You see them every year, returning in the fall with their tans and highlights. They’re the retirees who move to Florida for half the year.
And, then there are those friends who packed up and moved to the locale of their dreams the moment they both retired. If you’re nearing retirement, you might be contemplating joining them. Here’s what to think about before you make the move to retire. Should you move when you retire?
What Will Moving Cost You?
Being retired doesn’t mean you can suddenly make frivolous financial decisions. If anything, you’ll have to be more frugal now than ever.
Think long and hard about the true costs of moving when you retire—not only in terms of buying or renting a new place, furnishing it, and moving your stuff, but also in terms of the local cost of living, whether you’ll struggle to get quality health care, and whether local taxes will create an unanticipated expense when you retire.
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Health and Mobility Considerations When You Retire
You might not want to think about it now, but as you age, getting around may become more difficult after you retire. Forty percent of seniors have some kind of mobility impairment, which means that the odds are pretty good that either you or your spouse will one day struggle with this issue.
Consider downsizing to a single-story house when you retire. A single fall in your senior years can be catastrophic for your health, so endeavor to avoid scaling stairs. If you ever need extra money to afford in-home senior care services, you can consider the option of a reverse mortgage.
What About Those Grandkids?
Moving shouldn’t just call to mind financial concerns. You need also to think about the long-term future of your family and relationships. If you’re already a grandparent, can you stand to part with your grandkids? If you’re not yet a grandparent, you may soon become one.
If you’re eager to move, consider moving closer to your children. Or, if you’re itching to get away but not sure you can leave the little ones behind, try becoming a snowbird and live in a warmer climate for half the year, only to return to your home and family during the warmer months.
Sell, Rent, or Something Else?
Before you move, you need to figure out what to do with your existing house. One option is to move to a smaller home, then rent out your existing home.
Alternatively, you could allow a college-aged child or grandchild to live in and tend to your home at a discount. Particularly if you’ve lived in your home for many years, don’t jump into selling it. You should wait and see if you like the new place first when you retire.
Retirement Living Communities
Active living retirement communities have long since parted ways with their nursing home reputation. These communal living arrangements often feature luxury surroundings, an active recreational life, and the chance to make lots of new friends.
If you’re not wedded to the idea of maintaining a huge property or you’re concerned about how you’ll care for yourself in your twilight years, consider a retirement community. You’ll have your own space, won’t have to worry about variable utilities, and may have a chance to make new friends and hone a new skill well into your senior years.
Annie Doisy is a reverse mortgage expert who helps seniors enhance their lives by taking advantage of the equity in their homes. Annie writes for ReverseMortgages.com where her goal is to educate consumers on a wide range of topics around mortgages and other financial services.