastic skiing or snowboarding. During the warmer months, hiking, biking, and camping in the nearby mountains are popular pastimes.


One significant advantage of retiring in Boise is its low cost of living. Compared to many other U.S. cities, Boise offers affordable housing and everyday expenses. This affordability ensures that your retirement savings go a long way, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.


Another reason to consider Boise is its friendly and tight-knit community. The city's residents are known for their warm hospitality, making it easy to make new friends and create a support system in your retirement years.

Laguna Beach, California: Coastal Serenity in Southern California

Laguna Beach, California: Coastal Serenity in Southern California

For those dreaming of a coastal retirement, Laguna Beach, California, is an idyllic choice. With its stunning beaches, artistic community, and Mediterranean climate, it's a slice of paradise on the Pacific Coast.

Why Choose Laguna Beach for Retirement?

Laguna Beach is synonymous with breathtaking coastal beauty. Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of ocean waves and stepping onto your own piece of paradise. The city's picturesque beaches are perfect for relaxation and recreation.


This coastal haven isn't just about the beach; it's also an artistic oasis. Laguna Beach has a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries showcasing a wide range of artistic styles. You can immerse yourself in the world of art, attend exhibitions, and even meet local artists.


One of the most significant advantages of retiring in Laguna Beach is its mild Mediterranean climate. With pleasant weather year-round, you can enjoy outdoor activities every day. Whether it's beachcombing, hiking in nearby nature reserves, or simply savoring a beachfront picnic, the climate enhances the retirement experience.

Portland, Oregon: Hip and Green in the Pacific Northwest

Portland, Oregon: Hip and Green in the Pacific Northwest

Portland, Oregon, is a city that combines urban sophistication with a deep connection to nature. Known for its eco-friendliness and unique culture, it's an excellent choice for retirees seeking a dynamic city life.

Why Choose Portland for Retirement?

Portland, nestled in the lush Pacific Northwest, has gained fame for its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. The city's residents are passionate about eco-friendly living, which is evident in the abundance of green spaces, bike-friendly streets, and locally sourced food.


One of the highlights of retiring in Portland is its culinary scene. The city is a haven for food lovers, offering everything from farm-to-table cuisine to diverse international flavors. Don't forget to explore the famous food cart scene, where you can sample delicious dishes from around the world.


Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Portland. Whether you're interested in hiking in the nearby Columbia River Gorge, taking a leisurely stroll in one of the many city parks, or simply enjoying the breathtaking views of Mount Hood, the natural beauty of Oregon is at your doorstep.


When it comes to cultural experiences, Portland doesn't disappoint. The city hosts a wide range of events, from music festivals and art exhibitions to craft fairs and food festivals. There's always something happening in this vibrant community.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: A Historic and Artistic Haven

Santa Fe, New Mexico: A Historic and Artistic Haven

Santa Fe, New Mexico, exudes charm with its historic adobe architecture, rich Native American culture, and vibrant arts scene. It's a city where tradition and creativity intertwine seamlessly.

Why Choose Santa Fe for Retirement?

Santa Fe is a city like no other, known for its distinctive Pueblo-style architecture. The city's adobe buildings and terracotta roofs create a visually striking landscape that pays homage to its Native American and Spanish heritage.


If you're an art enthusiast, Santa Fe is a paradise waiting to be explored. The city boasts numerous art galleries, showcasing a wide range of artistic expressions. From contemporary art to traditional Native American crafts, there's something to inspire every art lover.


Santa Fe's rich cultural heritage is another reason to consider it for retirement. Explore the city's history by visiting historic landmarks, museums, and cultural sites. The annual Santa Fe Indian Market is a must-see, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions of the region's Native American communities.


Surrounding Santa Fe are the stunning landscapes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, or simply taking in the breathtaking views, the natural beauty of New Mexico is right at your doorstep.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Retire in Style and Entertainment

Las Vegas, Nevada: Retire in Style and Entertainment

Las Vegas is not just for the young at heart; it's also an exciting retirement destination. The city's energy, entertainment options, and beautiful desert surroundings make it a unique choice for retirees.

Why Choose Las Vegas for Retirement?

When you think of Las Vegas, you probably envision the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip and the world-famous casinos. While these attractions are undoubtedly a part of the city's identity, Las Vegas offers much more than meets the eye.


“One of the most significant advantages of retiring in Las Vegas is the access to world-class entertainment and quality, affordable housing” says Matiah Fischer, Founder of Retire Better Now.

From headlining concerts to magic shows and theatrical performances, there's always something exciting happening in the city. If you enjoy a night out, Las Vegas offers a never-ending array of entertainment options.


Despite its reputation as a bustling city, Las Vegas is surrounded by natural beauty. Take a short drive to Red Rock Canyon and immerse yourself in the stunning desert landscapes. Alternatively, head to Lake Mead for a day of boating, fishing, or picnicking along the shore.


From a financial tax planning perspective, retiring in Las Vegas can be advantageous due to Nevada's lack of state income tax. This means more money in your pocket to enjoy the city's amenities and entertainment.

Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Charm on the Coast

Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Charm on the Coast

Charleston, South Carolina, embodies Southern hospitality, history, and charm. With its historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and waterfront views, it's a picturesque place to retire.

Why Choose Charleston for Retirement?

Charleston is steeped in history, and it shows in the city's well-preserved historic district. Cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture, and charming gardens transport you back in time. Explore landmarks like the Battery and Rainbow Row, and learn about Charleston's role in American history.


Culinary enthusiasts will find Charleston to be a gastronomic paradise. The city is renowned for its traditional Lowcountry cuisine, which includes dishes like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and Hoppin' John. Dining in Charleston is an experience that combines delectable food with Southern hospitality.


Living in Charleston means embracing waterfront living along the beautiful Atlantic shoreline. Stroll along the historic waterfront or take a scenic boat tour of Charleston Harbor. The city's proximity to the beach ensures that you can enjoy coastal living to the fullest.

Sarasota, Florida: Sunshine and Culture on the Gulf Coast

Sarasota, Florida: Sunshine and Culture on the Gulf Coast

If you are thinking about delaying retirement, Sarasota, Florida may have you thinking twice about your decision. The city offers retirees the perfect combination of sunny weather, cultural activities, and beautiful beaches. It's a haven for those who want to embrace the Florida lifestyle.

Why Choose Sarasota for Retirement?

Sarasota is known for its vibrant cultural scene. The city boasts the Sarasota Opera House, which hosts world-class performances throughout the year. Additionally, the Ringling Museum of Art offers a glimpse into the world of art and history, featuring a collection that includes works by renowned artists.


The highlight of Sarasota, however, is its stunning beaches. Siesta Key Beach, known for its powdery white sands, consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in the United States. Spend your days basking in the sun, collecting seashells, or enjoying the stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.


Golf enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to hit the links in Sarasota. The city is home to numerous golf courses, both public and private, catering to golfers of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice, Sarasota's golf scene offers a perfect way to stay active in retirement.

Scottsdale, Arizona: Desert Oasis for Active Retirees

Scottsdale, Arizona: Desert Oasis for Active Retirees

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a desert oasis that offers a vibrant retirement experience. With its upscale amenities, golf courses, and spa resorts, it's perfect for active retirees seeking luxury.

Why Choose Scottsdale for Retirement?

Scottsdale is a golfer's paradise, with some of the best golf courses in the country set against the backdrop of stunning desert landscapes. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or looking to take up the sport in retirement, Scottsdale offers a wide range of options for golf enthusiasts.


If wellness and relaxation are a priority in your retirement, Scottsdale has you covered. The city is home to world-class spas and wellness centers that offer a variety of treatments and services to rejuvenate your body and mind. Pamper yourself with massages, facials, and holistic therapies as you unwind and de-stress.


Scottsdale offers a vibrant arts and culture scene. Explore galleries, museums, and theaters that showcase a wide range of artistic expressions. The annual Scottsdale Arts Festival is a highlight, bringing together artists and art enthusiasts from around the country.

Asheville, North Carolina: Mountain Retreat in the Blue Ridge

Asheville, North Carolina: Mountain Retreat in the Blue Ridge

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, offers a peaceful escape for retirees who appreciate nature, arts, and a slower pace of life.

Why Choose Asheville for Retirement?

Asheville is surrounded by scenic beauty, thanks to its location in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you love the great outdoors, you'll find plenty of opportunities for adventure. Hike along picturesque trails, chase waterfalls, or take a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, known for its breathtaking vistas.


The city is known for its artistic community, making it an excellent choice for retirees who appreciate culture and creativity. Asheville boasts a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries showcasing a wide range of art forms. Craft breweries, music festivals, and local artisan markets further contribute to the city's artistic flair.


Asheville is more than just a retirement destination; it's a community of like-minded individuals who value the mountain lifestyle. Joining this welcoming community means you can enjoy a slower pace of life, surrounded by natural beauty and a strong sense of community spirit.


Choosing the right place to retire is a deeply personal decision, and each of these 10 destinations offers a unique blend of attractions and amenities.

When creating your retirement planning checklist, be sure to consider whether you crave the excitement of city life, the serenity of coastal living, or the tranquility of the mountains, there's a retirement paradise waiting for you in the United States.

So, start planning your next chapter and make the most of your well-deserved retirement years.


Disclosure: Covenant Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisor with offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, VA. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. The views and opinions expressed in this content are as of the date of the posting, are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This content contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Please note that nothing in this content should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing is intended to be, and you should not consider anything to be, investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice. If you would like accounting, tax, or legal advice, you should consult with your own accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs. No advice may be rendered by Covenant Wealth Advisors unless a client service agreement is in place. Hypothetical examples are fictitious and are only used to illustrate a specific point of view. Diversification does not guarantee against risk of loss. While this guide attempts to be as comprehensive as possible but no article can cover all aspects of retirement planning. Be sure to consult an advisor for comprehensive advice.

Registration of an investment advisor does not imply a certain level of skill or training.


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