Retirement is getting ready. After working all their lives – between professional responsibilities and sometimes a busy family life – many working people are impatiently waiting for the moment to retire and finally take care of themselves. If it is a relief for many, others dread this stage, because it turns their daily life upside down. No matter where you are, one thing is certain, it is better to avoid arriving with a grain of salt, without knowing what you want to do with your first years of retirement.
Some have already had a project defined for many years and it begins with a radical change of life, a move. To join loved ones, to make your second home your main residence, to enjoy the joys of the ocean after spending your life in the city… There are many reasons. Barthélemy Gas is the co-founder of Alphonse, which supports pre-retirees (and those who are already) in their various projects, including, sometimes, a move.
With Planet, he recalls that among retirees, as in any group, there are of course different personalities and desires: “Some people will move at this time in their life because they have always wanted to live elsewhere, but that their job required them to stay in a city. Others will do so for financial reasons, because they are rented in a big city or own a small area and they want to ‘ space. A lot also seek to get closer to a spouse, friends, so their motivation is the social circle, mainly”.
Grandparents looking to be closer to their children and grandchildren? “This is the primary motivation of some people, but it is a bit stigmatizing, because it is not the majority of cases. Many retirees do not want to be reduced to babysitters”, adds Barthélemy Gas.
If the motivation is there, why is a retirement move not prepared in the same way as when you were 20? On this subject, the co-founder of Alphonse recalls that “the brain is hermetic to change and, the older you grow, the more complicated it is to take the plunge. There is a psychological barrier because, over the years, you are less used to to change”. To avoid getting knots in the brain and scaring himself, he has the solution: a test lasting several months.
When you are afraid to take the plunge, why force yourself to leave everything behind and leave without looking back? Tearing off the bandage with a snap is not necessarily the solution for Barthélemy Gas, who advises instead to test his new life before adopting it. “The easiest way is to do an apartment exchange for six months. You just have to anticipate a little, but apart from that you don’t commit to much. You can also rent a property for a month in winter, a month in summer to get used to the region if you know it little or not at all,” he explains to Planet.
Of course, a move must be prepared before leaving, but there is a difference between anticipating and having the answer to everything. The co-founder of Alphonse therefore advises to “contact local associations, to plan activities during this month or these test months, quite simply to create inkings, so as not to wait for everything to fall ready-made in the mouth as soon as ‘we arrive”. “You have to be aware of the questions, but not have the answers to everything,” he adds to Planet.
Once you are certain that your desires match reality, other steps remain to be taken. Here they are.
Leaving leaving a whole part of your life behind is scary and that’s normal. To be sure not to be mistaken, here are the three points to focus on, according to Barthélemy Gas.
First advice, you have to think about the reasons for leaving:
Second piece of advice, don’t make it inaccessible: “When you retire, you tend to do a lot of simple things, but you just have to find the simplest solution for three months in order to test this new life. It doesn’t matter if we realize that we made a mistake, we signed for nothing so there is nothing at stake”.
Third piece of advice, especially for those who want to invest: “If we tell ourselves that we are buying a property in such a place to free up a supplementary pension, we must tell ourselves that we have open doors if we ever change our minds. You really have to buy in a place where you see yourself living and not see this investment only as income. You have to think of something in which you will be able to project yourself, which leaves freedom “.