5 Reasons to Move in Retirement

Most people don’t pick a retirement locale based on better weather.

By + More

Those on the verge of retirement often dream about retiring in a place where they will be able to maintain a permanent tan. But most people don’t pick a retirement spot based on better weather. Grandchildren and the cost of the move figure much more prominently into retirement decisions than a permanent summer. Here’s a look at the most common reasons people age 55 and older move to a new place in retirement.

[See 10 Tips for Picking the Ideal Retirement Spot.]

Be near family. Many retirees would like to be more involved in their grandchildren’s lives. The most common reason people age 55 and older move (20 percent) is to be closer to family. Movers age 75 and older (39 percent) were the most likely of any age group to relocate near relatives in 2009. Just 7 percent of those age 45 and under moved primarily to be near loved ones, according to a recent MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census Bureau data.

Save money. Downsizing to a smaller home or relocating to an area of the country with a lower cost-of-living or taxes could significantly reduce your retirement costs. Some 6 percent of individuals age 55 and older who moved in 2009 did so to reduce their housing costs, compared to 4 percent of younger homeowners seeking less expensive housing.

[Find Your Best Places to Retire.]

Job opportunities. Workers between ages 55 and 64 were almost equally as likely to move for a job opportunity as younger workers (11 percent). However, after age 65, the likelihood of moving for a job drops to 5 percent, MetLife found. And while 9 percent of people age 45 and under moved closer to work or school in 2009, only 3 percent of those age 55 and older did the same.

Change in marital status. Homeowners age 75 and older were the most likely to move due to a change in marital status, such as widowhood (11 percent). Far fewer younger people traded places due to a marriage, divorce, or other family change.

[See The 10 Best Places for Single Seniors to Retire.]

Upgrade. People in their late 50s or older (8 percent) who moved in 2009 were far less likely to upgrade to a bigger home than their younger counterparts (18 percent). While 12 percent of movers under 45 moved into a better quality home, just 10 percent of those over 55 traded up.