Are you planning to move to a new locale after you retire? Perhaps you want to move south near the beach or the desert so you can enjoy warmer temperatures. Maybe you’d like to experience a different lifestyle in a bustling city or in a quiet countryside. Or you might even want to immerse yourself in another culture overseas.
Whatever your goal, retirement is the time to pursue the life you’ve imagined for yourself. You’ll have no work commitments, no scheduling obligations, and, hopefully, plenty of money to fund your desired lifestyle.
A relocation can be complicated though. As much as it may bring happiness to your life, it can also generate significant challenges. A move at any age can be difficult, but it can be especially complex in retirement.
Before you start packing, take some time to analyze your decision and choose the right location. Below are a few questions to ask yourself as you select your new home.
What is your ideal retirement?
It’s hard to choose the right city, state, or region of the world if you don’t know exactly what you want out of retirement. Remember, you may have more free time than you’ve ever had in your life. How will you spend that free time? What activities and pursuits are important to you?
Take some time and jot down your priorities in retirement. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, you may want to write a story about your ideal day in retirement. What does that day look like?
Once you know which activities and interests are most important to you, then you can use those priorities to filter out potential destinations. For example, you may find that the beach isn’t as important to you as you thought. Or that you want more contact with family back home than you anticipated. It’s helpful to know those things in advance rather than after you’ve already made the move.
How much do you want to see family and friends?
This is another important question to ask yourself. You may be considering a move that puts you a significant distance away from friends and family. Try to objectively ask yourself how you will cope with not being able to see your friends and family regularly.
If it may be an emotional challenge, you may want to look for areas that are closer to home. Perhaps you can find a location that offers all of the things on your list, but is also within driving distance to friends and family. Also consider how video chat and other online technology could help you stay in touch.
Is the cost of living different?
Besides the emotional factors that go into a relocation, you also may want to consider the financial variables. An important one is the difference in cost of living between different areas. If you currently live in a small, midwestern town, you may be in for sticker shock if you move to a busy city on the coast.
Real estate prices can vary wildly between cities, so that cost should play a primary role in your decision. Do you plan to rent or buy? And can you afford the type of home you desire in your new city? Research carefully and even make a few visits in person so you can see firsthand what kind of home your money can buy.
Are there international issues that could be challenging to navigate?
You may be considering an adventure overseas after you retire. International travel or relocation can be exciting, but also complex. Specifically, be sure to look at currency exchange rates. Your Social Security benefits, pension payments, and investment distributions will likely be made in U.S. dollars. Will the conversion to currency in your host country cost you a substantial amount of money?
Also, Medicare generally doesn’t cover treatment provided overseas. Some countries do offer government-sponsored healthcare to foreign national residents, but not all countries do. You may need to buy a supplemental healthcare plan to cover treatment in your new home abroad.
Ready to plan the next phase of your life? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Fenton Financial Services for more information. We can help you analyze your choices and develop a strategy. Let’s connect today.
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