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 Nine 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 found at:

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You may also want to read. Housing Links, Why Are So Many Folks Retiring to Pennsylvania?,

Retirement Housing on LESS than a Shoestring

retirement housing on less than a shoestring

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