Before choosing where to live in your new retirement, there are several important questions to consider.
Key questions for choosing where you want to retire.
- Are your kids going to move back home? Do you want them to?
- Is your current residence manageable? By manageable, I mean; financially (taxes, mortgage, utilities), physical accessibility, friendly climate, repair and landscape upkeep.)
- Do you want to stay in the area you live in? Or have you dreamed of moving closer to family, the mountains, the coast or a different country or living in an RV or boat?
- Are you situated where you can ‘age in place?’
- Can you afford to buy a second home to retreat to and fill those desires
- Have you thought about the thousands of “snow-birds” who live six months in their “home residence” and six months in their dream location?
- Have you thought about a “house swap” to try out those locations?
Evaluate your Answers
Answering these questions will narrow your choices and move you closer to your ultimate plan.
Remember this: nothing is concrete (except, of course, concrete). If you make a choice and it doesn’t work for you, it can be changed.
My location certainly has changed during the years I’ve been retired.
Three out of 5 Americans want to spend their golden years in another city or state, according to a national Bankrate survey. A majority said they’d be interested in moving, regardless of gender, income and education, though wanderlust did seem to fade with age. See this complete article at bankrate.com/retirement/3-in-5-want-to-retire-somewhere-else/
Look at one couple’s experience:
Several friends of ours have moved into age restricted communities. These come in all sizes shapes and costs. Choose something that works with your retirement budget in an area that you are excited about and check it out.
One couple we know moved into a suburban neighborhood. Being retired with their children grown, graduated from college, working in their careers, married with children, the couple thought that living in a nearby neighborhood would be just the ticket to get to see and be involved with their grand-kids lives.
This worked for a while but then the grand-kids grew and had their own interests and lives as did the other younger neighbors on the couple’s street. Without the involvement of their own children’s school age kids in sports and activities, they found it difficult to nurture any active social life in this neighborhood so similar in age as their own adult children’s.
Ultimately, they moved to a retirement community where every day offers choices to participate in tennis, golf, dances, theater etc. Very little effort is required to become involved in an age-restricted community and it’s easy to say yes or no.
The best advantage is that there are so many choices of activities with people who have a lot in common with you. They felt like they had extended their family.
Downsize, Snowbird or Stay Put
Today the accomplishment of your goals is determined by you, not work constraints or others’ opinions. If you want to accomplish these goals, do so. If you don’t want to, don’t. Just forget about it. But realize that at this time in your life, what you do is your choice.
In all of this exploring and self discovery, please remember this: small changes can equal big results. Eat less, spend less, sit less, stress less, watch TV less, worry less, be active more. Get up and walk around the block or skip, skate, run or ride your bike. Your choices equal your results. When you choose a job, neighborhood, location or partner, YOU choose a life.
Homework: Grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm all your answers to the above questions. Add a little research, mix it with desire and see what your retirement possibilities reveal. There are good doctors and dentists, hairdressers and grocery stores most everywhere. So, get started!