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June 16, 2020
Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. Where to retire is a big question for this huge cohort of Americans. It can be an overwhelming decision. Hopefully this retirement relocation checklist and guide to where to retire quiz can help you make a happy decision.
Find your best places to retire.
There are a lot of factors to consider. Maybe start with a retirement location quiz and then run suggested locations through the following retirement relocation checklist.
To make the where to retire decision easier, you might try a quiz.
Zillow: Online real estate database Zillow teamed up with Reuters to develop an interactive tool that allows users to customize a list of perfect retirement destinations. The tool determines the cities and towns that best match your criteria: including weather, low crime rates, proximity to entertainment, and access to health care.
CNN Money: CNN Money offers a “Where’s Your Dream Retirement” quiz.
Buzzfeed: This retirement location quiz is only slightly better than Buzzfeed’s normal fare like which Disney Princess are you?
Bestplacestoretire: This where to retire quiz is easy to use.
Like all tools, a retirement location quiz can give great results — but only if you have good information to put into it.
Before using a tool, you will want to assess what you want out of retirement. How do you want to spend these important years of your life?
You should probably ask yourself questions like:
Perhaps the MOST important criteria for determining the best place to retire, is assessing what you can really afford.
Most people are not as prepared for retirement as they would like to be and housing is usually the biggest cost for any household. If you currently own your home, it may also be your most valuable asset. So, the decision of where to live is hugely significant for your finances and could make or break your budget.
You might want to consider using a Retirement Calculator to determine what you can afford and try different scenarios.
The NewRetirement Retirement Planner is the best, most comprehensive tool available online — the only tool to let you model downsizing and relocation.
Using the Zillow retirement location tool, users select a state, home-buying budget and preferences in order to create a custom list of the top 10 places to retire.
“Where do you want to be when you retire? Use the first dropdown menu to search the entire nation or a selected number of states,” writes Meredith Miller, Zillow economic research analyst.
Say you’re zooming in on states in the Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
“Do you like big cities or small towns? The second dropdown menu can be used to limit the search based on city size,” Miller writes.
Let’s assume that’s cities with populations of 25,000 people or more.
“What is your housing budget? Use the home values dropdown to select a range of home values to only see places where the cost of homes meets your budget,” she writes.
In November 2014, the median sales price of a new home sold in the U.S. was $280,900, according to the Census Bureau. In keeping with that price range, allows users to filter home values of $300,000 or less.
The last five dropdown menus weight the importance of different characteristics that could contribute to a decision to move when retiring. These include access to health care, pleasant weather, the percentage of residents older than 65, access to entertainment and low crime rates.
When selecting “very important” for each of these five criteria, a list of 10 cities appears below the map. Among the top five for the sample criteria are Mentor, Ohio; Quincy, Ill.; Garfield Heights, Ohio; Maumee, Ohio; and Fremont, Ohio.
Your research shouldn’t stop with any one best places to retire tool. While they provide a good place to start, financial advisors suggest including other criteria in your search for the perfect retirement destination.
“The best thing to do is identify and examine the relevant factors,” says Jon King, of Austin, Texas-based Pegasus Financial Solutions, LLC. “Different people have different needs and priorities, so they are going to weigh them differently.”
King suggests pre-retirees also consider lifestyle, community and availability of part-time employment when determining where to live in retirement.
It is also very important to probe house values and costs..
Specific House Values & Costs: You may have identified a list of areas that you may be able to afford a home. However, it is very important to dig deeper and find out what kind of homes are actually available and if they match your goals.
For example, many people want to retire in a home on the water. You may find a community on the water that has affordable homes, but you will need to find out if the home you desire is also in your price point.
What about the cost of living? It might not matter if you secure a lower cost home if everything else is more expensive.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle can include cultural events, continuing education opportunities and hobbies, among other preferences. You should use the internet to find out about what is available in your town. For example:
Community: Community, on the other hand, weighs proximity to family and to like-minded people, in the case of moving to a retirement community, King says.
Work: Additionally, working part-time in retirement is becoming more common for retirees as they find ways to fill gaps in their retirement income.
According to a report from United Income, Adults age 65 and older are twice as likely to be working today compared with 1985.
So consideration for destinations that provide work opportunities is increasingly important.
You might browse craigslist for job opportunities in the area.
Other retirees are more concerned about volunteer work. Are there organizations with whom you would be interested in getting involved?
“Many retirees these days want to continue to work part time,” King says. “Specialized work may only be available in certain areas.”
Eldercare Resources: This is not a topic you might want to consider, but it is important. Statistics indicate that you have around a 25 percent chance of requiring long term care as you age.
It is therefore important for you to think about what IF you end up needing long term care. You should probably research whether or not where you retire has the type of eldercare resources that you might require. If you wish to stay in your own home, is in home care available? Are there nursing homes, Alzheimer’s facilities, etc…
Here are some of the resources mentioned in this post as well as some additional ideas for how to research and find the best place for you to retire:
Research all you want, but ending up in the best place for you will probably involve a bit of serendipity.
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