Where to retire

Where to retire

Retirement can be your chance to make a fresh start in your dream destination – somewhere you can enjoy life to the full. But where that is depends on a number of factors. So, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of different locations before making your move.

Before making your move

The ideal place for spending your retirement depends on many factors, including how you see yourself spending your time. As well as looking for a location that matches your retirement lifestyle plans, there are some important practical things to think about.

Your finances

How much will you have to spend on a property and general living expenses? Researching locations should include looking into what you can afford in your new neighbourhood, from house prices to healthcare and transport.

Friends and family 

Do you plan to offer practical support to children who are raising their own families? Moving far away may not be your best option as travel will become a burden.

Extra support when you need it

How will you cope with living independently as you grow older and less mobile? It makes sense to explore your options for getting all the support you’ll need for your health and wellbeing in your chosen retirement location. Will you have convenient access to quality healthcare services? If you become less mobile in later years, will your location make it easy or difficult to get out and about?

Country or city?

City living is generally more expensive than most rural locations, so it’s important to be sure you’ll have the budget to live comfortably in your preferred city. But there are many advantages that come with living in an urban location – from enjoying cultural and sporting activities to having easy access to healthcare facilities and major transport links.

If a move to the country or a sea change is the kind of lifestyle you have in mind after leaving work, it can be a more cost-effective option for your retirement budget too. As well as cost of living, it’s good to think about:

  • What amenities are important to you, and how will you access them? If you want to enjoy the beach every day, will you be able to live close enough to walk there? This will be increasingly important in later years if your mobility becomes limited.
  • What are your healthcare needs? If you need to seek treatment and support, are there facilities available to meet these needs? 
  • For more remote rural locations, it’s more important to know what transport will be available if you’re unable to drive in the future.
  • Will you have social support available in your new neighbourhood? A social network and plenty of ways to stay active can both be important in retirement. 

Getting the best of both worlds

Keeping one foot in both city and rural locations can offer you the best of both worlds in retirement. But bear in mind that maintaining two homes can increase your costs substantially as you’ll be running two properties and travelling between them. You’ll also need to have support and access to services in both locations.

Making a move overseas?

Spending your retirement years in a new country can be the ultimate sea change, but it also comes with a few challenges.

The first thing to think about is your right to live in your preferred location. Will you be able to arrange a suitable visa to allow you to live in your chosen country? There can also be significant costs associated with securing and keeping your visa, depending on local immigration requirements.

Another important consideration is your family. How practical will it be for them to travel to you, and vice versa? When it comes to getting the care you need, it’s also important to research the healthcare systems and provisions in your preferred location. If you become unwell while overseas, you may not have easy or affordable access to health services.

Knowing where you want to retire is just one aspect of enjoying your retirement. There are plenty of other things to think about, including your budget and income. Before deciding to move to any new location in retirement, you should look carefully at your finances and seek advice from a financial planning professional to explore your options.