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6 Expensive Places To Retire That Are Worth the Extra Money

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Do you dream of retiring in a condo on the beach? Or in a lake house in the mountains? While these locales may seem far-fetched and expensive, some smart saving can make these retirement destinations worth the extra money.

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If you’re looking to live it up in your golden years, GOBankingRates asked the experts for their opinion. Keep reading to see which high-priced cities made the list.

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San Francisco, California

Personal finance expert and co-founder of How To FIRE, Samantha Hawrylack recommends retiring in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s also one of the most expensive places to retire,” she said. “But for retirees who are looking for stunning views and a mild climate, the extra cost is definitely worth it. San Francisco is home to some of the best restaurants and shopping in the country, and there are plenty of opportunities to stay active with hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.”

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Retire Comfortably
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New York, New York

On the other hand, Hawrylack is also impartial to the Big Apple.

“As one of the most populous cities in the United States, it’s no surprise that New York City comes with a high cost of living,” she said. “But for retirees who are looking for an exciting and vibrant place to spend their golden years, the Big Apple is definitely worth the extra expense.

“From world-class museums and restaurants to endless entertainment options, there’s always something to do in NYC. And with public transportation that makes getting around a breeze, retirees can easily take advantage of all the city has to offer without having to worry about driving.”

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Denver, Colorado

Kelly Richards, co-founder and finance expert at Cashfloat, suggests finding your way to the Mile High City.

“While it is expensive to retire in Denver, where you need $2.8 million in savings to retire comfortably, the city is known for seniors and retiree perks worth the extra money. For one, the metro’s public transportation is top-rated. It’s easier for senior retirees to navigate the city with its bus and light rail lines, free shuttle and transport services. Cars are optional if you decide to retire here.

“The city is also excellent for people with active lifestyles. The Rocky Mountains are home to outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, skiing, camping and golfing. It also allows you to explore the outdoors if you didn’t have the time in your working years.”

Retire Comfortably
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Honolulu, Hawaii

Even though it’s one of the most expensive places to retire — or live in general — Nunzio Ross is considering Honolulu for her golden years.

CEO and founder of Majesty Coffee, Ross says, “It’s on the pricier side of housing, with a median of $1,050,000 for single-family homes as of June 2022. However, its healthcare and environment are among the best in the country, and they are crucial components during retirement [that are] worth the additional savings. 

“Hawaii is one of the healthiest states in the U.S. Its access to preventive medical care and dental treatment is top-rated. A stress-free, active and healthy lifestyle is highly beneficial for retirees, and its communities are known to be family friendly and welcoming to everyone. These factors are essential in living a quality life in anyone’s golden years.”

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Reno, Nevada

Stephen Jacobs, chief innovation officer of Proximity Mills, says that the desert may be the most ideal environment for retirees.

Jacobs finds that “the dry desert climate offers plenty of outdoor activities and, of course, there are plenty of restaurants, art galleries, music venues and casinos to enjoy. Plus, Reno is known for its intimate, small-town vibe despite being a respectably sized city.”

Retire Comfortably
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South Palm Beach, Florida

It’s no secret that the Sunshine State caters to retirees. Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer, says that if you have the money, you should head to the palms.

“As the cost of living rises nearly everywhere in the nation, retirees may need to be more choosy than ever before when choosing their relocation spot. I highly recommend South Palm Beach for retirees looking for a safe area with good weather, accessible grocery stores and a bubbling local entertainment environment for seniors. There are always events going on throughout the city, and seniors will appreciate the opportunity to leisurely play golf, tennis or swim in the many available pools.”

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