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Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Retire in the United States

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in United States? Retirees share their experiences living in United States.

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What advice do overseas retirees have for others considering retiring abroad?

"Check with a tax professional first to find out what taxes you may still have to pay in the UK when you move to the US. And vice versa," said another retiree in living in US.

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How do I meet people in the United States?

When we asked people living in the United States about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Most restaurants have midweek activities (trivia night etc.) Downtown has many parades an regular events called Jump Up. Triathlon Federation is great for athletes, as is the Humane Society for pet lovers," explained one retiree living in Christiansted.

"One can volunteer at the hospital in nearby Randolph or help out with the local dog rescue group, a library volunteer and volunteer as a church member which there are many," said another retiree in living in Braintree, United States.

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What is life like in the United States?

When we asked people living in the United States what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"I hate to generalize about people. Most folks are laid back about work and much more involved in family and social lives. Many people have been helping with hurricane relief while others have been seeking better housing since 2017," said another retiree in living in Christiansted, US.

"The local priority is work, supporting local events, gardening or helping neighbors and youth sports," explained a retiree in Braintree.

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What do I need to know before retiring in the United States?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to the United States, they said:

"I'd suggest other places unless they had a pretty much unlimited suppuly of cash," commented one retiree living in Christiansted, US.

"I would suggest that they come for a 10 day visit and introduce themselves to many that they meet. Vermonters are friendly people and generous in nature," explained one retiree living in Braintree.

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What type of recreational activities are there in the United States?

"We have many public beaches. There are 3 golf courses attached to resorts and at least 1 resort with a tennis court. The Nature Conservancy and The Botanical Gardens have good hiking," explained one member in Christiansted.

" There are fitness clubs everywhere: Soul Cycle, Equinox, Crunch Fitness and Row House are just a few examples. Chelsea Piers has locations in Chelsea (Manhattan) and Brooklyn. These massive recreational facilities have fitness classes, pools, rock climbing (Chelsea location), boxing, barre, basketball, cycling classes and more. Outside of the fitness programs, Chelsea Piers has classes and camps for children in a wide range of sports and activities. Plus, there's a driving range, bowling and skating rink (hockey and ice skating). Running (New York Road Runners) and biking are popular in New York. Softball (NYC Softball League) and soccer (Gotham Soccer League) is played in many parks across the city. Dance classes for all levels can be found at dance studios throughout New York like Peridance Capezio Center and Ailey Extension. If you're a tennis player, there are public courts throughout the city. NYC Parks Department has a list of public tennis courts by borough. ," said another retiree in New York.

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Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in the United States?

"There are several good grocery stores, once you get over the sticker shock. There are a surprising number of jewelry stores as well as all tourist needs, but a specific hardware item (ie a bicycle spoke or motorcycle battery) can be hard to find. ," said another retiree in Christiansted.

" Most New York neighborhoods have a few large grocery stores, many medium-sized grocery stores, smaller bodegas and Korean grocery stores, and, outdoor markets (some are seasonal, others are open year round) on certain days of the week. On the Upper West Side, for example, residents can shop at larger grocery stores like Fairway, Zabar's, Gristedes and Whole Foods. Medium grocery stores such as Westside Market (several locations) and Citarella are great places to shop. From a cost perspective, stores like Zabar's and Citarella can be pricey because they sell a lot of high-end, unique items that foodies and good cooks love. They are really fun places to browse, buy a few things and may definitely inspire you to up your cooking game! Bodegas and Korean grocery stores dot the map and most New Yorkers will have one within a block or so of their apartments. The quality of these stores varies widely. Some are very nice and locals frequently get a quick, takeout meal from a Korean grocery store's food bar. Others are slightly seedy and you might only buy a bottled drink and a newspaper. Most Korean grocery stores sell inexpensive flower arrangements that are displayed in buckets lining the outside perimeter of the store. In my opinion, these flowers are one of the great deals to be had in NYC. On weekends and some weekdays, locals love to grab a cup of coffee and stroll through outdoor markets like 79th Street Greenmarket and Tucker Square Greenmarket. Grow NYC has a searchable database of green markets throughout NYC with all of the information you need - hours, days of the week, types of food sold and even special events. In terms of shopping for clothing, New York is a fun place to shop for clothes. And, you can fill your closet on any budget. If you're looking for inexpensive clothing, for example, Century 21, Old Navy (multiple locations), TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target are great options. People who aren't that familiar with New York, have a misconception that the majority of New Yorkers are upscale, fashionable dressers who shop at expensive boutiques. This is far from reality. Yes, a small number of New Yorkers have the budget and desire to always be fashion forward. And, yes, a lot of New Yorkers wear black almost every day -- it's the uniform of busy New Yorkers who want to look good without giving it much thought. The reality of New York is that you could wear a t-shirt and jeans or exercise clothes every single day and feel completely at home. ," remarked another retiree in New York.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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