Where to Retire: Next Moves in Midlife with Tom Mietzel

Tom Mietzel has lived, worked and played in many cities and countries throughout his adult life. His travel for personal, business and medical purposes have allowed him to experience numerous destinations and given him the opportunity to determine where he would like to call home as he considers his next steps in selecting his retirement location.   With so many options, figuring out where you want to retire is an exciting time but first, consider the lifestyle you want to lead.

Meet Tom Mietzel:

Tom Mietzel is the CEO of The Field of Dreams which is a Midwest destination baseball sports venue.  Before entering the sports industry Tom built a successful real estate & construction company, owned several franchises and is an author and professional speaker.  Tom has spent most of his life living outside of the traditional box and in doing so prepared him for an engaging and somewhat unconventional second half of life.

In this episode: 

Tom Mietzel has spent much of his adult life living in different cities, traveling and working on his plan for retirement.  Listen in as Tom shares his insight and tactical advice for things you should consider if you are looking to relocate for retirement.

Before packing your bags and selling your house you might want to do some destination travel investigation to help you figure out what you are exactly looking for.  Selecting where you want to live requires a personal inventory of what your priorities are.  

The first stop in your journey starts before you ever leave home.  Start researching and use your prospective communities’ local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Agency.  These first steps will give you a great snapshot of the community and help in sorting through what is truly important to you.  Once you have narrowed down the areas, take a deeper dive into the details and consider these factors.

  1. Are you a country kid or city kid?  Determining the size and population of the community is a necessity so figure out if you are an urban, rural or metropolitan kind of kid?  
  2. What kind of climate is attractive to you?  Do you prefer seasons, sun, warm or winter wonderland or do you want to escape to an island, flatland, mountains or lakes.  Climate is an important key to your happiness and health. 
  3. What is the cost of living? Consider the affordability of housing, food, insurance and taxes.  What does your retirement account say you can afford?  The Council for Community and Economic Research can provide an annual cost of living index information in more than 300 urban areas and non-metro areas in the U.S.
  4. Close Proximity to family is often a factor particularly if you have children, grandchildren or elderly parents or do you need to be in the same city?  Do you want to be close enough to drive or within flight distance?
  5. Are community resources & culture & S\social interaction, public transportation, educational systems, recreation or outdoors important to you?
  6. Is walkability, shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacy, medical facilities or close access to medical care a necessity in your regular routine?
  7. Consider the Crime Rate.  It is an essential consideration as we all want to live where we feel safe.

Once you have narrowed down your top picks begin taking vacation getaways (if you have not already) to those locations.  Pick your top destinations and make a plan to spend 3-4 weeks if time permits and see if it truly fits your lifestyle.  

Get out and explore off the beaten tourist paths and go where the locals go.  Whether you are single or a couple get out and mingle.  If you think you want to move to a new community you have to be invested in creating new relationships. 

Moving to a new city, state or outside of the country requires many considerations and for everyone the priorities will be different.  Moving costs can be substantial so consider selling the bulk of your household belongings and buying new.  If you are downsizing you do not need the contents from your 4 bedroom/2 car garage home in a 2 bedroom condo.  Placing excess in storage units is also bad use of your finances as more often than not you will not ever use those items again.

You are now entering a new phase of life so making changes whether dramatic or slight can be energizing and inspiring.  Be brave and courageous as you journey into this exciting next phase of your life as there may be a whole new world waiting for you. 

Links & resources:

Tom’s Website

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Yankees vs White Sox August 13th, 2020 at The Field of Dreams

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