States that offer a warm climate often dominate lists of the best places to live in retirement: Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, etc. The one thing all these states have in common is the year-round warm climate. This is no mistake: active adults and retirees have been ditching the snow shovels for sandals for decades. Many people approaching their last clock-out often look south for the next stage in their life, as there are several obvious benefits of living in a warmer climate, but also some that you might not have considered. Here’s a list of some of the benefits of retiring in a warm climate.
An active lifestyle is much easier to achieve living in a warm climate. Playing a round of golf, joining friends for bocce ball, or planning a picnic can happen spontaneously without worrying about the forecast.
Not only is living in a warm climate beneficial to active people, it could actually cause less active people to put down the remote and go outdoors. Studies show that living in a state with a warm climate motivates residents to become more physically involved, where outdoor activity is the norm rather than conditional depending upon the season.
Since living in warmer climates leads to more activity, it should come as no surprise that people in sun-drenched and warmer states live longer than their counterparts in other states. However, there is more at work here than just more time working up a sweat…
Your Body Needs the Sun
Sunshine is a natural producer of vitamin D. Having a healthy amount of vitamin D leads to stronger bones and teeth, protects against diseases like cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D deficiency, which affects an estimated one billion people worldwide, can cause osteoporosis, osteomalacia, increase in blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension.
Not only does the sun help provide healthier levels of vitamin D, but living in a consistently warm environment does wonders for your heart and lungs. During the winter months, your body has to work overtime to keep your body warm. In a climate lacking in wild temperature fluctuations, your body doesn’t have to do so much, leading to a decrease in blood pressure. Also, people who suffer from migraines might find great relief retiring to a dry and warm climate, as migraines are often set off during sudden drops in temperature.
Don’t Sweat It
Another way that retiring in a warm climate promotes health is by lowering stress levels. The sun produces serotonin, one of the hormones that makes you feel happy, alert, less anxious, and helps in regulating your appetite. Higher serotonin levels have also been associated with a decrease in depression.
The increase in serotonin has also been shown to increase self-esteem – a welcome perk for those susceptible to winter-time melancholy.
Increased exposure to sunlight also leads to more oxygen content in the blood. The increased oxygen helps the body perform basic functions and has a positive effect on stamina, overall physical fitness, and muscular development, leading to less strain on your body and less stressful day-to-day life.
Less Stuff and Strain
Even in the midst of summer, living in a variable climate means that your winter gear has to go somewhere. Retiring in a warm climate means giving up heavy coats, boots, gloves, and the endless piles of long socks. Downsizing your home is a lot easier when you can give up an entire closet’s worth of unnecessary clothing.
You can also ditch your shovel and bags of salt. No more waking up an hour-and-a-half before you need to so you can dig your car out or clear your driveway. You can take your morning coffee on the patio in January, knowing that your friends farther north have to move pound after pound of snow to even see their car. More sleep, more time to do as you please
A consistently warm climate also leads to a longer shelf life for your assets. Winter can do some serious damage to your car. Colder weather can cause your battery to die, fluids to thickening, tires to become under-inflated, and leaks in major systems. Once the long-awaited thaw happens in spring, several streets become inundated with potholes.
Your home also goes through a trying winter season. Severe winter weather actually ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophic losses, just behind tornadoes and hurricanes. Frozen pipes, trees collapsing from the weight of snow, and sewer back ups are just a fraction of the ways in which winter can do some serious damage to your home and wallet.
Retiring in a warm climate means that instead of being on hold with your insurance company, you could be approaching the back nine during a beautiful February afternoon.