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3 Signs You Should Relocate When You Retire

By Christy Bieber - Feb 11, 2020 at 7:05AM

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Is retirement a good time for you to find a new home state?

Making the choice to leave the workforce is a big decision. But for some seniors, it should be followed by an even bigger one: Deciding to leave home and find a new place to live.

While pulling up stakes doesn't necessarily make sense for every senior, there are three big signs that suggest it may be the right choice for you. 

A senior couple laying on the floor, surrounded by moving boxes

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Your state has a high cost of living

When you have a limited amount of money in an investment account to last you the rest of your life, you can't afford to overspend on housing or other basic expenses.

Unfortunately, in some states, your basic needs will cost much more to fulfill. The most expensive states will require an income more than $10,000 higher than the least expensive ones just to pay for the essentials. 

If you live in a high cost of living area, such as Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, or New York, you may want to look into relocating somewhere where your money can stretch much further. 

2. Your state taxes your Social Security benefits

Just 13 states in the U.S. impose state tax on Social Security -- and by 2022, only 12 states will tax your benefits.

When you have to give up a part of your benefit checks to the government to cover taxes, you won't have as much left to live on. This means you'll have a lower quality of life or will have to take more money from savings and risk running short of funds later in life. 

Relocation to a more tax-friendly state could make all the difference when it comes to making your savings last while still enjoying your retirement.

3. There aren't many seniors where you live

For many people, social connections come from having a job. Once you no longer go to work every day, you'll have to make a more concentrated effort to find people to spend time with. If there are few other people in your age group where you live, this will be harder.

A large senior population not only gives you the chance to make more social connections, it also means there will be more services catering to seniors. This could include more healthcare facilities with doctors focused on age-related problems or more activities of interest to retirees.

Relocating to a senior-friendly state where there are tons of retirement communities could make your later years much more fulfilling. And having friends around and plenty to do could also help to stave off depression or health problems resulting from inactivity. 

Making a move could make all the difference 

Most people want a good quality of life -- and to ensure their retirement savings last, and where you live has a big impact on those things.

Unless your investment account balance is so big that you don't need to worry about ever running out of cash, you should definitely think about relocation if life in your current home is going to cost much more than it would in other areas. If you can find a place to go where there are lots of people your age, that could be a big bonus, too. 

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