Effectively Preparing For Snowbird Retirement
Every year, an increasing number of ‘snowbirds’ head southbound to avoid the harsh winter months in their home states. Most of these snowbirds are elders who insist on renting a location for years, while others may have a home already purchased with intent to move into at some point in their retired lives. Regardless of which southern state these elders select, their home-away-from-home provides a well-needed respite throughout the rough winters, while also providing a means to gather family and friends occasionally. If you believe any member of your family is ready to start considering the snowbird lifestyle, this post will detail a number of tips to make that process a bit simpler.
Beginning with the homes these snowbirds are leaving, knowing the majority of time spent out of their homes will be within the winter months, snowbirds will have to winterize their homes. Which means these individuals will likely have to suspend services like cable and internet, but more importantly their water to avoid any flooding or water damage risks to their property throughout the winter. Lowering the heat is also recommended, but the heat should never be turned off for extended periods of time while away. Turning the heat off leaves water pipes liable to freeze in the coldest months.
Snowbirds will also have to consider how they will continue to care for any vehicles or appliances being kept in their winter homes. Similarly, prior to departure, snowbirds will want to clear out their fridges as any products that are perishable will begin to decay. Depending on the duration of these snowbirds’ travels and stays, they may come home to some disgusting food discoveries if they fail to clear their fridges. On that same note, they may also want to leave the doors of the fridge open to avoid mildew creation and build up. Once entirely cleared, it is safe to unplug their fridge to reduce electricity costs.
Prior to leaving, it may be worth scheduling some maintenance ahead of time for any winter home’s heating systems. A professional will quickly deem a system as capable of covering any snowbird’s home for the duration of their stay and can recommend the best ways to keep these winter homes warm throughout any snowbird’s time away from home. These professionals will also likely recommend unplugging any electronics around the winter home to avoid any fire risks while these snowbirds are away.
It’s also worth mentioning that any snowbird should make some considerations regarding their mail delivery as well. Extended amounts of time away from a winter home is a great reason to finally cancel any unwanted magazine subscriptions. Snowbirds planning to stay away from their homes too long should also reach out to the United States Postal Service and request that their mail be forwarded to their southern home’s address while they’re away. For snowbirds with long-standing relationships with their neighbors, it’s worth mentioning plans of extend leave. These neighbors will be able to keep the closest eye on these snowbirds’ homes while they’re away and make sure no suspicious activity is taking place while they’re away.
Once all of these checklists have been marked, these snowbirds are ready to go. Continue to confirm all of the necessary medicine, prescriptions and other medical apparatuses are packed and ready to be brought with. Set up some check-ins with nearby family, friends or neighbors to ensure the safety of their permanent homes. Snowbirds without these local connections can alert their local police department of their extended leave for an additional safety measure.
There’s truly no reason to feel overwhelmed, with the right amount of preparation comes the confidence snowbirds will need while away for so long. Keeping their homes secure while away is no easy task though. For additional information on how your family members can smoothly transition into a snowbird retirement, be sure to check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Transport Advisers.