Snowbird Seasonal Relocation Checklist

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Checklist for Snowbirds

“Snowbird” season is fast approaching with October just around the corner. And no, we are not talking about actual birds. Rather, the term snowbird colloquially refers to seasonal travelers who migrate south to warmer weather during the winter months and then return to the north for the spring. Snowbirds often fall into the baby boomer demographic spanning from ages 50 to over 70. Common places snowbirds flock to are Florida, California, and Arizona. 

When it comes to seasonal relocation, snowbirds have a lot to consider when traveling each way. Below is a checklist of things snowbirds should think about before making their move. 

1. Sort out travel plans

Are you planning to drive? Do you prefer to book a plane flight? These are questions to ask yourself in advance so you can make the appropriate accommodations. Whether you schedule a flight or plan out your driving route and accommodations along the way, deciding in advance is the way to go. The more time you leave before your departure, the lower the prices and the sounder your peace of mind.

2. Decide if vehicle shipping is needed

Making a long-distance drive can be taxing. The costs of driving across states can also add up when it comes to gas, food stops, and potentially hotel rooms along the way. Shipping your car ahead of you can be a good way to reduce your stress and ensure a safe trip. With Autosled, you are able to track your shipped vehicle in real-time. That way you know exactly when it will arrive at its destination at all times and there is no need for waiting around or constant calls to your transporter. Contact us for more information or to book your vehicle shipment. 

3. Determine whether to rent or own

When traveling between two different locations on a seasonal basis each year, it is important to decide whether you want to rent or own your secondary residence. If you are new to the snowbird lifestyle, renting may be a good option to start out. That way you can determine whether or not you like the area and the residence you have chosen. After some time migrating back and forth you may decide to make the more permanent commitment of buying the secondary residence. If you end up buying a second residence, you will have to designate which is your primary residence for IRS purposes. If your second home has a mortgage, you may need to also obtain homeowners’ insurance for it. 

4. Think about how to receive medical care

You may want to find a physician in your snowbird area if your health insurance policy does not allow for coverage when you’re living outside of your home state. 

5. Prep the primary residence for the absence

When leaving your northern residence for the warmer months, you have to remember to complete several tasks to ensure your home is equipped. Turn off the water and consider whether to leave on electricity during your time away. Consider leaving on the heat to ensure the pipes won’t freeze. If where you live gets a lot of snow, you may want to schedule snow removal services. Finally, remember to have all your mail redirected to your secondary residence or plan to pay bills online or in advance. 

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