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5 Things to Consider Before Moving in Retirement Thumbnail

5 Things to Consider Before Moving in Retirement

Even though you can count on climate change to make northern winters a little less cold and snowy, is moving to a Sun Belt state the best move for everyone in retirement? What’s not to like: warm winters, no snow and ice (mostly), and a new adventure. Hold on before you literally jump into that warm pool in a southern state!

If you are now retired or close to it, you may now be free of a few more obligations such as a job and raising kids. This opens up a number of options including the possibility of relocation. Because selling the family home and heading south is not for everyone, here are five things to consider before making a big move in retirement.

1. Consider your lifestyle and the things you want to do

Florida was the top destination for retirees last year. More retirees moved there than any other state. But if you like to hike and ski that may not be the best destination. Over the last 10 years I’ve made a number of trips to Florida, especially in the winter, for work-related conferences, volleyball tournaments and to see clients and family members. It is a beautiful state, but I’m not sure I could ever live there. I grew up around the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire. As much as I like the flat, straight highways, I don’t think it could ever feel like home to me. You may be fine with that. But my point is that you need to know yourself, where you’ll feel comfortable and what types of activities you like to do. If the location doesn’t have much of it, you should consider other options.

2. What kind of people do you want to be around?

Now this may sound like an odd question, but it matters. Do you want to be in a senior-only community or a multigenerational neighborhood? Lots of people that look like you or do you find diversity intriguing? Many retirees are attracted to communities with a strong arts and academic environments. Towns with colleges and universities attract retirees who want to be engaged with young people but also want to continue with life-long learning. Music and entertainment can be important, too. Don’t forget the size of the community matters. Big cities can be attractive to those who are tired of mowing their 2 acre lawns in the suburbs and want to simplify their home maintenance responsibilities and have easy access to the conveniences of city life. But small towns can be beautiful, less expensive and offer a slower pace than city life.

3. Test it out first

One of the best ways to figure this out is by taking some vacations now to potential communities where you think you might want to live. ‘Better to test it out now before you sell your home and then land in a community where you are unhappy. A few years ago I met a couple who had recently returned to Massachusetts after moving down south for a year. The couple had sold their home in Natick and moved everything without spending much time living in the community where they landed. After a year they realized they had made a mistake but were then trapped because home prices had risen in Massachusetts neighborhoods making their return to town not possible. It was a costly mistake that limited their choices.

4. Escaping Taxachusetts (or any other high tax state)1

Oftentimes my clients may be considering a move at retirement because they are sick of paying state and local income taxes. On the surface this may seem like a wise move, especially if they can move to a state with low- or no-income taxes. However, one should carefully consider such moves. It has been my experience that low- and no-income tax states typically offer fewer services. In addition, because Medicare is administered by each state, you should investigate coverage differences in any state you are considering. Sometimes procedures covered in your current state are not covered elsewhere. The low tax state mentality can be nice except when you are expecting a higher level of state and local services. These often are not as well funded in low tax states which may be just fine, until you need something.

5. Grandkids trump all

Increasingly I am hearing clients say that their retirement destination will be determined by where their adult children settle down to raise a family. They don’t want to be hundreds of miles away from their grandkids. Further, some retirees know that it may be easier for their kids, too, if they can help with childcare, running errands and giving their kids a break from parenting when needed. In addition, you should also consider how it may be for your kids if and when YOU need care as you get older. If you are far away, that may put an unexpected strain on them.

While recent higher mortgage rates have discouraged many pre-retirees from moving, retirees usually are in a different situation. Their mortgages are paid off and they are now looking to begin a new chapter in their lives.

If you are close to retiring and have questions, give me a call. We can work together to build a custom plan for your retirement lifestyle. After all, it’s not just about the money. You can schedule a quick call with me by clicking HERE.

Lyman H. Jackson



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· Empty Nesting: When a loved one dies – 4 common myths https://planwithfps.com/blog/empty-nesting-when-a-loved-one-dies-4-common-myths

1Before you bail out of Massachusetts, check out The Tax foundation, a national nonprofit organization that tracks federal and state taxes. There you can find a number of resources that explain how taxes apply in each state. As of this writing the state was ranked 6th highest on a per capita basis. https://taxfoundation.org

Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. FPS provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client after entering into an advisory relationship. Information herein includes opinions and forward-looking statements that may not come to pass. Information is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Information is at a point in time and subject to change without notice. Such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.

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