Moving in or Before Retirement

We get to work with retirees all over the country, and sometimes we see newly retired people move to brand new states after they’re done working. A few years later, they realize something’s not right; it’s not ideal or it’s not what they thought, and they end up moving again to a different state that’s a better fit.

Sometimes we have these brainstorming meetings with soon-to-be retirees about where they’re going to live or what they’re going to do after retirement. When you think about the factors at play when making a good decision on where to live, a common one that comes to mind is taxes and cost of living. However, there’s really five other factors to think about to make sure that you’re making the right decision.

I’ll share all of them with you so that you have a better chance of making the right decision the first time.

Renting Before You Buy In Retirement

As we get into these important factors when evaluating the best places to live, I want to share something you may have heard before. When we see clients or friends who rented first in this potential new location, they’ve rarely regretted it. It’s just something that I’ve noticed. There’s less of a commitment versus buying and then having to sell and buy and get the real estate agent and all the things that come into play. Just something to think through as you’re looking at your future.

So let’s run through that list.

Best States to Retire Based on These 7 Factors

There was a study that polled 1,500 people over the age of 55. These are the top seven things, including the two we already mentioned on what’s most important as they’re thinking about moving and where they’re moving to.

The number one most important thing is one that you’d guess, and it’s really overall quality of life, which makes sense. A couple of the top factors included in quality of life were outdoor activities and cultural activities. Are there things to do in a town or city nearby? Another one was a spiritual community or something related to their faith.

Cost of Living In Retirement

After quality of life is another one you’d expect, which is cost of living and affordability, and I would put taxes in here as well. All of it has to do with how much of the retirement savings are we going to be spending in this new place? You may find that your dollars can stretch a little bit further out when you look at the costs of living states like Florida, Texas, or Tennessee as opposed to a high-cost state like New York or California.

Safety and Healthcare

The next on the list is safety – just making sure it’s a safe area. Then the one after that is healthcare access / healthcare quality. As we get into sixties, seventies, and eighties, we kind of know that doctor check-ins and appointments become more frequent.


The next one is weather. A lot of people move to warmer climates where they can’t put up with the winter anymore. I was actually surprised this next one was this far down the list – family proximity. The reason I’m a bit surprised by this is because there’s quite a few families that end up waiting to see where and when their grandkids are going to be born.

Travel Expenses in Retirement

However, we also just see more frequent travel for those living in a different area than their family, or maybe those with multiple kids spread out in different places. Travel expenses increase when they get into retirement. Maybe it’s not for traveling to different countries and things like that, it’s just seeing those kiddos and/or grandkids more frequently.

As you’re thinking about where to go in this next stage of life, don’t just focus on the cost or the taxes. Evaluate these other things we looked at. Consider that idea of renting to scope out the area and just make sure it’s 100% the right place for you.

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Disclosures: Securities offered through LaSalle St. Securities LLC (LSS), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through LaSalle St. Investment Advisors LLC (LSIA), a Registered Investment Advisor. Streamline Financial Services is not affiliated with LSS or LSIA. LSS is affiliated with LSIA.