As you plan for retirement, you may wonder if you should move to a new area. Many retirees choose to do so for a variety of reasons. But, how can you choose? Here are five elements to make a moving plan that's right for you.
Family or Friends. Do you have tight relationships where you currently live? A solid network of support can be a big help when transitioning to retirement. If you have this, you may want to keep it intact as you choose how to navigate retirement. Many retirees, though, benefit from living where their family is located — particularly children, grandchildren, or siblings live.
Cost of Living. As you move from a salary to a fixed income situation, living expenses may be a bigger factor for your decision. If you're budget-minded, you can get more on a Social Security or pension check if you look for a location with a lower general cost of living, including lower real estate sale prices, lower property taxes, and better insurance rates.
Entertainment Access. With more time on your hands, you will need to plan what to do with your spare time. What do you like to do? An outdoor adventurer may prefer the nature-friendly areas of Utah or Colorado rather than a big city like San Francisco or Houston. And if you like a vibrant night life, you could benefit from shopping for real estate in a downtown area instead of a distant suburb.
Accessibility. Older Americans have different practical needs than younger ones. Look for an area with high-quality and plentiful medical facilities, doctors that care for health issues you may already have, and progressive programs to cater to any mobility or health issues you already have. Can you easily access all your regular needs, including shopping, gyms, healthy and enjoyable food options, and local community groups?
Climate. Retirement offers you the chance to pick the climate in which you want to live. Rather than choose an area based on salary potential or good schools, choose an area based on how comfortable you would be all year long. If you're tired of shoveling snow, you may want to head south, for instance, If you have allergies or respiratory complaints, why not consider drier areas or those outside of city pollution? Depending on your budget, you could even become a "snowbird", alternating seasons in more agreeable weather.
Considering all the real estate options when it comes time to retire frees you up to decide to live in the most comfortable and enjoyable places. The result will be the retirement life you deserve after a lifetime of hard work.