Retirement opens up opportunities to reduce expenses, create a new lifestyle and increase happiness.
It’s never too soon to begin thinking about where you’d like to spend the rest of your life or the next six months of your life after retiring from your job. Retirement frees up your time and affords you opportunities to make changes you might never have been in a position to make prior to retiring. Now is the right time to begin imagining the possibilities and benefits of staying where you are or making a move nearby or to some far-flung exotic location. The choice is yours. The world is your oyster.
Assess Your Current Situation
First, ask yourself why you are living where you are. Perhaps your job has kept you in your current location. Maybe you grew up in the town you live in. Does proximity to your children or grandchildren keep you rooted firmly in place? Would you despair over moving away from your friends and familiar activities?
Perhaps it seems easier and less stressful to make no changes. After all, if you make no changes, you don’t have to hunt for a good grocery store, new hairstylist, new doctor, new car mechanic. A move could necessitate so many changes as to be overwhelming.
Dream a Little or a Lot
Second, daydream! A move could also open up incredible opportunities for the most pleasurable lifestyle you’ve ever enjoyed. Imagine downsizing your home to free up funds to travel to places you’ve only dreamed of visiting? Imagine living full or part-time in a different state or country. Would a change be stressful or joyful for you?
The decision to stay or move is one that can have high impact on your happiness and lifestyle. It’s important to think deeply about what would truly make you happy as well as feel safe and secure. Allow yourself to dream and imagine what life could be like if there were no immutable ties to a certain place. Getting clear on your priorities will guide you to make the best decision for you.
You might meditate on the thought of what is possible for you. You might talk to friends who have moved to find out how their lives are different now and whether they would make the same decision again. Likewise, talk with friends who stayed in place and find out why that decision was right for them.
The possibilities are truly endless. Even if you think that your retirement income could not accommodate some of your dreams, you might be surprised by what is possible with a little imagination, research and ingenuity. Where there is a will there is a way.
Consider Ramifications and Possibilities
Third, consider the consequences. Staying put or moving will both have positive and negative ramifications. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to age in place or spend your retirement years in a new place.
Your Home is Larger Than You Now Need in Retirement
For many, their current house was chosen because it could accommodate more people than currently live in it. Downsizing into a smaller residence could free up not only income, but maintenance time and costs. Imagine less space to keep clean and fewer possessions to clutter your life.
Taxes are Too High in Your Current Location on Retirement Income
Living in a large city likely means you are paying high property taxes. If you live in a luxury location or near a beach or lake, your property taxes are higher than most pay. Moving to a smaller town or away from costly real estate, will give you more dollars to spend on experiences and trips.
Home Maintenance and Insurance Expenses are Too Costly After Retirement
Your taxes may be reasonable, but the home you are in now may be more expensive to maintain than makes sense for your new retirement lifestyle. Perhaps you have a huge yard, a pool, large trees that need constant care and expense. A reduction in your domestic footprint can yield time and money for you.
You’d Like to Live Closer to Friends or Family in Retirement
If your job or your spouse’s job necessitated your living in a certain location, retirement can mean that you are free to move close to family. Some retirees move closer to their children and grandchildren. Some move closer to their own aging parents or siblings. Being closer to family can enrich your life in so many ways.
Your House is Not Designed for Older Persons’ Comfort and Ease
If your home is anything but single story, it may not be ideal for you as you age. Your kitchen and bathrooms may not work well to accommodate an older person’s needs. Walk around your house with an eye for what you may need and you may discover some issues that need to be addressed if you stay in place. You may decide that moving might be a more sensible option or that with a few tweaks, your home could be ideal for you as you age.
You’d Like to Reinvent Yourself and Your Lifestyle in Retirement
If making big changes in your life is your top priority, staying or moving can be a defining and critical decision – or it can have no impact at all. It is possible to reinvent yourself and your lifestyle in retirement by staying in place. With fresh time on your hands, you can change everything you like about how you spend your days and stay right where you are.
Moving could simply mean living out the same old habits in a different place. Or moving can help you create a new, vibrant and different way of living and enjoy some grand adventures. How you approach your life and the actions you take to achieve a happy retirement is all in the choices you make. Reinvention can happen anywhere you are. Happy Retirement!
How does your house measure up to retirement living? What are your priorities for a happy life in retirement? How would moving change your lifestyle? I’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments.