3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Retiring To The Countryside

Updated on March 8, 2021

According to the Census Bureau, almost 25 percent of Americans aged 65 and older live in rural areas. Rural areas have long been appealing to retirees, thanks to the affordability and slower pace of life. Locations like Burlington, Vermont or Winchester, Virginia offer retirees more space, a better quality of life, and a lower cost of living – key factors most Americans are looking for post-retirement. For the local rural communities, retirees make up to 50 percent of the local spending. However, a country life post-retirement is not suited for everyone. Deciding whether retiring to the rural country is right for you depends on your preferences, your desire to remain independent post-retirement, your budget, and your post-retirement goals.

How Accessible Is Rural Living?

Accessibility is a great concern for many retirees. As you get older, getting around safely and comfortably on your own will become more important. While you can easily make senior-friendly accessibility adaptions to your home, retirees also need to think about how easy it will be to get around the community and surrounding country areas. A recent AARP survey showed that older Americans living in rural areas are more likely to encounter challenges such as mobility, lack of transportation, and social isolation. Look around the area you are considering moving to, and consider whether it is age-friendly. Are the stores and trails accessible? Are the weather conditions senior-friendly?

Does The Town Social And Economic Life Support Your Post-Retirement Goals?

As a part of your retirement planning, you would have mapped out goals and a lifestyle you want to live. For instance, more seniors are taking on entrepreneurship. Others plan on prioritizing their physical health and leading an active lifestyle. When retiring to a rural area in the country, think of how it will align with your retirement goals. Is the town bustling with economic and employment opportunities? If you plan on doing more volunteer or charity work, does the local area have any opportunities for this? For instance, if you are looking to pursue ranching after retirement, Texas land for sale accounts for 40 percent of the land and ranches bought and sold in the US mainly due to its thriving agricultural activity.

Are Your Home Maintenance Costs Doable On Your Retirement Budget?

One of the key points supporting a move to rural areas during retirement is the increased affordability of housing. House prices can be up to 30 percent cheaper in rural areas, according to estimates by Wealth Meta. These lower prices are one of the many reasons why 14 percent more people own their homes outright with no mortgage. However, while house prices may be lower, the cost of living in rural areas is not always lower. For instance, rural households may spend more on transportation and healthcare. Before moving to a rural location, retirees should consider how flexible their budget is and whether they are able to cope with these additional expenses. 

Also, rural properties may cost more to maintain, particularly if there are repairs or updates needed for your chosen home. According to the US News and Freddie Mac, homebuyers should budget up to 4 percent for home maintenance costs. Americans already spend $9.081 on home improvements annually. Can your retirement budget comfortably cover the monthly costs of maintaining a country home?

Moving to a new area post-retirement requires much forethought and planning. It is now different when moving to a rural area in the country. While it can be a refreshing change from the bustle of the city, these are some important questions to ask yourself before making that move.


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