Tips for snowbirds

“Snowbirds” are those retired couples who live in more than one state.  Usually they live in northern climates in the summer and move to warmer places like Florida or Arizona in the winter months.

From the Wall Street Journal

By the time Gil Stanley retired from teaching in 2009, he’d had enough of the harsh winters in his hometown of York Harbor, Maine. So the now-72-year-old built a home in Florida where he spends about half the year.

But getting his financial life in tune with this new lifestyle was no easy task.

What are some of the issues for people who want to become snowbirds?

  • Make sure you have access to your bank and investment accounts.
  • Decide what state you choose as your primary residence.  Different states have different rules.  Your decision can make a big difference in the taxes you owe.
  • Get professional tax advice.
  • Check with your financial advisor to make sure you can afford it.
  • Use the Internet.  Look into electronic bill payment and billing statements.
  • Be sure to notify vendors and financial advisers of changes of address.  Returned mail can block access to accounts.
  • Check your auto, home and health insurance to make sure you remain covered.
  • Check on health care providers to make sure that you have access when you need it.
  • Arrange for someone to check on you vacant home.

As the Baby Boom generation moves into retirement, many will take advantage of increased longevity to remain active.  Many will become snowbirds or hit the road with their RV, doing the things they have put off while working.    Planning ahead is critical for this to succeed.

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: