Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Accessibility Menu

15 Factors to Seek When Relocating in Retirement

By Selena Maranjian - Jul 27, 2022 at 7:00AM
Two people lying on a floor among boxes and taking a break during a move.

15 Factors to Seek When Relocating in Retirement

Location, location, location

As you approach or enter your retirement, you may not want to relocate -- or maybe you do. Changing your place of residence can make a lot of sense for some of us, as it can lead to lower costs, helping our money last longer. There can be other benefits, too. Check out this list of 15 factors to consider when relocating and see which ones should be of most importance to you.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

Previous

Next

A row of townhouses.

1. Most suitable housing

First off, think about what kind of housing will serve you best in retirement. You might be used to a single-family house with a yard or two, but that can require more work than, say, a condo where many chores, such as yard maintenance and snow removal, are taken care of for you. Even if you stick with a single-family home, you might want one in a certain community, such as a 55-plus one that offers activities and services targeting older residents.

Previous

Next

Doctor speaking with patient.

2. Availability and affordability of good healthcare

Healthcare is a primary concern in retirement, as our bodies tend to become more problematic as we age. It costs a lot, too. So be sure to plan and save for it. And consider it when looking for your new home, too. For example, you want to make sure that there are good medical facilities in your new region, and that there are good doctors accepting new patients. Look into how affordable your care would be, too.

Previous

Next

Person shopping with shopping list.

3. Shopping

Shopping is another concern. Whether you enjoy it greatly or not, we all need to do some shopping now and then, so make sure that your new home is reasonably close (or very close) to the kinds of stores you'll need to visit frequently, such as a supermarket and pharmacy. If you love strolling through a mall (which can be a good exercise activity), see if there's one nearby.

ALSO READ: 15 Senior Discounts to Enjoy or Look Forward To

Previous

Next

Two hands on a piano keyboard.

4. Cultural offerings

Retirees who enjoy going out to the theater, ballet, symphony, or even just the movies should look into their availability in a possible new area. Love visiting your local museum? See what museums are nearby. College towns are worth checking out, as they will likely have lectures and performances you can attend -- not to mention the fact that there may be courses you can audit or take, too.

Previous

Next

Two people dancing on patio overlooking mountainside.

5. Recreational opportunities

Think about the recreational activities you enjoy and which locations may offer those for you. If you love fishing or boating, seek locations with suitable water nearby. If you want to hike or swim or dance, look into how available such activities are. Consider trying some new-to-you activities, too -- you might not have thought about hiking much, only to discover that you love it.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

Previous

Next

Two people smiling while gardening.

6. Hobbies and interests

Give some thought to your current hobbies -- or possible future hobbies -- and think through how well a new location would serve them. If you love gardening or golfing, for example, is a location you're considering good for those hobbies or does it perhaps have long winters? If you're a big reader, are there appealing local libraries?

ALSO READ: Seniors on Social Security Could Get a Huge Boost in 2023 -- but There's a Catch

Previous

Next

A house blanketed with snow.

7. Agreeable climate

Consider the climate of any location you're thinking about moving to. Will the winters be too cold for you, or the summers too hot? Will it likely rain much more often than you'd like? Will the weather interfere with your favored activities? Is the air quality usually good, or is the area prone to pollution or smoke hampering air quality? Think, too, about climate change. If water levels rise, as many experts predict, will your new beach house end up flooded? If temperatures get more extreme -- generally hotter or generally colder -- will you bothered a little or a lot?

Previous

Next

Tax planning notebook on a table with calculator, coins, push pins, and receipts.

8. Low taxes

One thing many retirees and pre-retirees consider when thinking about moving is taxes. You should do the same, but be sure to look at the big picture. Yes, one state may have no tax on income, but it might make up for that revenue by charging steep property taxes or sales taxes. Remember, too, that some states even tax your Social Security benefits.

ALSO READ: Everything You Need to Know About Social Security Benefits

Previous

Next

Handwritten budget page listing categories.

9. Affordable cost of living

The overall cost of living in a new area should be a major factor in your investigation, and you can learn a lot just by doing an online search for the term "cost of living" and the name of your new town or region. Don't focus just on the overall relative cost of living, though, because it's made up of a number of expense categories and you may spend a lot more on some than others. For example, if you plan to garden and grow a lot of food to eat, you may not care that much if food costs are 20% higher than average. Some overall numbers include child care costs or commuting, which may not apply to you. Dig down into the numbers that count most for you.

Previous

Next

Crime scene tape with police cars blurred in the background.

10. Safety

Safety is one characteristic of a location that some people neglect to consider -- and they shouldn't. It's not always immediately evident whether a given location is relatively safe or not, so try looking it up online, perhaps by typing "crime rate" and the location's name in a search engine. You might also pop in to the local police department to ask, or even ask locals. Remember, too, that some crimes may not be as much of a concern as others. Focus, at a minimum, on the most serious kinds of crimes. You want to feel relatively safe in your new home.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

Previous

Next

Two people smiling and holding each other in front of a house..

11. Walkability

As we age, we may be less interested in driving or be less able to drive, so it can help if we live in a "walkable" area, where many destinations are a reasonable walk away. Many of us simply enjoy walking, and doing so regularly is good for our health, too. When you look up various homes on many real estate sites, you may find a walkability score for that particular neighborhood. Otherwise, you might just explore the walkability of various locations via some online searches.

Previous

Next

Stack of suitcases with a plane taking off in the background.

12. Convenient airport

You might not be thinking too much about how close your new location is to an airport, but you should do so. You'll probably be hoping to have visits from far-flung family and friends, and you'll likely travel to visit them, too. So it will be handy to have an airport a reasonable distance away, say, 30 to 60 minutes. Don't just check out an airport's location -- think about how inexpensive or expensive it will be to fly in and out of, too. Major hubs such as Atlanta, Denver, Baltimore, and Chicago, among many others, may offer more reasonable fares than a small local airport.

ALSO READ: These 3 Common Retirement Expenses Are an Unwelcome Surprise to Too Many Seniors

Previous

Next

Four people walking through a park and talking.

13. Friends and family

Speaking of friends and family, give them a lot of thought. If you want to see them a lot and they live near you, consider not moving too far away. You might simply downsize into a smaller home in the same general neighborhood, for example. That will cut down on expenses such as utilities, property taxes, and more. You may have some loved ones who live in other regions of the country -- think about whether it might make sense to move to one of those regions.

Previous

Next

Four people smiling while standing by a golf cart.

14. Socializing opportunities

Many newly retired people are surprised to find themselves bored and restless in retirement -- if not downright depressed. That can be due to losing not only the drudgery of work but also the socializing opportunities it offered, not to mention the daily structure. It might not be as delightful as you expected to wake up every day and have nothing particular to do. So plan to be active and social. Start thinking now about how you might spend your time in retirement.

ALSO READ: 6 Ways to Avoid Getting Bored in Retirement

Previous

Next

Two people talking across a fence.

15. Like-minded neighbors

Finally, if you hold strong political opinions these days, you might factor that into your deliberations as you seek a new place to live. If you're very liberal or conservative, you might not enjoy moving to a place where most of your neighbors think very differently and have bothersome bumper stickers on their cars. They may not appreciate your flags and banners, either. You might welcome and enjoy different-minded neighbors, but if you think you might not, add this factor to your list of things to consider about a possible new home.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

Previous

Next

Person looking up in happiness with arms outstretched.

The perfect place

All of these 15 considerations are well worth thinking about, but you may never be able to find a new location that meets every one of your criteria -- or, if you find it, you may not be able to afford it. So think about which factors are most important to you, and weigh them more heavily. Finding a place that's pretty perfect can be counted as a solid success.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Previous

Next

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.