No matter what you decide to do, retirement will bring major changes to your life. One of the largest changes is the freedom to make large life choices liking packing up and moving wherever you have always wanted to be and just enjoy being there.
Before you make the decision to pack up all of your life’s belongings it is good to ask a few questions to help decide if it truly is the right decision for you personally. Here are some great retirement relocation questions to ask yourself.
What is My Primary Goal or Focus in Relocating?
Maybe you want to be on the beach in sunny weather, maybe you want easier access to your hobbies, maybe a climate change would improve your health, or maybe you just want to get away from what seems mundane and start afresh and exciting new adventure somewhere completely new. These are all good reasons to try something new, but make sure to thoroughly research where you want to go before going there.
Maybe you are hoping to find a home in a sunny area with great challenging golf courses to enjoy your favorite hobby all year long. Make sure the place you want to have plenty of quality courses available at a price you can afford and the weather is truly bearable all year.
What is the Cost of Living? How Will You or Will You Be Willing to Adjust?
You may have an idea of the cost of living for retirement right where you are at, but those costs may be very different in the place you want to be. Check out the income taxes, property taxes, transit costs, cost of gas, price of groceries and goods ( remote towns and tourist towns will have a higher cost because it is hard to ship goods in), cost of travel to visit relatives, cost of medical services, etc.
Will You Be Paying Taxes on Social Security Benefits?
Social Security is a helpful source of income for many retirees. Having to pay taxes on those benefits could be a drawback to what you can afford in your new life. Currently Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode, Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia have some form of social security tax. Compare the price of the tax to the cost of living and let it help you decide if your move is an affordable one.
Will You be in an Area with Sufficient Medical Services?
This is a good question for anyone relocating at any age that we may not think about. Especially if we require any special medical care. While all areas have adequate medical facilities do they have the level of care that you would hope for?
Are There Day to Day Normal Life Comforts Available?
What do you enjoy in your typical daily life right now? Do you have routines, habits, or comforts that you enjoy? For instance, maybe you like going to a certain restaurant every Friday night. It feels nice and routine and fun. Is there a similar place or the same (if it’s a chain) place where you are moving? Will you be willing to give up those routine comforts for your new location?
Are Loved Ones Close Enough?
Moving away to a new location may mean moving further away from family and friends that are like family. Will they still be close enough that you or they can come to visit or will the distance bring more infrequent conversations and visits? Is this something that is ok?
Related: Should I retire where my kids are?
Relocating in retirement can bring a new world full of adventures, but it is always good to ask important questions to make sure you will truly love starting a new life.