iStock_000024892371SmallHow do you envision your retirement? Do you picture yourself moving to a retirement home, a golf community, or even a tropical island? Many seniors plan to move and enjoy retirement somewhere else, due to a warmer climate, proximity to family, or some other reason. But you might be surprised to learn that 9 out of 10 people aged 60 and older plan to stay right where they are, in their own homes, for at least the next five to ten years. At least, that was the conclusion found in one 2012 poll by the National Council on Aging.

According to the poll, the reasons for staying home in retirement varied:

  • 85 percent said they didn’t want to move simply because they enjoy their current homes.
  • 66 percent said they currently enjoyed proximity to family and friends.
  • 50 percent said the hassle of moving prevents them from considering it at this time.
  • 30 percent said they don’t know where else they would go.
  • 26 percent said they are unable to afford a move.
  • 23 percent said current market conditions would make it impossible for them to sell their current homes.

It’s perfectly understandable that some seniors want to stay in their own homes due to personal preferences. After all, they may already live close to family or the recreational activities they enjoy. However, it would be a shame to allow a lack of planning to negatively impact your retirement by making it impossible to move where you want to live. If your retirement dream includes moving to a new location, it’s important to factor in the cost of moving when you plan for retirement. Even if you hope to stay right where you are, moving expenses can occur due to the unforeseen necessity of a retirement home.

As for the 23 percent of seniors who are concerned about current market conditions, they probably have a valid point. Some of them may indeed be stuck in a home with a high mortgage payment, and could be unable to sell it due to decreased home values. This is a good example of why it is important not to rely too heavily on your home’s value when planning for retirement.

For those who plan to stay in their current homes no matter what, moving costs may not be an issue. However, these people should plan carefully to include the cost of additional medical care and in-home nurses if they truly wish to prevent a move to a retirement home. This underscores the importance of always sharing your specific wishes with your financial advisor or insurance agent, so that your retirement plan reflects your goals.

National Council on Aging, 2012

13696 – 2014/9/10