This has been interesting week. An earthquake along the east coast. Another in Colorado. Meanwhile, hurricane Irene is bearing down on the Atlantic coast. Let’s not forget the horrendous flooding along the Mississippi in April and May and the later Missouri River flooding. These events tend to make us consider whether environmental hazards and adverse weather conditions should influence the “where to retire” decision.
< Weather is certainly influential with a lot of retirees. That’s why Florida and Arizona are jam-packed with retirement communities filled with baby boomers who are fed up with cold and snow.
I would hesitate to live in some parts of California because of earthquake threats, even if the taxes were tolerable. California has also experienced many mudslides and forest fire events in recent years which have affected residential areas.
I also want nothing to do with communities along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts that are regular hurricane targets.
Here in middle Tennessee we are relatively fortunate. We have a mostly mild climate and no hurricanes. The New Madrid Seismic zone runs through West Tennessee so a Memphis earthquake disaster is not out of the question. We did experience a 200 year flood along the Cumberland River in 2010 but not precisely where I work or live. Tornadoes are probably the most common weather hazard but they are ubiquitous throughout the heartland.
I suppose the bottom line for me is that I would never want to live in California or own property in a hurricane zone or along a flood-prone river. Beyond that, where to retire is more about the benefits of the location than it is about the environmental risks.
Will you consider weather and other environmental hazards and events in your decision about where to retire? Which are the most important to you?