Is Relocating in Retirement the Right Choice for You?

If you’re retiring soon or have already left work, you will need to decide where to live for your later years. While you could stay where you are, relocating sometimes makes sense.

Is a move right for you? Here’s how you can decide.

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1. Do you want to be closer to family and friends?

When you no longer have work to go to each day, your other social connections become extremely important. So accessibility to friends and family will probably play a huge role when you decide where you want to live as a senior.

For some people, staying put is the best option to keep your social network. But if your kids moved or your friends all relocated to Florida for retirement, you may decide you want to move as well.

2. How are the amenities in your current and potential future locations

It’s also helpful to consider what amenities and services are available to you in your current home as well as in other locations where you might potentially live.

Obviously, having lots of restaurants and entertainment options can make retirement more fun. But you should also consider the healthcare services available to you as you age. Are you near a quality hospital, and are there plenty of primary care doctors around? If not, you may want to move somewhere where better care is available if you need it.

And if you may have difficulty driving in the future, or if you simply want to drive less as a senior, you should consider whether it’s a good idea to relocate to a walkable area if you don’t already live in one.

3. What are the tax rules?

Financial rules can vary by state, and you want to choose a retirement location that has favorable ones. Most states do not tax Social Security benefits, but some do. And others have no income taxes at all.

Look into property taxes, income taxes, taxation of Social Security benefits, and estate and inheritance tax rules where you currently live. If you don’t like these rules, consider moving somewhere where you get to keep more of your money. This could be especially important in your senior years when you’re on a fixed income.

4. What is the cost of living?

Finally, as you decide where to live in retirement, consider the cost of living. This may not matter a lot if you have a very hefty nest egg. But most people have a limited amount of retirement savings. Choosing an affordable place to live could make all the difference in allowing your savings to last.

If you currently live in an expensive area, you may actually want to think about moving as soon as you can. The faster you relocate to someplace where your money can stretch further, the easier it will be to make sure you don’t drain your nest egg dry.

By considering these issues, you can decide if you should relocate or not. The sooner you make your decision, the sooner you can begin settling in and building a great life for yourself as a retiree.

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