Is retirement approaching or have you recently left the workforce? If so, you may be wondering if relocation could be in the picture. It’s a big decision but one that many retirees have made. The reasons vary but often range from a desire to be closer to the grandchildren, to live in warmer weather or to enjoy life in a retirement community.
But for those who are considering a new life in a different city or state, there are a few fundamentals that could help you determine if this is the best decision.
To better understand if relocating is the smart move for you, consider your answers to these questions:
The first step is to identify why you want to make the change. Think through the pros and cons of your primary reasons. Are you moving because you have children, grandchildren or other family and friends in the new area? If so, make sure you would still like living there even if they moved away. More than one retiree has relocated to be closer to the grandkids only to discover a job transfer meant either remaining behind or picking up and following.
For others, your why might be because you want to escape the cold winters. Just make sure you know what all the seasons will be like. Sometimes mild winters can mean steaming summers. Or is your dream to live in a resort town by the beach or a mountain village near the ski slopes? Understand before you move how different a place can feel when it’s daily life versus vacation.
Beyond the initial reasons for why you want to make a move, you’ll also want to be clear about what is available in the area. Starting with housing, will your new community offer what you’re looking for? Will you be renting or buying and what is available in those markets? Also, take time to think through how you’ll want to spend your days. Will the new location provide the activities and opportunities that will support your desired retirement life?
You’ll want to consider your basic needs as well. Is there quality medical care available in the area? Will you be safe and feel secure in your new neighborhood? What options are there for shopping, entertainment and cultural activities? Is there a good transportation system if needed? And if you plan to volunteer or work part-time, check the opportunities that might be available.
Friends, family members, a sense of familiarity, a strong support system, a medical team that you know and trust? These are just a few of the things you may be saying goodbye to, at least as part of your daily life. Sometimes in the excitement of starting anew, we may forget all that will be left behind. And most of it will need to be replaced in your new location.
One of those elements is a strong support network. Moving for retirement can mean you’ll need to replace that in your new community. It’s not always easy to make friends in an unfamiliar area. You’ll need to find the opportunities for meeting new people and building relationships that you can rely on. Remember, you’ll be adjusting to different surroundings and may feel a little lost, especially in the beginning. Create a plan but be patient and give yourself time.
Aside from moving to a different state or city to live your dream, most retirees also have looked forward to a certain lifestyle. Each person will need to define their own, but this is often the time many will choose to downsize. A single-family home may no longer be what you have in mind if you’re ready to diminish the size of your home and the responsibilities that go with it.
If you want the freedom to take off and travel, a lock-and-leave lifestyle offered by Independent Living or retirement communities can make that very easy. If you’re tired of driving, community life can also offer scheduled transportation. Having the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of activities, walk out your front door to go to the fitness center or to share a delicious dinner with friends are only some of the advantages you’ll find. And of course, the maintenance-free life is a benefit that usually ranks high on a retiree’s wish list.
Even if the answer is yes, it’s always a good idea to take a trial run before you pack up the house to sell. Visit the community, meet with current residents, eat multiple times in the community’s different venues and come for events. This will give you a better idea of what life could be like!
Will it be relatively easy to build a fulfilling social life there? Are there opportunities to meet and make friends? What activities are available that you enjoy? Imagine yourself shopping, taking part in community services or finding medical care. Try to see the big picture when deciding on whether this is where you’ll want to settle down. If it turns out not to be what you had thought, remember you can always go back home.
If your retirement plan includes living an independent and fulfilling life, we invite you to join us at Westminster at Lake Ridge. Our historic and forested Northern Virginia neighborhood offers the best of both worlds – living among the beauty of nature yet only a few miles from the world-class offerings of Washington, DC
Whether you choose to live in one of our spacious cottages or apartment homes, you’ll be able to personalize your open and inviting space to make it your own. Along with our top-of-the-line amenities, social activities and maintenance-free living, you’ll find everything you need to support your well-deserved retirement.
Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.