Affordable homes, low state taxes, renowned medical facilities, strong continuing education programs and temperate weather are some of the many incentives that spur seniors to relocate after retirement. According to CNNMoney.com's "25 Best Places to Retire", Durham, North Carolina; Hanover, New Hampshire; Lexington, Kentucky; and Prescott, Arizona top the list of the most desirable locales for aging Americans to find refuge after their working years. But contrary to the conventional wisdom that moving is always the best choice, there are some potential challenges that the 65-plus demographic needs to be aware of when transplanting into a new environment. (For related reading, also see Top 6 Ways To Ruin Your Retirement.)
TUTORIAL: Retirement Planning

Replacing Support Services and Trusted Advisors
Thomas E. Bator, an estate planning lawyer and investor advisor with Nichols & Pratt, LLP in Boston, says, "Many of my clients who move far away from their original homes have a difficult time finding support services that they can trust, as their capabilities decline and their advisory network from home is further away." For example, Bator says one of his clients was victimized by an investment scam after moving, and another mistakenly canceled the homeowner's insurance.

Finding a New Social Network
Departing a lifelong home also probably means leaving behind friends, family and a sense of community. One of the questions to ask before making this life-altering decision is whether you can rebuild your social network and a sense of stability in a new city, region or country.

Paying for the New Lifestyle
Although the prospect of lower living costs is the impetus for many seniors to pack up their bags, seniors should be aware that there's a spectrum of different costs on top of the price of real estate. Richard Barrington, a spokesperson for MoneyRates.com, suggests checking out state tax rates, property taxes and property insurance costs - as well as getting up to speed on the state of the local economic climate (unemployment, sales tax etc.).

TUTORIAL: RRSP's

Adjusting to an Unfamiliar Climate
A sunnier, warmer climate may be good for mental health and the soul, but older Americans are also more susceptible to health problems caused by the heat. With aging, the sweat glands are less efficient and circulation worsens, and medications and conditions like high-blood pressure make it more likely to be impacted by a heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Burdening Family Caregivers
As seniors grow older, it's inevitable that they'll need more assistance from others, and it is likely family members will be pitching in from long-distance. According to an article in The New York Times, three out of four relatives spend at least a day a week helping out a family member from afar.

The Bottom Line
Start by talking to family and friends about your plans to retire away from home, and get their feedback. Dive into some research about the spot of interest, and read some local news stories to get the gist of other ongoing issues that could affect the landscape of the community in the future. (For additional reading, also check out Will You Have To Delay Your Retirement?)

Related Articles
  1. Term

    What are Pension Funds?

    A pension fund is a company-sponsored fund that provides income for employees in retirement.
  2. Investing

    Five Things to Consider Now for Your 401(k)

    If you can’t stand still, when it comes to checking your 401 (k) balance, focus on these 5 steps to help channel your worries in a more productive manner.
  3. Retirement

    The World's Most Luxurious Retirement Destinations

    If money is no object (or if you would just like to dream), these five spots are the crème de la crème.
  4. Professionals

    How to Protect Elderly Clients from Predators

    Advisors dealing with older clients face a specific set of difficulties. Here's how to help protect them.
  5. Professionals

    Social Security 'Start, Stop, Start' Explained

    The start, stop, start Social Security strategy is complicated. Here's what retirees considering it need to consider.
  6. Retirement

    Strategies for a Worry-Free Retirement

    Worried about retirement? Here are several strategies to greatly reduce the chance your nest egg will end up depleted.
  7. Professionals

    Top Social Security Issues for Divorced Women

    What female divorcees need to know about the twists and turns of figuring out Social Security benefits.
  8. Professionals

    Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Robo-Advisor

    Think a robo-advisor might be the right choice for you? Be sure to ask these questions first.
  9. Professionals

    Top Retirement Hack? Start with a Lifestyle Change

    Instead of going through the usual retirement planning steps, some people are focusing on fostering a lower cost lifestyle from the start.
  10. Insurance

    Picking the Best Longevity Insurance

    What you need to know before buying a "reverse life" policy.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Senior Move Manager

    Senior move managers (SMMs) help seniors downsize and relocate ...
  2. Elder Care

    Elder care, sometimes called elderly care, refers to services ...
  3. Death Master File (DMF)

    Also known as Social Security Death Index. A list of people whose ...
  4. To Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation ...
  5. Provident Fund

    A compulsory, government-managed retirement savings scheme used ...
  6. Rollover IRA

    A special type of traditional individual retirement account into ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the best ways to sell an annuity?

    The best ways to sell an annuity are to locate buyers from insurance agents or companies that specialize in connecting buyers ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are spousal Social Security benefits retroactive?

    Spousal Social Security benefits are retroactive. These benefits are quite complicated, and anyone in this type of situation ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the best ways to use your 401(k) without a penalty?

    The best way to use your 401(k) retirement savings account is to take normal distributions after you reach retirement age. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How are Social Security benefits calculated for divorced spouse?

    The maximum Social Security retirement benefit payable to a divorced spouse is 50% of the amount that would be paid to the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How are spousal benefits calculated for Social Security?

    The amount of your Social Security spousal benefit depends on a number of factors, including your age, the maximum amount ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does divorce affect Social Security benefits?

    If you are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits on your own account, your marital status has no impact ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!