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For the client who wants to relocate: Assessing livability

MIT AgeLab

For many people, retirement means relocation. A recent survey found that 40% of non-retired investors plan to move to another city or region after retirement.1 Although these individuals’ dream destinations may offer warm climates and leisurely lifestyles, these communities may not support their evolving needs as they age. Clients who are planning a big move can take steps to assess the livability of their new community and ensure that it’s a good fit. Here are ways financial professionals can help.

Encourage clients to think hard and holistically about the livability of their dream neighborhood. 

Most retirees seek to move to a new region for reasons like lower taxes, less snow, and more fun. But other important aspects, like healthcare and transportation, often go unaccounted for. 


“Are there high-quality healthcare providers nearby? Will they accept your insurance?” 


“If you can no longer drive, how will you get to doctor appointments? How will you get your groceries?” 

Social support 

“How will you make new friends? Who will drop by and spend time with you? How often will you be able to visit with your family?” 


“If you decide you want a part-time job, where will you work? What is the job market like?” 


“Is the area often impacted by natural disasters? Where will you go if you need to evacuate? Have you experienced what it’s like during each of the four seasons? Is homeowners’ insurance available and affordable?”

Suggest visits and tools that explore how well-suited potential neighborhoods may be for your client. 

Before making a big move to a new location, it’s important to do a deep dive into that community. Rather than jumping into a home purchase, you may suggest that your client consider renting an apartment in the area for a few months first. Online research and tools can also provide insights about important elements of community that many neglect to factor into their decision. 

Short-term rental platforms like VRBO and Airbnb can enable retirees to do a test drive of the new area before making a huge lifestyle change. The AARP Livability Index2 is a free online tool that describes how well cities are suited for older adults to live in.

Provide a reality check about possible future chapters of retirement. 

Retirement is a story with many chapters. The first chapter of retirement might be spent living in a retirement community in Florida, while the next chapter might involve a second move in later life, perhaps back to a retiree’s former neighborhood. Second-movers may decide they want to be closer to their families — perhaps to help care for their grandchildren or to receive support from family members as they age. Whatever their reason, it is important to consider and plan for multiple potential chapters. 

Help clients to visualize that their retirement years may span multiple decades. Then, help them to consider that life during those multiple decades will not be all the same. Imagine with your clients a multiple-chapter retirement. Where do they want to live in chapter 1? This may be the easiest chapter for them to visualize. What about chapters 2 and 3? Those chapters may be harder to fill in. Happiness in these later chapters may involve adapting to changes in health and functioning and living closer to family.


1 “Nearly Seven in 10 Investors Say They May Continue Working in Retirement,” Nationwide, January 2023

2How Livable is Your Community?” AARP, accessed June 2023

Transamerica is proud to collaborate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s innovative AgeLab to help people make educated financial decisions about their future.

Transamerica is a proud sponsor of the MIT AgeLab.

Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, investment, legal, medical or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent professionals for answers to your specific questions