WHERE TO RETIRE

Deciding where to spend your golden years is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider:

  • Healthcare

  • Cost of living

  • Community engagement

  • Low taxes

  • Cultural amenities

  • Proximity to airports

  • Recreational amenities

  • Crime rates

  • Public transportation

  • Houses of worship

 

Those are the obvious considerations, but there are also several important items that retirees often neglect to think about, including:

 

Viewing retirement as just one stage. For example, an early retiree in his 60’s may be perfectly healthy and active. However, that will change as life goes on—no matter how much we resist it! It’s inevitable that at some point, we will all slow down and we will need the extra care that is provided by home health, an assisted living facility, or nursing home. It’s incredibly important that a community has that care available as you age.

 

Not planning for life as a single person. You may begin retirement as a couple, but most likely, one of you will pass, and the surviving spouse will have an easier time of it if she lives in a community that will embrace her, with activities and groups for both singles and couples.

 

Think about your hobbies. Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Then make sure you have a hardware or building supply store nearby. Do you like to volunteer? Most smaller communities have tons of great organizations in need of dedicated patrons. Or maybe you want to keep your hand in the workplace. If so, check out local employment opportunities.

 

A good social or political fit. Although that sounds almost silly, if you are moving from a very large city to a small resort town, both of these aspects may become very important. It’s best to discover that—before you move.

 

I always encourage my out-of-town buyers, who sometimes, become very enthusiastic about Tennessee mountain living in a short time (and who can blame them?) to look around in several states and cities, just to make sure that our area is their optimal retirement destination.

 

Retirement planners recommend that—prior to making that important decision—that you spend at least a week in your favorite destinations, and two or three if you can. And check out your dream area in all seasons, so you can be certain of what you are getting.

 

And your search should really begin a year or so before your actual retirement, so you won’t need to make a hasty decision. And don’t worry about “wasting” your Realtor’s time—sometimes, we have customers visit who are eight years away from retirement. And we don’t mind that at all—we love showing off our beautiful surroundings!