Where To Retire: Should You Consider Another State?Where To Retire

Retirement means an immediate change in lifestyle. Many people take that change as an opportunity to uproot entirely and move to a new locale. There can be a lot of potential reasons for this – wanting a change in weather, looking to save money, a desire to be close to the beach, just feeling like it’s time for a change – but whatever your reasons for considering a move to another state, it’s a big decision to make.

For some retirees, it’s absolutely the right move. For others, you could come to regret it if you don’t carefully weigh all the factors involved.

6 Main Factors to Consider Before Moving to Another State

1. Distance from Loved Ones

For many (if not most) retirees, this will be one of the most important factors to consider. How far will you be from the people you love most? If you’ve got your eye on Florida, but your kids and grandkids live in the Pacific Northwest, will you see enough of them? Are the travel costs feasible for you and your family members?

Many retirees have loved ones scattered around the country or world, which can make this consideration a pretty complicated one.  But think about who you’re going to want to see regularly, how often you’d ideally be visiting them, and the costs involved in travel before you settle on where you’ll be living in retirement.

2. Cost and Savings

You need to be aware of both the costs of moving and the costs of living in the state you hope to move to. Many people move during retirement specifically to save money – if you live in a state with high taxes now, moving to one where your tax burden and the costs of living are lower can help stretch your retirement fund quite a bit further,

Understanding everything to expect when it comes to taxes is complicated though, so make sure you do your research to better understand how the different types of taxes will shake out in different states. You don’t want to move to save money on income tax, only to find you end up spending more in property taxes.

3. Climate

This is one of the most popular reasons to move to another state when you retire. When you’re not tied to a particular area for work, why not head off to a state where the weather’s more to your liking throughout the year? Some doctors even recommend certain climates for different types of illnesses.

Don’t just think about what weather is typical in the state you’re considering; make sure you know what types of natural disasters occur there and how common they are. If it’s beautiful for most of the year, but you’ll have to deal with evacuating once every couple of years for hurricanes or wildfires, is it worth it? Will it be worth it when your ease of mobility decreases with age?

4. Health Care

As you age, health care comes to matter more and more. Does the city you want to move to have hospitals and doctors with a strong reputation? Some areas can boast great hospitals, but have a shortage of doctors who deal with certain specialties.

If you have any particular health concerns you know about now, make sure the place you move has a strong healthcare industry for serving your needs.

5. Cultural Opportunities

When you’re retired, you’ve got whole days to fill with activities that interest you. How do you picture yourself spending that time? If you want to volunteer at museums, better choose a city that has some. If you love the idea of sailing, make sure you go somewhere coastal (or close enough to affordably get to the coast).

Look into what groups and cultural activities are available in the cities you consider for your move before deciding on any particular one.

6. Senior Living Opportunities in Area

Even if you’ll be buying or renting a home to start, at some point in the coming years you’ll likely want to consider a shift to a nearby independent living or assisted living home. It’s smart to review your options now, so you have an idea of the quality of your choices when the time comes.

A move necessarily affects all kinds of aspects of your life. When you retire, you want to shape the life that’s best for you in your remaining years. Make sure the city you choose to call home is the best for what you’re looking for.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

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