Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Updated: Jun 4
Many people nearing retirement struggle with this decision. A number of our clients have made this transition over the last few years. They have learned that deciding to relocate is much more than just picking a nice place to live in retirement - there are a variety of factors to consider.
Health Care Considerations When assessing your needs it is important to not only look at your current situation but look at potential needs going forward. Often those who look at the future with rose coloured glasses are served a harsh dose of reality during times of need. Accessibility to hospitals, doctors and other wellness services you have grown accustomed to receiving should be researched prior to committing to relocate. Consider both cost and quality. Often relocation makes utilizing existing practitioners no longer viable and/or affordable . If you have health issues before you retire, choosing a location with easy access to good medical facilities and doctors will be even more important. Be sure to research the local community and health care services when assessing potential locations.
One of the most unanticipated effects on one’s health is climate. Often those thinking of moving to a new area fail to consider what it would be like to live in a different climate at different times of the year. Being aware of typical weather patterns of your new home is very important, both for your health and your peace of mind. For example, do you tend to get a bit depressed without your daily dose of natural sunlight, yet are choosing to move to a region known for its rain? Are you moving somewhere to get away from the winter, but are unsure whether you will like the heat?
Social Considerations Budgeting for an extended vacation in the area you are considering moving to is a good way to avoid making a big decision too soon. That way you can take the time to really get to know the community you are planning to join. Get involved in activities that allow you to meet people and make friends. Take the time to explore and try different areas — move around.
When thinking about relocating in retirement, it’s critical that you have an honest discussion with your family and more importantly with your spouse. It is important that everyone is in line with what the future will look like. Moving can be an adventure, but it can also put space between you and your loved ones. With that added distance, some family members may not be able, or willing, to visit as much. Consult your current social network to see who has contacts in your new home town. Entering into an existing social network can have many advantages that will make the transition for you much easier.
Financial Considerations Typically, the trend when making a move in retirement is towards downsizing. However, there are often many expenses (or perceived savings) that are overlooked. When it comes to the physical move, be sure to take into consideration commissions, moving, renovation and decorating costs. There could also be changes in taxation, which could include income, property and sales tax. All of this translates into the affordability and ultimately the standard of living you will be able to enjoy. Utilizing a financial plan prior to making your transition is an excellent way to avoid any surprises. Making sure you have a good grasp of basic cost-of-living expenses, property taxes and how much you will need to visit your family will help ensure a smooth transition to your retirement destination.
One of the greatest benefits of retirement is having time to do the things you enjoy most. Don’t pick up and move without giving a new town a trial run. Finding the right place to live is an important part of the equation. By doing careful homework and considering all of your alternatives, you can ensure that your retirement is everything you want it to be. If you are considering relocating, please let us know and we would be happy to assist you with your transition planning.