“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss
What to Consider Before Retiring Elsewhere
Chances are that at some point in your life you have considered what it would be like if you lived in another state or even another country. Over time, your dreams of moving to your dream life have dissipated thanks to your real life. Careers, family and comfort have kept you in your current situation for what feels like a lifetime. But now you have the opportunity to spread your wings and move some places that you will truly be happy. Retirement is similar to taking those first steps to the rest of your life after high school graduation. There are many things to consider before choosing to retire in another state or country.
Assessing and Possibly Upgrading Your Current Housing to Sell
The first thing to consider is what you will do with your home if you choose to move out of the area when you retire. If you live in an apartment, this is an easier decision. You can choose to sell off items you do not need and purchase new belongings when you arrive at your destination or you can pack everything and simply hit the road. If you own a home however, it is a whole different ball of wax. As a home owner you will need to make the decision if it’s the right idea to sell your home or turn it into an income property or keep it “just-in-case.”
If you choose to sell your home it is possible you will first have to invest a significant amount of money in it to aid with upgrades and other expenses relating to selling the home. The better condition it is in the more likely you will find a buyer quickly and at the price you are hoping for. However, with the down economy choosing to sell your home is not necessarily the best plan of action. It is best to discuss your options with a realtor and see if your home is likely to sell successfully with current market conditions and its location.
Your Property as a Rental
A second option is to turn your home into a rental income property. Many homes can be turned into two apartments which will allow you to rent to two different tenants and profit from the property each month. This is an excellent idea if you already own your home as well. The downfall is that you will need to hire a property manager and pay them to manage tenants and keep the building up to codes. You or they will also be faced with the task of filling the apartments with suitable tenants. Every landlord likes to believe that they will always have the best tenants possible. However this is not always the case. It is quite possible that you will find tenants that seem good on the outside but are less than ideal in reality. You may also run into a situation where a tenant is laid off or fired and unable to afford the rent which could result in your need to evict them. Eviction can be a costly and time consuming process which may require you to hire a lawyer. Overall, there are many things you need to consider if you would like to turn your property into a rental and consulting with a realtor and attorney is the best way to gain more information and make an informed decision.
Keep Your Home
Finally you can choose to keep your home for future use if your new retirement location does not appeal to you as you had hoped. Of course in doing so, you will be obligated to pay the taxes and monthly utility bills on the old and new property. This can become costly for the owner if you do not plan accordingly. Even though you do not live in a home, you will need to keep the furnace filled to heat the house at lower temperatures during the winter to prevent the pipes from freezing. You will also need to have someone regularly check the property to ensure there are no break-ins or vandalism and that everything is intact and operating correctly internally. You also must consider what the plans for the property will be once you pass on. In most cases it is not possible to pass the property onto your family because they have already grown and purchased their own homes with their own families and started their own lives and are not interested in gaining another home. Additionally, the home may become a burden if the person who inherits it is unable to sell it and unable to pay for the utilities and taxes that are related to the property.
Choosing a Place to Retire
Before you pick what you hope to be your retirement location you want to consider what the area has to offer for you. What is the cost of living? What is the weather like? Many retirees move so they can enjoy better climates than they are used to and prefer something that is lower in price to help them stick within their fixed retirement budget. Is that area safe from natural disasters? How well is the water, power, and road taken care of? Are there nearby healthcare facilities? How will you apply for a residency permit for an overseas location? What will be the cost to travel home to see your family for the holidays? Is there a predominantly retired community around you? What is the cost of goods in your area? What is the state income tax? Are there things for me to do in the new location? What is the population size? Do I want to live in a bigger city or rural community? These are all things to consider when choosing the best location to retire to. Once you have analyzed each question and determined what things are important to you, it will be time to review and select the perfect retirement location for yourself and your partner.