A Fresh Start: Tips and Benefits of Moving to a New State for Aging Individuals

Miles Oliver
A woman and her elderly mother packing items into boxes
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Contrary to popular belief, aging needn’t be a time when you stop trying new things. Indeed, for many people, this period is one of enriching change. One of the ways you may find you want to pursue this is by moving to a new state.


Moving isn’t necessarily an easy process, though. There are a lot of practical and emotional elements to consider. It’s well worth taking a little time to explore how you can approach your move in a way that enhances the benefits and gives you a positive sense of the possibilities ahead.

Identify Your Motivations

As you age, the moving process doesn’t tend to get much easier. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider whether a move is right for you. Take the time to identify what’s motivating your shift. Having a strong sense of why moving is beneficial to you can keep you on track even when things get a little stressful.


Some potential reasons to move to another state might include:


  • To support mental wellness: Though moving can occasionally be stressful, in some instances it can also support mental wellness. You may have started to note some surprising signs of depression as you age, such as serious sleep problems or significant fatigue. Combined with other symptoms, like headaches and confusion, your low mood may indicate a need for change. Moving to a new state might provide you with a change of scenery and new opportunities that help combat your mental wellness challenges.
  • To be closer to others: One of the issues that can arise as people get older is a sense of isolation. Friends and family can move away or loved ones unfortunately pass away. Moving to another state to be closer to your family can be a great way to mitigate loneliness. Not to mention it’s an opportunity to make some new friends.


Your motivations don’t even have to be as formal and evidence-based as these. Moving simply because it’s time for something different or your current state just doesn’t feel like home anymore is perfectly legitimate. Acknowledging your reasons, even the vague ones, can give you more confidence about your shift.

Research Destinations



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Whether you already have a destination state in mind or you’re weighing up a couple of options of the best place to live, research is essential. What may seem ideal from friends’ and family’s accounts, still may not in reality quite fit your needs. The last thing you want is to have to make another move or, worse, be stuck somewhere you won’t be happy.


Some of the essential things you should know before moving to a new state include:


  • The climate: It’s no secret that harsh weather — such as ice and snow — becomes more difficult to deal with as people age. For the sake of your comfort and safety, it’s worth researching what types of climate conditions are common in your target states. Also, look at how these are expected to change in the coming years.
  • Healthcare support: You may already have some health conditions and one of the realities of aging is that we tend to experience more challenges. Research the availability of both general health facilities, such as clinics and pharmacies, as well as resources for any specialist care you need. You should also look into the specific Medicare rules for the state to make sure your treatments will be covered.
  • Cost of living: How far your retirement budget stretches can influence your ongoing quality of life. This is why it’s important to look into the average cost of living for your prospective states. Additionally, look at the comparative costs of your specific needs, such as medications, hobbies, and dietary items.


Yes, performing this research takes additional time and energy. It is a vital step, though. You gain reliable data that lets you make more informed decisions that will benefit you in the long run.

Simplify Your Move



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Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of moving to a new state as you age is how complex and frustrating it can feel. The amount of administration to consider and tasks to complete can make the process more stressful than it should be. You may find that taking a few steps to simplify your move can lighten your mental load and empower you to start your journey on a positive footing.


Some of the ways you can simplify include:


  • Downsize and declutter: Like most people, you’ve probably gathered a lot of belongings over the course of your life. Taking all these with you to a new state can be impractical, expensive, and just plain unnecessary. While you don’t have to perform a harsh purge of your items, think about what you really need to take with you and what’s genuinely meaningful to you. You can then donate any useful items you clear out to reputable charities. This means you’re both simplifying your move and making sure your belongings get a second lease of life with a worthy cause.
  • Create lists: Don’t try to keep all the tasks involved with moving in your head. This is a surefire route to confusion and forgetting important actions. Make clear checklists for every step of your moving process. Indeed, the earlier you can do this, the more time you have to spot steps you may have overlooked and still be able to attend to them. Keep your lists in a physical folder or a file on the cloud where you can access and amend them easily.


Perhaps above all else, taking steps to simplify gives you space to attend to your emotional needs. After all, you’re leaving a space that may have been your home for many years. When you aren’t navigating unnecessary moving stress, you may feel better able to take moments to appreciate what your home has meant to you and find the closure that sets you up for the journey ahead of you.


Moving to a new state as an aging individual can feel more positive if you take some solid preparatory steps. Some of these will give you clear motivations for change, while others make the process a little more practical. Throughout the move, though, remember to take the time to attend to your needs. After all, moving can be a turbulent experience even in the best circumstances. Be kind to yourself, keep in mind your reasons for a fresh start, and be open to a world of new possibilities. 


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