Categories
Blogroll Retirement Plan

RETIREMENT RELOCATION COSTS

Today let’s look at the financial costs to retirement relocation that needs to be considered if you are pondering the question whether to stay put or to move to greener pastures when you retire.

Cost of housing is a factor, maybe one of the largest, if you need to keep an eye on your nest egg. And who doesn’t? I wouldn’t think most people would relocate from a less expensive area to a more expensive area, it’s probably the other way around. Unless it is to a resort area maybe. Consider how much you can get your current home and properties if you are an owner.  More than one person says it is a great idea to rent first in the new location, just to see if it going to work out for you before you buy. If you buy right away before learning the area and then need to move, then the property selling expenses could be a huge expense.

Proximity to family and friends.  This certainly is a major consideration, if not financially, then for other obvious reasons. This might be proximity to children, which is the case many times, or proximity to a parent(s).  One second thought, I guess there is a financial considerations with the cost of travel for visits, having to hire a nurse or sitter in case of medical emergencies when you can’t be close. etc. Having relatives close by to help you out on occasion saves you money too.

General Cost of Living: You can get this info from the Census web site.  On your visits to scout out the new area you will observe how the routine daily expenses compare to your current location. 

State and location property taxes:  If you buy, then this should be looked at as a significant financial consideration.  Another factor to consider is does the new location have an school property tax exemption for seniors?

State and local Income Taxes:  This has traditional been a major factor in relocation to Florida and other states with no state income taxes. However now many states have tax benefits for seniors.  Georgia has an exclusion for retirement income.

Weather and utility cost: Compare average utility costs and which utilities are needed.

Insurance costs may vary.  When I moved from the metro suburbs to a small town I found my car insurance was higher.  You would think less traffic would mean lower car insurance costs, but it’s the opposite.

Eating out may be cheaper in a small town compared  to city or suburbs.

Entertainment.  If you retire to a small town you may spend more of your time enjoying outside activities.  If you move to one of the Active Adult Communities, many activities are included.  This may be a savings. Senior Centers also  have many free activities and these days many are very nice.

Categories
Active Adult Housing Plans

Age in 55+ Community

Rather than aging in place in the suburbs, the boomer (me & you) could sell our large suburban home and move to a smaller, maybe more efficient livable home nearby.  I doubt we could make any money from our equity swap if we are paying cash for the new retirement home, but at least we would be in position to enjoy life without the larger property taxes, insurance and property maintenance expenses, traffic and no one home during the day.

Maybe the new place would be in a 55+ community with plenty of activities so we could meet some new friends.  It would be one level with livable design features already in place. Wouldn’t this make life much better for people who are retiring.

Categories
Retirement Small Towns

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

In planning for retirement, many people seek out a new home in a new town, whether to downsize, move to a sunnier climate, or simply for a change of pace. While some baby boomers are looking for more excitement and a thriving night life, many people – both singles and couples – hunt for new homes in quieter, more cozy places than the suburban or urban environments in which they spent their working years.

Small cities – those with populations of 25,000 or fewer – offer some distinct benefits for senior citizens seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of life, but don’t want to live out in the middle of nowhere. In the hunt for the perfect small-town retirement destination, you may want to consider a number of factors: criteria that can help you determine whether or not a small city in question is a good spot to retire.

So, what makes certain small towns more desirable for retirement than others? There are a wide range of answers to that question, but the same few seem to pop up again and again: Low crime rate; mild weather; ease of travel within city limits (walk-ability) and to other destinations (nearness to international airport); number of retiree amenities per capita; natural beauty and charm of the surroundings; and ability to make quality social connections. While some of these factors (low crime rate and mild climate) are easy to quantify, others are a bit more subjective.

Ease of travel: To some, this may mean the ability to walk easily to the majority of restaurants, venues and shops in the community, while to others it may mean excellent public transportation options in a small city. For those who are moving to be closer to their children and grandchildren, how easy is it to visit them is a factor as well. They want to be on the right side of the metro area to be close for visits.

Retiree Amenities: Some are looking for a  55+ community with all the included amenities and facilities, while others look to the town in general to see what healthcare facilities, senior centers, adult education opportunities, libraries, and arts and entertainment venues are available.  Is there a senior center nearby?

Social Connections: Many small towns or small cities share a common “theme,” or may have large concentrations of certain types of people. Perhaps citizens share a common ethnic heritage, like Leavenworth, WA’s Scandinavians, or shared interest like the Sedona, AZ population of artists. Towns that host annual festivals and other events also offer many opportunities to meet new people.
Are there many baby boomers or seniors your age?

Regional Medical – Is there regional medical resources nearby and 24 hour medical services close by?  See

Tip! Small towns with one of the large Active Adult Communities like those of Del Webb, K. Hovnanian Homes, Brookfield Homes, Lennar, Beazer Homes,  WCI Communities or Erickson Retirement communities – they usually have done the research for you and are in or near desirable small towns for retirement.  See my post Hospital Nearby Is Mandatory.

Retiring to a small town can be an appealing option on many fronts. After battling traffic and hassles of urban or suburban living for decades, the attractions of small town life can be a serene alternative, and offer opportunities to learn, grow, socialize, and live happy and healthy lives as seniors.

Categories
Active Adult

Don’t Be Stuck in the Suburbs After You Retire!

My wife and I were stuck in the suburbs in a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, three level home with a half acre lot. We were the only retired people in the whole subdivision of 25 homes! Retiring after working 45 years, we were now feeling a little out of place in a subdivision with large SUVs speeding past our house taking kids to their activities or even to their school bus stop at the entrance. I was 58.

We were good friends with our neighbors, who were 10 years younger than us and still working. We had even gone on 6 cruises with them and out to dinner most Friday nights. But during the week, we were stuck in our subdivision with no where to go except lunch.

Our city of Johns Creek did open a new senior center and we joined and became active members. I even served on the activity committee. We got a taste of how we liked doing stuff with those we liked and related to.

That was better, but that was not enough. We looked around, considering our options of where to live. Someplace that was not the suburbs that was clearly kid and work centered, something we were not.

We took our time looking around visiting Big Canoe and Bent Tree in the mountains, Destin at the beach, and small towns nearby.  We decided a small town on the outskirts of our metro area would be nice; kind of the best of both worlds. We could still visit the suburbs, be close enough to have lunch with our friends and make it back home without too much trouble. But nothing was jumping out at us.

Then we discovered Active Adult Communities and found 4 or 5 around our metro area. We made some visits to active adult communities of Del Webb and other builders.  We signed up for the program where you visit the community and stay in a villa for 2 to 4 days to see what the community is like. We did that program three times. We thought about it.

We really like the Active Adult Community concept. The locations were perfect. It would give us a welcoming community right off the bat. A lot of other people just like us were moving there. The Active Adult Communities were all in good places to live. They had done their research.

Then reality set upon us and we froze up. We needed to down size and get rid of a lot of stuff. What about selling our home we had lived in for 26 years in a down real estate market. This would be a major upset to our lives, a lot of unknowns. We procrastinated and our excitement about moving waned.

We continued getting rid of stuff and business records going back 25 years that we no longer needed. Numerous trips to the shredders and to Goodwill. Selling stuff on Craig’s List and giving stuff away and dumping the rest in the trash.

Before we knew it years had gone by, then one day we made another visit to the Active Adult Community we most liked. We came back home and decided it’s time to do this. At age 67, we were finally making our move.

We hired a buyer’s agent to help us find a home in our Del  Webb Active Adult Community.  We looked at new homes and priced all the options. The buyer’s agent said we should considered resales and we found one, a 2,777 square foot ranch called the Cumberland Hall model. She helped negotiate a deal and we moved in!

Now 10 years later, after we starting retiring, we realize we should have moved a little faster. We love living here and it’s going on two years we have been here. Why did it take us so long?

We were stuck in the suburbs, having lived in the same house for over 25 years and in the suburbs for most of our working careers.  Moving and change is hard, but it turns out it was something we managed very well. We adapted to our new home and community almost right way. We never looked back. We know we made the right decision and feel for people who are stuck in the suburbs after retiring and do not quite know what to do.

Moving to a home and a community better suited to making you happy is the way to go.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

small town retirement

Categories
Boomers

Lunch Retirement Style

Boomer Lunch retirement style

I have always been a fast eater and could finish a lunch at work in time to do errands and be back at my desk on time.  But it was no pleasure and was fast, crowded and many times expensive.

Now that I am retired, at home and flexible, I have discovered a simple pleasure that I frequently look forward to: going out for lunch.  No I am not talking about the retirement lunch when you are leaving a company.  I am talking about going out for lunch after you have retired.

There are several pleasures / benefits of lunch retirement lifestyle.

It is an opportunity to get out of the house and to socialize, even if it’s only with the waiter. Inviting friends to lunch is a pleasure that I look forward to.  Meeting friends who you used to work with is a great way to keep in touch. Meeting other retirees for lunch is especially nice since you can meet any time any where and take as long as you want to really have an extended social visit.

Lunch retirement style is leisurely not rushed nor crowed.  You can lunch at after 1 pm when others are finished up.

In small towns, lunch at a popular diner is a social occasions where you see friends and catch up on news. You can people watch and relax.

Lunch at a nice restaurant is often way cheaper than the dinner. In addition, many restaurants offer small plates or you can share an entree.

Lunch retirement style allows you to try different restaurants. You don’t have to be back at a set time so you can wonder a few miles away without worrying you will be late.  You can become a restaurant critic of sorts, advising your working friends of places they should try.

So reclaiming your lunch retirement style is a small but rewarding benefit I have noticed about the retirement lifestyle.

Robert Fowler

Retirement Media Inc.

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Categories
North Carolina

Best Small Towns to Live in North Carolina

With a temperate climate in the east due to the Atlantic Ocean and a mountainous climate in the western areas with temperatures rarely rising above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, North Carolina has a lot of natural beauty that makes it a great place to consider for people wanting to live in a small town.  With technology, banking, health care, and agriculture making up a good portion of the economy, North Carolina has gone through rapid changes in demographics and living arrangements.  Most people now live in the major urban areas like Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, and Greensboro.  However, there are still many small towns that are attractive to live in that don’t give up bigger city amenities just to have peace and quiet.  Ten of the best small towns to live in are listed below.