Kelly and I discussed where we wanted to retire for many years before we finally believed we were ready for that step. We knew we did not want to retire in Oklahoma - the summers are just plain brutal if you don’t love heat - which we didn’t. After a lot of research we decided we would be happy in someplace in the pacific north west, or perhaps in Utah. So, off we went to visit, look at towns, homes, areas, try to get a better feel for these two areas.
The main reason for this post is to discuss the research phase we went through - looking at a rather wide variety of factors - average temperatures winter and summer, snow falls, rain days, sunny weather, demographics, health care availability, cultural opportunities, and, on a more focused basis, clock-related groups and the presence of a strong traditional music culture.
During this process we got to know a website that offers a wealth of information, and even has a newsletter to help you find information that might well help a great deal in deciding where you want to live. The website is TopRetirements.com - where you can sign up for their newsletter - which is free. I decided to focus this post on their site because their newsletter sent out today brought up some good points to consider when choosing where you want to retire. Check it out Top 10 Misconceptions about Retirment
I found this site a couple of years before we moved to Portland, and especially liked the way the newsletters would periodically remind me of some of the specifics of the decision we needed to make - give me a gentle prod to consider one or two more facets of what is both a rather important decision, and one can be rather complex and overpowering. And, you will likely be surprised at the amount of information you can mine from the sources they provide.
The end result - earlier, over dinner, Kelly looked up and said once again how happy she is that we chose to live here. That is huge.