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Old 02-04-2008, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,170 posts, read 8,694,591 times
Reputation: 6167

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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
I have read many informative posts on this Board about where to retire in the U.S. What I am seeing are retirees who already own a home (mortgage paid off), have either a dual pension income (married couple) or a huge pension as a single person, have health insurance provided by a former employer....and, these individuals are financially able to relocate and purchase another home or live in a retirement community that runs around $2-3k/month, or they are in a position that they can travel a lot, play golf, etc.

I am not in any of the situations listed above. I will be on a very limited income, I do not own a home (have never owned a home), will not have health insurance other than Medicare and whatever supplemental health insurance I can afford to purchase.

I will have to continue to work after starting to collect s/s when I turn 66, either part time or full time for as long as I am able to work. I would love to start collecting s/s prior to age 66...BUT, I cannot survive financially on the lower monthly benefit...and with the rules about what I can earn annually (prior to age 66)...I would not make it.

Therefore...I am looking for areas to relocate to (other than KS where I am now...terrible winter weather and HIGH taxes, etc.)...that would offer me as mild a climate as possible (am thru having to drive in the winter on ice/snow)...and looking for housing (apartment to rent) that is below $600/month. At my stage of life and looking at my finances, purchasing a home would not be feasible, it would be better to just rent. Mainly because it is better to use the money to eat, etc., than have to put out a huge down payment and have to worry about the cost of maintenance on a home.

Anyone out there have any ideas where a single woman can live safely, in a weather climate better than KS, where the rents are in the $600/month or lower range?

I am not a 'party' person, not into traveling a lot, nor do I need to be on the go all the time. Also am not materialistic or into the night life scene. I am not into shopping and only buy clothes when they are really needed. I'm a person who is content and just looking for a place to "hang my hat" and be able to buy food, be safe and find full or part-time office work.

Maybe I'm just dreaming of the impossible. But there has to be others in a similar situation as I am. Not everyone has big bucks when the retirement age arrives.
Katie,
I read your post and we live in Boca Raton, FL which is between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, FL on the east coast. We take care of my mother financially - she lives in a condo that we own and that has a mortgage - my mom only gets $681 from social security. That's it. She does have 4 loving children and spouses and 12 grandchildren (ages 17 to 24). My mom is 87 and we are looking for someone to live in the condo with her (2 bedrooms, 2 baths) rent free. She is becoming forgetful and is 87 - she is real sweetheart, very kind and nice. Just lonely, I think. I would love to talk with you more about this if you are interested - we have a real need with this. She will not live with any of us - she is Canadian and has lived in the US since she was 30 or so.

You can DM if you want.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:11 PM
 
3,724 posts, read 8,283,222 times
Reputation: 1410
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
Anyone out there have any ideas where a single woman can live safely, in a weather climate better than KS, where the rents are in the $600/month or lower range?

I am not a 'party' person, not into traveling a lot, nor do I need to be on the go all the time. Also am not materialistic or into the night life scene. I am not into shopping and only buy clothes when they are really needed. I'm a person who is content and just looking for a place to "hang my hat" and be able to buy food, be safe and find full or part-time office work.

Maybe I'm just dreaming of the impossible. But there has to be others in a similar situation as I am. Not everyone has big bucks when the retirement age arrives.
I was somewhat in that situation. We moved to the Lower 48 because of DH's heath, and he applied first for social security. Turned out they had no record of him ever working as an adult! Too bad the IRS hadn't lost all those records, too... So he applied for SSI because he was totally disabled, got it and some other benefits like food stamps and energy assistance, and that's what we lived on - total expenses each month about what you are willing to pay for rent. At the same time, I discovered I was also disabled and applied for SSDI, which was a nightmare all it's own - I finally got it after the second appeal. Then it turned out that my SSDI increased our income to the point where he got medicaid, but nothing else. Even so, we were so far below the local 'poverty level' it was beyond ridiculous. After being bedridden for a year, he died late last fall - and now as a 'single person' I don't qualify for anything. I've always been a scrimper and a saver, and now I have a PhD in it! We managed to buy a mobile home, which is now paid for, and I keep all my bills paid on time.

Now, I'm planning to move to the midwest. I did many, many websearches for properties I could afford, and researched the communities. I've finally narrowed it down to one location. What I really wanted was some land, but it doesn't seem feasible, so I've compromised. I've picked a very small town, but one that is still big enough to have doctors, dentists, banks, and shopping within walking distance. I don't have any choice about the walking part, one of my disabilities [seemed like everything fell apart all at once] is that I'm legally blind and can no longer drive.

I also have some ulterior motives in buying rather than renting. First of all, I don't want to have to answer to anyone about anything I might choose to do - if it's mine, I'll do whatever I want. Making a down payment isn't difficult, you can get financing for 95% of the selling price, and it adds a few dollars to the monthly payment for title insurance. But the places I've looked at still have mortgage payments of approximately half of the space rent of the trailer park where I now live. Since I expect my children to outlive me, I'd like to have something to leave them, and real estate is about as solid as it gets, especially if one includes enough life insurance to pay off a mortgage and there's still plenty left over. And in the same areas where I've been looking, 2 and 3 bedroom houses rent for 300-400/month, and the landlord is the one responsible for major maintenance and upkeep.

As for working, it depends on what kind of office work you do. My brother in law has a neighbor who is a bookkeeper for a company several hundred miles away, they send her a package of paperwork every week or so, and she emails spreadsheets back. Cheaper for them, and she gets to live where she wants.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,651,503 times
Reputation: 17267
Take a look at WV. Southern WV. Very southern WV. A lot of it is poor. Dirt poor, welfare poor. Vast majority are retirees, widows or widowers and the occasional sprinkling of families with school-age children.

There is a bus system that works like a taxi. You call the company and they send the bus to your door. Literally. There are no bus stops. None. The bus is 50 cents. I think think if you take it to the nearest big city (44 miles), there is a transfer involved and you pay again, but still, for about $3 you'll get there. I can't do that in my car. Not over mountain roads as crooked and twisting as a telephone cord.

There are not a lot of job opportunities. That's sort of the trait for low income housing. But there are possiblities. A neighbor is buying her house and her payment is $175/month. She's buying it. And it's a 3-bedroom, 2 bath house, 2-story wood frame with basement. Another neighbor lives in half of a duplex, then bought the whole duplex next door to keep his extra possessions in. Housing is really cheap.

Don't overlook RV trailer parks, too. Before we were married, my husband lived in a trailer that he could have pulled with his truck to another location. It was 6'x28' and that was his home. Such places abound all over the place in FL. I think he paid $375/month which covered the rent, water and electricity. I am sure it has gone up by now, but something along those lines might be an option. There was a pool, a community room in the office, mail delivered to the office area, a couple playgrounds for children, paved streets and a great many of the residents were retirees.

I am sure there are all manner of similar options in areas all across the country. It just takes some creative looking around.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:54 PM
TCK
 
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
167 posts, read 518,911 times
Reputation: 94
Default Thomasville

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70Ford View Post
Cairo, Georgia, Thomasville Georgia, Whigham Georgia. Actually any of the small towns in that area..Pavo..Coolidge...Meigs...etc..... Mild climate...far enough away from the hurricanes....to only get some rain...rents are cheap...cost of living is low. Small towns..with a small town feel. 600 a month for rent there is overkill. I rented a 2 bedroom trailer in Thomasville for $400 a month from Century 21.... in 2005.
I think I own every best place to retire, raise family, etc. book known to mankind. Thomasville, GA has been mentioned as a great/good place to live.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:30 AM
 
1,924 posts, read 4,609,537 times
Reputation: 1355
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
We have found that we have been able to make do very nicely in Maine, on a limited pension plus a part time job in a grocery store.

We were able to buy land, build a house out in a rural forest area. We are starting up a small farm.

Our property taxes have been under $50/year.


How do you afford health insurance in maine? Anyone under 65 and needing individual insurance in the 60-64 age bracket would be paying $1000/month, which is VERY expensive and not affordable for many.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
How do you afford health insurance in maine? Anyone under 65 and needing individual insurance in the 60-64 age bracket would be paying $1000/month, which is VERY expensive and not affordable for many.
My wife and I are both 48.

My previous employer still covers my family. [Previous is kind of a mis-nomer, I retired on pension, though technically my pension is a retainer. If they decided that they wanted me back bad enough, they could call me back and pay my full-pay with added benefits again]

I pay ~$650 each year enrollment fee,
then a $20 co-pay for each office visit,
and $3 per each three months of each script.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:18 PM
 
1,924 posts, read 4,609,537 times
Reputation: 1355
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
My wife and I are both 48.

My previous employer still covers my family. [Previous is kind of a mis-nomer, I retired on pension, though technically my pension is a retainer. If they decided that they wanted me back bad enough, they could call me back and pay my full-pay with added benefits again]

I pay ~$650 each year enrollment fee,
then a $20 co-pay for each office visit,
and $3 per each three months of each script.
You are very lucky to have health insurance through your previous employer. I was hoping to be able to consider Maine as a possible retirement location and because I'm not yet 65, I need to buy individual health insurance and unfortunately, in Maine, the cost is extremely high. I am looking at other states, though I love Maine.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:22 PM
 
1,924 posts, read 4,609,537 times
Reputation: 1355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I moved to NE AL from FL and I am so happy I did. I bought an older brick home in a small town for less than 100K. Property taxes this year were 165.00 and HOI $650.00. AL does tax my pension but not the SS. All in all it is much cheaper for me to live here. FL HOI and property taxes are causing many ppl to leave FL. Who can afford $5000.00 or more for HOI and $3000.00 for Property tax on a 120K home if it is just you.

You can rent a 1 bedroom apt here for less than $450.00 a month.
It is a safe town with friendly ppl and not too far from larger cities.

What town do you live in?
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:24 PM
 
1,924 posts, read 4,609,537 times
Reputation: 1355
[quote=karibear;2758760]
Now, I'm planning to move to the midwest. I did many, many websearches for properties I could afford, and researched the communities. I've finally narrowed it down to one location. ...I've picked a very small town, but one that is still big enough to have doctors, dentists, banks, and shopping within walking distance.

And in the same areas where I've been looking, 2 and 3 bedroom houses rent for 300-400/month, and the landlord is the one responsible for major maintenance and upkeep.

QUOTE]

What town is this?
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by karibear View Post
Now, I'm planning to move to the midwest. I did many, many websearches for properties I could afford, and researched the communities. I've finally narrowed it down to one location. ...I've picked a very small town, but one that is still big enough to have doctors, dentists, banks, and shopping within walking distance.

And in the same areas where I've been looking, 2 and 3 bedroom houses rent for 300-400/month, and the landlord is the one responsible for major maintenance and upkeep.
What town is this?
Last week I inspected a home for a friend, it is a 3bdrm house selling for $40k, in a town with two doctor's offices, a dentist, three banks, two grocery stores, and a lot of small shops.
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