This is one of our biggest issues, choosing a retirement location. Were do we retire to? Should we stay were we are or move somewhere where it is warm. What about earthquakes , tornadoes, fire and hurricanes? There always seems to be a negative with places that are warm. There is the entire family issue. We do not want to be far away from the grand kids, while at the same time we need to live our lives too and enjoy the few years we have left. This is the dilemma we are facing along with many Americans and Canadians in choosing a retirement location.
Depending on what your priorities are, some locations will be better than others. Here is a list that we are currently struggling with. They are not in any order of priority since each person or family will rank these items with their own set of priorities. They will be different for everyone. You may want to assign you own priority to each item on the list.
Choosing a Retirement Location – Criteria
Here is our list that we are using to make a decision about choosing a retirement location:
- Climate, warm weather.
- Health care
- Emergency health care
- Personal safety
- Proximity to the grand kids
- Proximity to friends
- Interesting things to do
- 2nd Careers for some people
- Volunteer organizations that you belong to
- Financially affordable
- Living costs
- Sentimental ties to home and area you live in
- Tax issues
- Travel costs to return home to visit the family
- Length if time you can stay in a foreign country
These are just a few of the things we are thinking about. In fact it is too many and the net result is that we will be paralyzed by too much indecision. We do like our home and neighborhood, however the winters are not fun and we enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures of the south. We do not want to be around hurricanes, tornadoes and earth quakes or fires. Millions of people deal with this every day, however when you come from an area were the main issue is cold winters, this seems minor compared to a hurricane.
Move to Another Country
One option is to go to another country. Health costs are a big issue as are landed immigrant status and tax issues. If you plan to move to another country, you must take into account these issues and have a well defined plan, particularly for health coverage. Changing countries these days is very complex and this alone will scare many people away from say moving from Canada to the US or Mexico.
Safety is another major issue for many people. The area you may be moving into must be safe for you and your family. While no place these days is truly safe, some are much better than others. Many people are opting for gated communities, however in my opinion this is an illusion. It keeps the rift raft out and tourists, but if a criminal really wants to get in, he or she will with no problems what so ever. It does stop the opportunists.
Quality of Life
It really comes down to quality of life, which for us means that family and friends are really important. This seems to be the highest priority for us, which means we will stay right were we are and enjoy our family and friends. Of course we will take longer trips and travel quite a bit, but our home base will be right were we are today other than perhaps down sizing to a smaller home.
For the time being we are going to stay right where we are and not move. We will rent condo’s in various locations to see if any of these locations would be interesting to us as a retirement place to live. We can get to know the city, the people and whether we can be away from the kids that long. This is a compromise or perhaps a cop out as some people might put it, but this is what is working for us at the moment.
We would appreciate your ideas and thoughts about this subject of choosing a retirement location.