Coast or country retirement

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Maybe you are thinking of retiring to a place where you hold happy memories of summer holidays spent with family. Maybe you’re going there over this summer for a well-earned break.

It sounds wonderful – and it probably is – but it’s worth looking at the pros and cons first. This is because once you’ve sold the family home, purchased in a new location, and paid stamp duty and other transaction costs for your move, it may be too late to reconsider.

Are you a hot, warm or cool weather person? Could you stand one dominant weather type all year round, for example, tropical if previously you were only used to experiencing tropical conditions during your holidays?

Sea or country
A serene beachside existence may suit you but will it be interrupted by daytrippers or groups of young party animals during peak season? Or, will social ills such as unemployment and petty crime such as burglary in your chosen coastal or rural area create problems you hadn’t anticipated?

If you’re moving to the country, have you researched property values and are you comfortable about whether they are likely to be sustained if you move there?

What do you think you will be doing in retirement beyond the big trip overseas or around Australia? You might live for 20 or 30 years. Do you want to play golf or do part-time or volunteer work, attend university or community college courses or go to the theatre regularly?

It’s worth thinking about whether the new location will allow you to pursue those interests.

Social compatibility
Who will you socialise with in your new area? Will they have similar values, aspirations and interests to you and will you ‘fit in’?

Do you have any connections there already which will smooth the way for your social life?

Access to family
Are you expecting children, grandchildren or friends to visit? If so, will your new location be convenient and easy for them to get to?

If not, you might find you have fewer visitors than you anticipated and feel like you made a mistake.

On the other hand, you might feel you have the peace, quiet and privacy you always wanted. Consider.

Medical facilities
Often when people move to a new location as younger retirees, they are still vital, healthy and active.

However, as you age, your health is likely to become more of an issue so access to good medical facilities is important.

Questions to ask include how close is the local hospital and other medical facilities to your new location and are they adequate? Could you access medical specialists in the new location or would you have to travel hundreds of kilometres to the nearest city or regional centre?

Happy returns?
What would you do if you desperately wanted/needed to move back to where you came from, for example, to be closer to grandchildren or for urgent medical treatment?

That is, if you sold up in a capital city and moved to the coast or the country, could you afford to reverse that decision and buy back in if you had to?

Part-time work
If you think you’d like to do some part-time or casual work, will your move create more of these opportunities or allow you to keep any existing arrangements you have?

For all these reasons, it’s advised that you rent for six months or longer in your chosen retirement area to see whether it’s really for you.


Important information and disclaimer

This article is intended to provide general information only and has been prepared by MLC Limited ABN 90 000 000 402 (AFSL number 230694) without taking into account any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Investors should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend investors obtain financial advice specific to their situation before making any financial investment or insurance decision.


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