When you get older and decide that you want to head to a warmer climate for the winter, it can take a while to learn everything you need to know about your new home. Everything seems to change when you only live in one area for part of the year. Here are a few things that you should know when you make this decision as they will make your life a little bit easier.
1. New Terminology
When you move to new areas, there is quite a bit of different terminology, but this also applies if you are just wintering in a new area. For example, the areas around New Mexico, Arizona, and a few other states refer to people who come in from a colder climate “snow birds.” A funny take of the tendency of everyone to flock to these states at the same time each year.
2. New Insurance Needs
Insurance that covers you in your home state or in your home may not actually apply to you if you are in a different state or a different area. You may also need a different policy based on the activities you partake in when you are in one place versus another. Snowbird travel insurance might be different from the regular options, but it will ensure that you have the coverage you need when you need it.
3. Shifting Communities
While many people start out simply wintering in one place or another, communities are quickly built up in popular areas. These come and go throughout the year, creating different social norms, services, and even different businesses. In communities where wintering in one area is popular, many people find that they can actually start businesses or offer services for only part of the year, allowing them a sort of semi-retirement.
4. Specialty Classes and Events
Some areas cater heavily to snowbirds as well. For example, Tucson Arizona has pottery classes that are offered at a specific rate for snowbirds and that include access to the studio for the entire period of time that people are typically in town. Likewise, many towns in New Mexico and Arizona only hold farmers markets during the typical snowbird months of the year, offering healthy places to get your fruits and veggies.
5. Different Laws
The laws that govern you may be different when in your wintering state and your actual state of residence. This is because you will not typically be considered a resident in the state you winter in, even if you buy property, unless you spend most of your year in that state. This can mean different rules and taxes regarding your income, your home, your vehicle, and in regard to your public conduct as well. Always check to see if the laws are different in your new area.
Overall, moving to a new area for the winter doesn’t have to be scary, and understanding a few of the basics can make it so your winter vacation or everyday life is just as comfortable as your lifestyle during the summer months.