Questions to Ask When Relocating in Retirement
Did you know that approximately 40% of workers today plan to move to a different city or region after they retire? 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 shouldn’t be made lightly. There are many questions to ask yourself and your family to ensure the move will align with your retirement goals and ideal lifestyle.
1. 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. Forbes has a wonderful cost of living calculator that takes these factors into account: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/real-estate/cost-of-living-calculator/
2. 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? If purchasing a home is an option, we recommend renting for a short period of time in the new neighborhood to get a true feel for the area.
3. 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. If you are selling a home in your current location, consider capital gains tax. Some states offer tax breaks for retirees, while others tax pension or Social Security income.
4. What about healthcare? Factor in the cost of health insurance, routine care, and specialist treatment in the new location. 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?
5. What recreational and social activities are available? Retirement is a time to pursue hobbies and interests. Research what activities are available in the area, the typical climate, and whether there are community groups or organizations nearby where you can meet new friends.
Making the decision to relocate, no matter the stage in life, is a significant life event. By asking these questions, you’ll be better prepared to find the ideal location to fulfill your retirement dreams.
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