New Research Reveals 1 out of 3 Retirees Would Live Elsewhere
A surprisingly high percentage of retirees say they’d pick a different spot in which to spend their later years. In a survey of people in their 70’s, researchers at Age Friendly Ventures (the parent organization of Age Friendly Advisor, Mature Caregivers and RetirementJobs.com), found 31% say “no” when asked “if you had to do it all over again, based on what you know now, would you choose where you are currently residing again?”.
Friends did not make the top of the list of factors that influenced a decision of where to retire; the top 3 were family (65 percent), general livability (36 percent) and desired weather conditions (32 percent).
These sentiments are summed up by Louisville, KY resident David Heath, who was tempted to relocate internationally but chose family over fair weather and finances. “I would prefer to be in Costa Rica. The weather is warm year-round and you can be at a beach within an hour’s drive from anywhere in the country. The cost of living is low and a person can live well on $2,000 a month. In my current location, Louisville, KY, I need my retirement and a job to meet my monetary needs. The reason I stayed in the Louisville area is because my children and grandchildren are here. My family is the most important reason for retiring here.”
The financial picture plays a big role for the many who reconsidered their retirement destination, suggesting that consulting with a financial advisor should be a higher priority for older people when they're on the front end of the retirement destination decision process. A California survey respondent says he and his spouse moved to San Diego for their retirement given the beaches, mountains, weather, people, and general lifestyle. But now, he says “we are being so heavily taxed we can no longer reside here. We will be moving to a state that is senior tax friendly…Property taxes in Nevada and Arizona are less than 50% of California's for a larger home. Should have left 15 years ago.” Experts from financial services giant MassMutual agree and suggest that pre-retirees talk through the financial what-ifs with a financial advisor before they make their move to help either avoid or prepare for cost of living and other surprises down the line.
Two out of 3 retirees did not do in-depth research to determine where to live in retirement. Three out of 4 indicated that they would find a tool like Age Friendly Advisor helpful in order to know in advance more about what a place is really like, from the perspective of people who are already there. They say they welcome an online community that helps Americans over 50 tap others in “the crowd” for advice about good places to live, work and get care. Age Friendly Advisor executive Daniel McCullough says "we're hoping to put more of a human face on the research about where to live in your later years. What's it really like to live there? We're also giving people a place to inform community leaders about what they like and don't like about a particular place. If we do our job right, this will lead to improvements and enhanced quality of life".
Age Friendly Ventures surveyed more than 700 people age 70+ for this article.