Back to the Basics – Moving after Retirement

Retirees are acutely aware of the future, and they have usually spent between thirty and forty years saving up for it. While many dream of beach living and travel, current numbers show that most retirees opt instead to continue living in their home. Historically, the biggest move that a retired person makes is from their home to a nursing facility when they are unable to care for themselves anymore, but new trends are coming up in moving after retirement that people should be made aware of.

Trends in Retirement Moving

More seniors today are moving after retirement than in the past. In fact, the likelihood of moving has tripled between the age groups of 1968-1984 and 1996-2011. Interestingly, another trend being noticed by experts is that the average age at the time of the move is considerably lower than it was before. More young, wealthy retirees are choosing to sell their home and move into a retirement community. This is drastically different than past generations, where wealth meant that a person could remain living in their own home significantly longer.

Other research has shown that seniors who move are often happier after the move than retirees that do not. Those who moved because they chose to, and not because they had to, were also happier with their choice. However, overall the seniors that made the decision to try somewhere new were almost always happier than retirees who chose to stay in their homes until forced otherwise.

New Focus on Retirement Living

One of the main causes of this shift in moving after retirement comes from a new set of priorities in this latest retirement generation. In the past, retirees found that they were less satisfied with retirement until they were forced to move to a retirement facility because of physical and mental limitations. Now, these communities are luring retirees there at a younger age with the promise of an improvement in lifestyle earlier on.

Now, some retirement and assisted living communities are actively trying to sell a certain lifestyle to retirees interested in moving. “Developers are offering more square footage, innovation in floor plan layouts that are more attractive, brownstone apartments with a more urban look, access to technology, and they’re bundling more health and wellness activities like swimming pools and fitness centers.” In addition, some communities are offering more environmentally friendly homes or an array of living styles in the same community so that they can transition over time without leaving the area.

Where Seniors are Moving and Why

A study by the Pulte Group found that sixty percent of seniors do not wish to leave the state if they move after retirement. However, certain factors are able to influence retirees to move across state lines if the community and environment fit their needs. States in the southwest and southeast offer a better climate for most seniors. In addition, states like Florida, Nevada, and Texas are offering no income taxes to those that move. Other states have low property taxes, or do not require that retirees pay taxes on their Social Security.

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