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Subject:  Re: What is the best state to retire in? Date:  5/11/2004  1:35 PM
Author:  gurdison Number:  71779 of 127850

<A state of good health with plans for both your financial and day-to-day futures.>

I'm with Phil on this one. It is generally not a good idea to have your major life decisions driven primarily by taxes. I am sure that one could find a very affordable place to retire to in South Dakota (no harm meant against any of our Foolish SD friends). Downsizing to a smaller home or a lower cost area could give your budget some breathing room. Each person has to decide for themselves where their comfort level is regarding any tradeoffs they make.

Life almost always comes down to a matter of balance. If you have had enough of long, cold winters, a low level of taxes in a harsh winter state may not be your best choice. Likewise if you want to be able to play golf every week (or partake in some other favorite outdoor activity), a cold weather choice may not be your best one. OTOH, if the changing of the seasons is something you enjoy, the Sunshine state may not be your best choice. As Phil mentions, good health is another major factor. If you have any health concerns you would not want to be living in an area where the nearest hospital is an hour away.

One piece of advice I would give to anyone who is looking to relocate in retirement is to plan on multiple visits or even an extended stay before finalizing anything. I have read more than a few sad stories from those who thought they knew what they wanted only to discover that they really did not like it after a few months. Renting for 6 months to a year may give you enough time to make a well thought out decision.

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