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Retired Military Finances 101: Where Will You Live for Your Ultimate Retirement?

Retirement Funding

You spent 20 plus years living the life of a nomad while on active duty. Maybe you moved for your second career. Now you're starting to think about your ultimate retirement and where you should spend it. You have a lot of options. Beach? Mountains? City? Country? The options can seem endless 

You Are Not Alone

Keep in mind that you aren’t the first to make such a huge decision. While the details may feel daunting, it’s important to stay rooted in not only who you are but what you still plan to accomplish. When it comes to your retirement, your assets and finances should be manageable, not stress-inducing. It’s your time to enjoy this chapter in life.

Maybe retirement to you means relaxation, finding stillness or coming to terms with who you are and where you’ve been. It could also be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to take chances, try new things and explore unknown territories. Either way, retirement should mean the start of a new and thrilling time in your life full of possibilities that you have worked hard to experience.

4 Top Considerations When Deciding Where to Live In Retirement

Consideration #1: Finances

Being aware of what you can afford and how your finances will impact the details of your retirement is key when it comes to the location of your new home. Understanding the details of your assets and how they can be handled over time will help ease any financial stress or burden.

For some people, living in an area that offers more tax freedom is a non-negotiable detail. There are currently seven states that do not have personal state income taxes, while another twenty offer considerable tax breaks on retirement income.Choosing a location with a smaller tax break but a lower, and seemingly more ideal, cost of living may be what you’re looking for. Ultimately, focusing on your life plan will lead to happier years ahead.

Consideration #2: Family

Over the years, we tend to develop a better understanding of how important family is and ultimately, what it means to us as individuals. If you’re someone who has a close bond with your family, that might be something that keeps you from moving farther from them during your retirement. In these years, being closer to them might just be what you’ve been waiting for. On the other hand, many families don’t have that connection to share. For them, being solo is something to embrace during this time as they truly get to know themselves and meet new people experiencing similar situations.

Consideration #3: Location & Weather

Location, location, location! We hear it all the time as we buy or sell property and that only continues through retirement. Doing research on your potential next home should involve delving deep into the details of weather and specific location. Does your next chapter involve blue skies year-round or is there potential for hurricanes or tropical storms? Having visited your dream location at a particular time of year doesn’t always mean it’s the same throughout all 12 months. Maybe this is your time to consider a life of travel in which you have a varying home from time to time - waves in the winter and hills in the summer. Surprises can be thrilling, but not necessarily when it comes to rising and falling temperatures.

Consideration #4: Familiarity

One mistake that many retirees make involves planning for your life ahead based on the stage of life you’re currently in.2 You may be comfortable in your skin now at the age of 60, but who’s to say you won’t want to broaden your horizons and experiences through your 70’s and 80’s. We tend to make safe choices based on what we know and what is familiar to us.

On the other hand, you may very well be someone who isn’t interested in change and that’s perfectly fine too! Surrounding ourselves with familiar territory is a common human trait and one that many aspire to include in their lives. Whether you are ready to skydive and take new chances, perfect your golf game and spend time with your family, or a combination of these, your upcoming years should be yours to do with what you want.

Companionship is Key!

As we get older, we begin to understand just how difficult it can be to meet new people and build impactful relationships. We’ve experienced so much at this point that it can be tough connecting with just anyone. On the other hand, there is still a tremendous amount of life to experience and doing that alone can be just as difficult.

If you’ve built and kept friendships or remain close with your family members and loved ones then you are truly lucky. Alternatively, if you are less surrounded by close companions, this is your time to try something new, join a local meet-up group or consider moving to a community that provides endless opportunities to meet others.

Retirement should be an exciting chapter in your life and by preparing for the details of where you will spend this time, you will flourish for years to come.

  1. https://taxfoundation.org/state-individual-income-tax-rates-brackets-2019
  2.  
  3. https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T037-C000-S004-how-to-pick-the-best-place-to-retire.html

If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

Military Finances 201: Take Social Security Early and Invest It?


Selling Your Home to Fund Your Ultimate Retirement: Considerations for Retired Military Officers


6 Mistakes Retired Military Officers Can Make That Could Mess-up Their Ultimate Retirement


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