If you’re retiring in the foreseeable future, you might be considering a change of scenery. Moving to a different city, state or even country in retirement can be a great idea — especially for your wallet. Depending on where you choose to retire, you can save a ton of money on housing, taxes and other expenses. But although your potentials costs are definitely something to keep in mind when planning a move, there are other factors you’ll want to remember as well.
We talked to a number of retirement and financial planning experts to find the biggest do’s and don’ts of relocating for retirement.. Here Are Top 10 Best and Worst Things to Do When Looking for a Place to Retire:
1. Do Look for a Lower Cost of Living
“One way to help alleviate that stress is to move to a place where your money goes further,” said Aaron Hatch, a certified financial planner and co-founder of Woven Capital. “One of my clients is considering moving to Mexico so that their money goes further.”
You don’t have to cross the border to find a less-expensive city, though. According to a recent GOBankingRates study that looked at how much money you need to live comfortably in the 50 biggest U.S. cities, some of the places you might want to consider are Virginia Beach, Va., Bakersfield, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., Arlington, Texas, and more.
The key, according to Stephanie Genkin, a Brooklyn-based CFP, is to make sure you can afford your three biggest ongoing expenses besides your home: healthcare, food and energy.
“You want to find a city that is affordable particularly in these areas,” she said. “You’d be surprised how much variation there is across the country. Eventually, you may not play golf or tennis or be able to do as many activities as you did at the beginning of the retirement. These costs will drop off. But you’ll still need to go to the doctor, eat and heat or cool your home.”
2. Do Secure Access to Good Healthcare
“It’s a given that as you get older, your health will deteriorate in one way or another,” said Andrew McFadden, a CFP and founder of Panoramic Financial Advice. “It may be something as simple as arthritis or as debilitating as diabetes can get in some cases. You want to make sure that when problems arise, you will have fast access to high-quality healthcare providers.”
The solution? Do your homework. Investigate nearby hospitals and in-network doctors to see if you’ll have enough access to medical attention.