Some states are more retirement-friendly than others.
Affordability and high-ranking healthcare systems are two important retirement location criteria.
It's never too early to plan a career path that includes a place to retire.
Physicians who are gearing up for retirement have plenty of factors to consider before pulling the trigger. Organizing finances, maintaining good health, and taking up new hobbies and activities are crucial for doctors transitioning into retirement, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.
But all of those factors hinge on one critical component: Location. Some states — like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Idaho — are more retirement-friendly than others. If you’re a doctor looking to retire in the near future, finding the right place to settle before hanging up your stethoscope may be the key to a seamless transition.
The sunshine state has much to offer to its medical retirees. With access to beautiful beaches and significant tax benefits, physicians might consider taking that last job in one of a few locations.
Sarasota, FL, is ranked the No. 1 best place to retire in the United States as of 2021-2022, according to US News and World Report. In addition to the Key beaches, museum culture, and live music, Sarasota has high-ranking quality healthcare organizations.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital was recently ranked 6th on the list of best hospitals in Florida. A general medical and surgical facility, as well as a teaching college, Sarasota Memorial Hospital is considered “high performing” for treatments related to colon and lung cancers, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke, among other illnesses and injuries.
US News and World Report ranked Naples, FL, the 2nd best retirement location. Tucked between the Gulf of Mexico’s shorelines and the Everglades, Naples offers retirees some of Florida’s finest dining, beaches, golf courses, and shops.
Naples also offers access to high-ranking healthcare institutions, such as NCH Baker Hospital, which ranks as the 12th best hospital in Florida. NCH Baker maintains high performances in the treatment of diabetes, colon and lung cancers, abdominal aortic aneurysms, heart failure, and more.
Other high-ranking Floridian locations for retirees include Daytona Beach, Tampa, and Melbourne.Related: How old is too old to practice?
If alligators aren’t for you, Pennsylvania may have what you’re looking for.
One option is Lancaster, PA. Ranked 5th on US News and World Report’s 2021-2022 list of best retirement locations, Lancaster boasts geographic diversity, with sprawling farmlands, suburbs, and a busy city all within a short drive.
A thriving arts and music scene that draws crowds each first Friday of the month gives newcomers the opportunity to get familiar with their communities. Hiking and other outdoor activities are available to retirees, while those who’d rather stay inside have their choice of indoor sports.
In terms of healthcare, Lancaster is also home to the 4th highest ranking hospital in Pennsylvania: Lancaster General Hospital. Lancaster General Hospital maintains high ratings in all procedures and conditions relating to orthopedics, cancer, gastroenterology, gynecology, nephrology, and most cardiovascular procedures.
Patients gave Lancaster General four out of five stars for overall satisfaction with the hospital, communication on behalf of doctor and nurses, quality of discharge information, recovery involvement, responsiveness of the staff, and willingness to recommend. These ratings were reached through a series of surveys completed by patients as they were discharged.
Ranked directly below Lancaster General Hospital at the 6th best hospital in Pennsylvania is Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest maintains an average of three out of five stars from patients. Treatments relating to cardiology and heart surgery, cancer, endocrinology, pulmonology, neurology and neurosurgery, and nephrology received best possible scores from patients, including 14 high-performing procedures and conditions.
Allentown, ranked 11th on the list of best places to retire, also has a historic charm characterized by century-old architecture. To top it off, theater, art museums, and sports pave the way for a vibrant, active community in Pennsylvania’s 3rd largest metro area.
After a long and fruitful career in medicine, retiring in a place that brings you joy may be a priority. You might find that experience in Idaho, which currently holds the title of “6th happiest state,” according to Practice Match. Ranking 11th in affordability, Idaho has a low crime rate and considerably less medical malpractice lawsuits when compared with other states—a huge plus for physicians.
According to US News and World Report, Boise, ID, is the 11th best place to live in the United States. The plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities, locally sourced food, and perfect urban-rural balance makes Boise a welcoming city for retirees.
Boise’s quality of healthcare is also worthy of mention. The number one ranked hospital in the state of Idaho, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, is located in Boise. St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, also in Boise, ranks 2nd on the list.
St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center maintains a high performance in 17 procedures and conditions, including lung and colon cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, and more. Overall, patients gave it four out of five stars.
St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, on the other hand, performs highly in nine procedures and conditions, such as colon cancer surgery, heart attacks, and heart failure. Patients gave it three out of five stars.
What this means for you
While many physicians may be planning their career path around the best locations to practice, keeping tabs on the best locations to retire is also important for securing the perfect post-work chapter.
Farouk, A. 6 key physician retirement insights from doctors already there. American Medical Association. 2018.
PracticeMatch. Physician retirement planning 101: best retirement states for doctors. PracticeMatch.
U.S. News and World Report. Best Places to Retire in the U.S. in 2021-2022. U.S. News and World Report. 2021.