How To Plan For A Successful Post-Retirement Move


I just got home from a visit to my childhood home in South Dakota. It will be my last visit there since I just spent this vacation packing up and moving my parents out of that home. They’ve lived there since 1975, but you probably would’ve guessed that they’d been there longer based on the amount of stuff we found in the crawlspace. The treasures we found were amazing!

When my parents first retired, they spent six months of the year in South Dakota and six months of the year in Arizona. I’ll let you figure out where they were for each season! Then they decided to move permanently, which was a big step for my parents. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 40% of retirees move after retirement, and I have found that to be true with my clients as well.

Watching my parents go through this post-retirement move, and after many talks with them along the way, I’ve gleaned a few tips that I’ll pass to my clients from now on as they approach this milestone, and I would like to share them with you.

Five Tips For A Successful Post-Retirement Move

  1. 1. Choose a new home only after considering your future lifestyle. Every retiree will value something different, and their home choice should reflect that. Do you want to downsize to a tiny home, or do you want to have a room for guests, so the grandkids can come over? Do you want your own lawn, or do you prefer to live in a community where all the landscaping is taken care of for you? Do you want to live by the beach or the mountains?

You will also want to think about future considerations. Will you need a walk-in shower instead of a tub? How will you handle stairs in the coming years if your health prevents you from easily navigating them? Determining your priorities based on your values and the reality of the future will help ensure you choose a home that you can stay in for a long time to come.

  1. 2. It’s just a house. Although there is a sense of nostalgia and love that develops for a home that you have spent decades raising your family in, remember that when it comes down to it, it is just a house. Your house does not hold your memories; your memories move with you.
  2. 3. Pre-determine who gets what. If in doubt, you don’t need it. Going through 40 years of accumulated items is probably one of the hardest parts of this process! It helps to know ahead of time which child, friend or charity will get the larger or more valuable items (whether monetarily or emotionally valuable) that you will not be taking with you. You’ll want to make sure you communicate your plan to your loved ones to avoid any confusion.

Now all that is left are the everyday items. When moving to a new place in this new season of life, deciding what to bring may become overwhelming. My motto to my parents became, “If in doubt, you don’t need it.”

  1. 4. Don’t sweat the inspector. Selling a home you have lived in for decades can be a daunting task, especially when the home is older and the inspector starts checking every single outlet. Just take a deep breath and remember, it’ll all work out. This will all be behind you soon.
  2. 5. You will second-guess your decision throughout the process. This is inevitable. You are working through a major life change and it will surely bring up doubts and fears, but also excitement and anticipation of what the future holds. Focus on the excitement and benefits of moving to a home that is better suited to your retirement lifestyle. You will be glad you did.

In the end, the best advice is to set a timeline and stick to it. The further you get into the process, the more stressful it will be, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your future awaits!

For more information about the author, Jason LaBarge, visit his website at

Jason LaBarge, Financial Advisor and Managing Partner at Premier Planning Group
115 West Street, Suite 400 Annapolis, MD 21401 443-837-2531

Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group Inc., a registered investment adviser. Summit and Cetera are affiliated and under separate ownership from any other named entity.


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