Choosing Where to Live in Retirement

You’ve worked hard for your retirement. Now you’re getting close to retiring. The decision of where to live can significantly affect the quality of your golden years. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding where to move for your retirement.

Consider the Cost of Living

You’ll likely be on a fixed income, so you’ll want that income to go as far as possible. Develop a budget based on our retirement income before beginning to review locations. Be sure to allow yourself enough disposable income to participate in the activities you’ve dreamed of doing while you were working.

Once you begin to consider potential locations, look at the prices of housing, utilities, transportation, essentials, and the tax structure. For example, many states do not tax pension or Social Security income, which will leave you with more to spend. Some also have low (or no) inheritance taxes that allow you to pass more of your wealth to your heirs.

What’s Your Passion?

What would you like to do most in retirement? Do you want to visit your grandchildren frequently? If so, then you’ll want to move closer. Or, do you want to golf or boat or fish? If so, you might want to relocate to a place with a temperate climate and a beach. If you like the idea of being able to walk wherever you go, look for areas with a high walkability score. Whatever you plan to pursue in retirement, you can likely find a location to support that.

The Need for Friends

You might also want to make friends your age in your new location. Research to see whether other people your age are locating to or live in a particular area that you’re considering.

Access to Health Care

Generally, the older we get, the more we need access to good health care. While you might be willing to travel some distance for annual physicals, you’ll still want quick access to good hospitals and doctors in case of an emergency. If you’re considering moving to a foreign country, check whether they’ll accept your insurance there.

Factor in Travel Plans

Consider the traveling you’ll want to do in retirement. If you opt to live in a different city from your children, grandchildren, or good friends, consider how difficult visiting them will be from your new location. If you think you’ll want to travel the world, consider locating near a major international airport. Also, consider the cost of travel when planning your budget. You don’t want to spend too much on housing only to realize you now can’t afford to visit those dearest to you.

Take a Trial Run

Once you think you’ve narrowed down the locations, spend a week or two there to experience its lifestyle. If possible, do a week in each season of the year to gain a flavor for the area’s annual life cycle. Test the public transportation, drive to experience the traffic levels, and check out the community activity offerings. Ask locals your age about their opinions and tips for living in the community.

Settle into Retirement

Let us help with your retirement move. If you are relocating near or far, we can help with the planning, packing, and unpacking. Contact us today for a free quote.