The choice about where to live in retirement is one of the most crucial decisions that a senior makes. It’s not just a major financial consideration, it’s also a highly emotional issue as a retiree’s home is often the anchor to their golden years.
One needs to think about where to live, how long to stay there, and whether to move later in retirement. There are plenty of justifications for either staying put or moving early in retirement.
There are a few important questions that a senior should ask before deciding whether to stay in their home or to relocate during retirement:
1. Are you making accurate comparisons?
If you stay in your home, you may need to make improvements or renovations in the future to accommodate changing needs. If you move to a new home, you may incur moving expenses. Make sure you are considering total costs in either scenario. Additionally, if you rent, you could be sure to move into the first floor and have an apartment without stairs.
2. Are you open to renting?
It can be hard for retirees who have spent their lives building equity in their homes—and being taught about the virtues of homeownership—to become renters. But renting a home in a city before buying can give retirees a chance to really know if it’s the place they want to spend retirement. Moreover, the cost of ownership in many locations actually exceeds the cost of renting, so it may be prudent to consider this option for both short- and long-term possibilities.
3. Where will you have access to important services?
Every consumer looks into the quality of restaurants, supermarkets and other day-to-day retail offerings when scouting out a possible new residential location. Seniors must be especially concerned about practical considerations such as the number of nearby physicians, convenient transportation, and community centers with programs for seniors.
4. Would you prefer to age in place or have a change of scenery?
Many people dream about moving to some exotic location for their golden years, but the truth is that 85 percent of retirees stay in the area where they raised their families, according to Realtor.com. Weigh the pros and cons of aging in place versus charting a new course.