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Old 02-01-2012, 07:16 AM
 
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I'm 61 and divorced 8 years ago. The house was sold and money divided. I moved into an apartment for convenience. Then I found a 2000 square foot downtown loft apartment for $400/month. I'll never own another house unless it's a small cabin in the mountains! JMHO.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,938,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomexico View Post
I've lived in Mexico, for 6 years previously, so I understand the challenges of locating good medical/hospital care. I believe it's limited to less than a half-dozen cities in the country. All well into the interior of the country. Not along the USA/Mexico border.

Arizona's a place I've lived, also. Tucson. I liked it and believe I'd like it again and my sister is there as well as a group of friends of mine. I haven't lived in Florida, though. But I've spent time there and I have family in Orlando. I wouldn't want to live in Orlando, though. I think I'm more of an Arizona person than Florida one.

Chicago's a wonderful city. In a perfect world I'd have a place here and elsewhere.

I also have family in Ireland, where I'd enjoy living for 4 or 5 months of the year. I've taken extended trips there. A month at a time, though.

Cost containment will be my priority if I retire at 66. More so than if I were to work until 70, which I don't want to do. But, the economy/investments will be the driving force.

I'll be living on SS and investment income. But not a lot of that income. Enough to live comfortably if I shed my current residence, though.
What I hear you saying is you'd like to live in Chicago when it's not cold - and Tucson when it's not hot . And are trying to figure out how you could possibly manage to do that. Am I right?

Have you thought about the possibility of downsizing to a 1 br condo in Chicago in an area where you could rent it out during the academic year to a graduate student - law student - medical student - etc. - who might have a working spouse/partner or enough money to pay for the place him/herself? I'm only familiar with visiting Chicago - and don't know the neighborhoods where schools are located. Whether they're neighborhoods you would like.

Then spending the winters in Tucson and summers in Chicago?

I'm not a "landlord" type - much less an absentee landlord type. This just popped into my mind because a nephew and his wife own a condo in Chicago that they rented out when they moved to Massachusetts (wife is attending dental school there). I think they are at least "cash flow" break even on the rental.

A lot of Arizona and most of central/north Florida (at least the areas you'd probably be looking at) are kind of similar in terms of weather and the nature of the communities (suburban). Both have pretty depressed real estate markets these days. I think the determining factors (apart from friends/family/personal tastes) are whether you can buy something you want at a price you can afford (taking into accounts all of the costs of ownership); do you like 120 in the summer with no humidity - or 90 with humidity ; do you like the "desert" look - or something greener; where will your tax situation be better - etc.

Note that I'm not a big expert when it comes to relocation. My husband and I have made one big move in our lives - from the northeast to Florida shortly after we got out of law school. And have been here ever since. We did move from SE Florida to NE Florida when we retired. But our decision to stay in this general part of the world was based in part on the fact that we had 4 elderly parents in the southeast - we are both eldest siblings - and we knew we would wind up taking care of at least some of them if they needed help. We didn't want to be 2000 miles away. Time has proven that we were correct in that assumption. We also had become quite addicted to the tax situation in Florida (no state income tax). I once said I might consider moving someplace completely different when the last of our parents left us. That hasn't happened yet (my father is 93 and now lives near us). But - as my husband closes in on 70 (he'll be 67 soon) - I think that possibility becomes less and less likely. We are pretty much "settled in" where we are.

Regarding the medical situation - I suspect you can probably get decent health care in at least some parts of Mexico. But Medicare won't cover the care you get outside the US (about the best you'll get is $50k in coverage from a high end Medigap policy if you have a problem while you're traveling). I realize Medicare isn't the total bargain it once was - but it is still a very good deal IMO. And you can pretty much lock in your annual medical costs to a great degree using Medicare and Medicare Advantage/Medigap/Medicare Part D policies. And - if you got really sick - I think you'd want your medical care inside the US. I can tell you our health care resources here in NE Florida are excellent. But I'm sure they're excellent in Chicago as well. Probably Tucson also (one of my nieces is currently in medical school at U of A in Tucson). Robyn
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:09 PM
 
7,029 posts, read 6,996,426 times
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It's not the smaller sq. footage that bothers me about retirement places. There are plenty of 2,000 sq.ft. ones that are very nice and would hold the furniture we want to keep when we downsize. DH wants his own space, so we can't go much smaller. The problem is that there is so little storage. We looked at one last week and the pantry and linen closet were miniscule.

I'm slowly letting go in my mind of many pieces of furniture (after we sell the house) and shredding everything I can and sorting for a big yard sale, but I think tiny, cramped closets would be a constant annoyance in a retirement home.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:00 AM
 
2,042 posts, read 1,950,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harleyguy1951 View Post
I'm 61 and divorced 8 years ago. The house was sold and money divided. I moved into an apartment for convenience. Then I found a 2000 square foot downtown loft apartment for $400/month. I'll never own another house unless it's a small cabin in the mountains! JMHO.
where can you get a 2000 sf loft apartment for $400/month? that's a great deal!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,485,955 times
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Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
I I think tiny, cramped closets would be a constant annoyance in a retirement home.
The cleanup is easier when the inevitable happens.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fumbling View Post
where can you get a 2000 sf loft apartment for $400/month? that's a great deal!
That is not uncommon in this area.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:18 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,186,293 times
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Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
This might help with the head injuries :
LOL. Thanks, Robyn!

Hubby gave me a bike helmet to wear while working downstairs!!! After the second good "head whacking" - I am thinking I should wear it.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:35 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,186,293 times
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Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I look at some of those small places - and get claustrophobia. Also matters a lot if you're one - or two - or more than two (e.g., if you have an elderly parent move in with you). Two retired people in a 900 sf house is really tight IMO.

I think the goal should be to have an amount of space and a level of maintenance you can live with/afford. Doesn't make much sense to have a tiny house just for the sake of having a tiny house if it's old and "needs work" and/or property that needs a lot of maintenance you can't do (unless you can afford to pay someone to do it).*

If I had the house anifani has - and could afford to expand it - I'd probably tear it down and build a new one instead (building from scratch can often be cheaper than expensive renovations). Also - building new allows you to design/build for how old you are now - and how old you'll be 10-20 years from now. Also - a new house may be more energy efficient - cheaper to insure - and require less maintenance for a long time.

BTW - I don't know what you mean by a tiny kitchen. Ours is 12x14 - which is IMO perhaps just a bit on the small side when it comes to 2 people cooking at the same time OTOH - if there's only one cook - or you eat out a lot and rarely cook - smaller would work. Robyn

* I love our property but it requires work we can't do ourselves. We had our annual tree work done today. Five guys with chain saws - ladders - pole pruners - and a chipper shredder the size of a dump truck (we filled up about 3/4 of it). They worked for 4 hours - and accomplished what it might take my husband and I 4 years to do .
Absolutely. If we didnt have a mortgage on it, we would do this, too. We were told a knock down would cost us about $12K. We have 2 beautiful lots . . . our POA requires 1600 square feet on the first floor, and I think we could come up with a very attractive plan using every inch of space, and with an upper story (2 rooms - an office/guest room and my studio), and a spacious deck to enjoy the view even better than we do now.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
* I love our property but it requires work we can't do ourselves. We had our annual tree work done today. Five guys with chain saws - ladders - pole pruners - and a chipper shredder the size of a dump truck (we filled up about 3/4 of it). They worked for 4 hours - and accomplished what it might take my husband and I 4 years to do .
I thought you live in a condo--if so, why are you paying for trees?

PS: tiny kitchen to me is a galley kitchen; I've made gourmet meals in a fantastic one that was better designed than regular-size kitchens. Your size kitchen is small, not tiny. A small house or condo with open concept can be a delight. For me it's not even about saving money, it's about great design and utility, especially in old/er age.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harleyguy1951 View Post
I'm 61 and divorced 8 years ago. The house was sold and money divided. I moved into an apartment for convenience. Then I found a 2000 square foot downtown loft apartment for $400/month. I'll never own another house unless it's a small cabin in the mountains! JMHO.
With a rent that low you can afford that retreat in the mountains. Where on earth do you get a rent for $400?
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