3 Things to Consider Before You Relocate

You’ve probably thought about moving to a new region, or maybe even another country.

60 percent of all people between the ages of 50 and 65 consider such a move likely, with most of those eyeing a new home that’s more than 100 miles away. [1]

Where to Go, Why to Go

When it comes to retirement, there are two basic types of relocations: foreign and domestic. But because the legal and practical logistics of these two are so unique, I’ll save foreign relocations for another day and instead focus on what you need to consider when moving someplace within the United States.

When we think of our dream home, most of us fantasize about our favorite vacation spot. But when it comes to moving, and with everything you need to consider about the cost of living, local taxes, healthcare, safety and accessibility, while nostalgia may play a role, it really shouldn’t be the deciding factor in such an important change.

With that in mind, here are 3 things to consider before relocating to another region.

1) Affordability

Before you move, you need to do some serious research with your advisor about state income tax, property tax and local sales tax rates. You want to be able to live off the income of your investments, and not the principal. In some states, like California, the cost of living varies dramatically even from city to city. Will you need to downsize, and is that okay? Living in an expensive state like Hawaii can cost you tens of thousands more each year than a place like Florida. Views and beaches are wonderful perks of retirement. Make sure you can afford it over the long haul.

2) Transportation

You may not want to think about this, but you should. If a relocation is likely permanent, then you’re going to have to think about how you’ll get around 15 or 20 years from now when your health might not be as good as it is today. Buses, shuttles, subways. These things are barely on your radar when you’re healthy, but the older we get the more important public transportation becomes. Don’t move someplace—a beach town or a distant suburb—only to become isolated if you are widowed or can no longer drive or walk very far.

3) Practicality

After the age of 65, the number of people who plan to relocate drops to 20 percent. [2] Here’s why: You’re settled, you have deep roots, and you have your geography wired. Family, friends, healthcare, clubs, etc. The fantasy of moving to Maui is wonderful, but living someplace isn’t at all like visiting. The grind and hassles that were invisible to us as tourists are suddenly front and center. A great compromise might be to just extend your visits to your favorite locations, even for a month or three. If after three months in Hawaii you still feel the pull to live there, it might be time to talk to your advisor about what you need to do to make it happen.

Conclusion

As an advisor, there’s little that I find more compelling than an excited client planning an adventure. I’m all for it! But make sure you don’t let your excitement prod you into making a hasty decision. Always speak with your advisor before making any big financial moves.


[1] Bankrate March 25th, 2015
[2] Bankrate March 25th, 2015