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Costs of Moving and Pros and Cons of Relocating

A new home can re-energize us with possibilities. We start thinking of little projects and changes we want to make. Things that may not have been possible in our old home for any number of reasons. Including the fact that things had become stale and we weren’t motivated to do emotionally and financially.

Packing up a house is never easy and can be even more difficult as we age. Just picking out the new city or neighborhood can be overwhelming. So let’s see if we can make things easier on you with some information to help make solid decisions about the possibility of a move.

Moving Costs Totals

We will begin with how much money it costs to move these days. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, a long-distance move (to another state) averages about $4,300. Local moves (in-state) will run you about $2,300. And those numbers are based on household items weighing roughly 7,400 pounds.

So the more weight you donate to the local Goodwill, the less your move will cost. Two or three garage sales will get rid of tons of stuff you don’t need anymore, like those five Christmas trees! And remember, the more the movers do, the more you pay. Loading trucks and unloading are basic services. Packing boxes, disassembling furniture, and other tedious tasks will make costs go through the roof.

A Pro of Moving

Moving yourself or paying someone to do it is one of the cons of relocating. But those costs - in terms of money and aggravation - are temporary. One of the biggest pros concerning a move is the thrill of entering your new home. Whether it’s a larger house, a downsized one, or a condo, everyone loves the thrill of a new place to hang their hat.

A new home can reenergize us with possibilities. We start thinking of little projects and changes we want to make. Things that may not have been possible in our old home for any number of reasons. Including the fact that things had become stale and we weren’t motivated to do them.

I don’t have to tell you how special a real home is to a family or couple. And we all have the ability to turn any place into our real home. Because it’s the people who make a house into a home.

A Con of Moving

Speaking of couples, one potential con of relocating is both partners not being happy to move. Those who have been married for decades are likely on the same page about most things. But it would be terrible to go to the trouble of moving then find out six months later that your partner had doubts about the new city all along.

That could lead to another move or worse, an unhappy home. We’ve all got enough stress without adding an unhappy spouse to the list. So the first step before checking into a new area or listing your home is to have a deep conversation about locations you both adore. Not locations you like, but places where you can see spending the rest of your lives.

Moving Costs vs. Lower Costs of Living

Cost of living is a huge factor for both of you because, well, you are on the same budget. That budget will stretch further when you know which states are the least expensive to live in. Hope neither of you are in love with New York…

Here are the top ten cheapest states to live in according to several sources:

  1. Mississippi

  2. Arkansas

  3. Oklahoma

  4. West Virginia

  5. Indiana

  6. Louisiana

  7. Kentucky

  8. Missouri

  9. Alabama

  10. Tennessee

Finding a state that doesn’t eat you up in taxes, healthcare, and housing costs is a plus. But can you part with your current beloved state in order to live like a king without spending like one? Deciding to relocate is a balancing act. The key is to investigate any new state you think would work out great for you and your partner.

Low interest rates or a good deal on a home can lead us to make quick decisions so we “don’t miss out.” Often it’s better to miss out on some savings than to get stuck in a location where you will be bored out of your mind, traffic is awful, or you don’t feel welcome.

Research Your Move

Researching a new state or city is a great excuse to travel more and take an extra vacation. Make it both fun and a wise investment in your future. Watching YouTube videos of a city is not the same as boots on the ground. Get a real feel by:

Eating at local cafes

Talking to people who know the area

Visiting various neighborhoods and events

Moving Costs and Selling Your Home

Selling your home before you relocate falls on the con list for many people. Showing your house can be a hassle and take up your free time. When the market is hot, your home may sell in no time. During normal times, it can be a pain to de-clutter a home and keep it spotless for months so it’s ready to be shown by a realtor at the drop of a hat.

Cleaning, not being able to relax, going for aimless drives while potential buyers wander through your home. It can get old especially if you have dogs that have to be loaded up too.

Not many people enjoy the home-selling process but that's just the price we pay to move. Do you know another reason people endure this process? Because we humans love to venture out…

Benefits of a Fresh Start

You know how it feels to find a new restaurant you love when on vacation. Or being introduced to a new hobby by a friend. It lights up something inside you, doesn’t it? So when you make a move to a well-researched area you have tons of new experiences waiting on you.

Fresh faces with new ideas and thoughts. More new cafes than you can visit in a whole year. You might even find a few pickleball courts or golf courses that keep you entertained for the next couple of decades.

For many people, this is the biggest factor that tilts things to the pro side of the pros and cons moving list. A new start with new possibilities. By the way, pickleball was recognized as the fastest-growing sport in the US by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association recently.

Moving Away from Your Doctor

One of the downsides of moving is never considered until you get injured or sick. You may have to find a new doctor in your new location. Finding a new doctor can be a challenge especially if you love your current doc. It’s hard to find someone you respect, like, and don’t have to wait hours in line to see like she’s a rockstar.

"Find a doctor who is curious, asks questions that let you know that you're being heard," says Sana Goldberg, a nurse and the author of How To Be A Patient.

There is also insurance to consider. It’s crucial to find out which clinics and doctors accept your type of insurance in a different city or state.

Paperwork and Moving Away from Clutter

Nobody enjoys the paperwork involved in a move. Selling your home requires a gaggle of signatures. A new mortgage means more of your John Hancock. Then there are new HOA regulations to read over and agree to. Also:

● Signing off on the movers’ list

● Storage contracts

● Possible insurance policy changes

The good news though is that you get the chance to rid yourself of clutter when you move.

All those As Seen On TV “inventions” you never used twice. Those 200 pairs of shoes that kept piling up in the closet. This is your chance to start fresh with less stuff to clutter the garage and closets. Vacating the premises means you can head to greener and cleaner pastures!

Studies have shown that because many people identify so closely with their home environments, clutter levels can interfere with the pleasure they experience while in that environment. That means it is wise to de-clutter even if you decide to stay in your current home during retirement.

Final Thoughts on the Cost of Moving

It is a no-brainer that when you leave a home, you’ll miss your favorite neighbors. In some cases, these are people you’ve known for 10 or 20 years. Heavy costs. Then there are friends you’ll say goodbye to as well. Family too.

And if part of that family involves the best people you ever met - grandchildren - then that makes moving a real dilemma. However, we can stay in touch with tech gadgets if we use them for connection to people we love. I think that was the original promise of these devices anyway.

Plus, many people who move away from loved ones pre-plan a strategy for visiting on a regular basis. Moving somewhere with saltwater or a lake view is a good lure to make sure those grand-kids pitch a fit to visit you. That is a solid sneaky plan, I guarantee it.

You’ve probably guessed the other side of the family coin. A pro of moving is that you may be moving closer to your family. No, not those crazy cousins with the paintball arena. But the ones you can’t stand to be away from. Sons, daughters, siblings, and grand-kids.

Lake homes and ocean views are terrific but so is being near people you can depend on. And being near those who can depend on you because feeling needed is a big key to happiness as we age. Another key according to a survey of retirees - “61% say that who you do something with is more important than the activity itself.”

Emotional Moves

The main takeaway here is that moving near your retirement age is not just a matter of money. Lots of emotions are tied up in relocating. Making the decisions together with your spouse is a big key regardless of your reasons for considering a move.

You can always find a city with a lower cost of living. But you have to take into consideration your lifestyle as well. Will you be happy in a smaller house? Are you sure the area won’t leave you bored? And even if you make a big profit selling your home, will that matter if you choose a new location without checking on healthcare costs and taxes?

Solid retirement planning is the key to having more options emotionally and financially when it comes to relocating.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments or strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.

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