How do you decide if relocation is the best idea?
We had one house we lived in where I had to buy new kitchen curtains twice! What? Nana – what are you talking about? 😛 We’ve moved a lot. Now in retirement, I’m chomping at the bit – ready to move again. But should we? And – should you? How do you decide if relocation is the best idea?
Yeah! You’ve finally reached your goal. You no longer have to go to work. No more alarms. No more daily commute. You’ve reached the point in life where you’re going to get paid for sitting on your duff – or for golfing – fishing – shopping – traveling- watching daytime tv. But now you have many other decisions to consider. #1 new retiree problem –
Your mind is filled with all the things you’ve been waiting to do for years. No bosses now. You’re in control. What do you want to do? Is it time to put the house on the market and head for your dream location? Your career no longer dictates where you should live.
Right here I’m yelling at you: STOP. You are retired now. You don’t have to make this decision right away. Take some time to think about where is the best place for you to live?
#1 Consideration when you decide if relocation is best
First and foremost, you need to look at the financial picture now that you’re about to start living on a fixed income. Can you afford the current home? Can you afford the current location? What does the real estate market look like in your location now if you need to sell your house?
If you do decide to sell, you need to consider the condition of your home. Is it ready to bring a top dollar amount or does it need multiple updates and renovations? Here is where a consult with a realtor can supply answers to many of your questions.
In the previous post – How to ride the Seesaw of Communication when you Enter Retirement – I suggest reading Dave Ramsey’s book – The Total Money Makeover.(this is an affiliate link and I will receive a small commission if you purchase it) Where you live in retirement and whether you need to relocate will be determined in a large part on how much debt you have and the costs to live in your current location versus moving to a location with better financial advantages. Getting out of debt should be the first goal to make in retirement. Inflation raises the cost of everything much faster than your income at this era of life.
Next major consideration when you decide if relocation is the best idea
The next thing to consider is the fact that as you age you will eventually succumb to illness or infirmity of some sort. Not something you want to think about, but a reality none the less. Hopefully, you are now feeling fine with only minor ailments and not ready to think ahead to a time when age creeps up and attacks your body. However, when you decide if relocation is the best idea, you want to keep that in the decision-making process.
You want to choose a location close to medical facilities and doctors. In addition, you will need to be somewhere where transportation to these is readily available. Both infirmity and many medications may interfere with your ability to drive safely.
When first thinking about these problems, you may feel you have many friends you can call on for help. However, in most cases, these same friends are in the same age group as you and dealing with the same problems you face. This is one of the reasons why living near children is something to consider.
Choices you have when you decide if relocation is best
Many chose to move to retirement communities. While these seem like ideal choices, again the reasons above come into play. Here again, the friends you make in these areas are generally in your age group and they too will be facing the same problems you have as you both age. Unless you choose a community that includes assisted living facilities, you will be facing a move to another location when a need for help arises. If you have children, living near one of them, turns out to be a blessing when and if you need help.
Another factor in choosing whether to relocate is determined by areas of the country that might be beneficial to your health. For example – people suffering from osteoarthritis may do better in warmer climates and can keep active much longer because of that.
But what about all those dreams of relocation to an island in the Pacific for snorkeling and deep sea fishing that you’ve been waiting to do? Or that move to the mountains for year-round skiing? Do you really have to give all that up? Oh no, my friend. Do keep those dreams and make them a reality. But you might want to consider going to those locations for periods of time where you can rent a place to live.
A Starting Point when you decide if relocation is best.
The wisest choice is to consider where you ultimately want to live when medical problems start to curtail activities. You might want to look at living choices in that area first and then decide what you want to do from there.
Possible Choices to Consider
Is staying in your current home later on financially feasible – an ie. house is paid for; taxes are low; children and medical care is near-by; maintenance is low cost and up-to-date. In this case, you might want to consider renting the house while you spend the time renting another home in your dream location. That way, you have a place to return to when and if you need it as age creeps up. Taxes and maintenance will be covered by the rent, which may also pay a sizeable portion of your new rental in that dream location. The same goes for choosing a smaller home or a condominium in your current location.
Another possibility, if you have children who have stable career locations, is to sell your home and help you child either add to or move into a home with a separate apartment that you can eventually move into. Here again, this area could be rented while you are living else wise. In addition, this provides a way to pass income to your children minimizing inheritance taxes.
This hopefully, gives you a starting point when you decide if relocation is the best idea. I’m sure you still have many questions on this area and it’s an area that will be open for suggestions and questions for future posts here. I encourage you to comment in the box below with anything you would like to add or areas you would like to have explored.
Help with your Decision Making
To help with decision making I’ve provided you with a Relocation Decision worksheet. I would suggest printing out two copies and using one for your current location and the second for your dream location. This will give you some concrete information to help with How to decide if relocation is the best idea?
Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord.
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
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