Love the outdoors? Want to stay active in your retirement years? While you can create a full, energetic lifestyle almost anywhere with enough determination, some locations make active, outdoor living easier than others. Choosing a city full of beautiful scenery or a variety of popular outdoor activities is an incredibly motivating way for many retirees to make the most of their retirement years. Here are 8 of the best places to retire for outdoor activities.
8 of the best places to retire for outdoor activities
1. Traverse City, Michigan
Located in beautiful northern Michigan, Traverse City is close to Lake Michigan and is full of opportunities for skiing, hiking, walking, biking, and golfing. In the summer, you can also take to swimming at the various beaches in Grand Traverse Bay. Nearby is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a beautiful, winding area where you can climb, hike, bike, canoe, and more.
2. Boulder, Colorado
Love the mountains? Boulder is not only full of outdoor opportunities, but also breathtaking, mountainous scenery. Though there are plenty of high-thrill outdoor activities, such as downhill skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking, Boulder’s also a great place for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, paddle boarding, and hiking.
3. Naples, Florida
Naples is full of opportunities for outdoor activities, but one of its most popular assets is – of course – the warmth and sunshine! Take to the water for a swim, kayak trip, or afternoon of fishing, walk the streets of downtown, visit the botanical gardens and various parks, or work on your golf game at one of the many available golf courses.
4. Santa Cruz, California
Similar to Naples, Santa Cruz offers plenty of warmth all year round. See the redwoods in the gorgeous state parks, enjoy the water with kayaking, fishing, and surfing, or stay active by walking through the towns and vineyards. Besides a variety of scenic outdoor activities, Santa Cruz is also full of shops, theaters, restaurants, and more. There’s always something new to discover!
5. Madison, Wisconsin
Madison has outdoor activities for every season. With more bikes than cars and over 260 parks and beaches, you certainly won’t be the only one enjoying the variety of outdoor activities available! Madison is home to 5 main lakes, where you can boat, fish, sail, swim, snowshoe, or just enjoy walking along the water.
6. Portland, Oregon
Portland is a well-known destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you love to explore mountains and waterfalls, enjoy skiing and snowboarding, or prefer to bike along the peaceful landscape, there are always new trails to find. Portland also ranks as one of the highest cities for volunteer opportunities. Exploring the outdoors isn’t the only way to stay busy and productive!
7. Anchorage, Alaska
If you prefer winter activities, plenty of wildlife, and views of the breathtaking aurora borealis, you may be more akin to moving to somewhere like Anchorage! Many free-spirited people find that the adventures in Alaska are just what they need. Visit the glaciers, enjoy frequent moose sightings, or try dog sledding! There’s also plenty of opportunity for skiing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking.
8. Tucson, Arizona
Many retirees enjoy Arizona for its warm temperatures and relatively low cost of living. It’s home to canyons and mountains that make for beautiful, scenic locations to hike, bike, and even go horseback riding. Other popular outdoor activities in Tucson include bird watching, cave exploration, and rock climbing.
Benefits of being active in retirement
One of the most common problems we see with planning for retirement is a lack of preparation for the major lifestyle change that will take place.
Many retirees don’t realize just how much extra time they’ll have when that first day of retirement hits. When well-prepared for, the extra time can be exciting and fulfilling. Unfortunately, many people think that filling the time will come more naturally than it actually does.
This is why it’s vital to think about how you want your retirement to look long before your last day of work. Start planning in advance how you want your lifestyle to look. Think about how you’ll keep yourself busy.
Staying active is an excellent way to not only stay busy, but also to keep yourself healthy. In addition, many outdoor activities are well-suited for building friendships at the same time (and keeping up with friendships and relationships in retirement is very important for your overall health and well-being!).
Volunteering, working part time, enjoying hobbies, learning new skills, and even going back to school are other potentially valuable ways to provide structure to your weekly routine and stay productive in retirement.
Pros and cons of moving after retirement
The U.S. is full of beautiful, adventurous places to enjoy in retirement. However, it’s important to also take into consideration the other pros and cons that moving in retirement may bring.
Besides enjoy the outdoor activities, some more pros of moving after retirement may include a lower cost of living (if you downsize or move to a less expensive area) or a house that suits you better.
On the downside, moving can also be physically taxing and disorienting. If you’ve lived in one area for a long time, finding friends and activities in a new area can feel like an overwhelming job.
It’s important to take all of these factors into consideration before making the decision to move to a new city or state in retirement.
Need retirement advice?
Whether you’re contemplating moving, need investment advice, have questions about life insurance or health insurance, or just want to know if you’re on track for saving for retirement, we’d love to sit down and talk with you.
At Milestone, we understand the importance of knowing that you’ll be prepared and ready when your retirement years come. We’re here to help you make a plan that will allow you to feel confident for the years ahead. Book a meeting today and let’s talk!
This material is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney, or accountant. Consultation with the appropriate professional should be done before any financial commitments regarding the issues related to the situations above are made.