Once you become a happy retiree, you’ll find out there are many important decisions you need to make for the future ahead. One such decision is where you will live – should you move to a new place when you retire, or should you stay where you are?
As you can suspect, there are advantages and disadvantages to each option and you’ll just have to find the time to assess the new situation and decide what you want to do with your life from now on.
Of course, there are a number of crucial financial and lifestyle factors to consider before you make up your mind whether or not moving away after retirement is worth it.
So, what are the pros and cons of moving after retirement? Read on to find out.
PROS of moving after retirement
Moving after retirement has its clear advantages. Here’s what you need to know when considering whether to move after you retire.
Moving to a cheaper city
Once a retiree, one of your top priorities should be to keep all expenses to a minimum, and one good way to achieve just that is to move to a cheaper town or city – that is, move to a place that has a lower cost of living.
It’s a well-known secret that some states and in-state areas in the country are just cheaper to live in than others. As a rule of thumb, inland areas are likely to be less expensive than coastal areas as far as house prices and rents are concerned. Also, smaller communities and rural areas tend to be less expensive to live than in big cities.
So, moving to another state after retirement – a state with lower housing costs and a lower cost of living in general – may give you the financial freedom to live the post-retirement life you want.
Downsizing your home to cut living costs
Should you move after retirement? If you feel like your home is much bigger than you need, with extra rooms that are not really used, then yes, you should seriously consider moving to a smaller home to reduce living costs.
In fact, downsizing after retirement will bring you a number of indisputable advantages:
Smaller homes are generally cheaper so the money from the price difference can go straight into your savings account;
A smaller home always means lower living costs – reduced energy bills, fewer maintenance costs, and reduced property taxes too;
Downsizing in retirement may also mean more free time for yourself as the smaller house or apartment will require fewer maintenance tasks, including cleaning. And as you know, time is
One sound piece of advice is to downsize fairly early in your retirement in an attempt to maximize the advantage of cost savings.
Moving closer to family after retirement
Without a doubt, one of the biggest advantages of moving after retirement is the chance to move closer to your children and grandchildren. Now that you don’t have a job to anchor you down, it makes the perfect sense to relocate closer to your family – if that’s what everybody wants, of course.
Moving closer to your loved ones will give you a new sense of purpose in life because you will have the opportunity to help out your own kids and their kids with whatever you can. And the family members will be there to give you their support too, whenever you may need it.
Moving in with a family member is also a good option when it comes to moving after retirement – that way, you will be able to save the cost of owning or renting a space of your own. However, despite being an excellent decision from an economic point of view, living together with your child’s family can also happen to be strenuous, especially when their home is not big enough.
Getting better (or cheaper) healthcare
Moving house after retirement may give you a bonus, either expected or unexpected, and that bonus is better healthcare for your post-retirement years. Or you might get the benefit of receiving cheaper medical care that’s in no way inferior to the one you’ve had so far.
Taking into account the fact that the average senior citizen spends roughly 15% of their income on medical expenses, it’s easy to see why the quality and cost of healthcare in the destination state can prove to be a valid reason to move to another state for retirement.
As it turns out, health insurance is a very important issue to consider before deciding where to live in retirement, especially for early retirees who are too young to get Medicare. That’s why you must make a good decision where to move when you retire – the state where you’ll live will determine how much you’ll have to pay for health insurance.
Therefore, it’s wise to pick a state with lower premiums than the one you’re in right now.
Finding a better and healthier climate
If the climate of your current area has been driving you crazy for years and you’ve come to really hate it, then one of the biggest advantages of moving after retirement is that now you can finally run away from it… and never look back.
Are you sick and tired of the cold temperature and long winters of your state or area within a state? Then you should definitely consider moving south of the 36th parallel – the Sun Belt region of the country that features a warm and sunny climate.
On the other hand, you may be genuinely fed up with the sweltering heat of the place where you live and wish to relocate to a town or city with a generally colder climate. As they say, the snow is always softer in the other state.
Ultimately, you may be looking for an area with better climatic conditions because of your health. If you happen to have respiratory issues, then the natural choice for you will be to move to a state with a drier climate – Arizona, for example.
Enjoying more recreational options
Should you move to a new place after you retire or should you stay where you are and avoid the hassle of moving after retirement? This is a big question that will determine to a large extent how happy you will be in your Golden Years.
As long as you are still in good health, you may choose to move to a place that will provide more recreational opportunities because now, for a change, you will have the free time to enjoy those fun activities. It all depends on what you enjoy to do in life, right?
It’s always a smart choice to move to a state or an area within a state that will provide the natural amenities you want. If you’re into hiking, mountain biking or skiing, you should consider moving to a mountainous area. If you love the ocean and like to spend hours on the beach, then you should really think about moving to a beach town.
Moving to a big city in retirement can be a great choice if you’d rather spend your retirement years in a more dynamic and colorful large-city environment plenty of recreational and entertainment options.
On the other hand, moving away from the madness of a big city to a more rural setting may be the thing you’ve wanted and needed for so long – a peaceful post-retirement life that’ll get you closer to nature and the diverse outdoor activities it offers.
Keep in mind that natural recreational amenities should encourage you to enjoy your post-retirement life without spending too much money on more expensive forms of entertainment.
Ultimately, your decision of where to move after retirement will be strongly influenced by your preferred lifestyle.
CONS of moving after retirement
Moving away after retirement has also a number of drawbacks that you need to know before you make your final decision about what to do.
Missing family and friends
One of the biggest drawbacks of moving away after retirement is the emotional cost as a result of leaving good friends and maybe even some of your extended family members as well.
If you’ve lived in one community most of your life, then chances are that you will have a good number of great friends there. And once you move away, you won’t be able to see them and spend quality time with them as often as you’d like to. As a result, you’ll start missing them terribly soon after your retirement move – not a great start to the work-free period you’ve been waiting for for so many years.
From an emotional point of view, it’s often a tough decision to move after retirement knowing that you’ll be missing friends and family very much after the move. It takes a lot of courage and determination to move away after you retire, especially when you’re moving abroad after retirement – to Canada, to Australia, to a country in South American country, or to a country in Europe.
Yes, the Internet will help you keep in touch with the dear people you had to leave behind, but it’s never the same as spending time with them, is it?
Leaving a place you’ve lived in for years
Moving home after retirement can be extremely difficult when you’re leaving a home filled with good family memories. Living for many years in one place creates a strong emotional attachment to the home and the neighborhood – a powerful psychological bond that should not be taken lightly when deciding whether or not to move after retirement.
So, another clear disadvantage of moving away after you retire is the fact that you’ll be leaving the place where you’ve put down roots. Oftentimes, doing so may make you feel sad and depressed after the move, like a tree that’s been uprooted and moved to another garden, far away from its original spot.
Some retirees are able to adapt much more quickly to the new settings while others have hard times settling in the new place and accepting the major change. So, before you move to another city, state or country in retirement, try to predict, based on previous experiences, how the upcoming post-retirement move will affect you on a psychological level.
After all, knowing that you’ll be faced with a long adaptation period in the new town, city, state or country may change your mind about moving away from the place you’ve come to love in time.
Your partner may not share your moving enthusiasm
Ideally, you and your spouse will retire roughly at the same time – give or take a few years – and both will want to move after retirement. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and sometimes you or your partner may decide to stay put even though the other one really, really wants to move away.
The thing is that you may think a new town, city, state or even a foreign country is the best place on Earth, but that may not be what your partner in life thinks as well. To make things even more complicated, one of you may decide that moving away after retirement has been a bad idea after the move is already complete.
So, to be able to enjoy your retirement years after moving away, you have to make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page. To continue to live together in harmony and avoid hard feelings that could become a serious issue with time, you must find a way to agree on a compromise with your lifelong partner. One such compromise is to try a temporary move to see how each of you feels within a pre-agreed period of time, and then re-assess your house moving options once more.
Is it worth moving after retirement? You’re the only one who can answer this very question. Weigh the pros and cons of moving after retirement in your specific case to reach an informed decision.
And whenever you may need help with the upcoming retirement move, don’t hesitate to hire a top-rated moving company for peace of mind. Fill in a free quote to learn how much your move in retirement will cost you.
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