After you retire, seasonal migration offers the best of both worlds. It gives you the opportunity to keep ties to your family and friends while also enjoying a change in scenery during seasons you’d rather avoid. While being a snowbird is great, it can come with certain challenges that must be overcome. Here are some tips on what to consider helping ensure that you retire successfully as a snowbird.
Where Should You Go?
This is a very personal decision because you must consider what type of person you are. Think about what you like to do and where you like going. Do you prefer going to shows and eating out, or would you rather enjoy the outdoors and grill your food? It’s important to think about these things to ensure you’re comfortable where you’re staying and to find a place where the people living there enjoy the same things as well. With an abundance of locations to choose from across the nation, it becomes easier to find a place that you’ll thoroughly enjoy for part of the year.
How Long Should You Stay?
This really goes hand in hand with the first question. Where you choose to go for your second home, and where you’re coming from, will determine how long you should, or could stay. If you’re coming from the North to avoid the winters, which is usually the case, around 6 months is about the average time snowbirds stay south. This provides ample time to enjoy the beautiful summer season in the north while avoiding the colder weather during winters. If the season of concern is a month early or late, it’s common to change to a 5/7 month schedule as well. Be flexible so you can enjoy the season how you want to spend it.
Should You Fly or Drive?
Sometimes driving is really just not worth the hassle. If it’s looking like you’d have to drive multiple days to reach your second home, you may want to consider flying. Many times, snowbirds find a good place to store their vehicles, disconnect the battery, and leave it behind for the season. It really depends on the costs of each. Calculate how much it would cost to drive versus fly and choose the cheaper alternative. This is your first step in saving money throughout the year.
Take Care of Your Mail
The post office will forward mail with a beginning and end date, making it easier to continuously receive your mail.
Turn off Everything
This means water and everything electrical. Make absolutely sure that nothing is leaking, even the smallest leak will add up over several months. Also turn off the water heater if you have one as the tank will burn when the water has run out. Water damage can be expensive; this will create some peace of mind when you’re gone. When unplugging electrical appliances, unplug everything. Even if you don’t think it’d take much juice, just like water, it can definitely add up in cost over several months and no one wants to come back home to ridiculous expenses when they weren’t even there.
Think of Your Services
Most services such as TV, internet, phone, and garbage can be turned to a ‘vacation/hibernation’ setting. When done, the services will be stalled and unable to use but you won’t be disconnected entirely. All you have to do when returning is make a call to turn everything back on and you’re good to go. There may be small fees with using this setting but it’s often much more costly to leave the services on or to restart the service when returning. The vacation setting is definitely something to look into and can save you a good sum of money.
Make it Look Like You are Home
Alarm systems are good to have but are intended to go off when a thief arrives at your home. It’s a good idea to make it look like someone is living there so no one thinks it’d be easy to rob. Leave the blinds open a crack, decorate the front door before leaving, or tell your delivery person not to leave a pile at your door so it’s not obvious. Also, try to get some neighbors or relatives to check on your house every now and again to ensure all is well there.
With all of these tips and things to consider, you should have a good idea of what you’ll need to know when deciding to become a snowbird and retire in style living the life that you want.
If you’d like to see how Travelers Country Club on the Mississippi could fit into your retirement plans, just give us a call at 320-743-3133, email us at email@example.com, or check out our website at www.travelerscconmiss.com.