While many people plan to remain right where they are upon retirement, other people intend to relocate. There are myriad reasons, such as a mere change of scenery, climate preferences, lower cost of living or greater access to culture and activities. Some don’t need to consider much as they already have the spot picked out—where they had purchased a vacation home, or a spot they have spent a lot of time in previously.
For those of you that are not as sure, and are weighing options, the process of deciding can seem a bit overwhelming as there are so many things to think about, and so many places from which to choose. Here are just a few important points to keep in mind.
Needs and Wants
This may sound obvious but it is easy to get caught up in things that aren’t as important, and totally overlook the elements of a location that will end up mattering most in the long-run. For example, you may be drawn to a more expensive area because of its wide array of offerings, but do you really need that degree of variety? Unless you are a real foodie, having 500 restaurants from which to choose, for example, may not be so important.
How do you enjoy spending your time? If you love hitting the links, for example, it could be well worth it to look into communities with private golf courses. Might be a bit pricier but you would probably get your money’s worth.
Really think about your priorities. Don’t just get caught up in wants, but what you need…the non-negotiables.
Crunch the Numbers
Unless you are retiring with major big bucks, and can spend without a thought, you are going to have to be a bit more cognizant of how much you are spending. This money is meant to be stretched out over a long period of time.
This is an important part of making a smart relocation decision, but may be something you are reluctant to really dig into. If you are like many people, you have some weird ‘stuff’ with money. But, it is crucial you get as clear a picture as possible about much it costs to live your life. You have to think carefully about the costs you will incur in this new location and the cost of living. Some places will certainly give you more bang for your buck.
Think Beyond Now
Yeah, no one wants to think about getting older, losing independence, and battling health problems, but it is something to consider when choosing your new home. What sort of facilities are available for assisted living or full-time care? If you are thinking about moving into a retirement community, do they have facilities to which you can transition if you can’t live independently? What are the costs of these types of facilities in the area? Do you have a health problem that may require greater care in the future? If so, are there appropriate specialists in the area that are able to treat you? Is public transportation available if you are no longer able to, or no longer want to, drive? Just don’t think about the immediate future, but longer term as well.