I recently spoke with a couple of friends who expressed frustration about their parents’ retirement locales. One said his retired mother always complained about the dreadful Arizona heat while the other didn’t like the fact that there were so many bugs at his parents’ retirement home in Florida.
Where you choose to live in retirement can drastically change your overall financial plan. The question, “Where do I want to retire?”, is one of the most basic questions people need to ask themselves when planning to leave the workforce.
Will you really be happy in a new location? The answer will vary from person to person. What are you looking for? Will that relocation add to or subtract from your quality of life?
With your happiness in mind, consider the following eight questions before you finalize a major move in retirement.
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- How will you fill your days?
Weekends always seem to come and go quickly, but with nothing to do all day when not working – days can seem endless. “What will I do all day?”, is a seemingly simple question that many people forget to ask themselves before retiring and relocating to enjoy their retirement years.
Making the decision to move may be difficult if you have an active social life. For my workaholic readers who only drive from home to the office and back, moving may be quite a bit easier.
Has the hustle and bustle of city life exhausted you? Do you dream of moving to the country to enjoy the peace and quiet?
On the flip side, are you bored to death living in the county and yearn for the excitement of city life? A move to the city may be in your future.
Additionally, beach life dreamers should keep in mind that while beach towns are great for vacations, they may not be as appealing during winter months. They may also lack nightlife and cultural experiences. Think about your hobbies and whether or not you will still be able to participate in and enjoy those hobbies in the new location.
- Will it be difficult to visit family?
The majority of my family lives in Southern California. Driving to celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving is much easier than flying across the county on some of the busiest travel days of the year.
That brings up an important question. Will moving make it easier or more difficult to see your family? While technology, such as Skype and FaceTime, has made it easier to see and catch up with friends and loved ones, some may argue that it really isn’t the same as face-to-face time in person.
Conversely, I know retirees who have purposely put more miles between themselves and their families in order to get out of endless “free” childcare. While they love their grandchildren, watching kids is a lot of work and there is a reason most people have kids when they are younger.
If you are moving to be closer to your grand kids, ask yourself how likely is your family to stay put. You don’t want to put down new roots only to have them relocate due to a job transfer.
- Are you open to renting in retirement?
I go more in depth on this topic here SHOULD RETIREES RENT OR OWN?. If you are moving somewhere new, consider renting. That will give you the most flexibility if you change your mind or perhaps pick the wrong neighborhood. It may seem crazy to…