Knowing when to retire is a challenge in itself, but deciding where you want to live in your encore years can be equally perplexing. One option is to stay right where you are (known as “aging in place”), but keep in mind your present home could become a financial burden in the distant future. Also, your current accommodations may need some structural changes if mobility ever becomes an issue.
Relocation always seems like an attractive option but this too will require some deep analysis. Are you wanting to be near your grandchildren, aging parents or your own children? Or do you simply want to run away to the mountains, to warm beaches or even to an urban center with lots of cultural and entertainment choices. For some, a second home could prove to be a good interim choice allowing more time to check out the area before making the final leap.
Obviously, one size does not fit all – both financially and emotionally. It is imperative, however, that you and your spouse are on the same page and that you also have some discussions with friends and family before making any major decisions. Even the location and quality of medical services needs to be factored into the relocation equation.
Knowledge is king if you are seriously planning a move in retirement. Fortunately, abundant information can be found on the websites of US News and World Report, Forbes, AARP, Kiplinger and Money Magazine. They all provide reports covering topics as diverse as: Bargain Places to Live, Best Places for Military Vets, Best Towns for Wine Lovers, Places with the Youngest & Oldest Populations, Terrific Towns for Second Careers, Sunniest Places to Retire, Most Affordable Mountain Towns, etc. Again, doing your homework beforehand will make a huge difference in choosing the place that ideally matches your real needs and desires.
If you become stuck on this issue, please contact me to explore your options in more detail. As a retirement specialist, I have a plethora of information and data resources for you to consider. My probing questions and helpful exercises will be very beneficial, giving you the clarity you need before making this important decision.