My summer vacation seems to fly by faster and faster each year as I age. I haven’t decided if it is because I have more interests that fill my days or it is because it takes me longer to do them. I may sound selfish to those who have only a few weeks a year for vacation time, but this is a perk that comes with a teaching career…although I don’t have an income for the ten weeks. The point I’m about to make is that even though my summers fly by, retirement seems to approach too slowly. And now, with Governor Christie in charge and about to attack pension reform, there may not be a pension waiting for me when I do reach retirement in a few years…even though it’s my money that I’ve paid into it all these years!

In talking to others of retirement age, I’ve asked where they would consider retiring. Their first response is to get as far away from New Jersey as possible! But seriously, where are some of the new retirement destinations since the past ones are heavily populated with seniors! According to AARP in Washington, D.C., retirees of my generation are more active and desire a retirement lifestyle that a city can offer…nightlife, shopping, museums, restaurants, cultural centers, and sports. Many are moving to Chicago. In fact, 22% of Chicago’s population are over age 50…a percentage that is growing.

In spite of the challenging winters, retirees find the city exciting and full of life…which helps to keep the spirit young. Since retirees are on a fixed income, it’s important to take many factors into consideration when deciding to move to a location such as Chicago where the average cost of a home is lower than the average home in New Jersey. Transportation is easily accessible with an excellent rail system, so a car may not be needed. This can eliminate a big expense. Another cost to research is that of moving companies. Illinois moving companies are more experienced with the weather and best routes, which may reduce the moving cost in the long run…or short run (a little play on words).

Something else retirees may want to consider is sending more valuable personal possessions by way of FedEx, UPS, or United States Postal Service. Of course size of packaging, weight, and time to reach destination may influence choice of delivery.

The best moves are well planned and researched. Retirement allows freedom to choose, with time to enjoy choices.