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6 Key Tips to Prepare for a Successful Snowbirding Experience

When you retire, do you plan to spend the winter in one area and spend the summer in another? Do you consider your retirement to be like a “snow bird”? If this is your plan, you’ll want to start with it before it officially becomes a snow bird. Advance training will save you time, fees, and hassle. As a member of the Snowbird community, I can assure you that it is a rewarding experience. But like any activity, the more you plan, the more successful you will be.

Here are six areas where planning is the key to achieving your snowbirding dreams.

1. Decide where your home really is

While it’s great to Winter in the southern sun and summer In the cool north breeze, at some point you have to call a place “home” - if not for your own feelings, then for the benefit of retirement savings. Important financial ramifications are related to the location you choose as your primary residence. Take Florida as an example. If you change your main residence in Florida, you will be able to take care of your home, which saves local taxes and provides protection for creditors. Even stronger is the fact that, compared to many northern states, Florida has no state income tax.

There are more considerations than taxes. A change of address requires the updating of legal documents. For example, when you change your state of residence in Florida, you will want your last will to comply with Florida law and be signed by Florida witnesses.

Establishing your primary residence requires planning. You can’t just say “This is home” and do it for legal purposes. And contrary to popular belief, your home is not established simply by living in that location for six months and one day. Depending on where you live (and how hungry you are for income), prove your residency by a combination of factors, such as where you vote, where you have your car license, and in a famous case, where your dog is. your registered.

And yes, the real time you spend there is crucial. Some jet setter use an app on their smartphone that tracks their geographic location throughout the year as a way to prove residency.

2. Go digital

Speaking of applications, your snowbirding experience will be greatly enhanced by the use of digital tools. Instead of being tied to a mailbox, your records can go wherever they go.

Obvious examples include electronic banking and online billing. A good goal for snowbirding is to have as little correspondence as possible through the USPS. While the Postal Service has the tools to send mail, the system is less than perfect. You’ll find that after a while, they stop sending magazines to your alternate address.

Of course, setting up your online world may take some time at first, but managing your finances via computer and Wi-Fi will be incredibly convenient than mail. Other digital devices that can help you are security cameras and smart apps for monitoring and maintaining your home away from home.

Parking meters, interstate fees, gym memberships, even a Starbucks account - many of the day-to-day activities that involve both homes can be greatly simplified by using smart devices rather than carrying cards and cash.

3. Focus on your insurance

Being a snow bird creates problems that others rarely encounter. Let’s start with property insurance. Homeowners’ rates vary significantly between residents and part-time occupants, so “Where’s home?” the decision should include insurance costs.

And often snow birds target states that have unique geographic hazards, such as hurricanes and wildfires. It is important to sort through primary and secondary residences, identify the necessary coverage, and then establish the details with your insurers.

Tip: You can save money by suspending the cover of cars that are idle at the second home. When you return, notify your insurer.

And be prepared to work with more than one insurance company. With Florida in mind, many of the leading national insurance companies do not offer homeowners insurance to coastal residents. You may have different home and car insurers in different locations.

Medicare while Snowbirding

A high priority insurance issue for many retirees is Medicare. While a Medicare Advantage plan may have been helpful when you live in one location, snowbirding may require switching to a traditional Medicare plan with a Medigap supplement.

Because you live in two different locations, you will probably have different doctors and different health care systems to deal with. Traditional Medicare with an additional plan may cost more in terms of premiums, but may be cheaper in the long run because of the costs associated with visiting doctors outside the coverage area.

4. Consider access to healthcare

Health issues should also be part of the overall planning process. An old saying goes “Don’t live where you like to go on vacation”. Although this may be an exaggeration, there is wisdom in the mind. Pre-retired tourists often seek to get rid of everything. But if you live in a remote location, you may be deprived of the necessary health services. A secluded island or a cottage in the mountains is a great escape; but ask yourself if you should live here for a long time, especially as you get older.

5. Make 1 plus 1 equal Less Than 2

Snowbirding is not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You will find that at some point you will want to be comfortable in both locations and not carry your proverbial “things” back and forth with each trip. By planning ahead, you can avoid doubling your living costs in two places.

Because snowbirding means that you will spend at least part of the year in warm climates, think about your fashion choices. For many retirees, there is simply no need for an extended wardrobe, especially winter coats and sweaters, in southern locations.

Tip: Keep in mind that you may need a set of dress clothes in each location for any situation, such as a wedding or a funeral.

Another way to avoid duplicating costs is to go back to the previous suggestion to “go digital”. The more important documents and statements you upload to the cloud, the easier it is to transfer back and forth without worrying about a forgotten folder or book. This will also save office furniture and equipment. You have your laptop and headphones and give up the printer and the desk. When you need it, there is often an office supply store nearby, which will be enough for your occasional printing.

Use the goal of avoiding duplication as a way to simplify. You may find that you don’t even need a bread machine, a mandolin (whatever that is!) Or a spoonful of melon in your new kitchen. Retirement is a way to ease, and snowbirding can be the catalyst.

6. You have an entry And An exit plan

Becoming a snow bird can be the best approach. In my case, my wife and I used the Vrbo properties for four winters before actually investing in an apartment. It gave us a chance to get to know the target community, experiment with the transfer between two locations, and learn the tricks of being a snow bird.

Tip: Hurry is really a waste. Try to meet the dream location before you marry it.

It is equally important to look to the future for a possible exit plan. Retirees may one day find themselves facing fragility, financial insecurity, or the need to be with their family. Ask yourself if anything made happens, including the death of your husband, where would you like to go?

Looking to the future can lead to better financial decisions today. You can use the snowbird opportunity to reduce your current residence, pay off your conventional mortgage with a reverse mortgage, or even decide to live in an age-centered home, such as an active adult community or a continuing care retirement home. (CCRC).

If you can imagine the progress of your retirement, you can create a plan that will help you get started.

Snowbirding is a dream come true for many retirees. Just make sure you stand out snowbirding from holiday. Research it, think about the process, and give it a try. If it fits, go to it and pay attention to the details. Chances are you’ll like it.

For more snowbirding inspiration, consider

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Dedicated Serverhttps://www.winteringhamfields.com
Hi, By Profession I am an Injury Attorney who handles accident cases of cars with no insurance. I took College Classes online to get a degree in game design too.

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