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The Life of a Snowbird

The Life of a Snowbird: Escaping the Cold for a Warmer Haven

Winter can be harsh in the northern states. With the cold weather, slippery roads, and snow piling up on the driveways, it’s no wonder many northerners choose to pack their bags and head towards the warmer southern states. These people are known as snowbirds, and for several months every winter, they make their temporary homes in these areas.

Why the term “Snowbird”?

The term snowbird was first coined for the species of birds that migrate to warmer climates during the winter months. They follow the sun to areas with a less harsh climate, plenty of food, and fewer predators. Similarly, humans who migrate to warmer climates during the winter are also known as snowbirds. They flock to areas with milder weather, affordable housing, and a wide range of activities to keep them busy.

Many snowbirds tend to be retired individuals who have more flexibility with their schedules. They choose to leave the harsh northern winters behind to soak up the sun, enjoy outdoor activities, and relax near the beach or golf courses. But not all snowbirds are retirees, some travel south for shorter periods, such as a few weeks or months, while others take advantage of remote work. Another advantage of being a snowbird is that you can visit family and friends who live in warmer areas during the winter months and give them a break from hosting during the holidays.

Why would I consider becoming a Snowbird?

One of the primary benefits of being a snowbird is the ability to escape the brutal winter weather that many northerners experience. Snowbirds get to trade in their snowplows for golf carts and the snow shovels for beach chairs. They get to enjoy a lower degree of stress without the worry of slipping on ice or shoveling snow. Being in a warm climate also has health benefits, such as easing the symptoms of arthritis or improving seasonal depression.

Another benefit is that you can expand your social network by meeting new people and engaging in new hobbies. Retirees often enjoy being part of a close-knit community of like-minded individuals. By moving to a new location for part of the year, you can enrich your social life and make new connections.

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

Although your lifestyle may be better by having two locations, there are estate planning implications! When you pass away, your estate could be subject to the complex probate processes of multiple states. To avoid costly legal issues, you should have a solid estate plan in place, including a last will and testament, trusts, financial powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.

It’s important to work with an attorney who can help guide you through the different laws and regulations of the states where you own property. An experienced attorney can also help you understand how taxes and other financial issues may impact your estate.

Long Term Care Planning for Snowbirds

Another key issue for snowbirds is long term care planning. If you become ill or incapacitated while living in a different state, it can be difficult to navigate the healthcare system.

One important step is to select a healthcare proxy who can make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. You may also want to consider long term care insurance, which can help cover the costs of care that can become quite expensive.

I’m heading south for the winter, so what next?

If you’re looking to escape the cold, experience new adventures, and meet new people, then becoming a snowbird may be a perfect option for you. The snowbird lifestyle provides the best of both worlds; you can enjoy the outdoor activities, the beautiful scenery, and the mild climate while staying in touch with your loved ones back home.

But before you pack your bags, it’s important to plan for estate and long term care needs. By working with an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your assets are protected and that you have access to the right care if you become ill or incapacitated. Whether you decide to embrace the snowbird lifestyle or not, it’s important to be prepared for anything that comes your way.

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