Relocating at Retirement Checklist

Relocating at Retirement Checklist

Many people want to simply stay where they are once they retire, but there are quite a few that want to relocate for climate, family, or many other reasons.  For those that are considering relocating, the checklist below might spur some exploratory conversations and help alleviate some of the stresses that might come with it.

Exploratory Phase:

  • Prior to moving to a new location, consider spending some extended time there.  This will allow you to get a feel for the area, traffic patterns and where you might want to frequent if you end up living there.
    • Many places have extended rentals that are fantastic and would add to the feeling of already living there.
    • Consider making an extended trial visit during a non-peak month if it’s one of the popular vacation type locations.
  • Check out a cost of living calculator to see how far your income would go by comparison to where you live now.
  • Explore how health care compares to where you live now.
  • Subscribe to the new location’s primary news source either via email or actual newspaper.  This can give you some additional perspective on the day to day happenings.

Made the Decision to Move, Now What?

  • Purchase/Rent a home in your new location.
  • Contact a local realtor to sell your current home.
  • Know the layout of your new place to decide which furniture to keep and which furniture to sell/donate/dispose of.
  • Contact a moving company to get an estimate to pack and move your household goods.
  • Inform the following service providers with a change of address:
    • Accountant
    • Attorney
    • Bank
    • Credit Card Companies
    • Department of Veterans Affairs (if applicable)
    • Doctors/Dentists
    • Family/Friends
    • Financial Advisor
    • Insurance Companies
    • IRS – they will require a letter.  Your accountant may help you with this one.
    • Investment Companies
      • If you are receiving your Required Minimum Distribution by check, ensure they have your new address asap.
    • Motor Vehicle Department
    • Pension provider for your company pension.
    • Social Security Administration
    • State Income Tax Bureau
    • Utility Companies – at the old and new residence.
    • Voter Registration
    • Review your tax return from last year – notify all providers that sent a tax document to you for any reason.
  • Close your local safe-deposit box and reopen one in your new location.
  • Order checks with your new address.
  • Check out the local “newcomers” club.


  • Request a written medical history from your current physicians and dentist.
  • Have your local pharmacy prepare a list of prescriptions.
  • Have an ample supply of your current medications to cover your first few months following the move.


  • Check with your attorney to determine if your legal documents will need to be modified in any way.  Each state has different intestacy laws, so you’ll want to ensure your documents are properly executed in your new state.  Check with your attorney on the following documents:
    • Will
    • Power of Attorney
    • Health Care Proxy
    • Living Will
    • Trusts
    • Guardianship
    • Any others you may have

There is a lot that goes into moving, so anything you can do to alleviate stress is helpful.  Feel free to add other ideas to the comment section below.



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