06/19/2014 07:00 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2014

25 Retirement Spots: How They Stack Up To Your Hometown

There are so many things to consider if you are contemplating a big move for your retirement. While the financial piece will dictate a lot of it, other things are important too like access to friends and family, cost of living, cost of housing, renting or buying, one home or two, and proximity of good healthcare or continuing education. Will you need a car? Is the new area safe? And, what will you do all day?

Some of the other things I wonder about are whether my friends and family will come to see me or if I'll be able to make new friends. Who will I go for a walk with? Will I be lonely or bored? Can I start a new career in the new place? What if I sell my house and move someplace that seemed great when I visited, but once I get there I don't like it? And, of course, there's the big question: will I have enough money to last? What if I'm lucky enough to live until 100? Will my nest egg last 30 to 40 years? What if I get sick, who will take care of me?

Frankly, when you think about all the "what ifs" it can be paralyzing. What we've found on our retirement planning website, GangsAway! is that as many as 30 percent of people do plan to make a BIG move. Some think it's the best thing they ever did, and some, not so much. If you've always dreamed of living in a different location and seeing and smelling different roses, don't let the "what if's" hold you back. That's the funny thing about life, you never know what's around the corner. If you've made it all the way to the point where you are contemplating your retirement years, then you know that you can't let nerve-wracking possibilities keep you from moving forward with your dreams. Be smart, figure out your dollars and cents and take a chance. You've already had years to explore your neck of the woods, it could be fun to get to know a whole new place. New people, new experiences, new ideas. Experiencing new things and remaining curious is what will keep us young and vital and makes it worth some of the anxiety of uprooting oneself.

It's a big world out there and, in addition to a new hometown providing the backdrop for your new chapter, you might also find a place that costs less too. Some of us want to keep working because it's just who we are. Some of us must keep working for financial reasons. If you fall into the second bucket, moving to another part of the country might make the difference between working and not working. For example, let's say you live in the New York City metro area and own a house valued at $400,000. If you have paid off your mortgage, you could sell the house and move to any number of other locations in the U.S., buy a great place for $200,000 and put the other $200,000 in the bank. Or if you've only paid off half of your mortgage, you could sell it and take the $200,000 and use that to buy a house outright and live mortgage free! Ahh, mortgage free, that sounds nice.

Using the data on our site, we've compiled some of the most popular retirement destinations so you can see what a move to one of these places might look like for you. It all depends on where you currently live. For some people these locations will be cheaper, some will the comparable and for some they will be more expensive. If you click on the link to each destination there is a feature on our site where you can compare one town to another. For instance, click here to compare New York City to another place. Using the compare tool will enable you to see how your hometown stacks up against some of these great spots. Once you do the comparison, a move may seem like a no brainer. Happy Hunting.

Compare your hometown to one of these popular retirement towns.

Burlington VT/ Compare Burlington to my hometown.
Deerfield Beach, FL/Compare Deerfield Beach to my hometown.
Destin, FL/Compare Destin FL to my hometown.
Wilmington, NC/Compare Wilmington NC to my hometown.
Nashville, TN/Compare Nashville TN to my hometown.
Portland OR/Compare Portland OR to my hometown.
Phoenix, AZ/ Compare Phoenix AZ to my hometown.
Asheville, NC/ Compare Asheville, NC to your hometown.
Bonita Springs, FL/ Compare Bonita Springs to your hometown.
Fargo, ND/ Compare Fargo to your hometown.
Aubern AL/ Compare Aubern to your hometown.
Austin, TX/ Compare Austin to your hometown.
Bellingham, WA/ Compare Bellingham to your hometown.
Blacksburg, VA/ Compare Blacksburg to your hometown.
Charleston, SC/ Compare Charleston to your hometown.
Bluffton, SC/ Compare Bluffton to your hometown.
Las Cruces, NM/Compare Las Cruces to your hometown.
Sarasota, FL/ Compare Sarasota to your hometown.
Eureka, CA/ Compare Eureka to your hometown.
Palm Springs, CA/ Compare Palm Springs to your hometown.
Tuscon, AZ/ Compare Tucson to your hometown.
Salt Lake City, UT/ Compare Salt Lake City to your hometown.
Westerly, RI/ Compare Westerly to your hometown.
Saratoga Springs, NY/ Compare Saratoga Springs to your hometown.
Durango, CO/ Compare Durango to your hometown.

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