Retirement Homes – Renting May be Better than Buying

Before 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 may be your best option.

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.



55 Plus Homes for Sale – 55+ Homes for Rent

55CommunityGuide.com has now added two new sections, 55+ Homes for Sale and 55+ Homes for Rent for ads for individual property listings. Realtors, managers and owners, add your free listings.

Announcement:
55CommunityGuide.com has now added two new sections, 55+ Homes for Sale and 55+ Homes for Rent for ads for individual property listings. Just like our community listings, these ads for individual properties are free.   We already show up at the top for 55+ homes for sale and rent.  We are at the top of the search engine result for many terms relating to 55 communities and rank number one on Google for “retirement communities”.  By placing your free listing(s) you will get exposure right away.   If you already have an account at 55CommunityGuide.com, to place your ad for an individual property  for sale or rent, just log in from the left side of the home page.  Then on your Member Section page look in the left column to place your free ads in either of these two new sections.  If you are new, just click the “Advertise with us” tab on top of the home page.

These new sections are separate from the “community” listing you now have and will give you great free exposure for your listings. You can upload photos and get a direct link to your web site from our high rated PR5 site! That’s worth it right there. We have options for each age qualified group 50+, 55+, 62+ or none.  We have property types for houses and homes, condos and townhouses, apartments, duplexes, lofts and modular homes.

Your ad in either of these two new sections will be promoted on our extensive social media accounts at twitter and Facebook where we have thousands of followers.

Thanks, Robert Fowler



Move Before It’s Too Late

We see parallels in our own lives. When we sold a business five years ago we started looking around for places to retire. This process helped me to start Retirement Media which has turned out to be an enjoyable retirement job and I am still learning and exploring the options.

However it is now five years later and at age 63 we are still “thinking” about our options in retirement. We came close last year to making a move to a 55 plus community

My wife and I were discussing her mother’s dilemma.  She is 88 years old and in a nursing center rehab program now for two months with her fate becoming increasingly clear; she will not be able to live by herself anymore.   She fell in her home and couldn’t get up.

Only a little over a year ago she turned down a chance to move to a nice little independent living community when her name came up on the list.  She said she was still not quite ready for that.

She had placed her name on the waiting list for this independent living community maybe 5 years ago.  But each time her name came up she wasn’t ready. My wife and I couldn’t understand her decision not to move to a better place, where she could socialize more and be near help if she needed it.  This last time in an interview meeting, the director of this community advised her not to wait too long – enjoy in while you are still able.

Now it appears she will be skipping the independent living stage, going straight to assisted living or to the nursing center.  She didn’t want to move when she had a say so, but now it looks like she will be moving with no say so.

We see parallels in our own lives.  When we sold a business five years ago we started looking around for places to retire.  This process helped me to start Retirement Media which has turned out to be an enjoyable retirement job and I am still learning and exploring the options.

However it is now five years later and at age 63 we are still “thinking” about our options in retirement.  We came close last year to buying a home in a 55 plus community (see Analysis of a Move to a 55 Plus Community) but with the uncertain economy and depressed real estate market, decided the time was not right.

The time was not right for us.  Where have we heard that before.  Are we doing the same thing as my mother in law.  Just not ready yet.   It is not like we are giving anything up.  To the contrary, this should improve our lifestyle.  So why are we reluctant.  It is really the real estate market or is it something else.

Last year when we told our neighbor of our plans to move to a 55+ community, she replied “so that’s where you are going to end up?”.  Humm.  Didn’t think of it that way.  Or did we?

Even a change for the better is hard to make.  You are giving up what you are familiar with for something new.  Maybe now I can understand the mother in law’s reluctance a little better.

Retirement CommunitiesAssisted Living FacilitiesSenior CommunitiesSenior Centers



More Advantages of Small Town Living

Previously I wrote about the Advantages of Small Towns and all those points still remain. Those were the basic reasons to consider moving to a small town. I have come across even more reasons to consider living in a small town in the present environment.

Dahlonega Georgia

Previously I wrote about the Advantages of Small Towns and all those points still remain. Those were the basic reasons to consider moving to a small town.

I have come across even more reasons to consider living in a small town in the present environment.

Home prices may have come down even more in some small towns, relative to suburban or city homes. Home prices were already reasonable in many small towns, but now they are really reasonable. Affordability is near the top of the list of many boomers nearing or entering retirement.

If you are waiting for your suburban home to come back in price you may be waiting a long time. The lower price you get by selling your existing home now, will be partly made up by buying a lower price home in a small town.

These days small towns reportedly are a more accepting environment and gay or minorities can feel comfortable calling them home.

With these tense times where the news is non stop negative and the employment situation is not good for so many, escaping to a small town can give your life a refreshing change of pace.

Moving to a small town that is increasingly popular for retirees can put you in touch with a lot of potential new friends and offer social opportunities with people to whom you can relate.

These days many 55 plus retirement communities are located in small towns, which is ideal for you to take advantage of this type community plus enjoy small town living too.

Remember that there is not best small towns or top ten small towns, but only the small town for you. Things have changed but retiring to a small town still offers many advantages.



City Living Touted

Is city living better than living in the suburbs or rural and small town living?  According to two institutions, one in New York and one in Boston, city living beats small town living.  I recognize there are advantages to city living, in fact my site CityRetirement.com focuses on exactly that.  Let’s take a look at each urban expert’s points and take them under consideration.

This weekend I watched on Cspan’s BookTV a hour long lecture given at the Manhattan Institute in New York by the author of a new book titled “Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier”.

The author Edward Glaeser argues that the city is humanity’s greatest invention and our salvation for the future.  Glaeser says that the 2/3 of Americans who live in cities (which take up only 3% of the country’s land mass) are healthier, more prosperous, and more environmentally conscious than other Americans.  Edward Glaeser is a professor of economics at Harvard University and director of Harvard’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government.  Mr. Glaeser is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor at City Journal.  You may watch the video here.

Mr Glaeser says that it is a paradox that in this Internet age that you can operate from anywhere in the world, but that cities are more successful than ever.  He says cities have remarkable productivity levels and that if
productivity levels rose in the rest of the country to the  level of New York’s, then the country’s GDP would rise by 43%.  The relationship between urbanization and economic prosperity is strong.  Cities are the paths out of poverty to economic prosperity for so much of the world.  He continues that cities also are fun, they are green, they are healthy,  they are exciting places to be where the magic of human interaction makes a place so much more exciting.  They are great places to learn from the people around us.

Next comes Joseph F. Coughlin, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. His research focuses on how the convergence of demographic change (specifically aging) and technology will drive innovation in business and government.

I watched Mr. Coughlin video of the lecture: The Future is Gray, Small & Female: Disruptive Demographics and Transportation Tomorrow and was delighted to find the Age Lab and all it’s resources.  The lecture covers a lot of ground and if you have interest in the subject of aging you might find it fascinating as I did.   But more to the point of this post, regarding aging and transportation, 70% of Americans over age 50 live in suburban and rural areas where transit is unavailable or a poor alternative. Mr. Coughlin points out that should we be so lucky we will at some point in time give up driving and when that occurs you better be near the people and services and you will  need.

He points out that as we age there is diminished physical capacity and the desire to navigate tough roads and highways and even transit systems.  This will limit where we go and how often.  By the way he figures the big box stores will soon be on the way out since they were made for a large family and they hard to navigate for shopping for only one or two peoples.  Anyway since we will be limited on our trips and it will be hard to get out, services will need to be come to us in our homes.  Also people need to work longer and will need to get to their jobs.

Bottom line is that urban areas will be better suited to have home services available nearby to come to your home to deliver the services you need if you are restricted in your mobility.  They also have better access to transportation. Mr. Coughlin warns about going out to live in retirement communities in the outer areas, which are attractive but transportation opportunities are few.  Instead look for a livable boomer ready community in an urban area.  There are not many around but they will be coming. So maybe think about cities as a place for retirement living too.

So there you have some compelling reasons to age in place in an urban area.  More advantages of city living are listed here.  To balance things out a bit, check out advantages of living in a small town.



Advantages Of Living in a Small Town

Working Boomer recalls the advantages of living in a small town and compiles a list of 25 positives of Small Towns and the people who call a small town home. As a child I lived in a small town and people were always helping out each other. I miss that feeling sometimes. So I am making a list of a few things other positive advantages of living in a small town, just to remind myself and share with you.

This week I had some minor oral surgery.  When I got to the Drs. office there was no one that could be there to take me home.  With luck I did find someone.  As a child I lived in a small town and people were always helping out each other.  I miss that feeling sometimes.

So I am making a list of a few things other positive advantages of living in a small town, just to remind myself and share with you.

  1. Most people know each other and when someone needs help it is easier to find.
  2. Families seem to be closer.
  3. The pace is much slower
  4. Church is a major activity
  5. Small group gathering such as hometown picnics and celebrations bring people of all ages closer together
  6. People are there during times of need such as death even if they are not immediate family
  7. Relatives from the city like to visit their relatives in a small town as a peaceful get away
  8. Crime is usually less
  9. Gardening, fishing and other activities such as this are enjoyed
  10. One can walk to the store, parks, church and such just for pleasure or exercise
  11. People share what they grow in their gardens and enjoy sharing their canning recipes
  12. When you go to the town store you actually see neighbors that you know and are on a first name basis with the butcher
  13. Usually if there is a town Dr. and one is sick the Dr. will always see that person
  14. Banks and insurance people know you on a first name basis
  15. There is gossip but some times that is not all bad because people pay closer attention to doing the right thing
  16. The elderly usually have a feeling of closeness in a small town
  17. Housing is usually less expensive
  18. It is a big town deal when there is a birth of a child even if that child is not family
  19. People usually speak and say howdy even if they don’t know you
  20. In the summer you can feel more at ease with leaving your windows and doors open to allow for fresh air
  21. The air just smells better
  22. The birds seem to sing louder
  23. You can actually look at the stars, sunrise and sunset from your own front or backyard
  24. The simple things in life are more satisfying
  25. All in all most small town people are close and friendly

So this is just a few of the positives of small town living that I remember from my childhood when I lived in a small town.  Do have live in a small town or have memories of living in a small town?  If so, scroll to the bottom of the page and comment to let me know.

Ann posts as WorkingBoomer on SmallTownRetirement and on BoomerPlaces.com where she shares her memories and boomer stores.  Check out WorkingBoomer’s Boomer Stories and life as a working boomer.