Considerations When Relocating in Retirement
When relocating to an age-friendly community, it’s well worth weighing the “Five Ps.”
What will I do? What will I learn? If it’s time to retire from your main line of work, consider how you’ll spend your time in your new location. Landing a part-time, retirement job or volunteer assignment could provide an extra reason to get out of bed in the morning. If continuing to learn is a priority, is there a library or university with older adult access available in the community? Good news: working remotely is far better accepted by employers post-COVID, so as long as you have reliable Wi-Fi, you’re very employable no matter where you decide to live. In fact, nearly 70% of those recently surveyed on AgeFriendly.org say they’re considering delaying retirement given this new flexibility on where they can work.
Who will I see every day? It’s been said you marry for better or for worse but not for lunch. Most report it’s good to have people in your life beyond your spouse/partner. So, will there be additional people in your new location in addition to your spouse/partner? Perhaps you have friends or family there already? If not, check out the local offerings for clubs and activities you can join. Most people cite ‘family’ as the factor that most influenced their decision on where to live in retirement. And increasingly, access to younger age groups, not just other older adults, is getting greater weight in the decision process.
What will it cost? Cost of living is critically important. This includes all variations of taxes. Will you buy or rent? You’ll need to make sure you’re making ends meet on your retirement income. Consider consulting a financial planner so you’ll have the peace of mind you deserve in your retirement years, which comes when you live beneath your means. If you’re in a northern location, you may want to factor in some winter travel to a warmer climate during those colder months? If that’s the case, price in some airfares.
What type of home will I live in? Is it right for both me and my partner/spouse? Are you thinking urban or rural? Condo, apartment or house? Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to bring in a professional to help fit-out your house with ramps and supports as you get older and perhaps less capable on your feet. That said, the convenience offered by senior-focused independent living (IL) or assisted living (AL) facilities is often hard to pass up.
What health providers are available? Could I “age-in-community”? Many people these days wish to stay at home as long as possible, and maybe even for good. Staying at home as you age is made more possible when you’re in an age-friendly community (note: see agefriendly.org to check if your community is rated and reviewed as ‘age-friendly’, or to research any other U.S. community). Health experts know there is no such thing as an age-friendly community without age-friendly healthcare. Be sure to check on the availability of good resources for doctors, urgent care and hospitals.