We want to retire in a place with a low cost of living, no humidity and no colder than 50 degrees – I freeze easily! Where shall we go?


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I’m 62, my wife 64. We want to retire in five years. Here are the conditions that are important to us. We want to live in a state where:

-The cost of living is low;

-The temperature is a maximum of 80 degrees and no less than 50 during the day (my wife can’t take much more heat – and I freeze easily!). It’s okay if it’s cool overnight, but I want it to warm up during the day. Please no snow.

A low tax burden would be beneficial, but not critical. Our house budget is open. I would estimate $ 250,000 to $ 450,000. I’m sorry if that’s a wide range.

I’ve used the where should I live calculator several times, but nothing really helpful comes out, so I decided to write for help.


Dear Jeff,

The perfect weather you want is in short supply, and given the demand for it … well, that’s why it won’t be a cheap place to live.

So it is time to compromise, as you have hopefully realized. The south has the desired winter temperatures, but is hot and humid in summer. Go into the mountains there and it’s generally too cool for your winter temperature needs. Hawaii might be beautiful – but it doesn’t come with a below average cost of living (although I suggested it here). Ditto for San Diego.

The MarketWatch “Where Should I Retreat?” Tool tells me that you are going to the Oregon coast, some locations in California, or possibly New Mexico. They don’t say what’s wrong with them, but I have three suggestions that go beyond what you have already declined.

But a few more words about the weather. Your wife may find that she can handle higher temperatures in dry heat. That opens up a few other areas, as you will see from my proposals. You might decide to wear an extra layer outside and look far in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

You could accept a small amount of snow and let someone else do the shoveling. Or you can go for a place that gives you what you want nine months out of the year, and consider the remaining months as the perfect time to travel.

Do you have enough to retire? Check out MarketWatch’s pension calculator

After all, deciding where to live is about more than just the weather (or taxes). You did not provide any information on the type of community you were looking for, be it size or facilities. Please take some time to think about it; a bad move is an expensive mistake. All the more reason to spend a few months in one place like it was your new home, not just a vacation spot, before you sign on the dashed line.

Hiawasee, Georgia

Brasstown Soon in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Lake Hiawasee.


Neither this small town nor Hayesville across the state line in North Carolina appear in MarketWatch’s “Where to Pension” tool because we have limited our data searches to, and not part of, government-defined metropolitan or micropolitical statistical areas are single.

Moving to Towns County, Georgia, or Clay County, NC, means rural living; each of these two counties has 11,000 to 12,000 people, with about a third of the population being 65 and older. They would live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, far from the southern heat. The average heights are pretty much in the desired range and there is hardly any snow.

The focus is on Chatuge Lake, a man-made reservoir, almost 18 square kilometers outside the gates of Hiawasee, which has a small hospital. The Appalachian Trail runs through the area if you want to hike.

Here’s what’s on the market in Towns County and Clay County. Average home prices in the market in February 2021 were higher in Clay County, but both are at the lower end of their range.

If you can reduce your moisture needs a bit, consider Chattanooga, Tennessee, suggested here and Sevierville, Tennessee, east of Knoxville and suggested here.

Read: Before moving to a new town on retirement, check out the local Walmart – and 5 other hard-learned lessons

Placerville, California


This 11,000-inhabitant city in the foothills of the Sierra – above the fog of the Sacramento Valley, below the snow line in the mountains, and not in an earthquake zone – fulfills your wish-list with average winter highs in the 50s and low humidity in summer.

But summer temperatures are reaching the low 90s; Is the low humidity a compromise to make it comfortable?

One in five residents here is 65 or older, and you would find a few senior housing communities if you were looking for that. The city boasts that its on-call service takes seniors to doctor’s appointments and even to the grocery store for a reasonable fee, and these elderly communities have their own shuttle service.

For big city convenience, it’s less than an hour to Sacramento. In the other direction, it is half an hour to Jenkinson Lake and Sly Park Recreation Area and approximately 90 minutes to Lake Tahoe.

El Dorado County is famous for gold being discovered here. So expect many fourth graders to visit Placerville as part of their California history lesson.

Okay, taxes. California means doing your property tax due diligence as the state cap for existing homeowners will increase 2% per year and your bill will no doubt be more than what the current homeowner pays. But the state may be a little more senior-friendly than you think; Social security is not taxed and there is no state inheritance tax.

Read: 37 states don’t tax your social security benefits – make 38 in 2022 20

When it comes to politics, this once red city has turned purple thanks to an influx of people from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A word of caution: Placerville is on the upper end of your household budget. The following is now in the market, according to Realtor.com.

Farmington, New Mexico

The Badlands of New Mexico: The Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area.


I started in Colorado Springs, part of the state’s “banana belt,” and suggested here, and followed I-25 south, looking for a place with low humidity that wouldn’t have a lot of snow. I looked no further south than I-40 in New Mexico because of the summer heat, and then looked west.

I settled in Farmington, NM, which is home to 44,000 people in the northwestern part of the state. There is no significant snow. No rain either. The humidity is low. That could help offset the average summer highs in the lower 90s that you’ll find here just like in Placerville. However, the winter highs are in the 40s, so cooler than in Placerville.

It’s also a lot cheaper than Placerville; The average home listed for sale in February 2021 was priced at $ 185,000. Here’s what’s on the market right now.

What is there to do here? This is the Four Corners region and tourists boast six national parks nearby, hiking, mountain biking, water fishing, kayaking and paddling. Check out the Aztec Ruins National Monument and hoodoo rock formations in the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area.

If you want the big city, Albuquerque (read about it here and the suburbs suggested here) is three hours away.

Reader, where should Jeff and his wife retire? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.

Read more in the MarketWatch Where Should I Retire?

I want to live outdoors year round – dry summers and no snow – for $ 4,000 a month. Where should I retire?

“Work and a few vacations a year is all we’ve done in the past 34 years” – This couple has $ 2.6 million and no idea where to retire

“I hate the humidity and get by with a lot less snow and ice, and my husband hates the extreme heat” – where should we retreat?

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