Why Charles changed his mind about where to live in retirement

Left Facing Red For Rent Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful House.

Image: Andy Dean Photography/Bigstock.com

I was being interviewed by Sydney’s Radio 2UE. The conversation was about how to work out where to live in retirement. That’s when Charles phoned in with his story.

One of the dangers of deciding where to live in retirement is to pick a favourite place—often a holiday destination you’ve enjoyed—without enough thought. This can be a problem, particularly if you’ve only ever been there in the holiday season.

A holiday destination can be quite different in the non-holiday season. This can mean that certain facilities may not be open and the town becomes somewhat dead. Of course, if you’ve been visiting in the off-season to avoid the crowds, you need to see it during the holiday season.

I’d suggested that it’s worth living in the place for three months to experience what it’s really like. That’s when Charles called in.

He said something like this: ‘That guy you’ve got there is right!’

Charles lived in Sydney but had holidayed regularly in Queensland. When it came to retirement he thought his holiday spot would make a great retirement setting. That’s when he did the wise thing.

He rented out his Sydney house for six months and rented a home where he was thinking of living out his retirement years.

It was a good decision. He discovered that in the off-season the town was almost empty and there was very little to do. He hated it.

‘I love Sydney,’ he said, and he may still shift, but not too far away. He wants to have access to what Sydney offers.

There are many ways you can test or check out a potential retirement place. That can include reading their local papers—perhaps online; talking to the locals; talking to local council or shire officers; and so on.

Don’t forget to ask about the weather in the off-season—and particularly about any weather events that can cause trouble. It may be time for that 20-year event again. Or that 20-year event may decide to come in four years.

You can gather a lot of helpful information. But the most helpful way is to experience it. Several months is best.

Bruce Manners: the author of Retirement Ready?, Refusing to Retire, and founder of RetireNotes.com

Category: Where to Live

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