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Moving in retirement should mean more money in your pocket, more time enjoying what you love, and more beautiful sights to see…

However, many folks regret the move just a few months in…

Why? Because their assumptions were all off. They end up financially stressed, homesick or lonely at a time when they should relax.

Luckily with a simple framework, you can avoid the common pitfalls that come with retiring at the wrong place.

Listen now to discover four major considerations that’ll help you ensure that you're making the perfect move for your golden years.

Show Highlights Include:

  • Three important considerations to find your dream destination for your golden years (2:49)
  • Why moving for financial considerations can backfire and cost you more money ( and how to avoid unpleasant surprises) (4:18)
  • Four deal-breaking aspects many people who regret the move ignore when they do a price comparison  (5:12)
  • Why the lowest cost of living states are not attractive for retirees (even though their climate is great) (7:22)
  • The number one mistake most retirees make when they relocate (and how you can avoid it before it costs you a boatload of money and bitter regret) (9:16)

Thinking about what your typical week in retirement will look like? Download our Ideal Week in Retirement planner.

Read Full Transcript

Want to finally stop working and retire in peace. It's about more than quitting work and living off your savings in retirement reimagined. You'll discover how to have a fulfilled retirement that lets you enjoy travel, family time and freedom. And now here are your hosts, Ron Bernstein and Nicole Sullivan.

(00:25): Hi and welcome to retirement reimagined. My name is Nicole Sullivan. I am a financial planner and the co-founder of prism planning partners. And I'm joined today by my wonderful partner and the managing member of our firm, Ron Bernstein. Hey Ron. Hey Nicole, how are you today? I'm doing great. How about you? Fantastic. Really excited about this topic.

(00:49): Yeah, absolutely. It's an interesting one. You know, obviously we're in Chicago. It's may, it's a really nice time to be here. I think it's like 75 or 80 today, but when it is not so nice here we hear an awful lot about the topic that we're gonna be talking about, which is, should I move in retirement? I'm really, really happy that winter's over. Let me tell you this. This one was pretty rough. I thought

(01:16): well, I will say that, you know, we talked in terms of moving during retirement, but a lot of folks are dipping their toe in the water and looking to relocate during the winter months even while they're working. So yeah, I, I guess it's an appropriate way to, to say, you know, this is a nice conversation to launch people into that, that thought of maybe making that transition, but you certainly don't have to wait to retirement anymore. Uh, cuz uh, there's been a lot of successful folks out there who are, are making it work.

(01:44): Oh yeah, totally. And COVID I think has been kind of a blessing in disguise from that perspective. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I think it's funny because you know, in our world we see a lot of different people. We've definitely seen some, you know, people of all ages working ages or retired want to move, but you know yeah. Let's maybe kind of jump into it and, and absolutely talk about why people want to move. And I think that's really kind of the important question that you need to ask yourself before you put up the first sale sign, you know, why are you actually wanting to move?

(02:19): And that's, that goes without question, you know, because there's just a lot that goes into relocating into another community and it does require people to take an inventory a little bit about their lives, you know, where their kids are settling and what they're actually truly looking for and moving to another community and, you know, prioritizing, you know, those things that are, are most essential because it does make for a very tough transition if you haven't really fully thought out, you know, what's going on here and why you're doing this to your point.

(02:49): And let's talk about some of those factors that people should consider. We've got kind of the classic person who maybe moves from a colder climate to a warmer client, which is the, the weather . I think that's our big reason why a lot of people wanna leave, you know, Illinois, Chicago area, you know, New York, all these other places. It just, it gets really darn cold here and dealing with the snow and the ice that can be really painful, you know, when you get into your upper years

(03:17): and what you're describing is really folks who are maybe looking to do a seasonal move first, right, where they're just gonna do it for a few months just to avoid, you know, the cold and the Dr. Of winter only to find their way back here, you know, when the weather thaws mm-hmm . Um, so they're almost living dual lives to that point, you know, where they've got their winter community, but then they're back home in the summer. And that's a good way to address as far as a transition that ultimately could cause someone to think, well, maybe I'm ready to make a move and get out here full time.

(03:49): Oh yeah. And I think, you know, it's so important to be where your friends are, where your social network is and frankly, where your family is. You know, we see a lot of people move and kind of do that snowbird thing only to find themselves coming back to kind of the area where they raise their families because their adult children end up staying, you know, kind of in the big city. So I think just your family and social network are huge as well. You're looking at the financial implications and uh, you know, when you talk a wise for some folks it's really looking for a cheaper lifestyle or less expensive, I should say where, you know, they wanna move into a more text friendly state potentially, or just be able to feel as though they're getting greater value to where they're at.

(04:39): Yeah. And so this brings us to our second point, you know, it's not always cheaper to relocate. And I think something that it's important to emphasize is for the vast majority of people saying, I wanna move to a lower tax or no tax state is just really not always the best reason why we generally like to tell our clients is a move or a relocation in retirement should be for lifestyle considerations. You know, many states, for example, tax retirement income differently than W2 wages. And so it's really important to do different types of cost comparisons when you're thinking about moving while you're in retirement.

(05:22): And that is actually a tremendous point. And as well, you know, looking at just globally what the total cost of living aspects of cuz real estate values more recently have been elevated just for that. I mean the supply and demand dynamics of moving into Sunbelt community is a little cost prohibitive from right. You know, trying to find a place down there that is suitable for you and is still affordable and, and that's become more difficult.

(05:48): Absolutely. And I think, you know, for some people, if you're weighing, you know, okay, I'd love to move to a warmer state because I hate the winter, but my family, my social network, they're all here. I'm gonna be traveling back a lot for, you know, grandkids activities or for parties and other things that my family has going on. You know, you have to build kind of that travel aspect into your budget as well. And sometimes too looking at how retirement income sources, social securities, pension incomes, how all of that is taxed at the state level can be very different when you're no longer receiving W2 wages, maybe an alternative. And this is something that we've seen is to just stay where you are, have at least some sort of a presence where you are, but maybe downsize a little bit, you know, going from the big house with lots of property taxes to a condo or, or something just to reduce your footprint, but still, you know, have a place to go in your home state.

(06:47): Yeah. And, and moving into a community, especially an active wand, you know, there's going to be the desire to potentially join clubs down there. So you're gonna have that to deal with. And then more often than not, you're out socializing more so it's, uh, entertainment costs go up exponentially and things, those things.

(07:05): Yeah. What you're trying to say, Ron, you know, you really need to look at what the cost of living is as opposed to solely taxes, cost of living in some warmer climates is more expensive. You know, things like the cost of a home groceries club, dues, entertainment, socializing, and it's kind of funny in advance of this podcast. I was just doing a little bit of research. the lowest cost of living state in this country is Mississippi followed by Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. They're all warm. And yet I don't know about you, but I have not heard of people flocking to these areas.

(07:40): no, I was gonna say that nothing against Mississippi, I actually nothing against any on a couple occasion, but uh, you're right. I think they haven't really gone out of their way just yet to, uh, uh, try to attract retirees, but they very well might cause it's might beautiful places, but exactly. And, and, you know, spending time in Florida, which I have, it's just remarkable, the congestion, the density of, of just everybody flocking down there and it's made it more difficult, you know, for folks, like I said to, to find value down there, but that's not to say, it's not there. You just gotta do your

(08:13): Homework, you gotta do your homework. And I think I was looking on Zillow here. Some of the, you know, costs of living in places like Florida and Texas have gone up 40 to 70% between 2020 and 2022. And again, I get it. People wanna move for the benefits of these states, but bubbles do hit these places hard. And so I think it's just, it's worth remembering that if you wanna move to one of these places, it really needs to be a well thought through kind lifestyle driven decision.

(08:45): And that's why you may wanna just think about renting now and purchasing later, uh, you know, we have that benefit of being able to, you know, go out and seek rentals. And that's a great way as well, to just test the waters mm-hmm um, at various locations, if you were truly confused and not really certain more often than not, you're normally gonna follow people that, you know, that have already trailblazed and have been down there and they serve as great ambassadors clearly to try to help convince you, you know, that this is the place you should be, but really, you know, don't make the mistake of, uh, rushing into something and purchasing it only to find out that, uh, it just didn't meet your standards. And so definitely, you know, we, we're all very fortunate that we can go out and seek rentals and that could be a good first start.

(09:30): Definitely. And I was thinking about just a couple people. I know, be it clients, family, friends, things like that who have successfully done the rental thing for a little bit. Some of them are like, I love this warm state let's, you know, go all in. I wanna move there. And other people have said, eh, I'm not into it as much. You know, I'm maybe away from my family, I'm away from healthcare, which is a huge thing. Sometimes the, you know, medical availability in certain areas can be really overloaded or just maybe really different than what you're used to.

(10:02): So, and sometimes you find out the hard way, you know? Yeah. And, and hope that that's never the case, but yeah, just a lot of considerations there. I, I will say this as well, if I can just, uh, reiterate too is it'd be nice to have a place too. That's desirable enough that your kids are gonna wanna come and visit you . Yeah, because that's a, a wonderful part of having a, a place outside is, is for holidays or other family get togethers. It's always a wonderful thing. Oh, it is. The family is anxious to come and visit

(10:33): You, you know? And I'll say this too, though. as the 32 year old mom to be, life gets very, very busy and obviously love to love the idea of going and visiting, but it could sometimes be hard with young families and it can careers and things like that. So, so you wanna move primarily for you.

(10:53): Yeah, of course. And you wanna balance that for sure. You know, you, you're not running a, a, B and B there it's, uh, it's really largely for you to, um, get away and to grow still. And that's actually another topic I know you and I wanted discuss. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So let's dive in though, you know, what are some things we should think about or we should advise our listeners to think about before they move?

(11:15): You know, I, I don't think you should be treating retirement as you checking out, you know, where you're relocating to really just hang out on a beach and stare at the waves coming in and, uh, and, and just try to work on your golf game nonstop because, you know, that's just not gonna work for the long term. So I really think, you know, you need to explore when you're relocating, how you can continue to grow on a personal level. Yeah. But you're using this new community as a way in which you can go out and kind of kickstart that.

(11:47): Totally. Absolutely. So just like a couple questions maybe to ask yourself, you know, number one, do I like where I live? And for some people, it may just be like, I don't like my house, my house is too big. It needs to be remodeled and maybe a downsize would be okay. And that would scratch my itch, but do I really seriously dislike this community, the weather, something else? I think just really asking, like, what do you like about your current situation? Because the grass is not always greener.

(12:16): And then you mentioned healthcare, uh, that is really critical. Got you. In making sure that you're finding the right folks that on a as needed basis. I know you're not gonna be there maybe all year long, but still emergencies happen and you need to feel comfortable about that 100%. Absolutely. Yeah. With, you know, the hobbies that you enjoy and the things that, to your point, Ron will help you grow throughout retirement. How can you access them if you love swimming and, you know, biking year round or something like that. Yeah. Maybe that would be a wonderful thing to do in a warmer area. But if you enjoy just hanging out at home and watching TV, maybe you don't need to go through all this trouble and expect, no, you could, you could do that. Yeah.

(12:57): Anywhere, right. Your existing lifestyle. Cuz these, these communities, especially in some of the more retirement, you know, accessible areas are all about that. It's getting out and socializing, joining clubs and being part of a really, really exciting life that, uh, that is there to be tapped into. So, you know, make sure you're, you're up to that as well.

(13:19): Yeah. Making friends and socializing are huge and you know, just kind of as well, what infrastructure and services and resources might you need to rely on in retirement and how accessible are those. Right. So for example, if you move to a more remote area that maybe doesn't have an international airport, and you're a big traveler that may be a disadvantage for you, making sure that other services, you know, doctors and healthcare being the big ones are reliable and you're not gonna be waiting for months or years to get into someone is, um, is really, really important. And then for some folks, you know, they like to work in retirement, mm-hmm , you know, and they may find some other career path that they would like to do, but yet have the best of all worlds. So, you know, that's another factor that will impact relocation. So

(14:08): Totally. So, you know, to help all of you out there, think about your ideal retirement. I did wanna let you know about a giveaway that we have. It's a planner called week in retirement and I'll make sure to link to it in the show notes. But what this planner does is that it offers a sample week, a morning, afternoon and evening for all seven days of the week. And it challenges you to fill in what you'd like to do, you know, when your time is, is perfectly your own. And so, you know, again would just challenge you to try to figure that out and, you know, think about too. Some of these things that will help you grow in retirement, the ideal hobbies that you could do, you know, maybe if you lived in a different locale and how can you fill up, uh, kind of those 21 boxes, cuz it can be daunting when you actually see that blank calendar right in front of you. We also have a lot of great ideas and content on our website, which is prism planning, partners.com, feel free to check all of that out. And we also have one of our very popular blog posts called retired and board that really dives into how to spend maybe some free time in retirement. Once you

(15:14): Have it, it's a great time of life to dream big. And this is just one real healthy aspect of it. But I think in summary, you know, take your time, you know, make sure that you've really investigated everything that you're looking to get out of this and just enjoy the process because it's a blast exploring.

(15:32): Absolutely. You know, retirement is a time of growth. It's not a time to just kinda sit there and do nothing. So we encourage you all to keep growing and keep exploring. And so I just wanted to also say that next time we are going to talk about another topic near and dear to our hearts, which is redefining what work means in retirement. So please, uh, stay tuned for our next episode. If you liked today's episode, we would love it. If you could subscribe, we try to release new episodes about once a week. And if you have any questions, you can always reach, always reach out to Ron or myself. My email is Nicole prism, planning, partners.com and Ron's is just Ron at prism planning partners do com very easy. Yes. Yep. Very easy. We would love to hear from you with your questions, comments, thoughts, anything, anything we can do to make the podcast better or just feedback that you have. We would love to hear it all. thank you all so much for taking the time to listen today. Take care. Take care, Nicole. Thank you everyone. Thanks Ron.

(16:51): This program is brought to you by the podcast factory.com.

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