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Does making a move in retirement make sense for you?

Once you're no longer working, you may dream

Once you're no longer working, you may dream of living in a warmer climate or less expensive area. But make you do your homework first. Credit: Getty Images/Imgorthand

For some folks, the dream once they stop working is to call a new locale home or to spend their retirement years in some tropical paradise outside the United States. But is making a move like that right for you?

Here’s what to consider when debating whether to move from your home once you've moved on from your career.

Have a heart-to-heart with yourself

Why do you want to move? Is the decision purely based on financial considerations or is it a long-planned goal to live in a favorite spot? Or is this move based on health considerations? Are you willing to leave behind family and friends who live where you currently reside?

These are just a few of the questions you need to explore, says Richard Quinn, a blogger for HumbleDollar.com.

What if?

Say you make this long-desired move and you find that the destination wasn't what you expected. Turns out you hate it. Is moving back financially feasible?

“The greatest risk comes if the [reason for the] move is primarily financial,” Quinn says.

Are both you and your spouse really emotionally invested in making this move? “If one person is unhappy, what’s the price tag on that?" says Brian Cohen, an investment adviser with Landmark Wealth Management in Melville. "Some clients that moved back lost financially — the multiple real estate fees, moving costs, taking a hit on selling the home, and so on,” Cohen adds.

Do the math

If you live in a location with high property taxes and/or high state taxes, and higher than normal house values compared with other locales, it might seem like a no-brainer to move, Cohen says. The proceeds from your home's sale will go further in a community with a lower cost of living.

This is true sometimes, but think big picture. “Take state taxes. In New York, [state civil service] employees generally have tax-free pensions while living in New York," he says.

"If the state you move to has no income tax, then no harm," he adds. "If a state has low taxes, it’s not the same as no taxes. Realize that states without income taxes often raise revenues in other ways not easily seen, like higher vehicle purchase taxes.”

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