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things to consider
when choosing a new retirement location:
Spent much time there?: Often favorite vacation
locations turn out to be poor places to live year-round for a
senior citizen. Check the services available, for one thing,
and the annual weather year, for another. Visit your new
potential home in different seasons -- you may not like
Florida in the summer, for example. You can even consider
renting for a year before you buy a place, so you're not
committed if things don't work out.
Health care costs: Check out health care costs.
Health care is a big priority for retirees, so do some
research to find out how much you'll pay for nursing home
care, doctor visits and other health expenditures.
Taxes: All states -- and cities and counties -- are
not created equal. Find out the state's income-tax policies,
local property tax, and sales, gas and estate tax information.
And be sure to weigh each type against the other. If you must
pay high sales or property taxes, a state with lower income
tax may not actually save you money.
Do your homework: If you want basic comparison
information on crime statistics, climate, cost of food and
housing, check online. Web sites such as http://www.bestplaces.net
provide this type of information. Some offer cost-of-living
calculators. Enter your income into a cost-of-living
calculator and you'll know how much you need to maintain your
lifestyle in another locale. Naturally, consider rising health
care expenses as you age, distance to family, care giving
expense, and other factors that you may not be subject to
today but might experience in the future.
What about the grandkids?: Making sure your children
and grandchildren will be able and want to visit you in your
new city is important and leads us to the current trend of
moving home a few years after an initial relocation. And
remember, visiting family will become increasingly expensive
as fuel costs increase.
In light of current retiree moving trends ask yourself
these questions as well:
What will we do if we become widowed?: Taking this
uncomfortable question head-on is your best action. Discuss it
openly with your spouse and children before you make the
decision to move, and plan accordingly.
Can we take care of ourselves away from family?: If
you are healthy and strong today, what will be the available
services in your new city should you become infirm?
Will we be subject to natural disasters?: Well, many
places naturally are. California has its earthquakes and
Florida its hurricane season. This of course does not mean
Katrina is headed your way anytime soon. However, discuss the
matter and look into the advice of your potential new city and
state in this regard.
Plan to move and then move back?: As so many are
currently doing just this, why not plan for the eventuality?
Enjoying your golden years in a warm climate and planning for
a return to family when care and proximity are needed may be
an appropriate strategy. Figure the costs, and where you would
move back to before you make your decision.
Additional housing related information for seniors can be
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