Although not everyone will need professional long-term care in their lifetimes, a significant portion will,…
Although surveys find that a majority of people consider moving after retirement, only about 7 percent of older Americans actually move each year, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Here are six reasons why most homeowners choose to stay put.
1. It’s hard to uproot. If you’ve lived in the same town and state for years, or even most of your life, everything’s familiar. You know where the best restaurants are, you have your favorite stores, and you know the best routes to get around. Every park and street corner may bring memories for you, of your life with your spouse and children. Without a compelling reason it’s emotionally difficult to leave all that behind and relocate to unfamiliar surroundings, particularly as you get older.
2. Along with the scenery, the people are familiar. Your doctor knows you, and so do the people at the hardware store. Maybe you’ve joined a book or garden club, or have a regular group to go golfing, bowling, or watch sports with. Social contacts become even more important after you’re no longer going to work every day. Having a circle of friends is not only good for emotional and physical health, it has practical benefits as well – you know who to turn to when you need someone to give you a ride to the car repair shop, or pick up your mail while you’re traveling. After moving to a new area, it may take some time to create a new social circle.
3. It’s easier for you to plan for future needs if you’re familiar with the area. As you age, you might need more extensive healthcare or assisted living, or at least some assistance in getting around and fixing things around the home. Although other cities and states offer amenities for seniors, it’s easier to make these advance arrangements when you know the lay of the land.
4. Moving may not be worth the cost. You might a place with lower taxes and costs of living. But with the costs of packing and moving, and selling your home and buying or renting a new one, the savings may not be worth it. You’ll give up a percentage of your home’s value to realtor and closing costs. If you’re thinking of moving to another part of the country, you’ll want to travel there and explore the area first and will need to consider those costs.
5. If you have relatives or close friends in the area, you may want to come back to visit them periodically. You will need to factor in air fare, hotels, rental cars, and other travel expenses associated with keeping in touch and involved in your family’s lives.
6. It may be less expensive to stay in your home and renovate. As you get older you might need to make changes to your home but these aren’t that expensive. Installing new handlebars in the shower, brighter lighting in the hallway, and a ramp for the back porch don’t cost that much compared to the time and effort of moving and buying a new home. If your home is paid off when you retire, the cost of renovations is likely much less than a new mortgage.