Many aspects of retirement are changing, such as the health and activity level of seniors and a rise in working retirees. But many seniors are still very attached to one traditional retirement goal: selling the family house and moving to a beachfront condo, a golf and tennis community, or another dream retirement destination.
Before you start scouting for a new place to call home, you and your spouse should discuss these four important questions.
- Whom will you spend time with?
The people who live in or near your home can be every bit as important as the home itself. A big, beautiful yard or a waterfront deck are so much more enjoyable when you have loved ones near by to share them with.
If you’re moving closer to friends and family, be realistic about how much time you’ll be able to spend with them. As much as they love you, these folks are working, going to school, playing sports, pursuing their own interests, and raising their own families.
If you’re moving further away, think about all the little ways that your loved ones and neighbors are part of your daily routine right now. Whom are you going to grab a cup of coffee with? Who’s going to come over to watch the big game? And, as you and your spouse age, whom will you call when you need help with yardwork or can’t drive to your doctor anymore?
- What does the new area have to offer?
Perhaps you’re planning to build a new social circle around your favorite activities. Weekend golfers who want to spend more time on the course in retirement should investigate leagues and clubs they can join. Your new home might be near one of the growing numbers of community colleges and universities offering adult education to seniors at a significant discount. What are the shops and restaurants like? Are there parks where you can keep taking your morning walks? Will you be near museums or theatres you might want to support? Are the local amenities going to keep you and your spouse active and engaged, both separately and together?
- What are the costs of moving and living?
Many retirees overlook some of the smaller but no-less-significant costs that come with a major move. Whether you’re buying or renting a retirement home, it’s likely that your current budget will need to adjust to local sales taxes, utility prices, and other cost of living differences. Depending on your health care needs, you might need to change your Medicare coverage. If you move to a new state, the amount of taxes you pay on your retirement income could be different. How much will it cost you to ship your current belongings to your new home and buy whatever new furnishings you’ll need? Are gas prices or public transportation costs going to affect how you get around?
- Would travelling provide a greater Return on Life?
Building a new life in a new place can be an adventure that makes retirement feel fresh and fulfilling.
But relocating also costs time, effort, and money – three things that you could spend on travelling instead.
If your current home is in good shape, close to loved ones, and part of a community that you enjoy, your retirement routine might just need a little more variety and an occasional change of scenery. Talk to your spouse about creating a travel schedule that mixes big bucket list vacations with fun weekend trips and visits to family and friends. You might find that by being a little more thoughtful about your schedule and resources, you can change your life in retirement without giving up the familiar comforts of home.
Where do you picture your ideal retirement home? Let’s schedule an in-person meeting or a video chat to discuss how we can help you design and realize that blueprint.