With the sale of our home expected any day now (some might call it wishful thinking) comes the planning for our move. In the past, most of our moves have been between apartments and between cities in the Midwest , limiting our travel distance to under several hundred miles, which we could handle ourselves by renting a moving truck.
In my last work-related move, my employer handled the costs, and while that was nice, it didn’t make a huge difference since we weren’t moving far and didn’t have a ton of stuff. This time however, with owning a home and planning a much longer move, it has me thinking about the various expenses involved, and how nice it would be to have an employer to assist with the costs, especially as we near retirement.
Moving is Costly
Thinking about moving expenses in turn got me thinking about those who move during retirement and how expensive that can be, especially for those who have been in the same location for numerous years, have put down roots, and may even have had several children along the way. Costs can reach thousands of dollars or more depending upon the amount of stuff one has accumulated over the years as well as the distance involved in transporting these possessions.
These costs can be bad enough when you are working, but when you’re preparing to retire or already there, money is a bit tight, and you no longer have the financial assistance of an employer, they can put a pretty big hole in your retirement budget.
An Employer Covering the Costs
When I was thinking about how to get around some of the costs involved in moving to a retirement location, something hit me. What if you could move to the place or at least nearer the place you wanted to retire while you were still working? Then you could experience the location with the help of employer-assisted moving costs before you “officially” retire.
While this might not be an option for everyone, if you work for a company who has branches or locations in a variety of states or in an industry like healthcare where jobs abound in numerous locations, it could be an idea. For example, I used to work in the hotel business. The company for which I worked had hotels in every state (even other countries around the world) and it was relatively easy to transfer between hotels if you so desired. Therefore, if I wanted to test out a location before I retired (if I was still working in hotels that is), I could transfer there on the company’s dime — or at least with their assistance, depending upon the total cost of the move — before retirement left me footing the bill on my own.
Uprooting and Moving On
Moving to a retirement location before an actual retirement might not only save money on the initial move, but could be extremely beneficial in other ways as well. By getting to your location in advance of retirement, there can be time for exploration and adjusting to that location to determine if it is indeed the retirement spot that is right for you.
My wife and I have moved several times to locations that we thought were great, but after living in them for a year, discovered they weren’t all we thought they were. Whether it’s due to the cost of living, the things there are to do, the climate or similar factors, having to uproot and leave places several times before finding the right spot to settle can be expensive, but if an employer can help with the costs, it could make the transition more bearable and hopefully and less costly.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. For financial advice, readers should consult a licensed financial advisor. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.