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Picking Your Ideal Retirement Spot

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By Pamela Yip

200258139-001(MCT)—When you think about retiring—really retiring, no longer working—where do you ultimately want to settle down?

The answer to one question may hold the key.

“Before thinking about where to retire, think about what you will be doing in retirement,” says Tom Murphy, certified financial planner at Murphy & Sylvest in Dallas. “Then determine where you can most easily do those things. Once this analysis is complete, you can start looking at the cost of living, tax rate and other factors.”

Terry and Mike Hovey of Keller knew that they wanted to maintain an active social life and stay fit when they retired.

“It was important to me to be in somewhat close proximity, easy access, to people who have become family, close friends,” says Terry, 62, who retired eight years ago from her job as an account executive at a consulting firm.

“It was important to me to be able to still do the kinds of cultural things that I like to do, the kinds of volunteer things I like to do,” she added.

Husband Mike, 58, retired in 2010 from his job as an IT director at a major retailer.

One place the Hoveys considered for retirement was a farm in Alabama that belonged to Terry’s father.

“Mike says, ‘When we retire, I’d like to have elbow room, wide-open spaces, maybe can’t see a neighbor, that kind of thing,’” Terry says. So they gave the farm a test drive.

“I test things,” Terry says. “So on one of our visits to my dad’s farm, we sat down on the front porch on a swing with our coffee and I says, ‘You says you wanted wide-open spaces, … elbow room and you can’t necessarily see your neighbor.

“‘We’re sitting on 40 acres here, and I’m pretty sure that I can make a deal with my siblings when Dad doesn’t want to live here anymore. Is this someplace you would like to live?’”

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