Health Care

Preparation Recommendations Before Your Snowbird Retirement Begins

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Posted By Steffy Alen


Has any member of your family currently adopted a ‘snowbird’ lifestyle? Perhaps none of your family’s elders have retired yet, but when they do, they may want to go the snowbird route after retirement. This is when retirees travel southbound to avoid the harsh winter months in their home states. Whether that be by the way of a rented location or home that has been in the family sometime, these retirees are ready to move to a warmer state for a majority of the year. How can you aid them in this process? This post will provide a number of ways to help your family members prepare for this snowbird lifestyle.

Though it can be exciting, the first step is preparing the homes that these snowbirds are planning on leaving behind. Understanding that 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.

Winter home considerations don’t stop there. If the home will continue to house any vehicles or appliances they’ll need to be checked. Clearing out your fridge prior to departure is highly recommended, as any perishables will begin to decay depending on duration of your travels. You may also want to leave the doors of the fridge open to avoid mildew build up. In addition to this, unplugging your fridge to reduce electricity costs is also recommended.

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.

Prepare accordingly in regards to mail as well. Leaving for an extended period of time is the perfect excuse to cancel any subscription to a magazine you haven’t read in some time. The United States Postal Service will also allow you to forward your mail in the event that you do need to receive important mail throughout your stay. It’s also worth considering mentioning something of your travels to your neighbors. Having a close eye on your home while you’re away is helpful, even if you’re not particularly close with your neighbors. They’re closest and likely the first to see any suspicious activity you may want to hear about while you’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.

A retiree can only do so much from so far away, which is why preparing to uproot their life and leave behind their property can be such a challenge. With the right preparation, such as the steps outlined in this post, any snowbird can rest easy knowing their property is safe and sound. For more information on how to keep these winter properties well equipped for extended periods of time away, be sure to consult the infographic coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Transport Advisers.

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