Planning a big move for retirement? Wonderful. Enthusiasm and adventurous spirit are essential to retirement living. But before you take that big leap into the unknown, experts implore you to think everything through.
A recent survey shows that half of people ages 50-64 would like to change cities or states in retirement. But too many of those who move end up unhappy with their decision, having failed to consider why they are moving in the first place. So before pulling the trigger, take stock of the following key items:
- According to Kiplinger, tax-friendly states include Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona, Nevada, and Alaska. Unfavorable tax states include New York, California, Oregon, New Jersey and Connecticut.
- But Neil Krishnaswamy, a certified financial planner with Exencial Wealth Advisors, warns this is not the whole story. “Some states that don’t have an income tax may make up for it with higher sales or property taxes, so you want to look at the whole picture to determine true cost of living.”
- Additionally, while the taxes and housing costs may be tempting, you must factor in the added costs of flying to visit family and health care costs.
- Many retirees that move far from health care facilities soon regret the decision once new issues arise. “While health may not be a concern at the time of the move, it’s always better to factor in proximity to health care facilities in the event of an oncoming issue,” recommends Marc Agronin at the Wall Street Journal.
- As far as costs, it is important to note that pricing varies from state to state, no matter if you use a private insurer or Medicare. If you are planning to retire in a new country, Medicare will no longer be an option. You will need to buy into the other country’s insurance plan if allowed or purchase a private policy.
- The newly retired face many changes, such as leaving their professional careers and spending more time with their spouse. One common difference of opinion begins with housing. While couples may easily agree on a destination, they can differ on the size and cost of the home and the surrounding community. Be sure to communicate all of your wants and needs before putting pen to paper, as to avoid any arguments down the road.
- With regards to family, it will highly benefit you to find a locale near your support network as you age. You don’t want to abandon them and then regret this decision down the road.
Testing the waters:
- Be sure you have spent ample time in your target area before moving there full time. Try renting for part of the year to be sure the culture and climate are a fit.
- Weather is one of these important considerations. For example, Florida’s weather in January varies greatly from that of July and August. The cool, casual weather makes way for blistering heat and swarms of mosquitoes. If you’re planning to move down from New York, you’ll want to know exactly what to expect before that first summer comes around.
- Other important factors include access to cultural events, volunteer opportunities, access to transportation, and part-time work opportunities.
The key is taking time to consider what is truly important to you in retirement. Don’t just look at the best tax breaks around the country; consider everything that will affect your quality of life. To best avoid stress or poor decisions, take plenty of time to plan and think everything through prior to the move.