Relocating — Finding the True You

In the years leading up to your transition away from full-time work, you most likely will weigh where and how you want to live. The demands of rough northern winters may get you to thinking that a life without a snow shovel would not be a bad thing, even if it pulled you away from all that is known and familiar. Or perhaps a favorite vacation destination has always teased you with the dream of living in a perpetual haze of relaxation far from the pressures of work and day-to-day living. Of course, moving there full-time would include bringing along some of the detritus of daily life, such as:

  • Grocery shopping

  • Meal preparation

  • Paying taxes and utilities

  • Dealing with health issues

  • Managing finances

  • Transportation

  • House cleaning

You get the idea. Your dream of living as if you are on vacation may not exactly be a reality, even if you move to a vacation destination. Keep in mind when you are thinking of potential places to retire to that you will still need to get the same chores done no matter where you go. Consider whether your chores will be made easier or more difficult if you move. Is there a grocery store nearby? Will your house be easier or more difficult to clean?

At the same time you are exploring possible physical destinations to live out your retirement years, you need to be conducting a search for the right environment to nurture your inner self.

It is possible that choosing a new geographical locale is important on two levels. Finding the right place where you can sow the seeds of your inner growth can be just as important as finding a more temperate climate for your achy bones.

In their book Claiming Your Place at the Fire, authors Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro make the point that as the years pile up, there can be a tendency to get stuck in one place, both literally and figuratively. Setting down roots so you can grow and flourish happens when you are in the right place. You may already be in exactly the right spot to nurture the person you will be in retirement.

You may be able to cultivate self-knowledge by staying right where you are, or you may choose to shake things up for a whole new outlook by placing yourself in a new community. Evaluating whether, or where, to relocate should include both external and internal factors.

Leider and Shapiro caution that road atlases and chambers of commerce can provide superficial directions and information, but the inner voyage you embark upon will not have a nifty global positioning system to tell you where you are. That discovery is up to you.

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