When planning for retirement, one of the things you need to decide on is the place where you will spend this chapter of your life. However, you need to keep in mind that choosing a retirement location is not merely choosing a vacation spot. There are important factors you need to consider as this decision will have a huge influence over your quality of life later on.
Here are the important things you need to consider when choosing where to retire.
Cost of living varies from state to state, and you need to determine how much money you need for basic lifestyle expenses such as housing, food, utilities, transportation, and taxes. Will it increase or decrease the amount you spend on necessities each month? Either way, you need to make sure that your retirement nest-egg will be enough to cover these needs.
2. Proximity to Loved Ones
Are you opting to spend time often with your family in retirement? If so, consider retirement spots that are within driving distance from them or at the very least, pick a location that’s just a short plane trip away. If you live so far off, you may end up spending huge sums on vacation and transportation expenses just to see them.
Meanwhile, if you’re comfortable with living far from your loved ones, you can explore retirement destinations outside the United States. However, you need to do your homework and know their laws, rules, and regulations for foreign retirees.
No one wants to live in a place where crime is rampant, but finding a crime-free city can be close to impossible. That’s why before you move a new location in retirement, make sure that it is relatively safe for retirees.
Do your research on the crime rate of a particular area you’re eyeing. It’s highly advisable to make a trip to the local police department and talk to them regarding the safety of the neighborhood, especially for retirees like you.
In addition, ask about their protocols in keeping the neighborhood safe. Do they deploy men in strategic places? Are they visible round-the-clock? How were they able to solve crimes committed in their city? Were there any that’s been committed against seniors? If so, were the perpetrators caught?
4. Hobbies, Activities, and Interests
Look into the culture of your desired location and see if it offers avenues that are in-line with your hobbies, interests and activities you want to do. For instance, if you want to indulge in different art forms during retirement, pick a location that’s near to different museums, and theatres.
If you opt to travel often, make sure that you live near an airport that is ideally less than an hour away from your home.
5. Transportation System
Determine the distance between your home and key places such as commercial centers, business districts, and hospitals. Can you walk comfortably to these places from where you live? Do you always need to bring a car whenever you go out?
If you are trying to save, you may consider using public transportation. Apart cost-effectiveness, you also need to consider if it’s reasonable, conducive, and safe for you.
6. Work Opportunities
Do you plan to work in retirement? If so, determine what industry you want to get a job in and find a place where the employment opportunities are high for your desired field. For instance, if you want to use your business expertise to teach college students who are headed in the same direction, consider moving near a university that specializes in business-related courses.
Once you know what to do in retirement, you need to find a location that has a climate fit for your activities. Consider your health as well, because moving to a place with a climate that you’re not accustomed to can affect your overall wellbeing.
8. Health Care and Long-Term Care Costs
When choosing a retirement spot, go for an area that offers quality health care. When you grow older, it’s essential that you have access to it. Yes, you can opt to live a healthy lifestyle well into retirement, but sometimes life happens and you find yourself needing medical attention.
You also need to factor in the cost of long-term care as it varies from state to state. Determine how much care services cost in your location of choice, and see how it will play into your overall financial plan.
When deciding where to retire, don’t simply pick a location on a whim. Carefully consider your options and see how it will influence your financial plan and desired retirement lifestyle.