Retirement Horrors: Top 10 Worst Places to Live Out Your Days

Retirement is looming for many Gen-Xers in the coming years, and choosing the right location has never been more important. There are many places where retirement might seem attractive, though certain cities may best be left alone.

1. Victoria, British Columbia

Downtown Victoria at twilight
Image Credit: Brandon Godfrey – CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wiki Commons.

This story involves a move over the northern border: Victoria, British Columbia, in Canada. While lakes and mountains seemed like the perfect retirement solution, one Canadian retiree (let’s call him Paul) had a retirement nightmare when his aging mother in Edmonton fell sick. Paul couldn’t afford the living costs and commuting back to his hometown every week, so he had to give up his dream.

2. Detroit, Michigan

downtown Detroit
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Detroit Free Press ran a story in 2018 about a woman named Barbara Yokum, who retired in 2012 after 38 years as a Detroit Public Library technical assistant. Sadly for Barbara, her city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013, meaning she was suddenly stumping up $940 for her monthly health care bill, thanks to Obamacare’s sudden hikes. Even worse, Detroit City’s “Clawback” bankruptcy reorganization measures meant she was ordered to pay $45,000 back to the state after being overpaid through a city retirement savings plan.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While Argentina’s capital is nicknamed “the Paris of South America,” its economic factors may overshadow the attraction of life in a sunny foreign city. Argentina has been an unstable economy since the ‘30s when a military junta took power. Moreover, one must be careful when transferring funds; buying property can be complicated. Buenos Aires should be avoided unless a retiree has family or good friends in the city.

4. Chester, Pennsylvania

Shuttered buildings on Avenue of the States Chester, Pennsylvania
Image Credit: CC0 / Wiki Commons.

This city outside Philadelphia has fallen on hard times of late, with its falling population at half its former peak in the mid-20th century. Retiring in Chester comes with the added doom of ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, which started in 2022 after the police pension scheme ran into trouble after decades of neglected intervention.

5. Manila, Philippines

Skyline of Binondo, the central business district of the city of Manila.
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wiki Commons.

Another story concerns a retiree (Ned) who had lived with his Filipina wife in the U.S. for ten years, so he thought it fair when he retired in the suburbs of Manila. Although he loved his wife and the Filipino people, he struggled to adapt to its climate and customs, and for a guy who grew up in the safe confines of an American town, a city full of pollution, noise, and creative timekeeping methods was not what he had imagined.

6. Stockton, California

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Online financial analysts, WalletHub, studied retirement benefits across 182 American cities, using 45 metrics totaling 100 points. These markers were in subcategories such as activities, affordability, Health Care, and Quality of Life. The lowest-ranked place was Stockton, California, which sat bottom overall; this complements its Forbes 2020 ranking for the worst city to find a job.

7. Phuket, Thailand

Aerial view in Patong beach in Phuket Province, Thailand
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While Thailand remains an attractive retirement destination for many expats, some can get stung by the locals. A British surveyor (let’s call him John) chose Thailand for his retirement. Settling in Phuket, he met a local woman whom he married and soon had children. After investing in property and a business, John put the property in his company or his wife’s name, though he kept his voting rights. However, his wife secretly signed the properties out of the business before conspiring with a local lawyer to remove him from the business agreement and steal them all. Sadly for John, he spent even more money suing his ex-wife, who found herself in prison.

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

It may seem like a dream place to retire with its sparkling casinos, sunshine, and dollar signs, but retiring in Las Vegas seems like a bad idea. Las Vegas should remain a weekend escape unless you love sweltering summers, hordes of selfie-stick-holding tourists, and limited public transportation in your latter years.

9. Panama City, Panama

Aerial view of the modern skyline of Panama City , Panama with modern Highrise buildings.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

There is much to like about Panama, though living there differs from visiting for a relaxing beach holiday. Some people who retired in Panama say several things may ruin one’s enjoyment, depending on the person. The weather can be oppressive, which is unsurprising for a tropical country; moreover, bureaucratic issues, public littering, and a slow approach to life might not be ideal for certain pensioners. However, Panama City can be the perfect place for more adventurous types to see out one’s twilight.

10. San Diego, California

Carmel by the Sea San Diego
Image Credit: Shutterstock / DiegoMariottini.

Axios reports that San Diego has fallen into the no-go zone for retirees due to the city’s rising housing costs. Although “America’s finest city” appeals to the active types, the living costs are 43% higher than the national average. With a median home price near the $900,000 mark, those with meager resources would be advised to avoid San Diego.

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The post Retirement Horrors: Top 10 Worst Places to Live Out Your Days first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.