For many who retire, relocating is part of the process. There could be a number of reasons for this, from fulfilling a dream to live in a certain location, to escaping harsh weather conditions. Moving somewhere new can be an exciting prospect, but scary at the same time. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, no matter what your age, but when you are pulling up stakes in your golden years, there are some additional considerations that should be factored in. Here are some important things to think about when deciding where you will call home now that you are retired and free to go wherever your heart desires.
Do a Test Run
Unless you are already very familiar with the area you plan on moving, such as the spot where you spent your vacation the last 10 years—it might be a good idea to do a test run in the area first to make sure it suits you well. The idea of moving to a foreign country, for example, may sound appealing because of weather, low cost of living and having new experiences, but if you have never done it before, taking the plunge may end up being a big, expensive mistake. No matter where you are thinking about, whether domestic or international, it is likely you can arrange some short-term housing so you can stay a bit and really get a sense of what it is like to live there on a daily basis.
Type of Housing and Community You Want
You also want to give some thought to the type of housing and community that is most ideal. If you like the idea of having access to a number of activities and learning opportunities, a college town may be the perfect fit. If you like the idea of living amongst other retirees, and not having to worry about maintaining a home, an independent living center, which is designed for seniors in good health, is a great choice. There are typically organized activities for the residents, and for a fee, you can arrange for meals, transportation and other services. This may not be something you think you need now, but could be useful down the line as you age and no longer want to drive or cook frequently, for example.
You just left the workforce, and are feeling enthusiastic and energetic. Your health is good and you finally have the freedom to live life on your terms. No one wants to think about the future, when your health may be in decline, and you may not be able to live completely independently. Not to put a damper on the excitement of planning this next phase of your life, but you might want to consider what the future may hold when choosing your next home. If you no longer want to drive, is there an abundance of public transport options or amenities within a reasonable walking distance? Are there quality assisted living or nursing homes in the area? If you expect a health problem you have now will worsen, are there quality specialists who can treat you?
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things related to retirement and senior issues.