How To Pick the Best Place To Retire – Do you dream of getting out of your area once the kids have moved out and you don’t need to commute? When you’re retired, you have fewer obligations, meaning you can move to any location you can afford. Maybe what that means to you is moving closer to family — or farther away. Maybe you’ll finally get to move to a city you’ve always liked. In any case, a retirement move is different from any other kind. Here are some considerations unique to the retirement move.
What’s the cost of living like?
When you’re working, you often end up moving to expensive cities with great restaurants and nightlife, but you may be too busy to explore. In retirement, though, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands and only a fixed income. Choose an area where you can do dinner and a movie regularly without breaking the bank.
What do locals do for fun?
Choose a location where you’ll be able to fill up your days with activities that you like. Perhaps to you that means living near a city center with museums and parks. Perhaps it means living somewhere with hiking and fishing, although it might not be a good idea to live anywhere too remote. Remember that you’ll have more time on your hands than you ever had before, so look for someplace where you’ll know your neighbors and won’t have to drive too far to get to the shops.
Is it better to rent?
Even if you owned your home before, it may be best to sell it to liquidate its equity. Then you can use that money to rent a house or an apartment at your new location. The nonfinancial advantage is that it places the responsibility for maintaining your home on the owner. As you get older, you may find that it’s nice to have someone else shovel the driveway and clean the gutters.
What are the taxes like for retirees?
Some states tax income from a job but not from Social Security payments. That means that places you think of as high tax may not be high tax for you. You may also want to find out whether your new state has an estate or inheritance tax that would affect you.
Will I have health care?
If you’re still on your company’s health plan, will you be able to keep it if you move? Your health is going to be a larger and larger concern throughout your retirement, so make sure to move somewhere you can get health care. Besides funding, consider whether you’ll be close to a hospital and in an area where it’s not too hard to find specialists.
Retirement rids you of many responsibilities, freeing you to move wherever your dreams take you. But it also comes with special considerations. Make sure you make the choice that’s right for you — after getting advice from qualified financial professionals.
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