Many people are moving out of states that have a high cost of living and high taxes, to other states that offer a better quality of living and fewer expenses. Some people might want to leave the bustle of the city, and retire to a more rural area and slow down their frantic pace of living. Whether that happens during retirement years or earlier, an individual has to plan for it.
Ideally, retirement planning should start as early as possible, after college, when an individual starts earning a living and has employment. There are several methods of investing to grow the money set aside for retirement; however, that money will last more or less, depending on the state where the person retires. One area where people retire is the South states – Virginia being one of them.
Overview of Virginia
Virginia is a beautiful state – its motto – Virginia is for lovers. It also has a low cost of living (compared to other states) and lower taxes, (depending on the state the person has lived – VA ranks 18, at a higher tax burden total). It has major cities, beach areas, wilderness, but also farm and rural areas. It offers a bit of everything to retirees. There are wineries, tons of small town festivals, and historic towns. There is a rich history there and it is conveniently close to the East cities. The climate is not too cold, with hot and humid summers, and winters are supposed to be gentler than in cities like New York or the more northern states. However, there have been some years with very heavy snowfall. The climate is perfect for retirees that do not enjoy the hot weather of Florida, but want still want some snow.
Virginia is divided in regions – The Tidewater or coastal plains area, the foothills or Piedmont area, the Appalachian Mountains area, the Ridge and Valley area to the west of the mountains, and the Cumberland area in the southwest corner. It is important to know a bit of each distinctive area before deciding where to retire, as many areas vary in topography, but also in lifestyle. If services and healthcare are a concern, then individuals should look at the northern areas.
Health care services in Virginia are like in any other state, depending on where you choose to live, Hospitals will be farther or closer. Many large hospitals have affiliate clinics in areas that are more rural; however, expect to travel more if you choose a rural area as your retirement place to live. The North and East of Virginia have the most city life and metropolitan areas.
Times have changed, especially after the economic meltdown. Some states where affected more than others and many retirees saw their retirement income and investment plummet. Many people are going back to basics when it comes to investment for retirement, in this type of economy. However, a retirement plan should always be diversified – and this applies even in hardship times. The adage “Don’t put your all your eggs in one basket” is more real now than ever. How a person decides to invest for retirement is a personal choice; however, most people are investing for long-term and being very cautious and conservative these days. High risk investing is not so popular, especially if you are investing for retirement.
Correctly Plan for Your Virginia Retirement
Virginia retirement planning basics include setting aside 5-10% of your income for retirement purposes. However, if that amount is unrealistic – depending on your earnings – it is important to set a realistic amount that you are comfortable with, and still are able to create an emergency fund, so you do not tap into your retirement savings when the unexpected strikes. Any amount saved for retirement is better than no amount at all.
Retirement Savings Accounts
Basic retirement techniques also include taking advantage of 401ks offered at work, or IRAs. The benefit is that the percentages are taken from pre-tax dollars, and many times, there is a company match. Other basic strategies to grow your Virginia retirement savings are to cut spending to eliminate unnecessary items in the budget. This will open a little bit of cash that can be used for savings, or even to start an emergency fund. Part-time or side jobs are a good idea to create extra income.
Making Your Calculations
One important area in planning for retirement is to calculate how much money you will need to retire and live until your life expectancy years. Many online calculators can help you with this task. Another way to do it is to talk to a Financial Advisor in Virginia who can help you estimate the cost of living in that state and make projections of the amount of money you will need to retire. You might find that you might need less than you expected. There is a huge difference between retiring in states like New York or New Jersey, and retiring in Virginia. The amount of money under normal circumstances would be less. A financial planner can help you set up a budget, and plan for many areas of your retirement future – even some areas that you might not be aware, but that a professional can project. The important issue here is the careful planning addressing the true important areas.
Factoring the Cost of Living
Many people make the mistake of moving to a state that has a lower cost of living compared to the state they lived in and buy large houses that they could not previously afford. A large home is not what is needed for the golden years, and the large home/mortgage is taking a good chunk of the retirement money. The mentality of living large now that I can afford it might not be the best idea these days – however, planning for a comfortable retirement should be.
Virginia Retirement Planners and Companies
Just to mention a few, some listed retirement planning advisors in Virginia include,
Asset Harvest Group, LLC in McLean, VA,
Noffsinger Financial Group, in Newport News, Va,
Virginia Estate and Retirement Planning Advisors, Inc
3900 Westerre Parkway, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23233
309 W Bute St
5029 Corporate Woods Dr. # 150
Virginia Beach, VA
The important issue is to find a financial advisor that is closest to the area where you are planning to retire, and one that you can establish a lasting professional bond for many years. With the internet advantage, most companies are able to serve clients throughout the state. However, if you are looking for a face-to-face and close contact relationship, then it is better to deal local.
A financial planner can help you go through the five step process of financial planning with the goal of obtain a comfortable and productive retirement. In the beginning, a planner will focus your effort in collecting the information he/she needs to help you come up with a retirement plan. He/she will analyze that information and know how to apply it to the many areas of retirement. Next, he/she will come up with a plan tailored to your current situation and guided to where you want to be in retirement. He/she will present that plan and discuss it with you, helping you to understand it. Later, he/she will guide you through the implementation of the plan in your life so you can achieve the desired results – during retirement. This plan will prepare you and take you to retirement. During this phase, a financial planner will help you and monitor the steps, and adjust as necessary, according to your situation. A financial plan is a guide, not written on stone and should be flexible to accommodate the changes that might happen in a person’s life – sometimes life altering changes such as death, divorce, and career change … A professional financial planner will help you modify your financial plan accordingly.
Top Places to Retire in Virginia
Many people from the Northeast retire in Virginia, especially in the Smith Mountain Lake and the Blue Ridge Mountain area. Many retirees that end up disliking Florida move to Virginia, Georgia, or North Carolina. Popular retirement areas in Virginia are:
- Virginia Beach
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Prince George
- Northern Neck
- Loudon County
- Chesapeake Bay
- Northern Virginia
- Areas Close to the Shenandoah Valley
Adult retirement communities are usually found close to the metropolitan areas. Many are upscale communities. Some retirement communities offer amenities such as country club appeal settings, pools, golf courses, and fitness and tennis facilities. These are more midsize communities compare to the larger communities of other states.
Seniors who are active can settle in Fredericksburg, and closer to Washington D.C. where there is much going on. The Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake area are great for people who want to live near the water; this area also has many military bases. For retirees who love rich history, Richmond will offer that and much more.
Virginia retirement depends much in the preparation that a person does far ahead, before the retirement years. The cost of living of a state is important, but without sufficient funds to retire and live a decent retirement life, retirement might not be possible at all.