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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where Will Your Clients Live in Retirement?

Most retirees decide their current home meets their retirement needs. They like the neighborhood and want to stay close to friends, children and grandchildren. In their residence, they are comfortable and near medical facilities and it is where they feel safe and secure.

However, some of your clients may be contemplating a warmer climate while others may want to be nearer to family and friends.

With any major change in life, we need to make sure the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Your clients need to give themselves the opportunity to review all factors of the move before making the leap.

To help your clients with their moving decision, have them consider the following questions:

1. Will the new climate enhance their life and living?
2. Is the new climate less demanding with less chance of illness?
3. From a cost point of view, will the new location reduce their utility bill?
4. Are the available properties in the area within their means to buy or rent?
5. Does the geographical area fit their way of life? If your client is used to the changing seasons, will the area provide that pleasure?
6. Will your client fit in with the local social scene?
7. Will it be easy to meet and make new friends?
8. What would it cost to move there?
9. What is the tax structure like? Provincial, state and local taxes?
10. Are your client’s favourite leisure activities easily accessible? How do the costs relate to what they are used to paying/able to afford?
11. Are medical facilities easily accessible? Are they able to treat your client’s specific health problems?
12. Are physicians available and taking new patients?
13. Is adequate public transportation available?
14. Are family and friends close by?
15. Will your client be happy in the new location 5, 10, 15 years from now?
16. Do both partners really want to move?

Raymond and his wife Helen moved to Florida shortly after Raymond retired. The decision to move was influenced by some friends who continually spoke of the sand, sea and casual way of life in the ‘Sunny South’.

Several weeks after selling their house and moving, Raymond and Helen were surprised how they missed ‘dropping by to see the grandkids’ and the amenities of their old neighborhood. A longing for family and their old home took the bloom off the move to Florida.

In retrospect, Raymond and Helen agree they should have investigated their move in more detail and not let their Florida friends influence their decision making.

Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don’t Just Retire – Live It, Love It!

Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. Twitter: @dontjustretire.