The No. 1 best city to retire isn’t in Florida—but several others in the top 10 for 2022 are

When it comes to the best cities to spend your retirement years, the Sunshine state takes nearly half of the top 10 spots, according to WalletHub’s 2022 Best and Worst Places to Retire survey.

While historic Charleston, South Carolina, takes first place, Orlando, Florida, ranks a close second.

The survey ranked 182 cities based on four key categories of equal weight: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care. Their analysis also assumes a retiree will be living on a fixed income.

The top 10 best cities to retire

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Cincinnati, Ohio
  4. Miami, Florida
  5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  6. San Francisco, California
  7. Scottsdale, Arizona
  8. Wilmington, Delaware
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Although four Florida cities ranked in the top 10 best places to retire overall, they scored much lower in terms of affordability, with Orlando ranked 25th, Tampa ranked 34th, Miami ranked 78th, and Fort Lauderdale ranked 87th.

When considering a place to retire, the cost of living and taxes should be two of your top financial considerations, Tamara L. Wolske, a University of Indianapolis assistant professor who specializes in Aging Studies, says in WalletHub’s report.

Additionally, if you’ll be living on a fixed income in retirement, be sure to plan your expenses and lifestyle accordingly, Wolske says.

“The non-negotiable expenses should be tended to first each month, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, credit accounts, insurance, and taxes,” she advises. “Whatever funds you have left over can be used for controllable expenses such as groceries, gas, and leisure activities.”

One of the biggest retirement planning mistakes people make is not properly preparing for additional medical expenses, Wolske says. A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2022 can expect to spend an average of $315,000 in health-care and medical expenses in their retirement, according to Fidelity Investment’s August estimate.

“Older adults are the greatest consumers of health-care services,” she explains. “Most people do not realize that Medicare does not cover every health-related need and there are deductibles and copays.”

Most Americans only expect to pay around $41,000 total on medical care in retirement.

“Many people plan for the good times after their job ends, but they do not take action steps across their life course to navigate the uncertainties of living as an older person in this country,” she says.

Wondering if you’re putting away enough for your golden years? Check out how much the average American has saved for retirement at every age.

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