Many people save and plan all their lives with the full intention of relocating for retirement. While somewhere warm and tropical is a popular idea, plenty of retirees are considering relocation to reduce expenses, live closer to loved ones, or to have better access to quality healthcare during their golden years. Before you pull out the packing boxes, there are a few things you might want to consider before relocating for retirement.

Benefits of relocation

As you explore your options, consider a few of the potential benefits associated with relocating:

  • Better access to family. If you move closer to family, it can greatly improve your ability to spend more time with your grown children and grandchildren, while reducing the costs of traveling to visit. 
  • The ability to choose a home that is built for aging. When people grow older, their needs for home features may change. Perhaps a larger home on multiple floors was perfectly suitable and desirable when you were raising a family, but years into retirement it might be more than you want to maintain and navigate.
  • Easier to do in early retirement. Moving earlier rather than later in retirement allows you to absorb the financial and physical toll of moving much better than attempting to do so later in retirement.

Financial impact

You may have dreamed of a retirement in which money was no object. The reality is that retirees are spending longer and longer days in retirement. That means, for many people, money most certainly is an object in your golden years. You may want to consider a few financial benefits for relocating once you retire:

  • Reduce maintenance needs. That is especially true if you opt for a newer, smaller home when relocating.
  • Potentially lower cost of living. Moving from a major city to a suburban area can significantly lower your costs of living.
  • Reduction in utilities. Smaller homes often cost less to keep warm and cool.
  • Of course, this is not a guarantee, and the savings are not universal. So, do a little research to see where a move can save you the most money. After all, the more money you save on housing expenses, the more money you will have to spend on things that will make your later years more enjoyable.

Social impact

One cost people often fail to consider when deciding to relocate is the social change it represents. You have spent a lifetime making friends, getting to know neighbors and becoming part of a broader community. Moving will not only have you leaving your home behind, but also the friends and neighbors that made it feel like home.

It can be a substantial loss for many people and should be a serious consideration for anyone contemplating a move. That is especially the case for people who take a while to build new connections and make new friends. The decision to move is one that must be more than purely financial and should take the total costs into account.

Selecting a location

Choosing the perfect location for retirement may not be as difficult as you believe. You will need to make a few comparisons of your own to determine things like cost of living and which states offer the most attractive benefits to retirees. Healthcare is usually a top consideration for retirees, so look into the presence of quality medical care when deciding on your retirement location.

Some states actively seek retirees, offering huge perks to those who choose to live there during their golden years. Look at more than the cost of buying a home. Dig deep and look for information for the state you are considering regarding the following:

  • State income taxes
  • Sales taxes
  • Death taxes
  • Property taxes

Also, don’t forget to look at local prices for groceries and food, gasoline and utilities, as well as for activities that interest you. That will give you an idea of costs you can expect, financially, when moving.

Relocating for retirement is not a new concept. However, the science of choosing the perfect retirement location has gotten a little more complicated over the last couple of decades. Keep these things in mind to help make your relocation decision easier, more affordable and more comfortable to make.

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