I will have $ 10,000 a month to spend and I prefer a city with beautiful exteriors, warm weather, and lots of culture, so where should I retire?


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Savannah, Georgia iStock

Dear Catey: In 2022, I plan to retire. I am looking for that special place. The best way I can describe it is Chicago without the weather, taxes, and high cost of living. If I never had to experience freezing temperatures again, I would be ecstatic.

I would also like to be near a green space for hiking or meditation. I love traveling and want to do more of that once I’m retired. I just haven’t found that perfect place that combines Chicago culture, history and music. Through good choices and planning, I will have a monthly income of $ 10,000 and very few expenses. Any suggestion? Respectfully CS Dear CS: First of all, the main supports for those “good choices and planning” that will bring you $ 10,000 a month. This will give you a wide variety of options that can meet most or all of the criteria on your checklist. And another pat on the back for the fact that despite having $ 10,000 a month to spend, you’re still looking for a place that’s cheaper than Chitown. I heard about your situation (cold weather and high taxes), so you are not alone fleeing the snow or with a high cost of living. Of course Chicago is a special place, it‘s hard to beat the history and the music it offers, but I think you will find that these two places meet most of your needs. Tucson, Arizona.

Sunset view of Tucson from Mount Lemmon. iStock

If you choose Tucson, home to the University of Arizona, your dreams of never having to experience freezing temperatures can come true (even though summers are hot), and it also meets many of your other criteria. First, Tucson has a lot to do on the cultural front: “A massive revitalization of downtown, which peaked in 2014 with the launch of the SunLink streetcar, includes new restaurants, renovation of historic theaters, a vibrant arts community and a handful of stylish hotels, ”writes Travel & Leisure. It also has a rich multicultural history, was the first city in the United States to become a Unesco World Heritage City of Gastronomy and also offers a lot on the music front. (Here’s the New Times of Phoenix on why cool bands often go to the much smaller Tucson instead of Phoenix.) “Combining that urban renaissance with the surrounding natural beauty of Tucson means that visitors are immersed in the vibrant magic of the desert from the moment they arrive,” Travel & Leisure continues. And indeed, Tucson’s location in the beautiful Sonoran Desert is ideal for the hiking and meditation you want to do; Outside magazine, in fact, named Tucson one of the best cities of 2019, citing, among other outdoor perks, that “Mount Lemmon offers more than 3,000 climbing routes.” And the cost of living is attractive – it’s cheaper to live here than the average US city, with a median home price of less than $ 200,000, and Arizona is one of the most tax-friendly states in the United States. United. Added bonus: there is an international airport to facilitate your travels. Savannah, Georgia.

A green Savannah cityscape. iStock

This friendly city covered in Spanish moss offers many perks that you are likely to love. First, the story: there is the “world famous historic district” with “more than 20 cobblestone blocks. [that] They contain impressive pre-war mansions, historic churches, manicured gardens, and parks shaded by towering oak trees. There are 22 historic squares, each with a different personality, ”explains National Geographic. That is mixed with a vibe that is decidedly “in the now,” writes Condé Nast Traveler, with “lively, mind-blowing farm-to-table cafes. [dining] and an avant-garde arts scene. “(The city is home to the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design.) There is also a lively music scene, with plenty of venues to see live performances. Savannah isn’t exactly the hiking town that Tucson is, but there are trails you can hike and you can also enjoy the beach (beautiful Tybee Island is only 18 miles away). Plus, it will save you a lot for living in Savannah versus Chicago, with much lower cost of living and real estate cheapest roots. Lonely Planet sums up the many joys of this charming Southerner: “Filled with elegant townhouses, pre-war mansions, green public squares, immaculate freshwater marshes, and giant moss-covered oaks, Savannah is a beautiful city and rich in culture “.