Deciding where to retire can be one of the most important decisions you will make in your later life. It involves a number of choices, all leading up to one major decision. Some ideas to consider include not only where you will live, but also what you can afford, the type of community in which you would like to be involved, as well as what eldercare services you will be comfortable with should you require long-term care as you age. You may even need to consider where you will work if you are not yet financially-able to fully retire. Below is some information that will enable you to better make those decisions and settle in your desired destination gracefully.
Determine Your Retirement Goals Before Searching for a Destination
What do you really want out of your retirement? What are your main concerns? Are you happy with where you are currently living or would you like to relocate and downsize? What will you do after you retire? Will your new destination be fulfilling to your legacy? All of these questions and more should be answered before determining your retirement destination. You may want to list them in order of importance to help make the decision process easier.
Your Financial Situation Must Fit Your Future Destination
Housing will usually be your biggest expense to consider on a monthly basis. Be sure to budget out all of your expenses to ensure that your new residence will be affordable in the long run. There are many online resources that provide Retirement Calculators for you to run through various scenarios to assist you in budgeting your expenses properly. These calculators will allow you compare everything from zip codes and HOA fees to even insurance costs and land taxes, as well. This can be very beneficial in helping you to assess your ideal living situation regardless of your income.
Put Together a List of Your Ideal Retirement Places
In order to create an accurate list for your desired retirement destination, you will first need to put together a list of suitable places. Try to form a list of at least 10 favorable places. Choosing a state or region is probably a good place to start. Afterwards, you will want to consider a city or the type of city in which you would like to live. Do you prefer smaller towns or larger cities? Quiet, country, and serene places, or noisy, crowded, and lively areas? Would you like to be close to family? Are there others in the community in a similar age group and with similar hobbies such yours? Be sure to check out the local community tribunes to find out more about the activities available.
Should you want to be proactive in your search, there are many online resources you can use as a guide. For instance, Nextdoor is a social site that allows you to connect and get to know the people in your neighborhood. This will help you get to know the community better and ask questions about the activities there. The Patch is a great resource for local news in any area. If you are curious about the different stores and restaurants in an area, you should use Yelp. Yelp is not only an online directory, but it also includes reviews and more information on those stores in the area. Last but definitely not least, Zillow will also be one of your most important tools. It allows you to do an in-depth search for homes all over the country and they also have a Retirement Calculator on their site as well.
If you have a story about how you decided on your retirement place or are aware of any additional resources that will help our readers in their relocation quest, please leave a comment in our Finance forum. We always love to hear from you!