Are You Relocating Upon Retirement? 5 Things to Consider

Imagine retiring to a dreamy destination, perhaps a cool mountain, twisting trails through a forest, or a tropical beach. While it may sound intriguing, it is essential to think it through carefully. Before making a big move, you should consider financial, practical, and emotional aspects.  

It is possible to enjoy retirement right where you are, chatting with neighbors, cheering for the same local teams, and shopping at the same stores. When Americans reach retirement age, they often want to trade freezing winters for tropical environments, swap prairies for mountains or switch from city to country life. While a significant number of retirees remain in the state they have lived in, many relocated to different states. 

You guessed wrong if you guessed that traditional retirement mecca Florida would be the No. 1 destination for nomads. Despite Florida’s respectable second place, Virginia topped the list, and Idaho, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania rounded out the top five., according to a 2020 survey done by HireAHelper, a moving company. 

Several factors can influence your decision to move to a new location in retirement, including family considerations, weather, and cultural preferences. It is also important to consider finances.

Keep these 5 things in mind:

1. State Tax

Even in retirement, taxes are a fact of life. Regarding this, some states are friendlier than others, so make sure you know the situation before packing up. State income taxes do not exist in Florida, for example, and Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming do not. The rest of the states do.

As a result, if you retire from New York to Florida, you avoid state income taxes, but if you retire from New Hampshire to North Carolina, you gain taxes. In addition, 33 states do not impose estate taxes or inheritance taxes.

2.  Home Owners Insurance

Depending on which state you are leaving and which state you are going to, homeowners insurance could catch you off guard. A typical annual premium varies wildly. According to, Oklahoma had the highest insurance rate with an average cost of $4,445.00, followed by Kansas at $3931.00, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas also rounded out the top five for the most expensive policies in the U.S. Weather events can affect premiums (such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes). It’s worth investigating how much more or less you could pay for homeowners insurance based on where you move.

3.  House Size

Consider how many rooms you need when shopping for your new retirement home. A nearby hotel is always a good option for visiting family. In any case, the hotel bill for their short stay is likely less expensive than the extra cost of a larger house.

Don’t forget that a larger house is more expensive to maintain, more expensive to tax, and more costly to insure.

4.  Location

Consider renting first or visiting the area for an extended period before you buy a house in your new location. Often, what seems like nirvana isn’t what you want.  

Additionally, you should consider what kind of community you value. A neighborhood where everyone sits in rocking chairs on the front porch may not be for you if you desire an active community. Additionally, some states (Florida, for example) have strong homeowners associations and subdivisions with deed restrictions, so if you’re not accustomed to such rules, you might need to adjust. 

5.  Family 

Be aware of the emotional impact of leaving your family and friends behind and the cost of staying in touch. Are you likely to travel back often? What airports are nearby that offer direct flights?

Alternatively, some retirees move out of state to be near their children and grandchildren. Some families will enjoy that, while others will encounter bumps. The family you’ve moved to be nearby may be too busy with careers and school for you to see much of them once you leave your friends behind. 

Staying at home is one of the best ways to create an enjoyable retirement, but venturing out is another. Choosing the right option depends on your financial and emotional situation.