When you think of retirement, do you dream of living where you are right now? Perhaps you dream of moving to a coastal area or moving to be near mountains and lakes? It can be an easy decision for some, but there’s a lot to consider before moving. Here we look at 7 top things to think about before moving in retirement. (There’s lots more on our list, but here’s 7).
‘We have excellent medical facilities here’, said a Dr in an area south of Adelaide. No bias there! It did seem the community was well served when we went and researched for an edition of Where To Retire In Australia. We’ve been back several times and there haven’t been many, if any, grumbles!
It’s well worth having a chat with locals in an area about the medical facilities – how many GP’s and specialists live and practice in the area. What’s the local hospital like? (assuming there is one).
Visit Your New Location In All Hours
I was contacted by a lady who wanted to let me know of her and husband’s experience. They had bought a block of land to build their dream home in northern New South Wales. The land was on rise with a magnificent view of the ocean. It was away from the hustle and bustle of the popular seaside town, but it still felt as if ‘we were part of the town’.
The home was built, they moved in. Soon, they realised how much noise there was from traffic below during the night. ‘I wish we had visited in all hours’, she said.
‘We had no idea of how busy the road was down below, and trucks often used it as a back road, with their lights on full beam’.
Eventually they sold their home and moved to another coastal area. Yes – they did visit their new location in all hours before moving.
For Holidays Only?, Moving In Retirement
Tom* and Julie* loved spending holidays during winters in a warmer climate. They lived in a southern state of Australia and loved travelling north ‘to thaw out’, as Julie described their winter holidays. With retirement on their horizon they started to think about where they would live. Their favourite, warmer, spot beckoned. However, they took a summer holiday there and couldn’t believe the difference. ‘Way too hot, too crowded, too noisy’ was their verdict.
Tom and Julie’s retirement plans haven’t been realised yet, but their winter holidays ‘will continue’.
Cost of Living
Estimating the cost of living in a new location may not be precise. However, taking a shopping list and comparing it to where you usually shop may be a start.
Some things may be less expensive – some may be more expensive.
Also if your new location is in a tourist area do the prices increase during peak times?
Pets, Moving In Retirement
It’s not only humans that need to adapt to a new area. Fido or Fluffy will also need to adjust to a new environment. One vet told me that pet owners often don’t realise the adjustments pets make – particularly if they are older animals.
Different areas of Australia have different conditions for animals. A visit to the local vet may be a good idea to find out about any problems.
Some people seem to have a lot of old friends visiting, others don’t have as many visitors.
‘They came a couple of times, then that was it’, one man told me. He was referring to various friends from their old location. ‘I think that it was just too far to travel and they wanted to go and visit different areas’.
‘I think it also depends where you move to’, he added.
Will you fit into your new location? I’ve previously written about a couple who moved in retirement. He adjusted well to the new location. She couldn’t: ‘I just don’t fit in here’.
It can take time to make friends in a new location. Other people have said how welcome and friendly their retirement area has been. One couple told me that moving to Bribie Island in Queensland was very welcoming – they thought because ‘people have moved here from all over, so we know how it feels to be a new resident’.
*Names have been changed
Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To
Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi.
She is a regular contributor to radio.