Categories
Colorado

Best Small Towns to Retire in Colorado

Did you recently retire and you are looking for a really great place to retire to?  Maybe you will be retiring soon and you are looking forward to some peace and quiet after a lifelong of working really hard.  For a lot of people, they opt to retire in places like Florida where it is warm and sunny all year round.  Still, it is good to be open to other options because there are many places in the United States that are definitely looking into.  Colorado happens to be one of them and before you start thinking that retirees generally do not like skiing, these are some things that you should know about the place. Here are nine of the best smalls towns to live in Colorado.

Originally posted 2020-09-01 08:54:00.

Categories
Retirement Hobbies

Libraries Offerring More for Boomers & Retirees

Library for Boomers

Have you checked out your local library lately? These days libraries offer way more than books. For a while now they have been offering other media such as CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, film archives, all kinds of magazines and newsletters, research rooms, voter registration, and tax forms. There are wireless Internet access and computer terminals for your use, which is great when you are away from home.
Some libraries have very interesting web sites with digital content and archives, blogs and photo galleries. These are really virtual libraries where you can check out eBooks, videos and music on line and download for use for a limited period of time.
Now libraries are becoming community centers with free activities, senior programs, exhibitions, lectures by authors, and classes on many subjects.

No wonder about 66% of American 50+ already have a library card. Maybe you have a card but have not kept up with the new services your library is offering.  Now is the time to “check out” your library to get up to date.

Originally posted 2010-04-17 21:41:30.

Categories
Georgia

Retirement in the North Georgia Mountains

north ga mountain view from deck at Big CanoeWhen it comes time to retire in Georgia, many people just look North to the Georgia Mountains, a short distance from Atlanta.  You are still in your home state and can easily visit the metro Atlanta area to visit friends or attractions.  Also you can get to know the new area where you will be living full time even before your move by making frequent visits to get to know the area.

We have two sets of friends who have done just that.  Tina and David bought a foreclosure in Big Canoe, a wonderful mountain community about one hour north of Atlanta.  David does home renovations so it has been perfect for them to fix it up and even thought they have been working hard on the house for almost a year, I think they really enjoy going up to the mountains and enjoying as well as working.  We went up on July 4th to see the fireworks at their mountain home and fell in love with the place.  They are not planning on moving there full time just yet, but are up there just about every week. There are many 55+ communities in Georgia but most are on the edge of Atlanta and not that far up in North Georgia.

The other couple, our friends Jim and Jean retired to the North Georgia Mountains.  Knowing they would like to move to the North part of the state, Jim got a transfer to the Gainesville office a few years before his retirement date.  This put them in a perfect situation to go ahead and move up to Banks County Georgia, where they built a perfect retirement home with screen porch overlooking a stream on five areas. This worked out so good Jim even delayed his retirement since he almost felt he was retired.  This transition to a new area by relocating his job worked out for the best.

Jim and Jean visit us in Alpharetta or we just meet in Gainesville for dinner, half way for each for us. Really it is not harder to get together with them now than it was when they lived in DeKalb County in the metro Atlanta area.

They both like living in the North GA mountains even though there are some inconveniences.  Jean says the water supply line has broken many times to their home and the head of the water department just keeps making repairs rather than run new lines that are needed.  Jean says he has a “small town mind” about things and just looks at people like them as complaining “wealthy people from Atlanta”, which she says they are not.  However building a barn and getting a horse, chopping your own firewood from your property and just listening to the crickets perform a symphony from your swing on your screened in porch makes in all worth it.

Jim and Jean knew what they wanted and went for it.  I know I and others who envy them.

As an update to this post, Mary Ann and I retired to Northeast Georgia area in Braselton and love living in the Del Webb Over 55 Community there. We are close to Gainesville and Buford. We like the view of the mountains from our patio and love driving the area.

Search small towns here:

Originally posted 2020-08-13 09:04:03.

Categories
Over 55 Communities

Analysis of a Move to a 55 Plus Community

55 plus community model home

Del Webb 55 Plus Community Here We Come

After looking for over a year, we found the perfect 55 plus community for us.  It is on the edge of the metro area, about 40 miles from downtown but 18 minutes from a major regional mall and more retail-shopping.  Nearby there is a winery with hotel and six restaurants, 15 minutes from outlet mall, and nearby some good places for lunch. It is far enough but not too far. We can still meet our friends in the metro suburbs for lunch every month.   It will definitely change our way of living to a new lifestyle while being close to familiar areas too. Not a major relocation but a positive adjustment none the less.

Forty percentage of the people living in Village at Deaton Creek,  this active adult community on the outer edge of our metro, still work.   This means, at age 62, some will  be our age or younger.   So the age balance is right for us.

It took us some time to come up with the model home that we decided on.  We live in a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath two story with full  basement.  Not because we had a big family, but because we had a home office and one employee.  We no longer have the employee coming over and have cut back the business to the minimal, but still my wife and I do want our offices.   We had thought going in the perfect retirement home for us would be a “ranch with a basement”.  Basements we found out are a little pricey.  A basement runs $50,000 and then $30,000 to be finished, thus $80,000 extra for a finished basement.  At Del Webb they have come up with another less expensive option, that of a loft.  The finished loft is an option that runs $23,000 to $25 ,000 more, but does add a large room, a bedroom and a full bath upstairs. So we reasoned that would work as I could have my office in the loft and my wife could have the office on the main level and like the 2 bedroom plan.  So a 2 bedroom with a loft we went searching for.   But when touring the available homes, there was not a loft available, so it would take 5 to 6 months to  have one built the Del Webb  salesperson explained. Huh.

So next we decided to check out resales so we went through the brochures we picked up while riding around in our golf cart during our two night vacation getaway stay at the community.  I asked about any listings with a loft and none were available since the loft is a relatively new option and none of the resales have a loft.  But the agent did tell  me about another listing which is a large ranch in the Overlook section rather then the middle size homes in the Vista collection.  The plan was the Cumberland Hall floor plan.  It is all on one level and has a large corner office and 3 bedrooms, one of which could be our second office.  We liked the floor plan layout too.  In addition, this resale has a large screen porch and a nice kitchen and many extras.  The price was only $15,000 more that the two bedroom with loft that we would have to wait 6 months for.  Wow, this is maybe the one for us!

The resale agent was very helpful.  She could come to our current home and let us know the market price and what we could expect to get. So how would this work, we begin to ask.  Would we contract to buy the resale and immediately list our current home for sale.  Do you sell your current home first to reduce the risk then find a home to move to?  One resident said she listed her home for sale and put a contract for Del Webb to build her a home but her home sold within two months.  What did she do I asked?  Got on a boat and traveled she replied.

Being the cautious planner that I am (and who isn’t when you are retired), none of these options looks that great.  Yes, we could cash in a CD and buy the resale while listing our current home for sale.  Both homes are similar in price so we may almost break even.  Then take the sales proceed and buy the CD back.  Sure there is a 3 month interest penalty, but that may not stop us.  However the bigger risk is selling our current home.  We have heard story after story about negatives of selling in this market.  It is in great condition, with many improvements in a good location (doesn’t everyone think their home is special and more valuable than the rest of the neighborhood). Or another option would be to sell our current home and then find our new home, but that means maybe moving to a temporary residence if we cannot find a home to move in to right away.  I don’t like moving that much.
About now I am asking, and why are we moving?  Oh yes, the new lifestyle, new friends, activities, slower pace, nature walks around the pond, fun, etc. Yes, we are sold on the community and have a floor plan we think would work for us.  We are positive about the move, it is just how to do it.

So thinking about this during this long Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I think we don’t want to put ourselves in an uncomfortable situation right now, just because we would like to move to a 55 plus community.  We have our house paid off, we are retired, so why complicate matters. Our assessment is in this environment it is no time to roll the dice and try to sell your home if you don’t have to.  We don’t want to move twice and we don’t want a vacant unsold home to worry about. We still plan on moving to a 55 plus community and now have a much better idea of where we want to live and the floor plan that would suit us. You just don’t know until you have checked things out, if it will work for you.  We will keep our options open and look forward to making the move when the time is right for us.
PS: We moved to the best active adult community in Georgia.

Originally posted 2010-06-01 09:00:38.

Categories
Atlanta

Small Town Retirement Options – Serenbe Community in Georgia

Bosch house at Serenbe Community

2020 update: This original post was from Mary Ann and I visiting Serenbe a few years ago.  We loved that visit and took plenty of pictures.  As an update the community really is special. Here is a recent article that will give you more reasons to like Serenbe. What Makes A Neighborhood Resilient?

Yesterday my wife Mary Ann and our neighbors Scott and Dawn set out to visit the HGTV Green House for this year.   We drove from our Johns Creeks Georgia home down to the southside of Atlanta, then another 20 miles out in the countryside to the Serenbe Community. Here are some pictures and information about this wonderful community.

Originally posted 2020-08-27 06:20:12.

Categories
Retirement Homes

Retirement Homes – Renting May be Better than Buying

retirement homeBefore signing on the dotted line to purchase a retirement home baby boomers should consider the benefits of renting, especially in a down economy. For some seniors buying a retirement home may not be a good fit despite all the pundits that decree buying is the only way to go. So if you are considering buying or renting read on to discover why renting a retirement home may be your best option.

Reasons to Consider Renting Your Retirement Home:

1. Cannot Afford to Buy

What caused the housing market to crash in the first place were predatory lenders giving money to people who could not afford to pay their monthly mortgages. If you cannot afford to buy a home the fact of the matter is you should consider moving into one of the many 55+ rental apartments that are available.

If you are one of the seniors living on a fixed income it would behoove you to live below your means. Using too much of your income to go towards a house payment is a dangerous financial practice that will set you up for financial disaster.

2. Unsure of Where you Want to Live

Many seniors want to explore different areas of the country to see where they want to spend their retirement. There are several 55+ houses for rent in all areas of the country that seniors can live in temporarily.

3. Less Risk

The economy is in a shaky state so buying may put you at risk. Buying homes in a down economy may be good for young investors but not for seniors. Seniors should be looking for financial stability and ways to minimize risk. When you rent you put yourself in a much safer financial position thereby shielding yourself from potential risks associated with buying in an uncertain housing market.

4. Property Taxes

Some states have astronomical property tax rates that add hundreds to your monthly mortgage payment. When you rent you do not have to pay property tax and can use that money towards other expenses or savings.

5. Amenities

Many 55+ rental apartments and homes in 55 communities offer great amenities such as yard and home maintenance, organized social programs, clubhouse, transportation, pool, fitness center, and even on site medical care. If you purchase a home these amenities are typically not available leaving you to your own devices to meet those needs.

6. Less Responsibility

Owning a home is a huge responsibility. You have to do yard work and take care of any home repairs or hire someone to do it for you. Renting a retirement home alleviates most of this responsibility leaving you with more time to enjoy your golden years rather than fretting about home maintenance.

7. Social Life

Research shows that seniors who are actively involved in social programs and have relationship with their peers are happier and healthier. Renting a retirement home in a community gives you instant access to people the same age who have the same interests.

If you are considering purchasing or renting we hope you look at the pros and cons of each and do a thorough analysis to figure out what is right for you. If you need expert help see a financial adviser who has experience in helping seniors and baby boomers.

Originally posted 2011-07-26 22:05:03.