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A Guide to Moving in Retirement

Nicola Ryan

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

12th Jul 2022 (Last updated on 9th Jun 2023) 6 minute read

Moving in retirement has become a popular choice over the years. This is because moving to a new area can boost the quality of life as it allows people to pursue their interests. However, it is a move that requires a lot of budgeting and planning, especially if you are moving abroad.

One of the most important parts of moving in retirement is organising your retirement removals in advance. This will ensure that your goods are transported securely, giving you peace of mind. This is especially crucial if you are embarking on a larger move.

In this guide, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about moving in retirement. So whether you plan on moving nationally or internationally, you’ll be able to make the right decision for you.

  1. What to Consider When Moving in Retirement
  2. Is Moving in Retirement Realistic?
  3. Cost of Moving in Later Life
  4. How to Downsize
  5. How to Move Abroad
  6. Other Options to Consider
  7. Tips for a Stress-Free Move in Retirement
  8. Planning your Removals

What to Consider When Moving in Retirement

There are all sorts of factors to consider when moving in retirement. This is because it is such a huge lifestyle change that it can be a shock to those who are not prepared. Here are some things you need to consider:

  • Access to amenities

Lack of access to amenities is one of the reasons why people move in retirement. Having access to amenities means you can pursue hobbies and interests.

  • Location

Location is another major reason. Lots of retirees wish to move to a place that may boast a better climate or scenery such as a coastal town.

  • Community and social life

Areas that have a strong community can help boost your social life. It also ensures that you will always have something to do.

  • Downsize or more space

Think about whether you want to downsize or if you want more space. You need to make sure that your new home suits the new chapter in your life, especially if you plan to move far away.

  • Better weather or climate

Do you want to move somewhere that boasts a better climate for you? Lots of ex-pats move to countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Spain. This is thanks to their warmer climate. You may feel the complete opposite and seek a cooler climate.

  • Distance to family

Think about the distance of the location to your family. Lots of people move to be closer to their families. This is so they can spend time with their children and grandchildren.

  • Medical care

Another important factor is access to medical care. The UK offers free medical care, but it's important to think about access to medical care if you wish to move abroad. This is especially important if you are in poor health.

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Is Moving in Retirement Realistic?

Moving in retirement is often viewed as unrealistic due to rising costs. As with any move, there are pros and cons of moving after retirement. However, if you plan and budget carefully, it is doable.

Start by researching the area that you wish to move to and comparing it with the costs of your current location. Depending on the location, downsizing tends to be cheaper. There are also mortgages for over 50s schemes that are worth researching.

Cost of Moving in Later Life

There are certain costs to consider when moving in retirement. You should always look into what financial moving help you may be eligible for as this can help to reduce costs.

When it comes to moving, there are certain costs that you will have to pay if you are purchasing a property. For those who have owned a home before, this can reduce costs, especially if you decide to sell your home. Other factors such as the age of property can also make a huge difference.

Costs include a house deposit, conveyancing fees, survey fees, the removal service, and stamp duty. Here are the average costs of buying a house:

FeesAverage Cost (£)
10% Deposit£27,700
Level 2 Survey£500
Stamp Duty£3,850

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How to Downsize

A lot of people downsize when moving house in retirement. Some people find that their current property is too large after their family has moved out. While others may feel that they need to move into a home that is more accessible.

In most cases, downsizing means that you will be paying less in rent or mortgage payments. This is dependent on where you move as the area plays a huge role in bill and house prices.

The main con with downsizing is the limited space as your new home won’t be as big. You may find that if you are living by yourself or with a spouse/partner, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

How to Move Abroad

Lots of people choose to move abroad when they retire. One of the things associated with the UK is its rainy weather. Countries such as Spain and Australia are popular thanks to the warmer climate.

Before you decide to move, you need to consider a variety of factors. The main thing is deciding where you want to move to. When you have done this, consider the pros and cons. For example, if you move to Spain from the UK the weather is far better. There are many great places to live in Spain, but do you plan on learning Spanish? These questions will determine whether an international move is right for you.

Here are the most popular locations for ex-pats, according to our unique data:

  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. Italy
  5. Australia
  6. United States
  7. New Zealand
  8. Ireland
  9. Portugal
  10. Netherlands

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Other Options to Consider

There are other options that you can consider if you feel that the options are not for you. Retirement homes form a community of ex-pats.

This is a great choice for those who may not have a spouse or family as you will have the freedom of living in your own home. You'll also be part of a community made up of like-minded people.

The main downside to retirement homes is their cost. They tend to cost more than a house on the open market. They also come with annual maintenance fees and other similar charges. Make sure that you have a clear retirement plan in place to ensure that you can afford the cost.

Tips for a Stress-Free Move in Retirement

Moving can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a moving house checklist, you can be sure that your move is as stress-free as possible. Here are a few tips that you can follow:


Packing and preparing your goods in advance will mean you aren’t rushing last minute. Many removal companies offer packing services. This means they will pack your belongings, ready for transport. There are many movers and packers in London and across the UK that can assist you with packing services.


You may want to consider putting your goods in storage. This is ideal for those who are downsizing and haven’t decided what to do with their belongings.

Planning your Removals

At Compare My Move, we work with a network of removal partners who have years of experience in the industry. They are ready to help you with your national or international move.

All our partners offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re hiring a removal company that you can trust.

Nicola Ryan

Written by Nicola Ryan

Nicola focusses on all things moving house at Compare My Move where she writes articles for the advice centre, guiding users through everything they need to know about moving house.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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