When you’re able to retire, a new and exciting chapter on life begins. No longer forced to dedicate your time and energy to a job or raising kids, many retirees can focus on their own wants and needs.
One of the most significant changes often considered by new retirees is moving to a new city or state. The idea of relocating is an exciting way to embrace your new life. But it’s also a big decision, to consider carefully, especially if it means leaving family behind.
Living where you love or someplace more affordable
Earlier in adulthood, people often relocate based on their jobs or the best location to raise a family. Retirement provides the opportunity to choose where you want to live just because that’s what you want. There are many reasons retirees choose to relocate, such as to live in a place that offers a better or easier way of life.
Choosing an area where you would love to live invoices other factors. Maybe you live in a suburban area but really enjoy nature and hiking. Or perhaps you’ve lived and worked in a more crowded city, but would rather spend your time relaxing by the beach. After you retire, you’re better able to prioritize your personal preferences when deciding where to live. Think about
what you enjoy and the type of environment that makes you feel your best to help narrow down your options.
Another important factor to consider is affordability. If you’re thinking about moving, you may want to consider downsizing. If all your kids are grown and gone, you probably don’t need as much space. Plus, you may have different needs that are better served with a smaller home.
Retirement means you likely have less income than you did before with smaller mortgage or rent payments, lower property taxes and insurance, and less maintenance and repairs can save a bundle. If you’ve got equity in your home or home values in your area have risen since you purchased your home, you may even make a profit by selling. You may be able to find an area you’d enjoy with a lower cost of living, offering you multiple benefits.
Pros and cons of relocating
One of the biggest decisions you may make is moving away from family and friends after retirement. Creating a list of personal pros and cons is a helpful tool to process the factors to consider. Every choice has unique benefits or drawbacks and this list can help you get started, but don’t forget to add your own personal ideas to the list.
✚ Leaving behind obligations, old drama or bad memories
✚ Getting a fresh start
✚ Finding a more appropriate place for your stage of life
✚ Finding a new community with which you have more in common
✚ Leaving an area that has a younger population and a family focus
✚ Saving money by downsizing or living in a less expensive area
– Being away from familiar and special places
– Having to develop new routines
– Not getting to see family and friends as regularly
– Starting over takes a lot of effort
– Needing to make new friends and find new social outlets
– Moving can be difficult and stressful
– Managing relationships with kids and grandkids if you do move away
Being away from family is a major source of hesitation for retirees thinking of moving. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your relationships strong, even from a distance.
Technology is now available for keeping relationships close through virtual connections. Social media allows you to follow family to see regular updates, pictures and videos of important things happening in their lives.
It’s also easy to have direct communication at any time using text messaging and phone or video calls. Video calls can feel like you’re right there with them. Retirement is a time of change that can be both wonderful and daunting.
So, whatever path you’re considering, weigh your options carefully to find the best situation that is best suited for enjoying your new life.