If you are nearing retirement age and dream of a quiet life away from the city, here are a few things to check before retiring to the suburbs in 2022.
5 Things To Check Before Retiring to the Suburbs in 2022
1. Your Budget
The first thing you need to check before retiring to the suburbs in 2022 is your financial plan. Have you reached your long-term goals? Have you accounted for inflation and market fluctuations? Are your assets protected? You want to make sure you are ready to stop working before you jump into retirement.
This means you’ll have to be realistic about what you can afford. You should also pay off all your debts before you retire so you don’t deplete your savings. And, you need to make sure that you will have enough income to cover your living and medical expenses. If you aren’t sure if you are ready to fully retire, discuss it with your financial planner.
Cost of Living
Since you will be living on a fixed income, you want to maintain a low cost of living. If the home you are currently in is too much of a financial burden, it may be time to downsize. Moving to a smaller home can drastically reduce your monthly expenses. However, you may also consider relocating. Retiring to the suburbs around San Francisco, New York, or Honolulu is going to require a much larger nest egg than places like Fort Wayne, IN, or Toledo, OH.
Although federal taxes are an unavoidable fact of life, not every state collects taxes from its retired population. In fact, seven states don’t levy any taxes on personal income (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming). For those looking for the cheapest places to live, compare which states and counties have the lowest property taxes. This will give you a good indication of the general cost of living in the area.
2. Health Plan
Maintaining your physical health is a major concern as people get older. The hard truth is that medical expenses will constitute a large part of your retirement budget. Couples retiring can expect to pay approximately $387,000 in health care costs.
Furthermore, those with chronic conditions may need to see specialists or require access to the latest medical technologies. So, you’ll need to be close to a hospital that has cutting-edge facilities if you require frequent trips to the doctor. The trade-off for these conveniences is living in more expensive urban areas. If you have a serious medical condition, this should be a consideration before moving to the suburbs in 2022.
Another health concern many people overlook is personal safety. Living on a fixed income means that cost is a primary concern. But, you shouldn’t sacrifice your safety to save money. Unfortunately, cheaper housing is usually located in more dangerous neighborhoods which could affect your well-being. Therefore, you should eliminate low-cost neighborhoods that have high crime rates. You can learn more about local crime rates from your police department or by searching crime maps of the area.
One significant disadvantage of retiring to the suburbs in 2022 is the distance and drive time it takes to get places. However, if you are perfectly happy to get out of the city, you may not need a car for daily commutes. Many suburban areas are gaining greater access to stores, restaurants, parks, and other amenities. Not only does this offer more convenience, but it also means less driving.
It encourages you to walk more which is a great way to stay active, fit, and get the most out of your neighborhood. However, you should consider proximity to public transportation if want to sell your car and plan to stay there through your retirement years. Even if you keep your car, you may lose the ability to drive someday. But, being close to public transit will allow you to stay mobile. For those moving further away from their family, it’s a good idea to look for places near the local airport.
Proximity to Family
Do you want to spend more time with your family after you retire? Or, do you want to head for the hills in search of a more peaceful life? Familial connections can be crucial as we get older. But, dysfunctional families can also create more stress. Whether you want to be nearby or as far away as possible, proximity to your family is another consideration when you retire.
The kind of lifestyle you lead is also an important consideration. Think about what kind of social life you want to have and how you will spend your free time. Are you ready to move away from the bustling city center for the quiet life of the suburbs? Do you plan to participate and socialize at local senior centers with classes, game nights, or other events? On the other hand, if you want to take in the culture of your city, you should look for neighborhoods closer to museums, galleries, theaters, and other attractions.
While cost and location are both important factors, you shouldn’t forget about the climate. Most retirees want to live somewhere where they will be comfortable year-round. For some seniors, this means they are willing to leave places with extreme temperatures to pass their golden years in more comfort. If you are relocating, you will also want to avoid places that are prone to natural disasters.
Getting Back to Nature
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll want to find somewhere that provides easy access. Many suburbs offer great hiking and biking trails or proximity to beaches, lakes, and mountains. Moving somewhere that allows you to easily enjoy your outdoor hobbies promotes strong physical and mental health as you get older.
Rules and Regulations
Although living in a community provides many benefits and services, homeowner associations and city ordinances can create huge headaches. First, there are the fees to account for. Then, there are the local laws and regulations you must comply with. Some cities and neighborhoods have strict ordinances that require extensive paperwork for any construction projects. Make sure you understand the bylaws of where you want to live. Being at odds with the local governing body could turn your suburban paradise into a nightmare.
5. Personal Happiness
Ultimately, the most important thing to keep in mind before retiring to the suburbs in 2022 is your personal happiness. Think about what is most important to you and where you will be the most content spending your final years.
- 7 Surprising Costs of Living in the Suburbs
- Personal Finance for Families In the Suburbs: How to Make It Work
- 5 Steps for a Flawless Retirement Plan At the Right Time
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.