Finding the Perfect Place to Spend Your Retirement After Years of Hard Work

The Perfect Place to Spend Your Retirement

Regardless of the specifics, once you’ve retired, figuring out what to do for the next several decades of your life can be a daunting, overwhelming task. Not only are there so many seemingly endless possibilities, there are quite a few concerns and fears that crop up. What am I going to do? Where am I going to live? How am I going to pay for everything?

While the process can be intimidating, it can also be a lot of fun. While there are tough questions that have to be answered, there are other, more fanciful ones that need to be contemplated as well. Can we afford to buy that Winnebago I’ve always wanted? Do I want a domestic or international retirement itinerary? Are there places I’ve always wanted to go? People I’ve been waiting too long to see?

All of these questions need to be taken under consideration. They need to be explored and weighed against one another.

Analyze Your Personal Priorities

Obviously, there are no one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to retirement planning. One couple’s romantic retirement getaway to Hawaii might be a nightmare for someone who is terrified of islands and oceans. Another person’s lifelong dream to explore the wild, beautiful depths and heights of Iceland seems more like punishment for those preferring more tropical climates. The point isn’t to squeeze yourself into an uncomfortable mold but instead to truly explore what gets your blood pumping and starts motivating you towards solid planning and steering.

  • Are there friends, family members or colleagues you’ve been meaning to visit but haven’t seemed to have had the time?
  • What places made it onto your own personal Bucket List? (If you don’t have one, stop what you’re doing right now and start making one!)
  • Are you looking to become more adventurous – an explorer, or would you prefer something a little calmer and serene?
  • Are there local festivals, cultural events or other happenings that you can start taking advantage of right now to start easing yourself into the idea of your new retired, jet-setting lifestyle?

What does travel mean to you?

While traveling is often at the top of every Retirement Wish List, what travel means to one person can be incredibly different from what it means to another. For one person, “traveling” means day-trips that always end with your head on your pillow at your home each night. For others, it can mean domestic flights and road trips to favorite US destinations. For others still, travel means foreign (often exotic) destinations and demands passports, shots and a lot more homework and leg work to orchestrate.

What does travel mean to you?

Where do you plan to spend the majority of your retired time? Will you largely remain home, actively volunteering and staying involved with the community but then traveling to a foreign location for a week or two in the summer or winter months? Or perhaps you’re thinking of living internationally and only coming home to visit with the kids and grandchildren. To start planning and budgeting, it pays to know what you intend to do, where you intend to go and how long you plan on staying there.

Be Realistic With Your Budget

While there are hundreds (if not thousands) of websites online that can help you learn to plan a luxury overseas retirement on a ridiculously realistic retirement budget, settling for a vague notion of the costs just isn’t going to cut it. You need to be brutally realistic about your retirement budget and always assume that your costs will be higher than you anticipate. How much can you afford? Are you going to have to liquidate assets to finance your retirement? Are you aware of local rules, regulations, real estate restrictions or work restrictions that exist in overseas countries you might be considering moving to?

While there is much to be said for the daydreaming aspect of retirement planning, at some point, it’s time to get serious about things. When you find yourself within the ten year window of retirement, it’s time to have an honest, all-encompassing idea of the lifestyle you’ll be able to afford. If you are accustomed to a certain standard of living but don’t have the savings to match that standard of living here in the States, you might need to contemplate overseas locations where the dollar stretches a lot further.

However, once you’ve analyzed your priorities, determined what retirement travel means to you and then carefully scrutinized your budget to make sure that you can comfortably finance your Dream Retirement, finding the perfect place to spend your retirement years after all of those decades of hard word will almost be a piece of cake!

About the Author

By , on Aug 31, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of

How to Become Rich e-Course

Budgeting 101


  1. 101 Centavos says:

    So where does a senior finance guide want to spend a perfect retirement?

  2. Garrett says:

    This is something I’m thinking about more and more these days. Where would I want to go to settle down and what sort of place and lifestyle would make me truly happy. Since I like to travel I would think I would do a split, spending half my year in a major city and the rest in a quiet and relaxing place. Maybe a small farm in France, or perhaps something tropical by the beach.

    It’s a hard decision and there are so many factors to consider. Luckily for now I can just live the with enough freedom to not really worry about it too much as I get to do my work while I travel if I want to.

  3. My dream retirement location is whereever our friends are at that point. I am hoping we can stay in or around Houston since it’s pretty cheap and I know it well. But we’ll go where the majority of our group goes…

  4. Anyplace where the family is close would make sense. Of course having a nice weather for most of the year would be a plus. But I guess one will have to choose between the two, can’t have it all!

  5. We’ll probably stay in Colorado unless we get tired of the winters and go south. It’s pretty cheap to live her as well.

  6. Michelle says:

    My perfect place is anywhere I can be close to grandkids and great grandkids. Hopefully, we’ll have enough dough by then to be able to afford to travel to a fantastic location when the mood strikes!

  7. I still have to make all of these decisions. At this point though retirement is doughy 40ish years away though… maybe I will retire in space!

  8. Michelle says:

    Our ideal retirement would entail lots of traveling and preferably retiring to a tropical area.

    • Andy says:

      I’d have to agree completely…although I’d only do a little in the tropical areas. I guess it depends on how old I am though: not sure the body could handle the cold when I’m 70.

  9. The perfect place? There could be several. Phi Phi Island Thailand. Lake Chapala, Mexico.

    But it will likely be the Hill Country of Texas.

    • Andy says:

      I need to check those places out, Thad. While I don’t want many things in life (especially material), I do want to be able to see the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer and Stuff

The articles are written by personal finance enthusiasts (not certified professionals) based on their personal experience. What works for them may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, we disclose that we have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.

Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. We do our best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.

For additional information, please review our legal disclaimers and privacy policy.