If you’re approaching retirement, you’re probably thinking about whether you should continue living where you are or relocate to a different city or state. Here are some factors to weigh when making that decision.
Cost of Living
If you’re currently living in a high-cost city or state, moving to a rural area or a different state might significantly reduce your living expenses. Your retirement nest egg will last longer in an area with more affordable housing, food and other necessities.
Tax laws vary from state to state. Relocating to a state without an income or sales tax can make your money go farther in retirement.
Family and Friends
During your retirement years, you’ll want to spend time with loved ones. If you don’t currently live near your children or grandchildren, you might want to relocate so you can be closer to them and spend time together on a regular basis.
Family and friends can also be invaluable resources as you get older and find it harder to get around or need assistance with household chores. If loved ones can help out, you won’t have to struggle to handle tasks yourself or pay someone else to do them.
Things to Do
You’ll have a lot of free time when you’re retired. Make sure that the place where you choose to live has lots of things to keep you occupied, such as museums, art galleries, libraries, parks, hiking trails, a senior center, places of worship, sporting events, stores, and restaurants.
If you currently live in a place that gets heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures for several months each year, you might dream of living in a beachfront location that’s always warm and sunny. That can seem ideal in theory, but you might miss the changing seasons or a spot that’s designed to appeal to tourists might not have the kinds of amenities and services that you’ll need to live comfortably year-round.
As people get older, their vision tends to decline, and their reflexes tend to slow. Even if you can drive safely now, there might come a time when you’re no longer able to. Look for a retirement location with affordable public transportation or services specifically for seniors.
As you age, you’ll probably need more routine medical care. Before you select a place to live in retirement, find out if it has doctors, a pharmacy and a hospital nearby. In a rural area, you might have to travel a long distance to receive medical care. That can be challenging, especially if you can’t drive yourself.
Make the Choice That’s Right for You
Choosing where to live in retirement is a deeply personal decision. All these factors can influence your choice, but some will be more important to you than others. Think things over carefully and consider renting a house or an apartment so you can try out a new spot for a while before you decide whether to make it your permanent home in retirement.