Tips and Traps When Choosing a Retirement Location

Retirement gives you the chance to slow down, take a breather, and live a more relaxed lifestyle. It allows us to have and do all the things we love, with less responsibility.

Right now, you might have a rough idea of where you want to live your better days, but nothing is set in stone. Or maybe you have a thorough list.

Either way, we’re here to help you choose your ideal location.


TIP: Plan, Plan, Plan

Begin planning your retirement as early as you can. Your plans will evolve over time, but nevertheless, keep planning. You can never be too prepared.

Finding what is not right for you is as important as finding what is right for you. Use our checklist as a guide and tweak it to your liking.

TRAP: It’s not an Extended Holiday

When you think about retirement, do you imagine it to be one long holiday? You got one thing right, it is long.

The reason we enjoy our short vacations are simply because they are an escape from our busy life. But wouldn’t it get boring if you lived that way Every. Single. Day?

We all need a purpose in life. Even though you’re not working full time, you need to find something to keep you busy. Your retirement should be your own kind of paradise, where you enjoy your own balance of doing everything you love.


TIP: Have a Trial Run

In a blog post from ‘Retiring Not Shy’, Jan Wild wrote about a story she once heard about a client of a retirement coach. The client claimed all he wanted to do during retirement was to “play golf”. The coach advised him to take leave and play golf every day for a month and by the end of it, the client ultimately realised that he needed more than golf to enjoy his retirement.

Scout and test drive the few locations you have narrowed down to. Stay a few weeks to have a sense of what the day-to-day life would be like. Weigh the pros and cons of each area and have a checklist of your requirements.

Get out of the tourist mentality and go visit the locals. It is important to get a sense of how the community is and what your lifestyle would be like.

Is it as amazing as you always hoped it would be? Or did it get monotonous?

TRAP: Too Remote

Don’t choose an exceptionally remote location where your family will hesitate to come visit. We are social beings, and we need social interaction to increase our livelihood. You don’t want to find yourself alone and isolated in a secluded area.

TIP: Accessibility

At this point, you may be able to drive around easily. However, in case of any issues, you need to be able to easily walk to the supermarket, café, clinic, park, public transport, etc.

You don’t ever want to feel trapped because you can’t go anywhere without a car.

TRAP: Too Far Out of Your Comfort Zone

You don’t necessarily need to move to the other end of the state when you retire. If you are comfortable with where you currently live and you’re not looking for a massive change, downsize or move into a retirement village or resort nearby.

TIP: Be Frank

If you have left all the planning to your spouse or your children, that may not be the best thing for you. Even though he/she may know you extremely well, there is always the chance that the location would not tick off enough of your boxes.

You must be vocal about what you want and be actively involved in the decision-making process. Communicate and take the time to do your research until you find a place that suits yours and your spouse’s needs equally.

TRAP: Peer Pressure

Your friends and relatives can sing praises about the place they have chosen/are choosing to retire. Don’t let them influence your decision because what works for them might not work for you.

Everyone has different needs, and you must find which place works best for you as an individual or as a couple.

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TIP: Sense of Belonging

You will always need good friends to get the most out of your retirement. Sometimes people are already set in their ways and have their ‘cliques’. See if they are welcoming or wary of you. You need people who will have your back and be there to help when you may need it.

TRAP: Thinking Short Term

Of course, we can’t predict the future. But we can anticipate what it might look like. The fact of ageing is that we will need assistance at some point. Choose a location where there is accessibility to skilled-nursing care, transportation aid, home-delivery meals, and help with house chores.


TIP: Serve Your Community

We all want to make meaningful contributions to society. It doesn’t have to stop as you grow older.

When searching for a location, look out for job and volunteer opportunities that catch your interest. You want to be a part of something that fills your soul with joy.

Listen to Your Gut

Are you excited to live there?

Be thorough with your research and planning, and your mind and body will align and tell you what feels right for you.

Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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