4 questions to ask before choosing a state in which to retire | Smart change: personal finance

(Maurie Backman)

A lot of people worry about choosing the right retirement age. But there’s another big decision you’ll need to make in your retirement years: where to live.

You can decide to retire in the state where you lived as an active adult. Or you might be thinking it’s time to move. Either way, ask yourself these questions before moving into your new home.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. What are housing costs like?

Housing can be a senior’s biggest monthly expense, and this extends to those with mortgages paid off. If you’re worried about living on limited income in retirement, you may want to favor a state with relatively low housing costs. It doesn’t just mean cheaper homes, it also means cheaper property taxes.

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2. Is health care easily accessible?

As we age, the need for quality health care increases. When deciding what state to retire in, it’s important that you have a clear idea of ​​what healthcare looks like.

A good indicator in this regard is the number of Medicare Advantage plans available in the state you wish to move to. But also, research local drugstore chains and hospitals before making that call.

3. Are social security benefits taxed?

Social Security could become an important source of income for you during retirement. You may want to avoid moving to a state that imposes tax on this income.

There are 13 states that impose social security:

  1. Colorado
  2. Connecticut
  3. Kansas
  4. Minnesota
  5. Missouri
  6. Montana
  7. Nebraska
  8. New Mexico
  9. North Dakota
  10. Rhode Island
  11. Utah
  12. Vermont
  13. West Virginia

However, many of the names on this list offer exemptions for low-income people and, in some cases, moderate-income people. If you land in one of these states, you are not guaranteed to lose some of your benefits.

4. Will I have an assistance system nearby?

As you get older, your ability to do certain things may decrease. Granted, we hope this doesn’t happen right away in retirement, but if you’re living well into your 80s or 90s, mobility issues might start to arise.

It is for this reason that it is important to retire in a place where you will have the support of your loved ones. If you are considering moving to a state on the other side of the country from your adult children, you may want to reconsider your decision.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to retire near your kids. If most of your family lives on the East Coast but you have a grandchild or two in California, you may decide to move there. Or you can choose to move to a place where you have a large network of friends. The key is to have some trusted people nearby.

Choosing the right state in which to retire is a difficult task, especially if it is a decision you want to make up front. (While it is certainly possible to move during retirement, it is also not the easiest thing to do.) Going through these questions will make it easier to make that choice and have confidence in it. .

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