Choosing a retirement community is a complicated and long-term decision. You have to find an area with decent year-round weather, low taxes and lots of activities all within your budget. This article till give you some tips to keep in mind as you make your decision. 

1. Weather: If you plan on maintaining two households, buying a retirement home in a warmer climate makes sense. If, however, your plan is to own just one residence, you need to consider your weather preferences. Warm is nice, but can you handle the intense humidity of Florida? Will you miss the rain if you move to Arizona?

2. Taxes: Living on a fixed income as a retiree usually means that you need to stretch those retirement dollars. One way to do this is to choose a state with low taxes. Nevada and Texas, for example, have no income tax, which can help Social Security and pension benefits go further. South Carolina, Hawaii, and New Mexico have some of the lowest property taxes in the country, which can also ease your budget. 

3. Amenities: Make a list of all the activities that you want to do once you retire. If you love to golf, make sure your retirement community is either on a golf course or near several municipal golf courses. If you love cultural activities and special events, choose a college town near museums and concert halls. 

4. Walkability: Many retirees want to keep fit and stay active in their community. Being able to walk or bike to various locations is important. Look for areas with a good infrastructure of public transportation, biking trails, and sidewalks so you can get out and explore without depending on a car.

5. Medical Care: While this may not seem important to you right now, as you age, access to quality medical care is important. Living in a remote location may be appealing, but so is quick access to a hospital when you need it.

6. Activities: Take a look at the community calendar. If your goal is an 'active adult' community, make sure the calendar is chock full of activities you like. Look for clubs, day tours, and even college classes offered right in your complex.

7. Mass Appeal: Having family and friends visit is also an important consideration. Not only do you need the extra bedroom space, but you need to be an an area that your friends and family will want to explore each year. Close proximity to the ocean, a theme park, or a fabulous golf course could lock in visitors for years to come. 

There are many retirement communities to choose from and the decision can be complicated. Make sure you keep these things in mind as you decide where your future home will be, and you'll be sure to find the best option for your wants and needs. 

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