When senior citizens enter retirement, many use the time to relocate and find a new place to call home. According to SmartAsset, 930,000 senior citizens moved across state lines in 2018. There are many reasons why seniors want to move, whether it’s to be closer to family or to downsize in a new location. Regardless of your reasoning, there are five things to consider when moving as a senior before packing up your items. First, let’s discuss moving with your health insurance.
- Will your health insurance follow?
When you move to a different city or state, you will want to check your Medicare plan to ensure it will move with you. Medicare is the health insurance program for seniors aged 65 and older and others who meet special criteria. If you only have original Medicare, you don’t have to worry about changing anything as original Medicare does not have service area restrictions. Therefore, your Medicare will move with you.
The same rules apply with a Medigap plan. Medigap plans work alongside original Medicare, so you can visit any doctor in the United States that accepts Medicare with your Medigap plan. Therefore, a Medigap plan will also move with you.
Unlike Medicare and Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans have networks that work in select counties around you. So, if you plan on moving outside your network, you will need to contact your Medicare Advantage carrier.
When you move to a new location outside your network, you can apply for a new Medicare Advantage plan in your new zip code or switch to original Medicare and purchase a Medigap plan. When moving to a new service area, you are granted a guaranteed issue right. What this means is that you have opened a chance to purchase a Medigap plan without underwriting.
- Consider downsizing
There are many memories created inside a home, which makes the process of moving out difficult and emotional. However, when you are alone in a large house, it may seem like more of a job to maintain the upkeep as a senior citizen. Which is why many seniors downsize houses to help make their senior years more enjoyable.
There are a few signs that indicate it’s time to downsize homes. For example, if you have multiple vacant rooms in your home that have no use, then you do not need them—having a larger home with no one occupying it costs money to heat and maintain.
Another example would be if you find yourself stretching your retirement savings. If you begin to see yourself struggling to buy food, pay bills, or pay the lawn guy, it may be time to downsize to save your retirement savings.
- Declutter your belongings
If you decide to downsize homes, you will next want to consider decluttering your belongings. When you are moving into a smaller house, there will not be enough room for the stuff you had in your more prominent home. When going through your things, consider the things that are essential to you and things you haven’t touched in years.
You can begin to declutter your things by putting them into categories, such as the things you want to keep, sell, give, or throw away. If you are having trouble figuring out what to throw out, ask yourself a few questions:
- When was the last time I used this?
- Is this out of date?
- When was the last time I took this out of the box?
- Does it fit me or my style?
If all of these answers are leaning towards tossing the item, then toss it out!
- The community
Before you begin to move, you should consider the community you will be moving to. Do you have any family or friends who live close by? Are you moving to a community where you will be surrounded by college students or families? There is a lot to consider when moving to a new community.
Before you decide to make your move, check out your new city and see if it has anything to offer you. Many cities and towns offer senior activities, such as fitness classes, crafting, or volunteer work. Consider the city you are moving to and ensure this is the place you want to call home.
- How to keep moving day safe
After you are all packed up, you will want to consider how you can keep moving day safe as a senior. The number one thing to consider is asking for help. As a senior, you should not risk moving alone as seniors are at a high risk of falling. Ask a family member or a friend for help moving the heavy boxes to ensure you do not cause any severe injury.
Another way to keep moving day safe is by eating a nutritional meal and drinking lots of water. The last thing you want to happen is not having enough energy for the day or getting overheated and fainting.
There are many aspects to consider when moving as a senior, which can make the whole process stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. When you consider these five things before moving, you may find the result rewarding with extra money in your pockets at the end.