10 Cities Your Financial Adviser Is Begging You Not To Retire To

Each of these cities has temptations for retirees. They also have high taxes, high house prices, high costs of living and more.

The Pond at Central Park, New York City
ShutterstockNew York's Central Park -- serenity just a few steps from the costly urban bustle.
The city where you choose to spend your retirement could make or break your golden years. Recently, I unveiled my list of the cities your financial adviser would most approve of as retirement destinations.

This list goes in the opposite direction –- the 10 cities that your financial adviser would least like to see you make your home in retirement. They feature high taxes, high home prices, a high cost of living and a host of other negatives that will wear away at both your retirement income and investment portfolio. To rank the cities, we scored them on the following objective criteria: Seeing weather and traffic congestion on the list might surprise you, if you think of those as nothing more than annoyances. But both have the potential to weigh on your finances. Climates that are too hot or too cold will increase heating and air conditioning costs, and can wreak havoc on your car. Protracted summer heat can also increase water bills for anyone trying to maintain a green lawn and healthy foliage.

Likewise, spending a lot of time in bumper-to-bumper traffic can wear down an automobile a lot faster than driving a lot of highway miles, to say nothing of the fuel it wastes. As a retiree, you may not need to commute every day, but in the cities with the worst traffic, congestion can be a problem at any hour.

Reality Check: Millions "Choose" to Retire to These Cities

By default, hundreds of thousands of pending and current retirees "choose" these high-cost cities every year -- by staying in the same place as they lived when they were working. And there are plenty of reasons to stay put:
  • Tradition: You've lived there for decades and can't conceive of living anywhere else.
  • Your family is there.
  • Financial entanglements, such as business interests or real estate.
  • Emotional entrenchment: You can't bring yourself to leave your house, especially if you raised your kids there.
  • Inertia: You just never get around to moving anywhere else.
But if your careers brought you to one of these cities, and those careers are over, start thinking about getting out.

The Fine Print

One complication in compiling a list of cities that are hazardous to retirees' financial health is that the top contenders tend to be the biggest cities. Locations that appear on lists of best cities to retire in are typically small and fairly uniform from one end of town to the next. Although this list may identify an individual city, we're actually looking at its general metropolitan area.

Big metro areas are diverse places, well-stocked with positives and negatives. While the core city may have many negatives, quiet and comfortable suburbs can make perfect retirement locations. Keeping that in mind, we're going to look at the cities in the most general sense. And from a retirement point of view, you generally find the big-picture financial characteristics –- like high property values, taxes and cost of living –- are fairly uniform across a metropolitan area.

Can you think of other cities that should be on this list? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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Ten cities? How about all of America Inc? the country is in shambles and the people live like slaves while the banksters feed at the trough

May 29 2014 at 9:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Well,I have been retired 14 years...
But,,I would not retire in a city run by Democrats.!!!!!

May 29 2014 at 9:19 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdbliz's comment
Pamela Duncan

Why is it that when I typed a "like", it gave another thumbs down to pdbliz? pd's problem is, though, that there's an election every 4 years...

June 22 2014 at 7:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Imagine that..I wouldn't dream of living in any of those places anyway. Anyone with half a brain should know they are very expensive places to live.

May 29 2014 at 1:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Let's see, I already have a house, so the cost of a house doesn't matter. There is no state tax on Social Security or the first $20,000 ($40,000 on a joint return) of pension income. Property taxes are much lower than the surrounding suburbs, sales tax is high but not on groceries or clothing, and we have 24 hour public transportation, so traffic congestion doesn't matter one bit. Why should I retire someplace other than New York? The weather? Sure. That makes sense.

May 29 2014 at 12:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Scottilla's comment
Robert Johnson

Having lived in metro NYC, both in NY and NJ, I think it can be a great place for a retired person to live... many do. My brother is planning to retire from NY to NC in 2016. He is all hung up on the property taxes where he lives. If it were me, I would either pay the taxes or consider some other place in the NY, CT, NJ area. Having lived in various parts of the country, (N, S, E and W) the only "great" weather I have found is in parts of California.

May 29 2014 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you don't mind a rat hole with lousy weather, thugs, arrogant people and a high murder rate like NYC then yeah...I guess.

May 29 2014 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert Johnson

Chicago, just behind NYC? LOL Illinois has one of the lower income tax rates in the US. ZERO income tax on any pensions or retirement income, including IRA distributions. Housing cost is a small fraction of NYC, SF, DC, LA or any coastal city... and lower than just about any major metro area, including some in the South. Reasonable utility rates. Property taxes can be high in the burbs; but, housing prices are reasonable. It is one of the few world class cities, located in the US. Great public transit and an interesting place to live or visit. I guess we will see if their "fear of the unknown" for retirees is justified in a few years.

May 29 2014 at 12:37 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply


May 29 2014 at 12:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No worries.

May 29 2014 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The whold point of the article seems to be Retire where you will be bored out of your mind. It's better than paying for thing you may want. NO THANKS. I'd retire to anyplace on this list except maybe Scottsdale.

May 29 2014 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

My guess would be that Detroit ranks among the worst places to retire to. Its dirty, crime-ridden, corrupt, and full of gangs and drugs.

May 29 2014 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to unclesi412's comment

Nope. Detroit is not on the list of "worst" places to Retire. Detroit is a "better" place to retire than San Diego (according to the author).

May 29 2014 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scottilla's comment

Yes but if you HAD TO move to one of those places, which would you go to? For me it would be north county San Diego.

May 30 2014 at 4:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

....new york is the worst.......period !

May 29 2014 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rkeeeballs's comment

You are right... And guess what party has been in control..

May 29 2014 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply