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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
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
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.

Categories
Small Town Living

Retirement Living in Small Towns : Is It for You?

Some people looking forward to retirement have their sights set on adventure and travel. Others may want the hustle and bustle of a big city, to enjoy cultural pursuits they never had time for during their working years. Many, though, would like nothing better than to relax in a quiet, homey environment with friendly neighbors and low stress. If this is you, small town retirement may offer the peace and quiet you seek, as well as a surprising number of other benefits you may not have considered:

Lower housing costs. Rural land is generally less expensive than that close in to urban areas, homes usually cost less to build, and property taxes are often significantly lower than those in the city.  Some retirement communities in small towns.

Lower cost of living. Although transportation of goods may mean that some groceries and household items cost a bit more outside of urban areas, most other expenses of daily life are lower. In general, utilities, insurance, home maintenance, car repair, and many other goods and services are less expensive in smaller towns.

Lower crime rates. With less concentrated populations, small towns avoid much of the crime you might experience in big cities.

More park like, natural setting. If you are invigorated by exposure to the outdoors, trees, and wildlife, you can get these benefits by stepping right outside your door into your back yard. You could even plant your own garden to reap more benefits of the time you spend outdoors. Small towns are less densely populated and because of the virus, some are moving away from the cities to small towns.

Peace and quiet. Unlike living in the city, you don’t hear “noise pollution” such as sirens, yelling, traffic, horns, and the general rumble of thousands of people living in close quarters. The lights you see at night come from the moon and stars instead of the “overglow” from neon signs, traffic lights, street lamps, and headlights. The reduced sound and light distractions can lead to less stress, and an improved ability to relax and sleep.

More Personable – People  in the small towns seem to be more friendly.  They say Hi to you on the street. Some people are more accessible  to you, for example you can even phone up your mayor or state representative and talk.

Many small towns have 55+ communities within their borders or just outside of town. Even if you choose to live in your own home outside of a retirement community, small towns may provide similar benefits: a close-knit community, helpful and friendly neighbors with similar lifestyles, and a town center where you can engage in social activities. For a retiree seeking rest and relaxation, a small town retirement is a lifestyle worth considering.

Advantages of Small Towns
More Reasons to Live in a Small Town

Categories
Tennessee

Tennessee Best Towns

The enchanting state of Tennessee is filled with lush greenery, amazing bodies of water and woodlands, and a culture unlike any other state. With Nashville as the glue of the state, the country culture flows out from the city and into the small towns of the Volunteer State.

For those frustrated with city traffic and smoldering fog, small towns in Tennessee offer a haven of peace, culture and plenty of recreational activities. Tennessee with beautiful scenery and good four seasons weather.  I know I live visiting the Great Smokey Mountains Park.

TN will also be very attractive to retirees from other states. Starting in 2021 Tennessee will have no state income tax and also other retirement income breaks. The location has good proximity to much of our country.

Clarksville TN is on Money Magazine’s Best Places to live.

Around Nashville and there are several small towns that would be nice to retire in and the town of Brentwood is one of the nicest ones. Brentwood has 13 parks and plenty of walking trails to keep you fit.  Nolensville is another small town with a close knit community in the Nashville area. Mount Juliet is a Nashville suburb located 28 East with a population of about 30,000.  Hendersonviille TN located on Old Hickory Lake, next to the Cumberland River and is a good place for water sports and that retirement favorite fishing.

Murfreesboro is a big small town (120,000 pop.) with parks and 12 miles of greenway.

Oak Ridge on the East side of Tennessee, which is Anderson County, about 25 miles outside of Knoxville, has one of the lowest crime rates and costs of housing in the state.  It is not hard to see why this is a good retirement small town.

Germantown is a place you should check out if you are planning on living in the Memphis area, it has affordable housing.  Another small town to check out in the Memphis area is Collierville, which is a prosperous area with a population of about 50,000.

More Tennessee Retirement Towns

1. Cosby TN

With a population of around 5,000 residents, the small town of Cosby is slow-paced and inviting. Cosby is located in the northwestern corner of the state near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Traditionally a small Appalachian town, Cosby is recognized today for its serene setting and astonishing views. Family run businesses are scattered along the main road and fruit stands abound offering nearly every variety of apple. The town is peaceful and free from traffic, yet offers everything a person needs with regard to modern amenities.

2. Dyersburg TN

Dyersburg is located in the southern section of the state and offers a population of just under 25,000 residents. Dyersburg is an ideal location to live because of its affordability, not to mention high quality schooling and beautiful display of Victorian homes and architecture. The town is free from congestion and large amounts of traffic yet close enough to state highways and interstates offering convenient access to the city.

3. Franklin Tennessee

The town of Franklin, Tennessee contains approximately 58,000 residents and has a strong historical presence. In fact, some Civil War sites can be seen in the town. The area is just twenty minutes from Nashville and has a large musical influence featured throughout the town. Some of the country music’s up-and-coming stars live in the town and can be seen at the downtown coffee shops before heading out to perform a live concert. During the summer months, a Bluegrass Festival and Franklin Jazz Festival take place.