7 Great Things To Ask: How To Find The Best Retirement Place For Both?

Photo: Owen Pawsey

Moving in retirement would seem to be an easy decision. However, having met many people in our research for Where To Retire In Australia editions it’s not that simple to please both partners. Below there are 7 questions partners should ask about their retirement location, but first let’s look at one person I met and her experience.

I had been doing ‘Where To Retire In Australia’ research in a coastal town in Victoria and had met *Kate on a walk around the scenic town.

‘You know it’s very different here’, *Kate told me one day.  She was standing outside her newish brick home with its big windows and timber deck that had a large, outdoor grey dining table, chairs and numerous colourful cushions on which to plonk yourself.

‘It’s alright for him’, she said pointing at *Harold busy digging up some tough weeds in their front garden.  ‘He’s made lots of friends, has a drink with his mates after golf at the club and chats with everyone’. Moving in retirement had been a bonus for *Harold.

‘Me?’, she continued, ‘I like having a choice of shops, going out to different places for coffee and lunch – and with a variety of people.  I just don’t fit in here’.

I asked if she had joined any clubs or volunteered at the many organisations in the area, thinking that may be a way of her meeting new people.

 ‘No, I just can’t find anything  or anyone that interests me’, she sighed. ‘Moving in retirement is a big challenge for me’.

Her retirement location is one of the most sought after coastal areas in the state and not far from Melbourne.  I wondered why she couldn’t find a spot for herself in the picturesque area. The bright city lights had continued to beckon and it was not long before she was spending a lot of time back in the city staying with family and friends.

Surely it is better for couples have a conversation about where they will live in later years at least a few years prior to retirement? That is assuming they have a choice in the matter.

Coastal scene, ocean to the right, mist coming off the waves, coastal shrubs in foreground, 7 Questions To Ask: Your Partner, You And Retirement Relocation
Photo: Cassie Lafferty

7 Questions To Ask……. Well Before a Retirement Move

1/. Do you want to stay where you are in retirement (ie: same home or same area)?
Perhaps you’re not wanting to stay in the same home, but the area you live in (or nearby) has a lot of appeal.

2/. If you are thinking of moving, what are the important questions to ask?

3/. How much is it likely to cost to move?

4/. Have you each made a list about what is important in a new location (for example, tree (rural) change sea  (coast) change, close to city, transport options, medical facilities, leisure facilities, want to build a new home, downsize, upsize, same age group, want different age groups).

5/. Have you ranked them from most important to least important. Show each other the list. Is it reasonably the same? Are there common things you both want in a retirement location?

6/. Can you rent, house sit for a time before making a decision? It’s probably best to do this in all seasons, not just the ‘good weather’ / ‘less tourists around’.

7/. What’s the daily routine in retirement likely to be?
Will your idea of your daily routine be able to be achieved in a new area?

Dusk with brown grass in foreground, towering gum trees at back of scene, fence at front of photo, 7 Questions To Ask: Your Partner, You And Retirement Relocation
Photo: Bevan Kay

Be really focused on what you want in a new area.
Remember, locations change. Is there really a ‘perfect place’ to retire? Above are 7 questions to ask before moving in retirement
. Will you and your partner enjoy the move? What questions would you ask?

*Kate and *Harold are changed names.

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.

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