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Retire in Boston Guide

If Boston is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Boston Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.
|-Retire in Boston Guide

Boston, Massachusetts, is a city that offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern amenities, making it an attractive destination for retirees from around the globe. With its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and world-class healthcare facilities, Boston provides a fulfilling and comfortable lifestyle for international retirees. However, like any other city, it also presents its own set of challenges, such as the high cost of living and the harsh winters.

Living Expenses in Boston

One of the biggest challenges for retirees in Boston is the high cost of living. The city is one of the most expensive in the United States, with housing being the biggest expense. However, retirees can find more affordable options in the surrounding suburbs or by opting for smaller apartments in the city. Despite the high living costs, many retirees find the city’s amenities and lifestyle worth the price.

Boston’s Four Seasons

Boston experiences all four seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The fall is particularly beautiful, with vibrant foliage transforming the city’s parks and neighborhoods. However, the winters can be harsh, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, which may be a challenge for those not accustomed to such weather.

Healthcare Facilities

Boston is renowned for its world-class healthcare facilities. The city is home to some of the best hospitals in the country, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. These institutions offer top-notch medical services and have a multilingual staff to assist international retirees.

Public Healthcare System

While the U.S. does not have a public healthcare system like many other countries, Massachusetts has its own state-run health insurance program, MassHealth. International retirees may be eligible for this program depending on their income and residency status. However, many retirees opt for private health insurance to cover their medical expenses.

Residency Options

International retirees have several options for residency in Boston. They can apply for a retiree visa, which allows them to live in the U.S. permanently. Alternatively, they can opt for a long-term tourist visa, which allows them to stay in the country for up to six months at a time.

Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Boston offers a plethora of parks and recreational activities for retirees. The Boston Common, the oldest city park in the U.S., is a popular spot for walking and picnicking. The city also has numerous golf courses, tennis courts, and bike paths for active retirees.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Boston’s culinary scene is diverse and vibrant, offering everything from seafood to Italian to Asian cuisine. Some popular, reasonably priced restaurants include Union Oyster House, Giacomo’s, and Myers + Chang.

Language Learning Opportunities

While English is the primary language spoken in Boston, the city offers numerous language schools for those wishing to improve their English skills. The Boston Language Institute and Boston Academy of English are two such institutions that offer English classes for international students.

Boston Locals

Bostonians are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They are proud of their city’s history and culture and are always willing to share it with newcomers. However, they can also be fiercely loyal to their sports teams, so be prepared for some passionate sports discussions!

Meeting People and Socializing

There are numerous ways for retirees to meet people and socialize in Boston. Joining local clubs, participating in community events, and volunteering are all great ways to make new friends and become part of the community.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are numerous organizations in Boston where retirees can volunteer, such as the Boston Public Library, the Boston Food Bank, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Housing Options

Retirees in Boston have a wide range of housing options, from apartments in the city center to houses in the suburbs. Many retirees opt for condos or apartments in the city for their convenience and proximity to amenities.

Transportation in Boston

Boston has an extensive public transportation system, making it easy to get around without a car. The city is also very walkable, with many amenities within walking distance in most neighborhoods.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

International Citizens Insurance

Cigna Global Health
Award winning International Health Insurance for Individuals and families living abroad.

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