IF YOU ARE thinking of retiring within the next five years, are you also thinking about moving? If you are in research mode, I can help, thanks to WalletHub.com. WalletHub.com compared affordability, quality of life and health care across 50 states, assigning 40 points to affordability, 30 points to quality of life and 30 points to health care, for a total possible score of 100.
Focusing strictly on affordability, WalletHub.com reviewed and weighed a number of factors such as adjusted cost of living, general tax-friendliness, tax-friendliness on pensions and Social Security income, tax-friendliness on estate or inheritance tax, annual cost of in-home services, annual cost of adult day health care, and share of population age 65 and older who could not afford a doctor visit.
Among the quality-of-life metrics were mildness of weather, access to scenic byways, theaters per capita, golf courses per capita, access to adult volunteer activities, violent-crime rate, property-crime rate, air quality and drinking-water quality.
Health care metrics included home health aides per capita, quality of public hospitals, and life expectancy, among others.
These are important measures. The review is a great starting point for anyone with the itch to move.
The highest state score (65.6 out of 100) was earned by Florida, followed by South Dakota, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Utah, Iowa, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, with a score of 59.88.
The lowest score went to Kentucky (43.85). The bottom 10 (after Kentucky) were Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, New Jersey, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland and Hawaii, with a score of 50.66.
To see the entire 2019 list, go to: http://tinyurl.com/myhdawx.
Let’s not leave this subject before considering family. If you live close to family, especially children or grandchildren, you might not even think of moving. But Terri Holbrook a lecturer at the McCombs School of Business (University of Texas at Austin) and a WalletHub.com expert, offered this insight: “Realize that grown children with careers may be forced to relocate, so don’t count on them being there forever.”
If you live in one of the top 10 states losing residents due to interstate moves, should that make a difference? For example, take my home state, Connecticut. Of the movers, about 60 percent are moving out, compared with about 40 percent moving in, according to the American Moving & Storage Association.
Marlene Satter, writer for ThinkAdvisor, said in a Jan. 26, 2018, story: “One thing you don’t want to do when you retire is regret where you live. Whether that means you stick close to the place that’s been home for umpteen years or go in search of the greener pastures you’ve been envisioning since the last office Christmas party, you want to be sure that where you retire isn’t going to turn your golden years into scenes from a Stephen King movie (say, “Misery”).”
Ultimately deciding to move depends on your personal financial and family situation. You might want to move or be on permanent vacation in a place like Hawaii.
From my perspective, the most important question to ask is how this decision affects the life of my portfolio and the goal of retiring securely.