Retiring is a new phase of life. Gone are the morning alarm clocks, rushed breakfasts, traffic jams, and 8-hour cubicle workdays. Of course, this will differ depending on your career, but in general, the days of working 8-hour shifts are over. Gone is the separation between workdays and weekends – every day is a weekend for you now!
Although we all look forward to retirement, you’ll be surprised it will take time before you get used to the lifestyle – you may even miss your old routine!
One of the things many people consider after retirement is the decision to move or not. For some, this may look like moving down the street, for others a different city, state, or even country. The decision will depend on lifestyle factors as well as personal wants and desires.
In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of moving after retirement. If you’re still undecided, don’t worry, take the time to consider your options. We will help you through it.
There are both pros and cons to moving after retirement. Some of the factors to consider include:
- Cost of living
- Lifestyle factors
If you are looking to be closer to family, moving might be the best option. Similarly, the cost of living and other lifestyle factors can be beneficial to moving after retirement.
Pros of Moving After Retirement
1) A chance to go back to your family
One of the biggest pros of moving after retirement is moving closer to family. For some of us, we have to move away from our family for career reasons, and vice-versa. Maybe, the city you live in simply is not feasible for finding jobs or well-paying jobs. Hence, you had to move to a more fitting city, but after years of working, you probably want to move to where your family is located.
You don’t necessarily need to move in with your child and his/her family (though that’s certainly one option), but at least, you would be in close proximity to them once again.
If you choose to move in with your child (assuming they’re okay with it, of course), you may want to consider some factors like house size, their family’s size, the lifestyle they have, etc., and if these would be suitable for your needs and wants.
However, your family’s city may not satisfy the other two factors which we will later consider: the cost of living and lifestyle factors. For instance, the cost of living in your family’s city could be higher than what you can afford. Or it could be lifestyle factors – the “lifestyle” of the city may not meet your wants. For instance, there are little or no available recreations for your hobby or sport. We will consider these next two factors below.
2) Meeting your ideal cost of living
One of the main cons of moving after retirement is choosing a location that fits your ideal cost of living! When moving, you have to assess if your finances (such as savings) can keep up with the cost of living in the location of your choice. Needless to say, since you will be staying there for a long time, it’s important that your finances are ready for the long-run as well.
There are a few things to look at when finding a location that meets your ideal cost of living. First, it’s important to have an honest look at your finances. How much money have you saved? Do you have an incoming retirement benefit funds? If so, how much? Have you invested in assets? If so, are they earning, and how much? Lastly, do you have a business (even a side business) to earn income from?
Once you have made the calculation, it’s time to know the cost of living for the city you want to move into. There are a lot of factors to consider – such as grocery cost, utility cost, etc. – but for the basics, you can just focus first on the rent (or price of house, mortgages and property tax if you are planning to buy a house). Then, you can compute the other cost factors like food and utilities.
Finally, compute your finances and how it will project in the city’s cost of living in the long-run. Will you last for a couple of years, or just a few years or even just months? Once you determine these things you can find a location that meets your ideal cost of living.
Moving after retirement is also a great idea for people who are struggling with their current location cost of living. It is a great time in life to downsize, or potentially move to a place that has a cheaper cost of living. If you do decide to downsize, whether that be the overall price of the home or just the cost of living in the area, it will give you the opportunity to optimize your finances and/or have opportunities to invest in different ways.
3) Consider the lifestyle of the location
When you choose to move after retirement, you have the option to choose a location that fits well with your lifestyle of choice. For our purposes here, we will use the word “lifestyle” loosely! Lifestyle means everything that composes the city’s culture – recreation, hobbies & sports, culture and arts, education, business, crime rate, healthcare services and opportunities, and so on. If politics matter to you, you may want to consider that as well.
If you have some specific lifestyle preferences, for instance, you want a city that’s hugely into baseball or a city that has cheaper healthcare, then this will play into where you move.
If you don’t have strong preferences over a city’s lifestyle, you can just skip this part. However, you may want to give the time in considering this, as it can be one of the greatest pros of moving after retirement.
There are a variety of benefits to moving after retirement. Not only do you have the chance to move closer to family, but you also can choose your cost of living and a location that fits your lifestyle preferences.
While there are many advantages to moving after retirement, there are some cons to consider as well.
Cons of Moving After Retirement
1) You may miss your community
One of the largest cons to moving after retirement is losing your community. If you lived in one location for a long time, chances are, you will leave behind a community that you care about. You may even consider your community your “family,” which can make the decision to move very difficult. In many cases, you might have ligament family living in the same location as well, which makes moving hard.
The truth is, leaving the city or place you’ve been in for many years can be emotionally difficult – at least, at first. You will miss the old community, the relationships, old routine, and other things that you’ve built within that location.
If you do decide to move, chances are you’ll find yourself missing that city or place for a while. Even though you can visit that city from time to time or connect with your friends through the Internet, it will not replace the feelings of actually being and living there.
Actually, missing anything you’re used to is unavoidable – this explains why, sometimes, we even miss the job we hate. So, if you’re going to move out, be sure that the prospect of moving to another city is bigger than dwelling on your would-be old city and community.
2) Moving out is tiresome
This is the practical side of moving out – and clearly an obvious one, but if you’re going to move to another city after retirement, be sure that you’re willing to take all the physical and mental effort of moving from one location to another.
Even though you have probably gone through the moving process before, the process of moving your things, and rearranging your furniture once you’ve moved out to your new room/house is physically and mentally taxing. While it’s important to make sure that you want to go through the emotional process of moving, the physical process is important to consider too.
3) Your partner may not like to move
One of the cons of moving after retirement can include not being on the same page as your partner. Things get harder if your partner or spouse doesn’t want to move – or if he/she wants to move to a different city than where you want.
Be sure that before you decide to move, your partner really likes the decision as much as you do. If both of you are uncomfortable, have a compromising agreement.
For example, you can both agree to move out temporarily and see how it feels for both of you, but especially to the doubting partner. If he/she liked it, then settle there. If not, maybe you can go back home and try elsewhere.
Whatever it is, always be sure that you both agree. You don’t want resentment to creep into your relationship following the move, so coming to an agreement is extremely important.
So it’s time to ask, is it worth moving after retirement?
The truth is, only you know the answer to that question. Just like most things in life, moving after retirement comes with both its pros and cons. Before you decide to move, be sure to assess the cost, both literally and figuratively.
Be sure to really think long and hard about the pros and cons of moving before you make your decision, whether that be looking at location, pricing, cost of living, proximity to family, etc. It is important to weigh all the options.
After spending your life working, it’s important that you can retire in a location that you truly love. While some people will want to stick where they put their roots, you might want to try something new – and at the end of the day, only you can make this decision.
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