Deciding Where To Live Or Move
Helpful Criteria To Consider When Selecting Your Next Home
As your life changes, so does the size, style & location of the home you need. Once the children have moved out, owning a large home in the suburbs may no longer be practical or suitable.
For empty nesters who are contemplating a move, the two big questions would be
1) What would be the "right size" home?
2) And where should that home be?
Basically, There Are Three Options.
- Remain in your current residence.
According to a recent AARP housing survey, 83 percent of older Americans indicated that they would prefer to remain in their current homes for the rest of their lives. So if you would like to remain in your current residence after retirement, there are two important things to consider:
a) Affordability - Can you afford the cost of maintenance, repairs & property taxes?
b) Adaptability - Will your home still suit your needs as you grow older?
- Downsize within your current community or area.
If your current residence is too large for your needs and too expensive to carry but you are comfortable in the community in which you reside, then moving to a smaller more manageable home might be something to consider. If this seems like your favorite option, there are two things to consider:
a) The Style Of Housing - A smaller house, a townhouse, an apartment, etc?
b) Should You Rent or Should You Own?
- Relocate to a different geographic area.
If your current community no longer suits your needs, then you might want to consider moving to a different community that would be suitable for your retirement lifestyle. If this sounds like an appropriate option, then here are some things to consider:
a) Where? - Out of state, out of the country, etc.
b) The Style of Housing - A smaller home, a townhouse, an apartment, etc?
c) Should You Rent or Should You Own?
Criteria To Consider In Selecting A New Place To Live
- Climate (in all seasons)
Investigate the climate year round. Seasons change and places that seem very comfortable in one season could be quite the opposite at a different time of the year.
- Cost of living
Your retirement income may be limited. Knowing how much your money will buy is important.
- Magnitude of taxes in the new area - Property taxes & income taxes
- Convenient access to your family - Can you easily visit them?
If you plan to spend a great deal of time with your family (children, grandchildren, etc), then selecting a location that is near them, or has convenient access to them, might be an important criterion.
Keep In Mind: Your children’s careers might require them to relocate and your plan to live near them could be undermined at any moment.
- Convenient access for your family - Can they easily visit you?
If getting together with your family frequently is an important part of your life, then selecting a location that is easily accessible would be important. If your new location requires everyone to take three planes, a bus, a boat & a car to get to your home, then it probably won't be practical for your family to visit as often as you might like.
- Desirability of the new location as a destination - Would friends & family be willing to visit you?
Again, if you hope that family & friends will make an effort to visit you from time to time, it would be beneficial if the location in which you live is desirable for them. Living near the beach, in a resort area, or in (or near) a major city might make a trip to visit you more attractive.
- Community amenities that suit your new lifestyle
Recreational – Golf, tennis, boating, ocean, lakes & parks, etc.
Cultural - Museums, concert halls, etc.
Medical – Access to hospitals & health care facilities
- Type of community
Do you want to be “where the action is”?
Or do you want to be “where the action ain’t”?
What type of locale would be compatible with your new lifestyle?
Urban? - Suburban? - Rural? - Resort? - College Town?
- Employment opportunities
Eighty percent of the 76 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 plan to work past the age of seventy-five.
Based upon your lifestyle plan, selecting a location with employment opportunities might be important. If you plan to work, investigate whether there are 2nd career opportunities, part-time employment opportunities or opportunities to convert a passion or hobby into a new occupation or career.
- Educational opportunities
Are there opportunities to pursue new educational paths or opportunities to learn about subjects that are of interest to you?
Possible Sources Of Additional Information
Chambers of commerce
Census bureau - demographics & cost of living
Real estate agents
Visit, or vacation, in a variety of potential locations
© Copyright 2005 Bill Boeckelman Publications
Deciding Where To Live Or Move
Important Criteria For Empty Nesters To Consider