Where Should I Live? 5 Things to Consider

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Looking for ideas on where to move for retirement or simply a change of pace? Many of us tend to go where the jobs are, but if you have the flexibility to work or retire wherever you want, below are a few pointers that could help you decide where to call home.

As everyone’s situation is different, you can choose to prioritize and weigh these considerations in a way that makes the most sense for you.

1. Cost of living

Financial considerations like cost of living are usually top of mind when you’re thinking about a move. Here are some living expenses to include in your decision-making:

  • Housing (to rent or own)
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Insurance (health care, auto, home, etc.)
  • Transportation
  • Childcare (if applicable)
  • State and local taxes
  • Entertainment

If you’re looking to move to a city or large metropolitan area, you can expect a higher overall cost of living compared to more rural areas.

Researching the local housing market and cost of living can take time, so you may want to think about working with a local real estate agent or a relocation expert to help you crunch the numbers. If you’re just casually thinking about moving and not ready to talk to an agent, there are cost-of-living calculators available online to help give you an idea of how far your money could go.

2. Transportation

How easy will it be for you to get to wherever you need to be? In terms of daily travel, you’ll want to look at how far and how often you may need to drive to get to work or other places you’ll regularly frequent (e.g., grocery store, gym, etc.). If you drive, account for things like gas, auto insurance, regular wear and tear, as well as parking availability.

If you don’t own a car, take note of the public transportation options, including rideshare availability. You may also want to see how walkable your target city or town is. There are tools online that you can use to get a walkability score, so that you can get a sense of how easy it would be for you to do your daily errands on foot.

Don’t forget to check the airports too. If you fly often, having access to several nearby airports could be important to you.

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3. Job market (even if you’re retiring)

People often move to seek new job opportunities. If you are looking, explore where the jobs are for your particular field. Certain cities are industry hotspots, and this could help you decide where to move. Check out the local job market and see how competitive it is in terms of job openings and salary ranges.

For those who are retired or retiring, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at the employment trends too. They can have an impact on the local community, including the ages of your neighbors, dining and entertainment options, and the variety of attractions.

Also, even if you’re no longer working full time, you may still be interested in picking up a side hustle to supplement your retirement income. Or you may be interested in looking for part-time jobs or volunteering opportunities to help keep you physically, socially, and mentally engaged.

4. Proximity to the things you care about

This could be friends, family, schools, the local art scene, shopping, gyms, health care services, etc. We all want to be close to the things we love. So it’s a good idea to see if your new city or town have the people, activities, and services that can enrich your quality of life.

5. Climate

Check the weather! Some people enjoy a dry climate; others prefer cooler weather. Maybe you’d prefer to live where there are four seasons rather than some place that’s warm all year round. Or perhaps you need a particular climate for health reasons.

Keep in mind that certain parts of the country are prone to natural disasters like flooding, hurricanes, or wildfires, so you’ll want to be aware of such climate risks as they can increase the cost of your home insurance.

Give it a trial run

You may want to spend some time in the cities or towns you’re interested in to get a true feel of the community before packing it all up. Could you imagine you and your family building a life there? Talk to the locals to gauge their thoughts – what do they love or don’t love about their town? Would you feel safe and supported living there? Moving is a big commitment, so it’s not something you should rush into.

Happy hunting!

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this website were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.