Explore Retirement Locations Before Buying In

in Lifestyle,Money

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When you make the decision to retire, the world can be your oyster. There’s nothing written in stone that says your present address needs to be your home during retirement. In fact, with no workaday obligations to tie them down, many Canadians pick up and move to retirement communities elsewhere within the country or even abroad. Is this option right for you? The best way to decide for certain is to examine your personal preferences and pack up, travel and explore locations before making the decision to move final.

Factors to consider

To stay or not to stay — that is the question many retirees find themselves asking. In order to make a well-informed decision about whether to retire at home or in a new location, there are several things you should consider. These include everything from health and finances to the psychological implications involved in making a huge move. The most important considerations to make when deciding if a big move is in order include:

Health. If you find your health failing in Canada’s colder climate, it’s possible a move to a warmer region could be in order. Should health motivate your decision to move, however, it’s also a good idea to consider the support system you might be leaving behind. Especially consider the health insurance implications if you are thinking of relocating to another country.

Finances. Will your finances support your retirement dream destination? If, for example, you’ve decided to move to Ontario to take in the culture Stratford has to offer, can you really afford to do so? Do you have the retirement financing to pay for a big move and the cost of living in a new location in Canada or abroad?

Psychological impact. This is a factor that only you can assess. Are you ready to pack up and move away from friends and family? Do you see yourself really being able to make the adjustment? Living in a new city, province or even country can sound incredibly appealing, but not all retirees thrive in new settings. Really consider the psychological implications of packing up and settling into a new home and new life.

How to explore new locales properly

Whether you have your heart set on living in Vancouver to enjoy milder temperatures or buying a piece of property in Belize where many other Canadians are planting their retirement dreams, there are things you need to examine closely about the desired retirement location. To help you make an informed decision about the location, you’ll want to:

Visit the destination. Even if you have several potential locales in mind, taking the time to travel and see locations firsthand is a vital step. You’ll want to spend quality time and look at such factors as cost of living, community activities, neighbors and so on. You might find a retirement community in Quebec really suits your needs, but one in the U.S. turns you off for whatever reason. You won’t know for certain if you don’t visit.

Look at the financial and auxiliary implications of the move. If you decide to pick up and move to a new country, carefully examine the implications of health care, cost-of-living increases with government pensions, language barriers and other similar factors. It can sound simply spectacular to move to Italy, but this location might not be for you. Look at the facts before you decide. Emotions should not run this particular show.

Examine the support systems in place at a desired location. Many retirement communities within Canada and abroad have incredible support systems in place. These might include social services, activities, interest-based organizations and more. See what opportunities are available that catch your interest.

Consider access for friends and family. Half the fun of retiring for many is to spend time with friends and family. If your plan is to move far away from your present home, you’ll want to explore how the decision impacts on visits from those near and dear to you. If you’re moving to a designated retirement community, for example, look at the rules for younger relatives and visits. You might find you’re unhappy with a community’s one-week rule, or that you adore the flexibility another one offers. Also pay attention to the entry requirements for a foreign country and the expenses involved in travel, too.

Tips and tools for making it happen

If your mind is made up, there are plenty of ways you can make yourself feel at home in another part of Canada or even a different country. Some of the best advice includes:

Consider part-time living arrangements. If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds, consider streamlining expenses in advance. If you have a big home now, you might want to explore selling it to fund living part-time in your current location and part-time elsewhere.

Get involved. If you do plan to move to a new location, take the time to get involved in the community. This will help you quickly form friendships and feel like you belong. Consider volunteer organizations, special interest groups, religious affiliations and so on.

Study the culture and language in advance. If your plan is to move to a different country, you can help yourself greatly by learning more about the language and culture before you move. This can be a fun prospect that will increase your enjoyment and excitement in advance of the move.

Deciding to pack up and move to a new location in retirement can prove to be a huge step. If your heart is set on the idea, do take the time to really explore the options and see what makes the best fit for you personally. Doing so can help you make the best decision of your life or assist you in avoiding the worst.

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