Each year, many retirees become ‘snowbirds’ as they migrate southbound to avoid the harsh winter months in their home states. Most often these retirees will rent a location for years. Alternatively, many have owned a home that was purchased with intent to premaritally move into it post retirement. Predominantly living in the harsher weathered states means moving to southern states can provide a well-needed paradise in the winter months. Owning a property also means being capable of hosting family and friends in their summer homes. Any retiree contemplating how they could make a snowbird lifestyle feasible, this post and accompanying infographic will hopefully provide some assistance.
First and foremost, winterizing the homes they’ll be leaving is imperative. The winterizing process includes suspending services like cable and internet. It also extends to a pause or cancellation of water services for the sake of avoiding the chance of flood or water damage to their property throughout the winter. Some considerations will also need to be made for the heating elements; however no home should ever go without heat for extended periods of time while away. Turning the heat off leaves water pipes liable to freeze in the coldest months.
The winter home’s vehicles and appliances will also have to be paid attention to as well. In terms of appliances, any snowbird will want to clear out their fridges before departing to their summer home. Remove any perishables prior to their decay. These fridges will also likely require that their doors be left open to avoid mildew build up. It also goes without saying that any appliances not necessary to the integrity of the home be unplugged to reduce electricity costs.
Most importantly, retirees should have prescheduled maintenance on any systems that do contribute to the integrity of their homes prior to moving southbound. A home’s heating systems, for example. Hiring any HVAC professional will give these retirees the comfort they need to know their system will be capable of covering their home for the duration of their stay. In addition, these professionals can recommend strategies to keep the winter homes warm throughout their time away. They will also have an idea as to what electronics around the winter home can pose fire risks while these snowbirds are away.
Retirees will also need to contact their local mail service to adjust their address as well. This can also be the perfect catalyst for canceling any subscription to a magazine you haven’t read in some time. A conversation with the United States Postal Service can grant the ability to forward mail in the event that a retiree would like to receive their mail throughout their stay. It’s equally important for retirees to also have conversations with their neighbors about their departure. Requesting them to pay close attention on their home while away can help prevent any thief or crime at the home. With them on notice, they’ll be able to contact authorities at the sight of suspicious activity.
While the process may seem long, retirees will have the peace of mind necessary to be away from their winter homes with these considerations. Some more things to check off in the meantime are all related to medicine, prescriptions and any medical equipment necessary is packed and ready to be moved. Finally, schedule some check-ins with nearby family, friends or neighbors to guarantee the safety of their winter homes.
Hoping to learn more about snowbird retirement and how the process can be simplified? Take a moment to review the infographic featured alongside this post, courtesy of Transport Advisers.