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Your Top 10 Retirement Destinations

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In the spirit of the upcoming holiday weekend, we asked Dave’s Facebook fans, “If you could retire anywhere in the world, where would it be?”

We learned a lot about you in the process, and one thing’s for sure: You dream big!

Here’s a glance at 10 of your favorite retirement destinations. We’ve broken it down by state and global locales, with a dash of the unconventional thrown in.

Florida

It’s no secret that the Sunshine State is a welcome haven for retirees. Sure, snow birds flock there for the warm weather, but Florida also offers great tax advantages, including no state tax on retirement income.

Shanda J. from Rialto, California, has her eyes on Florida because “no matter how rich or poor you are, it’s affordable.”

And she’s right! You can retire for $100 a day in Gainesville, according to AARP, or spend your golden years in the lap of luxury in Naples, North Key Largo or Palm Beach—three cities that made Forbes’ “25 Top Places to Retire Rich” list.

Hawaii

Got Hawaii in your retirement sights? Be prepared to beef up your nest egg! This island state is known for its high cost of living. According to Forbes, the average home in Honolulu will cost you $500,000.

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Of course, if you’re ready to live and give like no one else, the aloha way of life may be worth the premium. From “consistently wonderful weather and a laid-back lifestyle” to an abundance of “natural and cultural beauty,” Hawaii’s got it all for Monique P. from Brooklyn, New York.

Sunshine and friendly people are just some of the perks calling Peggy K. from Roscommon, Michigan, to Hawaii. “I could have a backyard filled with healthy foods that I could grow myself,” she says.

Texas

If you’re looking for wide open spaces with a side of swagger, don’t mess with Texas. With 268,596 square miles to stretch your arms, Texas has room for every retirement lifestyle.

The city life is where it’s at for Andrea T. from Kansas City, Missouri. She’s considering the Dallas-Fort Worth area because there’s “so much to do and a flight to anywhere in the world.”

Edna C. dreams of quieter pastures in Texas Hill Country so she can “live in a peaceful area and still be close to big cities.”

Dave’s fans aren’t the only ones tooting Texas Hill Country’s horn. Arts-rich Austin was recognized by AARP as one of the “Great Quirky Places to Retire” and by Forbes as one of the “25 Great Places to Retire in 2014.” Fredericksburg also secured a spot on the Forbes list, boasting a long list of pros and no cons.

Colorado

Colorful Colorado is a great destination for outdoor lovers who want to maintain an active retirement lifestyle. In fact, a recent Gallup-Healthways survey ranked Colorado as one of the top states for well-being.

Stephanie H. wants to retire at Lake Dillon, Colorado. “It is so beautiful there. The air is clean and fresh—great for biking, dining and fun!” she said.

Aspen is calling Debbie B. from Albany, Oregon, “because the sun shines almost every single day.”

If sunny days suit your retirement style, Colorado may have the tropics beat. According to Bankrate, Pueblo, Colorado, gets more sunshine than Honolulu. The Centennial State took second billing on Bankrate’s “10 Best States for Retirement” list.

Tennessee

For many of you, there’s a rocking chair with your name on it in the hills of Tennessee. Matt S. from Charleston, Illinois, said, “I would love to live in the country with some land and the mountains as my front-porch view.”

In true Dave-fan fashion, Tyler M. kept his budget in mind. His reasons for putting Tennessee at the top of his list include “no income taxes, low property taxes and low car insurance.”

Love mountains? Knoxville’s just a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Got an ear for music? Nashville’s got a song with your name on it. Both cities offer a below-average cost of living and are great places for a working retirement, according to Forbes.

Costa Rica

Looking for a place where you can live in paradise for $2,000 or less per month? Costa Rica might be for you. Costa Rica stands out because it offers top-notch medical care, with many U.S.-trained healthcare providers. In fact, that’s just one of the many reasons International Living included Costa Rica in its “World’s Best Places to Retire in 2014” list.

Victoria S. from Minneapolis, Minnesota, likes Costa Rica because it offers a lot of lows—from the crime rate to the cost of housing and health care. Another plus? “The abundance of fresh produce and fresh fish is very healthy.”

Italy

The idea of retirement stirs up Old-World visions for many Dave fans. Michelle G. from Whitinsville, Massachusetts, dreams of owning a farmhouse in Umbria.

“It would be amazing to shop for fresh food and bring it home to cook. [. . .] Of course, I would need enough room so all the family could visit too!” she said.

Want the rustic life for less? Check out Le Marche. This sleepy seaside region earned a place on AARP’s “Best Places to Retire Abroad” list because it offers the beauty of Tuscany or Umbria without the expensive price tag.

Belize

Belize won the hearts of many Dave fans. Many American retirees settle down in Belize because it offers an easy path to legal residency and exemption from Belizean taxes. Warm, tropical breezes don’t hurt either.

For Richard B. from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, the reasons are simple: “The cost of living is very low, and it is an English-speaking country.” In fact, Belize is the only Central American country with English as the official language.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Ambergris Caye as third on its “World’s 8 Best Places to Retire in 2014” list. As the most developed island in Belize, it offers all the services you need to make the most of your retirement years.

RV or Bust!

You can’t tie a free spirit down—not even in retirement. Just ask Leigh L. She wants to spend her golden years in an RV so she can travel to all the places she’s never been. “Who needs to stay in one place when you can see and experience everywhere?”

Shelby A. from Rowlett, Texas, just can’t wait to get on the road again either. She’s saving her nest egg so she can hop in her motor home with plenty of gas to “go where the wind blows.”

Just be sure to budget for the basics, which may include campsite fees, electricity and, of course, lots of gas!

Home Sweet Home

Dorothy said it best in The Wizard of Oz when she said, “There’s no place like home.” Clearly, many of you agree!

Debbie S. dreams of retiring at home because it’s “where friends and family are and where being a wife, mother, grandmother, friend and volunteer happens.”

Judy S. is content to hang her hat where her heart is. She finally has her children and grandchildren nearby and plans to keep it that way: “If they move, we will too. The place doesn't matter. The grandbabies do!”

Leslie S. says home is the perfect retirement destination for another reason: “The house is paid for, and I have no desire to start over somewhere else.” It sounds like Leslie is already living the dream!

Make Your Retirement Dreams Reality

It’s fun to dream about where you’d like to spend your golden years. But wishful thinking won’t get you there. You need a plan—and the best plans start with a pro.

Share your retirement dreams with an experienced investing advisor. A true pro can show you what it takes to get there and will guide you to your goal every step of the way. Look for someone who takes the time to explain your options so you can reach your target on your own terms.

If you don’t have a pro you can trust, Dave can recommend an advisor who has the heart of a teacher in your area.

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