One of the most important retirement decisions we will make is deciding where to live. We must decide whether we want to retire in place or relocate to a more exotic locale. Some people downsize, transition from a house to a condo, or move to a retirement community upon retirement, while others just make some changes to their existing homestead.
I have spent a considerable amount of time contemplating my ideal retirement location and have decided it would look something like this:
Important questions to ask. If you have not begun your investigation, here are a few preliminary considerations:
1. How important is the outdoors and nature? If you cannot live in it, how close do you need to be to it?
2. Do you prefer a big city with lots of cultural experiences and nightlife or a small-town feel?
3. What kind of weather is desired or acceptable?
4. How important is having friendly neighbors? Here you may want to spend some time walking through the prospective area, getting a feel for the people and families, and talking with local vendors to get their first hand view on things.
5. Can you comfortably afford the cost of living? In retirement our funds are limited, so be brutally honest in this analysis.
Relocate or renovate? Many retirees are happy with their existing home, established network of friends, and familiarity of surroundings. For these people, the option of sprucing up their current dwelling may be more attractive than moving to a new place. Here are a few ideas for getting the most for your renovating dollars.
As you plan for retirement, consider the many variables that can contribute to living a fulfilling life as a senior citizen. Carefully plan for contingencies such as failing health as well as identifying fun things you will do to keep active. You may need to evaluate several possible retirement locations.
Dave Bernard is not yet retired but has begun his due diligence to plan for a satisfying retirement. With a focus on the non-financial aspects of retiring, he shares his discoveries and insights on his blog Retirement–Only the Beginning.