Many of us looked forward to that time when we could retire as early as picking up our very first paycheck. Daydreaming of the moment that we no longer have to rush to make breakfast, walk the dog, and get out the door to be seated in front of our computers at the designated start time. That time is now, so start making your arrangements to set yourself up for a retired life of comfort.
Where do you picture yourself being, now that you are no longer expected to maintain a work schedule? There are some elements to consider, such as nearby healthcare and proximity to family and friends, before chasing your dream retirement home that will make these golden years more enjoyable.
When you think about retiring on a beach or in a beautiful ski town, you may want to consider the added cost of relocating. As a retiree, your fixed income will not fluctuate to allow for a more extravagant lifestyle. Typically, social security only covers your basic needs.
If you are wanting a change of scenery, you may want to look for up-and-coming cities that have a lower cost of living than their expensive, crowded counterparts. By avoiding increasing the amount of money that you spend on living costs will allow you to feel less stressful about your financial situation during these unemployed years.
The joys of not having a job allows for a lot more time to enjoy exploring new hobbies and interests. When researching your new potential retirement home, explore the surrounding areas and learn about what the area has to offer you in terms of recreation. For example, if you have always considered picking up cross-country skiing, it would be advantageous to find a location that has an adjacent Nordic track.
Be on the lookout for towns and cities that have large community centers that will allow you to be social and find others with similar interests to keep you busy. Many retirees complain about feeling useless and feeling a lower self-worth when they do not keep themselves active.
Safe and Secure
When you only visit somewhere once, it only gives a small glimpse of what the area is like. Do your research of the crime rates in the area. Although you may want to retire to the beaches of Honduras, it would be wise to know that it has been ranked as one of the top five most dangerous countries in the world.
Choose an area to settle down where you won’t be woken up throughout the night by blaring sirens, and where you do not have to fear taking out the trash at night. Your later years in life are meant to be lived out in peace and quiet.
Keep Your Family and Friends Close
Having your friends and family close by is a comforting feeling to most individuals, but over the years, friends and family may have moved away due to work or other life events. Luckily, you can use this as an opportunity to explore new places and get a feel for whether your loved ones’ new hometowns are places that you could enjoy spending your retired years.
Staying with friends and family will reduce the money and effort spent on hotels, and your loved ones can serve as your own personal tour guides. Use your resources at hand to learn more about an area when considering relocating.
However, don’t feel that you have to stay tethered to one place. Luckily with today’s available technology, it is not always necessary to have your family located physically near to you.
If you choose to live in an area that puts some miles between yourself and your loved ones, you can make sure to keep in close contact with them to bridge the gap of the physical distance. Connect with your family using a face-to-face app such as Skype or FaceTime to keep them in the loop of you and your new retirement home.
Weather and Climate
Choose a location that has a favorable climate to suit you and your lifestyle. If you know that you are prone to seasonal depression (also known as seasonal affective disorder), you may want to refrain from settling into an area that is known for a long winter season or for being frequently overcast.
If you are a nature lover, choose a spot that will give you easy access to wilderness and the outdoors, to avoid having to travel to spend time in the places that you love.
For some, cold weather can cause aches and pains in joints and may be a good reason to consider relocating to somewhere warmer and temperate. This is why many retire to places such as Arizona and Florida, but consider thinking outside the States if you have never left the country. Plus, many other countries allow for a higher quality of life at a lower cost of living.
There is no reason why being retired means your life can’t still be exciting!