Five ways to avoid sea or tree change disaster
The reality of a sea or tree change can be quite different from the fantasy of walking on the beach or sitting on the verandah, gazing at rolling hills.
If you’re thinking about doing a sea or tree change, here are five important things to do before you start packing.
1. Consider your needs
No matter how fit and healthy you are now, there will come a time where things like the location of medical centres and hospitals will really matter. So check the town’s facilities and their proximity to where you live.
Also think about the kinds of things you like doing — if it’s fishing and walks on the beach, a seaside town may be perfect for you. But if you or your partner enjoy restaurants, movies and cultural events, you may be bored if the only entertainment is local pub.
2. Think about real estate
The rustic stone cottage nestled between emerald green hills may look divine on a spring day. But how practical is it? Does it need renovating? How expensive is it to heat and keep cool? Is the area prone to bushfire or flooding? And how will you deal with snakes, rodents or ticks that could be a part of everyday life?
3. Have a trial run
If you’ve got your heart set on a particular place, why not try before you buy? See if you can do a house swap with someone in the area of your dreams for a couple of months to get an idea of what day-to-day life is really like there. And try it more than once — during mid-summer or winter, or the wet season if it’s in the tropics. You can also mingle with the locals and see if there is the potential to make new friends.
4. Consider your social network
Loneliness can be a reality for retirees moving to another area, without the workplace or the children’s school to forge new friendships. So think carefully about how you’re going to make friends if you move.
5. Have a backup plan
Finally, make sure you have the financial resources to move back if you find the sea or tree-change isn’t for you. This means factoring in the costs of getting back into the property market in the city and the likelihood of being able to sell your new home if you decide you want to go back to the fast lane.
Ask the experts
A financial adviser can help you work out the financial reality of a sea or tree change. So before you make a move, speak to one of our qualified your financial adviser about your options.