22nd April 2016 at 1:23pm
Escape to the country, a place in the sun, dream homes by the sea – TV schedulers seem to love a good relocation story these days. And going by their popularity, so do we.
And more often than not, the couple in question will be a pair of retirees looking to sell up and seek out a new life somewhere they’ve always dreamed of.
We of course only meet the couple in their final stages, as they actually look to relocate, we don’t get the full back story on how they’ve planned this move.
To make this a successful transition into a new home in a new location, they’ll have had to lay some early foundations of their own first.
Design your blueprint
If you too are considering or planning to relocate in retirement, don’t wait until the last minute to work out the specifics. Give yourself as much time as you can to get it right.
Moving to a new location can have major implications on your bank balance, standard of living, retirement date and potentially even the health of your marriage – so it pays to plan and it pays to talk.
Do your homework
The goal is to find a balance between a region that allows you to maintain your financial security and one that doesn’t compromise your quality of life.
The financials are obviously very important, there’s a lot to consider when thinking of how you will fund this move and the life after it, but remember the emotional and practical side are of equal importance.
Here are five things to consider:
- It’s good to talk – There are a lot of different reasons why people want to relocate, and answering the ‘why’ component is most important because it determines the next questions and what homework you need to do. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your partner shares the same goals for retirement. Relocating is a bold move and one partner’s dream may not match the others. Couples may have different priorities, this is why it can be crucial to its success that each partner makes a list of priorities and then compares them carefully.
- Suck it and see – Don’t make your move without giving your new location a trial run. It’s often the case in these home buyers programmes that the couple will know the area as it’s somewhere they enjoy holidaying, but what you love about an area for a few weeks a year may not make for a great permanent home. It’s worth renting a place in the area you fancy first. This will give you a real taste of what it’s like to be there all year round. Seasons might play a big factor, you may have only visited in the Summer when it’s hot and blooming –Winters there might be a very different affair. And staying for an extended period of time will give you a chance to experience the town as a local, giving you an even better flavour of life.
- What’s on offer? –It’s important to research your retirement destination to ensure it can support your lifestyle. And make sure it’s a lifestyle you can afford. The cost of living fulltime in an area that you may have previously visited on holiday could end up being high, especially if it’s classed as a tourist destination. Things to check include housing prices, food costs, property taxes and cost-of-living items. But don’t just consider the essential items; you’ll also want to price activities that are important to you in particular, it could range from the cost of green fees if you’re a golfer to mooring costs if you are a yachtsman. These could be a big factor, depending on what your interests are.
- Doctor on call – Retirees should also consider medical availability and costs when relocating. While health may not be a concern at the time of the move, it’s always better to factor in proximity to health care facilities in the event of an oncoming issue.
- Friends and family – Family might be less inclined to come visit if you move too far away. Or you might feel tempted to foot the bill for some of those costs, which could easily eat into your savings. Busy schedules may also get in the way of them visiting which in turn could mean you having to travel to them more often than anticipated. Also think about how easy it will be to meet new people and make new friends. Some people are social butterflies who make new friends easily and have no problem stepping into unfamiliar social situations, others not so much.
Living the dream
The most successful relocation stories start with a solid plan and a heavy dose of due diligence. Lay your groundwork well in advance and make your retirement dreams a reality you can enjoy.
The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice.