Moving in Retirement
Moving in retirement is a common process, but to make it successful it should be well thought out. The worst thing retirees can do is uproot their lives, move to a new city, and then find out it is nothing like they expected it to be. To ensure a successful move, retirees should explore potential cities or towns in advance of their final move.
Make a List
Those looking to start anew should make a list of potential cities. This list should be based on research, not anecdotal evidence. Retirees should look at the cost of living, climate, activities, and communities of each area. Starting a list like this can be daunting, but there are many websites that provide their insights on the best places to retire or the most popular retirement locations. This basic research will make sure you do not waste time and money in the next stages of your relocation process.
Take a Quick Trip
Once a retired couple’s list is narrowed to a judicious amount of destinations they should plan trips to each one. A reasonable amount of time at each destination is a week. It will give retirees enough time to explore neighborhoods, check out local restaurants, look into potential activities, and give an overall feel for the area.
Plan a Longer Trip
Retirees should plan a return trip to those areas that passed the first test. This trip should be longer so that they can get a better feel for the area, about 2-3 weeks. It is also imperative for retirees to visit in a different season than they initially visited. Visiting in a different season will expose retirees to more than just the obvious temperature changes, with these temperature changes may come bugs, natural disasters, or tourists. Any of these changes could make an area uninhabitable to a retiree. The longer time period will also provide retirees with the opportunity to speak with locals, including real estate agents.
One Final Trip
If a couple feels they have found where they would like to spend the rest of their lives they should plan to stay for 2-3 months before making a final decision. If their opinion of the area does not change or gets even better, then it is safe to say they have found a place to move.
This process is lengthy and potentially expensive, but more than worth it. Moving to a new town and discovering that it is not right for you would be demoralizing due to all of the effort that comes with uprooting your life. This is especially true for older folks as it takes more effort to move. The circumstances in a retirement move are also much different that a move because of a job or other circumstances, retirees have their choice of anywhere their savings allows so making the wrong decision is especially upsetting.
Establish an Estate Plan
Before you move, it will be important to have an estate plan in order. The attorneys at Smith Strong specialize in creating estate plans and would be happy to help with yours. Attorney Van Smith also offers a no-cost estate planning workshop to help get you started with the process. More information on the workshop can be found on our website under the “Info” tab. To schedule your first meeting or attend our free estate planning seminar call (804) 325-1245 or (757) 941-4298.
Editorial Assistance By: Michael Gee - Law Clerk