A financial flight plan for snowbirds

Personal Finance

Each state has its own requirements to prove residency, so check the details. For starters, make sure you change your driver’s license, mailing address and tax return address.

“One big mistake people make is they have their income tax return go to the wrong state,” Scroggin said. “The federal government and the states share that data.”

Check to make sure that all your financial and estate-planning documents — including powers of attorney, wills and medical directives — are all still valid under the laws of your new state, he said. You may also have to amend auto insurance policies to make sure you’re adequately covered in both locales.

Becoming a snowbird can be a big move, so give it a test run. Scroggin said many of his clients find they miss their families and friends too much to spend the bulk of their time in that once-dream locale.

“Don’t go buy a place right away,” he said. “Go down and rent for a few months and see how you really adjust.”

More from Retire Well:
Student debt plagues older Americans. Here’s how to cope
Worried about retirement cash? Avoid rookie mistakes
Boomers: Steal a page from Daffy Duck and his stash of gold

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