According to a report from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 57% of baby boomers plan to move to a new home during their retirement. But where will that new home be located?
Choosing a place to retire is about more than finding a location with great weather, lower taxes1 and fun things to do, it is about experiencing the most enjoyable lifestyle for the rest of your life. And whether that is across town or across the country, the best way to find your ideal retirement location is determining what matters most to you.
What Makes an Ideal Retirement Location?
Hobbies and interests.
Think about how you will spend your time during retirement. From arts and outdoor activities to politics or crafts, make sure the location lets you enjoy the activities that matter to you.
Distance from family and friends.
Consider how far away you are willing to be from loved ones, and how difficult and expensive it will be to travel from your home to theirs and vice versa.
Size and type of home.
As you evaluate how you would like to live during retirement, keep these considerations in mind: Do you want a guest room, home office or space to entertain? Will the home accommodate your needs as you age? Consider all types of housing options – from senior communities to all-age communities – and be sure to check restrictions such as pets or landscaping.
Access to medical care.
Check availability and access to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other medical facilities you may need. Are there services available to help you get to appointments if you are unable to drive?
Consider routine needs, as well as proximity to an airport and public transportation. If you are thinking about moving from the city to a rural area, how far would you have to drive for essentials like groceries and medication?
In addition to home prices, look at property, sales and income taxes, and consider any tradeoffs you might incur with a move. For instance, no state income tax might seem like a bargain, until you discover that homeowner’s insurance costs are quadruple what you have been paying.
Location, location, location.
Gather as much information as you can about the area, including: demographics, strength of the local economy, crime rates and even employment opportunities in case you decide to work part-time. Experts recommend taking time to talk to locals about the pros and cons of living there. To get a better idea, you may even want to consider a three- to six-month lease before buying.
Take “Best Spots to Retire” Lists With a Grain of Salt
Those lists can be fun to read, but they are only valid if they use the same criteria that you use. The lists can be subjective – one person’s peaceful small town might make another stir-crazy. On the other hand, the data measures broad factors worth considering, so the lists might spark some ideas you have not considered.
If you plan to move during retirement, keep in mind the decision to move involves thoughtful planning. To learn more about how a move can impact your retirement planning, contact a Fifth Third Bank financial advisor.