Periodically, I like to think about where I will retire to (even though it is a couple of decades away). Obviously, it's all fantasy - global warming, rising sea levels and nuclear terrorism will probably have obliterated half the world by then or turned various areas into sprawling refugee camps, like something out of a Mad Max film.
However, at the moment, I think that a nice retirement would be November-March in Nice, April-August in the UK, September-October in Manhattan. I don't want to ever have to step outside and see my breath by the time I'm in my late 50s - cold weather kills off pensioners. It's a fact. All the deaths of elderly people in my family have been in January/February. And when I worked in a nursing home one summer, none of the residents dropped dead. I don't need any more statistical information than that.
There's only one flaw in my Nice plan - I've never been to Nice before. My whole experience of France is reduced to Paris. And I suspect that capital cities aren't that representative (London is absolutely nothing like the rest of England, being more like a country of its own). Anyway we've booked a holiday to Nice in September (we're staying in the swanky Hotel Negresco), so hopefully I'll like it.
Otherwise it's back to the drawing board, as happened when I decided Bournemouth would make a good place to retire (I didn't really take to it after visiting). My Eyesight guidebook on the Cote d'Azur came this morning. Unfortunately there were lots of pictures of people sunbathing on a pebble beach, and 80+ Eurotrash millionairres with bad skin and dubious fashion choices. So I should fit right in then.
If Nice does work out, at least that gives me 20+ years to learn French properly. At the moment all I can say is "Je mapelle Raquel".