14 Expensive Places to Retire That Are Worth It

Where you ultimately choose to retire doesn't always come down to dollars and cents.

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Where you ultimately choose to retire doesn't always come down to dollars and cents. Indeed, the top reason people move in retirement is to be closer to family, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a research firm focused on the aging population. Or, rather than move, maybe you just want to stick where you're comfortable and familiar and retire in your home state. For whatever reason, you may wind up retiring in a place where the living costs can be relatively high.

But it can be worth it. We pinpointed one great retirement destination in each state, taking into account safety, median incomes and poverty rates for retirement-age residents, locals’ sense of well-being, and the availability of recreational and health care facilities, as well as living expenses. While the cost of living in each of these 14 retirement spots exceeds the national average by more than 7%, each offers plenty of attractive advantages for retirees in exchange for the higher price tag. Take a look to see if any of these pricey places to retire are worth fitting into your own budget.


The list is ordered by cost of living, from lowest to highest. See "How We Picked the Best Places to Retire" at the end of the list for details on our data sources and methodology.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.