Now that you are retired you have some options. I love having options. You are no longer chained to the job and where your job was located. Perhaps it is time to downsize the house. Maybe head off to a new area of country or world where you have always wanted to live. I know with our retirement it was like the door to adventure was wide open and I could hear my name being called.
Obviously when it comes to moving in retirement there are financial retirement considerations with downsizing, buying or renting, and the cost to move somewhere else. But when making a move there are some important Non-Financial Retirement Moving Considerations to seriously give thought to.
In the years leading up to my retirement we vacationed at locations we enjoyed. Places that included parts of the country near extended family. I would envision what life would be like to live there. I would always keep in my mind that vacationing and living somewhere are two different animals. It was part of the dreaming and fantasizing of the freedom that was just down the road from me. Once early retirement came it was time to set aside fantasy and have reality take control before blindly just moving in retirement.
The Beyond Financial Retirement Moving Considerations
Define your Ideal Retirement Lifestyle. Moving in retirement is all about adding a new home-base to our new beginnings and quality of life. Understanding what that exactly is to us will either narrow down where we land or totally eliminate places from consideration. Once our new retirement vision is defined it is time to do some research and discovery to get it all right.
Your target location doesn’t have to be a resort area destination or other tourist draw to give you vacationing blinders. Make a concentrated effort to research what your daily life will be and revolve around.
There is a big difference between just visiting someplace and living someplace. Before moving in retirement anywhere new, make sure it is to a place that checks off most of what you envision for your retirement lifestyle. That it delivers what you have defined as important. Your consideration check-off list should touch on much of what is listed below.
This was (is) our primary non-financial retirement moving consideration. How close do you want to be to your family and/or friends? Is your ideal retirement vision one that is spending more time with your kids and grand-kids? If this is number one on your retirement consideration list. Is it something you are willing to move closer to make happen? If it is then make sure you talk to your family and feel it out. Don’t move and then find out later that their lives are too busy. It’s possible they are too busy with their day-to-day living and working to meet your expectations.
Maybe you will be welcomed with open arms but expected to babysit young grandchildren 40 hours a week. Is that the retirement life you envisioned? If so then great. If not then rethink things.
Go in with a solid understanding of what your real involvement will be so there are no hurt feelings or regrets.
With friends it will take work to keep in touch with those you move away from. Sometimes some effort is needed to rekindle old friendships with friends you move closer to. Assess your own ability to make new friends in a new setting. You will certainly need to consider all aspects of your social life.
I have always loved the idea of moving in retirement to a home with an ocean view. Guess what? That was nowhere close to being in my working budget and sure isn’t in my retirement budget. When looking at your target location cost you must look beyond home purchase or rental cost.
Investigate area property taxes and home owners insurance. Home owners insurance can be high if in a flood or mountain fire risk area. Also look at the costs for utilities, gas, food, and if targeting a new State, verify its income tax rate. OK, this is a financial consideration but still important.
Do you envision staying with the same living dynamic you have now or going the opposite way? The availability of transportation services and the convenience of living in a walkable environment in a city? That may sound like a winner for retirement. But if you come from a quiet country lifestyle you may be in for some culture shock.
The same goes if moving from a city lifestyle out into the country or to the mountains. Moving to where you don’t have to worry about finding a parking place. But you may not be able to just walk to your destination or catch a bus or train.
If your retirement dream includes lots of air travel. Then consider the distance to the airport. Do you like the idea of being close to the fire station, police department, shopping malls, hospitals, etc.? Focus on more than just the home you envision. Spend some time in your target location before committing to the move. Soak in everything that comes with that location.
The Pros and Cons of the Climate.
Part of me just wants to move anywhere that doesn’t snow in the winter. But there is more to the decision than just that. People generally travel to distant destinations during their best weather times. Someplace that is perfectly warm in the winter may be unbearably hot and/or humid in the summer.
The same goes when choosing a mountain location. Sure it was a blast skiing and enjoying the weeks you have been on the slopes. But what about the arctic weather blasts that come. The blizzards that make you have to stay indoors for days at a time. There is also mud season in the spring. A time where the snow is slushy and there is mud everywhere until summer dries things out.
Moving to the desert may be snow-free but you have repressive summer heat. There are also monsoon sized rains and flash floods. Other places have tornadoes, hurricanes, or earth quakes that are commonly experienced. No place is perfect. Make sure you research and understand exactly what your target area is like year round.
Obviously if Golf is a priority it will play into your location choice. River rafting, hunting, fishing, off-roading, opera, professional sports, concerts, you name it. After all, you are retiring to something and that includes lots of hobbies and other entertainment.
Whatever it is that is important to you check to see what your target location’s proximity is to them. Never forget that you have to live where you pick between all of your recreational and entertainment outings. Therefore don’t let this weigh heavier in your considerations than it should.
I have been to some fun places but found out later its crime rate is higher than the national average. When you are on vacation somewhere you don’t always see what is going on in the community or city. It also comes into play when selecting a neighborhood. Always check into the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood’s crime rate before committing to buying or renting there.
Here’s to your Health.
Are you being treated for health issues that routinely require seeing a doctor? Do you want to be close to hospital services? I have fallen in love with some towns I have been to. But the fact that there was no hospital for 60 miles or more removes it from my list of places I might want to live in. Make sure your health requirements can be met.
If religion is on your consideration list. Then verify that your needs can be met. When vacationing or just visiting someplace we may not think to check the area’s religious affiliations. It is a diverse world but some places are more diverse than others. Visit the area church, synagogue, or mosque of your religious preference to see if it is compatible with your religious wants and needs.
Retirement should be all about options. As for our moving in retirement decision, we decided to stay put. It is more important to us that we stay close to our immediate family for now. It is our highest priority in our retirement lifestyle vision. If you have decided that a move is desired in your retirement. Then make your destination target an adventure and explore beyond the tourist track.
Envision your retirement lifestyle and remember there are Non-Financial Retirement Moving Considerations.
Spend time in the community, go grocery shopping, walk the town, visit a religious service, hang out at the local coffee shop, and talk to people.
Get to know the community so you can target the perfect neighborhood or if you are heading into the country the perfect acreage.