Nearly a Third of Retirees Would Prefer to Live Somewhere Else

When asked directly if they would choose to live where they currently reside in retirement if given the option to choose again, nearly a third of respondents said “no” in a survey conducted primarily with people aged in their 70’s or above. The survey, created by Age Friendly Ventures, was conducted online in December 2018, consisting of a respondent pool of 729 seniors.

Specifically, the question was, “If you had to do it all over again, based on what you know now, would you choose where you are currently residing again?” 31 percent of respondents – 224 in total – selected “no” as their answer. Respondents were also asked about what the most influential factors are in determining an ideal retirement location, with family and family members winning a clear majority of influence among the preferences for a retirement location.

Besides family, other major factors respondents chose include “general livability,” “desired weather conditions” and “healthcare.” Most valuable sources in making a determination, from most-prominent to least-prominent, include “family members,” “peers/friends” and “healthcare professionals,” respectively.

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“I would prefer [to spend my retirement] in Costa Rica,” said David Heath, one of the survey’s respondents and a resident of Louisville, Ky. in the survey’s accompanying release. “The weather is warm year-round and you can be at a beach within an hour’s drive from anywhere in the country. The cost of living is low and a person can live well on $2,000 a month.”

However, even though he requires both retirement benefits and a job to stay in Louisville, his family was the ultimate factor that kept him around. “The reason I stayed in the Louisville area is because my children and grandchildren are here. My family is the most important reason for retiring here,” he said.

Financial considerations also play a large role in the retirement location decision. Another respondent who resides in California lamented the decision to move there. The unnamed resident cites the tax burden as so high that they’ll be relocating to a state he describes as “senior tax friendly.”

“Property taxes in Nevada and Arizona are less than 50 percent of California’s for a larger home,” the California respondent said. “Should have left 15 years ago.”

The accompanying release also claims that two out of three retirees did not do a substantive amount of research in order to determine where to live in retirement, which Age Friendly Advisor finds encouraging.

“We’re hoping to put more of a human face on the research about where to live in your later years,” said Age Friendly Advisor executive Daniel McCullough. “What’s it really like to live there? We’re also giving people a place to inform community leaders about what they like and don’t like about a particular place.”

Find more details related to the research and its findings at Age Friendly Advisor.

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