If you’ve recently retired, or plan to in the future, you may be considering moving to a new part of the state, country, or world to spend the remainder of your years in your dream location. However, retirement relocation isn’t something to do quickly or rashly.
There’s much to consider, from where you’ll move and live, to how you’ll spend your days and make your finances last. Follow these retirement relocation tips to ensure the coming years are as happy and fulfilled as you have always hoped.
Decide if a move is wise
Relocating is a time-consuming, stressful, and expensive undertaking, so don’t decide to do so lightly. Before you commit to a move, think through the likely results of relocation, and be sure that picking up and situating yourself somewhere new is wise for you.
Consider your goals, both short-term and long-term. What do you want to get out of a move, and will that be achieved by relocating? For instance, perhaps you plan to move to be closer to your family, enjoy warmer weather or a quieter pace as you get older, or to save money and get better value for your property.
Whatever is meaningful for you, determine whether you’re likely to achieve it if you move. Sometimes we think we desire a change of scenery long-term, but when we consider all the elements that will differ after a move, we realize it’s not right for us. You could be better off staying where you live now and simply traveling more regularly, to get what you want. Only you know what’s suitable for you and the way you want to live.
Carefully choose your new destination
Another critical component of retirement relocation is choosing the right destination as you age. Again, take this decision seriously and think long and hard about where to move to. You need to be sure you’ll be happy with the new location when it comes to things like:
- Prices, both for property and general living expenses
- The availability of properties suitable for your needs
- Closeness to amenities, including shops, medical services, cafes and restaurants, sporting facilities, public transport, airport links, and entertainment
- The ability to pursue your preferred hobbies
- Opportunities to meet new people and foster connections
- Crime rates
- Tax benefits
- Work or volunteering opportunities
- Weather conditions
Before you sell or rent or leave your current home and prepare to move, spend a little time in your chosen retirement destination to be sure it suits you. Visit for a few weeks or more to better understand the environment and see what living there would be like.
Once you’ve decided where to live and have your new home sorted, it’s time to start packing. Most retirees downsize to smaller properties so they can invest less money in a house and free up retirement finances. Downsizing also means you have less property to clean and maintain. If you’re going to downsize, think about your limited space when handling the packing planning and execution.
Declutter your current home, starting by completing an inventory of your possessions. Once you know what you own, it’s easier to see where you double up on things or the types of items you won’t need as you change your lifestyle, pace, and location. From there, sell extraneous goods, give items to your family or friends, donate them, and recycle or bin anything else.
If you genuinely can’t part with a variety of items at the moment, because it all feels too much to downsize excessively or because you’re not yet sure how much room you’ll have in your new home, consider putting some things in storage.
You’ll find affordable options in every city. When it comes to storage units, San Diego, New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Austin, and everywhere in between have multiple options to choose between. Even most small towns these days have at least some storage units to utilize.
Packing and relocating your life from one location to another is demanding, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is particularly the case if you’re moving far away, to another state or even country. As such, pace yourself and enlist the help of others so you don’t burn out. Get family members or friends to help you pack up your things and clean your home upon exit, or hire relocation services or others to assist.
Retirement is a fun though often a daunting time of life, especially when a big move is a part of entering this life stage. To ensure the changes you make don’t cause too much mayhem, take it step by step and don’t rush into any decisions.