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Where to retire: sea change, tree change

If expensive housing, long hours of commuting and no time for yourself are causing you to think about living elsewhere, you are not alone.

09 May 2018

If expensive housing, long hours of commuting and no time for yourself are causing you to think about living elsewhere, you are not alone.

An estimated 150,000 Australians make a significant career and/or lifestyle move each year in the form of a sea or tree change. Many others will think about it.

According to sea change coach and director of Possibility to Reality, Caroline Cameron, fear of the unknown and financial insecurity are major factors preventing people from making their dream life come true.

With some thorough research and planning these fears can be overcome.

Jill Weeks, co-author of Where to Retire and founder of, suggests answering the following: what do you want in your new location? Why are you moving? How far are you going to move? What are you going to do there?

She says a good place to holiday does not always equate to it being an ideal place to live permanently.

Talk to the locals and others who have moved to the area and have similar interests to yours to get an idea of what’s on offer.

If you do go ahead with the move, allow time to adjust. Becoming involved in a community may mean joining clubs, associations and attending community events for the first time.

Caroline Cameron says knowing there are things going on you are interested in will help address the biggest challenges for sea and tree changers; making new friends and avoiding isolation.

Don’t forget the financial aspects of a potential move. If you are giving up work do you have enough savings to live off? If you are thinking of getting work in your new location, what are the job prospects or how hard it will be setting up something of your own?

It’s a mistake to think living outside of the city will be cheaper. A place that relies on tourists can see prices skyrocket in certain seasons.  Food and other essential items can often be more expensive in remote areas.

There might be some costs associated with making a lifestyle change, such as buying and selling property or the move itself but using financial constraints as an excuse to do nothing may be just that, an excuse.

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