Remember your first place? The little starter home you bought with your spouse or that first apartment when you were finally out on your own? In those days, moving was an exciting moment in your adult trajectory, filled with the promises of new life, if not a better neighborhood. Plus, if you were lucky, you had plenty of friends willing to lend you a truck and some hands to haul boxes.
Moving can still be exciting and full of promise in your retirement years, but it tends to be more stressful and emotionally challenging than in your younger days. Relocating in later years is often equated with loss: Loss of space (downsizing), loss of control (someone else taking over family gatherings), loss of privacy (giving up personal space) and loss of social life (saying goodbye to beloved neighbors.)
No matter where you’re moving to or how great it will be when you get there, you should expect a mourning period on top of the sheer physical exhaustion involved in the move. That’s why it’s so important to plan for relocation in retirement and think about how many moves you likely have left in you.
Most people would shudder at the prospect of three more big moves, but if your plans involve downsizing to a smaller house, then to a gated retirement village, then to some kind of assisted living situation…there are three moves right there and these are the questions that apply to each one of them:
Where will you go and when?
Is the new place accessible should you become less mobile?
How much time will you have to prepare?
Who will help pack and carry?
What are all the costs involved – property? movers? transportation?
How will your extra belongings be dispersed – estate sale? storage unit? distribution to family?
Don’t forget to take into account other possible scenarios like moving in with family or closer to the grandchildren. Those plans require honest and open conversations with loved ones before you make your move, especially if you’re going to rely on them for help, or vice versa for childcare.
With a plan that covers all the bases, you can move into your retirement with ease. Get started today. Take the Fit-to-Retire readiness assessment and find out how prepared and enthusiastic you are in the five areas of retirement success: Self Identity, Health & Nutrition, Social, Personal Relationships and Financial.
Now, get moving!