Where Should I Retire?: I’d like to live on water and am looking for a quiet, outdoorsy lifestyle, preferably on the East Coast. Where should I retire?

Dear MarketWatch,

I am in my mid-50s and live in Massachusetts. I’m looking to move to somewhere that’s roughly an hour from a small city or well-to-do suburban area, and I’d like to be on a waterfront (a lake, pond, ocean or even a marsh). I live a quiet, outdoorsy lifestyle and would like an area that has more wildlife and fewer streetlights or neighbors. I like mild weather, and I don’t mind a somewhat isolated feel as long as there’s abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery. If it’s possible to find this on the East Coast, that would be my preference. I like kayaking, hiking and working around the house and yard, and I prefer to be someplace not too conservative or religious. I have dogs. I’ve considered New Hampshire or Delaware. I can tolerate humidity but don’t love it. I am open to all possibilities. I have $350,000 to spend.



Dear Debbie,

To put you in a home on the water on the East Coast, in a place that’s relatively isolated, might be tough.

But we do have some suggestions of smaller towns on water that might have enough quiet spots nearby to suit your desire for fewer streetlights and more scenery. At least these are good starting points to explore the surrounding areas and towns to find the quiet you’re looking for.

Warwick, Rhode Island

With about 39 miles of coastline, Warwick is home to lighthouses and beaches, as well as shops and restaurants. It puts you near plenty of water and is within your budget, with a median home price of roughly $265,900.

There are numerous state parks in and around Warwick, including Goddard Memorial State Park, as well as other state lands that offer opportunities to escape into nature. Conimicut Point Park is a cute picnic spot from which you can view the Conimicut Lighthouse. Farther afield is Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, which offers amazing views of Narragansett Bay from atop 100-foot granite cliffs, as well as Snake Den State Park in Johnston and Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, which boasts a freshwater beach, trout fishing and horseback riding.

Rhode Island offers plenty of shoreline for ocean kayaking, including the coves of Narragansett Bay, as well as freshwater ponds and streams in its state parks and nature preserves. 

Warwick is 10 minutes by car from Providence, 30 minutes from Newport and about an hour from Boston. 

Ocean Pines, Maryland

Ocean Pines is nestled on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and features more than nine miles of waterfront and 3,000 acres of wooded areas. It’s located about five miles from Ocean City, Maryland, which may have too many people for your taste in the summer but is lovely in the offseason, when your dogs could play on the beach. 

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There’s room for dogs to play on the Assateague Island National Seashore.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The community started out as a retirement resort in 1968 and has its own police department, fire department, water system and public works department, along with other amenities that are managed by the homeowners association, Ocean Pines Association. The median home price is about $279,000.

The community is ranked as one of the safest places to live in Maryland. You could use Ocean Pines as a  launching point to get to nearby state parks, among them Assateague State Park, a beautiful barrier island situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Sinepuxent Bay.

Kingston, New York

Getting off the coast and going inland can put you near to rivers and parks. Kingston is on the Hudson River about 90 miles north of New York City and 60 miles south of Albany. A once-bustling 19th-century river port, Kingston has had a renaissance as a retreat for COVID-weary city residents. It’s located on Rondout Creek at the base of the Catskill Mountains, which offer plenty of options to enjoy an outdoorsy lifestyle.

The median home price is about $261,000, but that could rise as city slickers continue to flock to the area. 

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The riverfront in Kingston, New York, offers something for boaters and pedestrians alike.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are plenty of state parks and nature preserves nearby, including Minnewaska State Park Preserve, home to  waterfalls, lakes, hardwood forests and world-class rock climbing. You can also take advantage of kayaking tours on the Hudson River, and there are a number of marinas from which you can launch your own adventures.

Looking for ideas on the best place for you to retire? Email HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com

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