So in my post on the basics, I wrote that rule number 1 is to work where everyone works, but to retire where no one works. The main idea is to keep down the cost of living, and that is highly correlated to what people earn. So living in the middle of nowhere seems to be quite cost-effective
Of course, there is a downside to that. Where no one works, I have in general less to do, less culture, fewer ways to spend my time. In the end, this becomes a matter of preference. I might rank rich and top-class culture high enough to retire in a major city. However, that comes at a high price if I do not benefit from high salaries anymore. It is worth to consider if local culture can be as interesting, and maybe even easier to actively engage in. Also, maybe I can accept that top-class culture is not at my doorstep anymore, but requires a short (or long) trip. My lower cost of living easily compensates for the price of the occasional trip. And time is what I expect to have in abundance.
Rule number 1 has another, more general downside: I should move away from friends, potentially family, and the environment I am used to. This is what makes many pensioners stay in their city and even in their unnecessarily large and expensive homes. The solution to this is to take the step early. The earlier I move, the easier it is for me to get engaged in a new community and new activities, and thereby make new friends
Still, this is a big downside. But reducing my cost of living and retire where no one works is simply a cornerstone of early retirement. The alternative is to drastically downsize my living standard, which is a high price to pay for staying at the same place.