These are the best cities to retire to, according to WalletHub

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(NewsNation) — Charleston, South Carolina, is the best city to retire in the U.S.— at least according to finance website WalletHub.

To determine a city’s “retiree-friendliness,” WalletHub compared more than 180 places across four key dimensions: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care.

“Retirement isn’t all about the money,” WalletHub said in its report. “Retirees want to live in a place where they enjoy safety and access to good healthcare, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ideal city will also have lots of ways to spend leisure time, along with good weather.”

The list of best retirement cities is ranked as follows:

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

Some other places didn’t fare as well on the list.

San Francisco, though it made the Top 10 list, still was listed among locations with the highest adjusted cost of living. Other places in that category included San Jose, California; Pearl City and Honolulu, Hawaii; and New York City.

When it came to the annual cost of in-home services, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Portland, Oregon; Bismarck, North Dakota and Vancouver, Washington were all named as most expensive, per WalletHub.

A 2022 survey conducted in January with respondents 25 or older by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found 7 in 10 workers are confident they have enough money to retire comfortably. Of those asked, 27% were very confident.

Tamara Wolske, academic program director for the University of Indianapolis’ Department of Interprofessional Health and Aging Studies, said the cost of living and taxes are two of the top financial considerations people should consider when choosing a place to live in retirement.

“However, these are variables and can change dramatically over the years depending on what happens to the local, regional and national economies,” she said in the report.

This being the case, it’s important that people prioritize their expenses and plan their lifestyles accordingly, Wolske said. If someone finds their fixed income is too small, for instance, Wolske said some part-time employment may be needed.

As NewsNation has reported previously, around 2.6 million Americans retired from the workforce earlier than expected during the pandemic, although according to job website Indeed.com, 1.7 million retirees also re-entered the workforce.

Another tip Wolske had is making sure non-negotiables such as rent, mortgage, utilities and taxes are taken care of first. Then, funds left over can be used for expenses such as groceries or leisure activities, she said.

“Everything that can be auto-paid should be set up to draft automatically from your bank account,” Wolske said. “That way, in the event of a hospitalization or other life crisis, you can be sure there will be no late payments that incur penalties, increase your fees, or lessen your credit score.”

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