A handy mantra for retirees deciding where to live is: "Try before you buy."

That was exactly the advice James E. Putman, the CEO of Wealth Management LLC, in Appleton, Wis., gave to his client, a 68-year-old retiring doctor who has his heart set on moving to The Villages, an active community for seniors just north of Orlando. "I told him this was such a major move for him, he should really rent there in the dead heat of summer, before he makes the move. So that's what he's doing for a month," Putman says.

Florida has no state income tax (unlike Wisconsin's 7% rate), which will save the doctor about $14,000 annually on his $200,000 retirement income. But while Florida and its golf courses, tennis courts and beaches may seem like a vast improvement over Green Bay's eight weeks of subzero temperatures, why not check it out first?

"His focus on buying makes a lot of sense," says Putman, "but we just want to make sure this is the place for him, not Scottsdale or Palm Springs."

Questions, comments or ideas? Please e-mail the author, Tracey Longo, at [email protected].

First « 1 2 3 » Next