If you’re trying to figure out how to retire early, maintaining your preferred lifestyle depends to a large degree on choosing the right geographic location.
If you like the idea of a dream home on an ocean inlet or in a natural setting as well as a vibrant cultural scene and access to good hospitals, airports and other infrastructure, you might want to consider retiring early in Portland, Maine.
It’s a great place for family to visit you in the summers, as Maine’s natural beauty includes one of the most scenic coastlines in the world, and Portland’s small-town feel means newcomers are able to get involved in the community in a meaningful way. Even if you’re used to the bustle of living in Boston, New York City and other large cities, many people find they enjoy the chance to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big ocean.
If you’re interested in learning how to retire early in Portland or any other specific location, it’s important to plan ahead — and spend plenty of time exploring.
Here are five tips for choosing the ideal place to spend your early retirement:
1) Start exploring: With your dream retirement lifestyle in mind, visit the area for two weeks and get a feel for it. Rent a house instead of staying at a resort, and talk with local people who have retired early with similar goals. Ask how the situation is working out for them and for any advice they might have.
2) Form relationships with local professional services providers: To get the inside scoop and make connections, form relationships with a real estate agent, banker, contractor, financial advisor and CPA. Call on them for advice for handling the logistics of retiring in the area. If you’re coming from out of state, for example, it’s important to make sure you understand any tax issues you’d need to address when relocating.
3) Research your cost of living and projected expenses: During your visits, shop around for a home or other large purchases, and start getting some price estimates. Most people who transition to Portland from other markets are able to sell their existing homes and get a lot more for their money in Maine.
Make sure the cost of living aligns with your retirement planning and look into investment opportunities. For example, could you afford to buy a rental property in Maine now as a useful investment for moving to Portland in the future?
4) Explore professional opportunities: If you plan to pursue consulting work or a second career during retirement, start forming professional relationships now through referrals from others and organizations such as the local chamber of commerce.
Portland’s proximity to major cities means that many people are able to continue working at their existing job while living their dream lifestyle in a smaller town, while others make use of its phone and Internet connectivity to work remotely.
As a place to do business, Maine still puts a high value on person-to-person interaction. If you get involved in the business community, you should have no issue meeting people and making meaningful connections.
5) Continue to refine your research: After your initial visit, plan to visit the state in more than one season to get a feel for what the place is like year-round. It’s also a great opportunity to follow up on leads and ideas generated by your initial research.
Following these five tips is a great way to find the ideal location for your early retirement without sacrificing your preferred lifestyle. As with all financial goals, planning ahead is the best way to make your retirement dreams come true.
Worried about outliving your money? Request a free, 30-minute consultation with Richard Brothers and start planning for retirement.
Richard Brothers Financial Advisors