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Retiring in Iowa or Moving Away – What’s best for me?

What’s Best for Retirement – Should I stay or should I go?


Retirement often presents individuals with the opportunity to make significant lifestyle changes. Among the many decisions to be made, one common dilemma retirees face is whether to stay close to their family and friends in familiar territory or to seek a warmer climate elsewhere. Both options have their merits and drawbacks, and weighing them carefully is crucial in making the best choice for one’s golden years.

Reasons to stay put

One of the primary benefits of staying in Iowa near family is the presence of a strong community and support system. Being surrounded by loved ones can provide emotional stability and companionship, especially as one ages. Remaining in familiar surroundings offers a sense of comfort and security. Retirees who have spent their lives in Iowa may find solace in the familiarity of their neighborhood, local amenities, and social circles. Iowa generally boasts a lower cost of living compared to many warmer regions so retirees staying in Iowa may find that their retirement savings stretch further, allowing for a more comfortable lifestyle without the need to worry excessively about finances.

Reasons to leave

Iowa’s climate can be unforgiving, with cold winters and hot summers. For retirees sensitive to extreme temperatures or those with mobility issues, navigating through the snow and ice during winter months can pose challenges. Compared to warmer states with beaches or outdoor recreational activities, Iowa may offer fewer options for leisure and entertainment, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. Access to specialized healthcare services may be limited in some parts of Iowa, especially in rural areas. Retirees with complex medical needs may face challenges in receiving timely and comprehensive care. Moving to a warmer climate means enjoying pleasant weather year-round, which can have significant benefits for overall health and well-being. Mild winters and ample sunshine promote outdoor activities and an active lifestyle. Studies have shown that warm weather can have positive effects on physical and mental health. Reduced joint pain, increased vitamin D levels, and lower instances of seasonal affective disorder are some of the potential health benefits of living in a warmer climate.

The cons for each decision

Moving away from Iowa means being geographically separated from family members. For retirees who value close-knit family relationships and regular interactions with grandchildren, the distance can be a significant drawback. Starting afresh in a new state requires adaptation to unfamiliar surroundings, customs, and social norms. Retirees may experience a period of adjustment and loneliness as they establish new routines and friendships. While warmer states offer enticing climates, they may also come with a higher cost of living, including housing, taxes, and healthcare expenses. Retirees must carefully assess their financial resources and budget accordingly to avoid financial strain.

Deciding to stay in Iowa near family or move somewhere warm after retiring depends on individual preferences and priorities. Retirees should consider factors such as their relationship with family members, health considerations, lifestyle preferences, and financial situation before making a choice.The decision is a deeply personal one, with no one-size-fits-all answer. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option and considering individual needs and preferences, retirees can make an informed decision that enhances their quality of life in this next stage.

Is it possible to split time between Iowa and a warmer state to enjoy the best of both worlds?

   Yes, some retirees opt for a “snowbird” lifestyle, spending part of the year in Iowa near family and the rest in a warmer climate, allowing them to maintain close relationships while enjoying favorable weather conditions.


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