Did you know that 40% of workers today plan to move to a different city or region after they retire?1 This underscores a trend of retirees eager to explore new horizons, trade familiar environments for fresh ones, and even redefine what their retirement living might look like.
However, the decision to relocate during retirement shouldn’t be made lightly. There are a host of questions that need to be answered to ensure the move will align with your retirement goals and lifestyle.
- What is the cost of living in the new location? The cost of living varies greatly across different regions. Compare prices for groceries, utilities, transportation, and other daily living expenses to understand if the new location fits your budget.
- What are the housing costs? Whether you plan to rent or buy, it’s essential to analyze housing costs in the new location. Does buying a home make sense at this stage of life or would renting be a more flexible and cost-effective option?
- What are the tax implications? Taxes can take a big chunk out of your retirement income. Consider the state’s income tax, property tax, and sales tax. Some states offer tax breaks for retirees, while others tax pension or Social Security income.
- What are the healthcare costs? Factor in the cost of health insurance, routine care, and specialist treatment in the new location. According to one study, South Dakota topped the list of states with the most expensive health care, while Michigan is the cheapest.2
- How accessible is quality healthcare? As we age, access to healthcare becomes paramount. Does your proposed new location have good hospitals? Are there specialists in areas relevant to your health needs?
- Is the climate suitable? Some retirees are drawn to warmer climates, while others prefer cooler ones. Consider whether the climate in your potential new home will support your preferred activities and overall health.
- What recreational and social activities are available? Retirement is a time to pursue hobbies and interests. Research what activities are available in the area and whether there are community groups or organizations where you could meet new friends.
- Does the area suit your lifestyle? If you’re an active retiree, you might prefer an urban environment with cultural, entertainment, and dining opportunities. Alternatively, if peace and quiet are your goals, a rural or suburban setting might be more appealing.
- How close will you be to family and friends? Being near loved ones is often a significant consideration for retirees. If moving away, think about the ease and affordability of travel back to see them.
- What are the transportation options? If you plan to rely less on driving, you might want to consider a location with good public transport, reliable taxi services, or community shuttle options.
Making the decision to relocate in retirement is a significant step. By asking these questions, you’ll be better prepared to find a location that’s a good fit for your retirement dreams. Remember, retirement is a journey, not a destination.
1 The Motley Fool. (2023, February 20). 40% of Workers Plan to Relocate in Retirement: Should You?. Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/retirement/2023/02/20/40-of-workers-plan-to-relocate-in-retirement-shoul/. Accessed 10 July 2023.
2 Forbes Advisor. (2023). Most And Least Expensive States For Health Care, Ranked. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/advisor/health-insurance