Aging Options

Thinking of Moving to Retire? Here are Six Reasons Not To

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Many seniors envision their retirement years looking like a dream vacation, with nothing but golf carts and beach umbrellas. But the reality for most seniors is different. The great majority tend to stay put when they retire – and a recent article on the USNews “Money” website gives at least six good reasons why.

(You can access the article by clicking here.)

A recent study by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research shows that only about 7 percent of older Americans move each year. What’s more, a related study by AARP reveals the surprising fact that most retirees hope to stay put in their familiar home as long as they can as they age – denying the stereotype that all retirees plan to head for the beach or the golf course! The USNews article lists some good reasons why staying where you are is often the best idea, and these considerations might help you as you look ahead to your future housing options in retirement.

The first two reasons are emotional: your present home not only represents the ties to family and familiarity, but also to friends. As the article points out, the familiar faces at the local grocery store and coffee shop may not seem so important to you now, but those comforting features of your current neighborhood may be hard to replace if you move. Not only that, but making new friends, finding a new church, and establishing new patterns of life can be a big, big challenge for seniors who leave what they know and move to new environs.

The third reason why staying put may be good advice is that most seniors tend to retire in the last place they land. Maybe you moved a lot earlier in your life, but odds are you’ve put down pretty deep roots if you’ve lived in the same area for a decade or more. Don’t overestimate how easy it might be to pull up stakes and find a new place you like as much as your present home. And don’t “over-glamorize” some other place that seems enticing – the reality of living there may not be as pleasant as you imagine.

Two other factors highlighted in the article are financial. For one thing, a move is expensive, and even if may look good on paper, retirees who move don’t always save as much as they had hoped. Also, retrofitting your home so you can age in place may not be as expensive as you think. We can suggest ways to find out how to make your home more livable both now and in the future. (Click here to access a recent article from our blog on tips to make your home a better place to live as you age.)

Finally, the article says, you may not have to move in order to enjoy the benefits of living in a retirement community. Check out “virtual villages,” non-profit online groups that post a wide array of services and offers that make life easier for seniors living in their own homes. These online resources might present you with options you never considered!
Of course, presenting you with options is something we do here at Aging Options, and one of the best ways to explore possibilities in the areas of Housing, Finance, Law, Family affairs and Health is to attend one of our free Life Planning seminars. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website to find out dates, times and locations. We welcome the opportunity to help you decide which options are best for you in all these vital areas as you plan for a fruitful and fulfilling retirement.

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