The classic retirement dream involves golfing, beach umbrella in hand and heading off into the sunset. In reality, the majority of retirees never leave home. An AARP survey found that most people approaching retirement hope to remain in their current residence for as long as they can. If they do move, they downsize near their old neighborhood.
Emotional reasons are big factors to stay close to home, which includes the three F's: family, friends and familiarity. As families grow in size it becomes harder to leave your loved ones behind or only see them around the holidays. Seeing the familiar faces at local neighborhood coffee shops and grocery store may not seem important, but once they are removed you no longer have that comfort feature that may be hard to replace in a new area. Making new friends and establishing yourself in a new neighborhood can be challenging for seniors who leave what they know.
Another reason is that most seniors have put down some pretty deep roots, especially if you've lived in the same place for a decade or more. It might seem easy to pack up and move someplace similar to your current home, but the reality of living there might not be as enjoyable as you imagine.
Financial is another factor to consider. Relocating where the cost of living is cheaper is a huge reason in why retirees choose to leave their current area. The reality is that moving is expensive and many retirees who move don't always save as much money as they had hoped. Retrofitting your home to make it more livable to you both now and in the future is not as costly as you may think.
Lastly, seniors chose to move in order to revel in the benefits of living in a retirement community. There are now non-profit online groups, virtual villages, which offer a wide range of services that make it easier for seniors living in their own homes, some you never considered.
Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.