Eric Kingson, retirement expert from Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute, was recently asked about moving as a strategy for retirement.
He stated that increasingly, older people are living on tighter incomes. The golden age of aging -- when retirees could count on pensions and other sources of income like interest income on savings -- that's changed. And many older people are either in economic difficulties or just one shock away, meaning the loss of a spouse or an illness, from major financial difficulties. That really describes more than half of seniors today. So it's not surprising that people are looking for environments that might save them in the long run.
When asked if there were financial advantages to moving, Kingson mentioned that it depends on where you are in your age and your health, and your reason for moving to be near family. A lot of us who are in our early 60s or early 70s want to be near our grandchildren and near our children, and so that's a very normal human instinct and a good one.
Some of us want to move to places like Florida or Arizona to more comfortable climates and less expensive settings. But then, after 15 or 20 years, there's a lot of movement from those areas back to where family members live for health reasons. That's a strong financial argument to be made for having family as caregivers.
One way to consider a retirement move is to find a central location that might have the climate advantage that you are seeking, while also being close enough to family for those times when they might be needed. The “half-backs” have become a popular trend. This refers to folks that move to Florida with family in Ohio, and then move to Tennessee or North Carolina to be “half-way-back” to their family.
A move is never easy, but it might meet your needs at a stage in your life when you are ready for a change of pace, or just a change of scenery. The important thing to remember is that any move should be financially advantageous, and should not come at the expense of your savings. We all fall in love with those nice communities on HGTV, but affordability should be the deciding factor. You worked hard during your career to attain a comfortable life, just make sure that that comfortable status extends to your later years and is practical for you and those that will be assisting you in the future.