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Do You Have to Relocate For Retirement?

Do You Have to Relocate For Retirement?

Many seniors wind up retiring in the same place they lived during their working years. If the city or town you lived in throughout your career is filled with amenities, family members and friends, then you may want to stay put during your golden years.

Whether to relocate for retirement is a difficult question for some people, and a snap to answer for others. Relocating in retirement, says The Motley Fool in the article “4 Reasons to Relocate in Retirement,” can make for a far more relaxed, financially easier lifestyle. Take a look at these four reasons and see how they line up with your current and future living situation.

It’s Expensive to Live Where You Are. If you live in a city like New York, San Francisco, Chicago or Los Angeles, you know about the high cost of living. Food, gas, and housing are just more expensive. While living in an expensive city usually means your paycheck is also high, once you stop working, that higher cost may no longer be affordable. If you can’t live without the amenities of a big city, consider a neighborhood nearby where you can easily access the world-class museums, theater, medical care, etc., but costs are a little lower.

Local and state taxes are high. People who live in high tax states know who they are. Taxes take an even bigger bite out of your budget at retirement. You will have income from Social Security and retirement savings or maybe a part-time job or a business. However, the less taxes you have to pay, the more money you’ll keep.

Property taxes can be a problem, even if you enter retirement with a paid-off mortgage. When you are on a fixed income, high property taxes are a problem. Moving somewhere with lower property taxes could help your fixed income stretch further.

You live in a state that taxes your Social Security benefits. Most states do not tax Social Security benefits, but there are 13 that do. The good news is that some of them offer exemptions for low-income to middle-income households, so you may be able to avoid these taxes. Some also offer a far lower cost of living than others, so that should be only one factor in your decision. Here are the states: 

Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

You live in a place where you must have a car. The annual cost of car ownership is estimated at $8,849 on average, according to AAA. If you live in a walkable city, or one with good public transportation, you could save a fair amount of money. Living somewhere walkable will also keep you moving as you age, which is a good thing. At some point, there comes a time when it is necessary to hand over the keys. Losing your independence because there is no public transportation, is a difficult transition.

The idea of packing up and moving from a community where you have friends and family is not an easy one. However, the idea of having more money to enjoy your retirement years may make it worthwhile. Take your time considering how you’ll manage where you are, and what you could do in a less expensive location.

Reference: The Motley Fool (Sep. 1, 2019) “4 Reasons to Relocate in Retirement”

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