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Old 10-02-2007, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Here
2,715 posts, read 3,740,543 times
Reputation: 4521

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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.
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 17,965,834 times
Reputation: 18805
Oh man... you are on a difficult road. My first suggestion would be to move close to a family member who might be able to help you out in case of an emergency. If that's not a possibility, I would start researching which state has the best socialized programs. You will definitely need welfare. Beyond that, Arkansas has ice storms but the winters are relatively mild. The cost of living is very low there, but it's also hard to find work. Mississippi might bean option, too. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 17,965,834 times
Reputation: 18805
I had a thought right after hitting the send button--

You might want to find a roommate or two. That way, you could afford a more expensive neighborhood. (Sad, but true--less expensive neighborhoods are not very safe places for single, female senior citizens).
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:56 AM
 
10,097 posts, read 14,273,239 times
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Don't know where you'd want to try this, but I do think people overlook modest mobile homes, aka "trailers." My father (82) lives in one, the only park in the happenin' suburb of Cherry Hill, N.J. It's a tiny two-bedroom, and would sell for maybe $20K now. He can walk to a good train that goes to Atlantic City and Philadelphia, can walk or taxi to anything he needs. It's near a nice river park. The mobile park has a lot of rules to keep it nice, including strictly owner-occupied- no renters at all. He lives on Social Security. No longer keeps a car due to eyesight.
I have always resisted people saying "trailer trash" or other such put-downs. Trailers, especially in well-kept parks (how about 55+?) are affordable housing. They are at least the size of a modest apartment, and there are no neighbors sharing walls or above or below.
There's one 55+ trailer park in my town here in eastern Mass. Very well kept, strict rules, a fine modest place to live. The cheapest I've seen there is about $25K, and go on up to about $50K (larger, I think).
And I always think about trying to be somewhere that doesn't totally require cars. You can always taxi now and then to buy heavy items/bulk groceries.
Good luck. It's a hard thing to figure out.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Here
2,715 posts, read 3,740,543 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Don't know where you'd want to try this, but I do think people overlook modest mobile homes, aka "trailers." My father (82) lives in one, the only park in the happenin' suburb of Cherry Hill, N.J. It's a tiny two-bedroom, and would sell for maybe $20K now. He can walk to a good train that goes to Atlantic City and Philadelphia, can walk or taxi to anything he needs. It's near a nice river park. The mobile park has a lot of rules to keep it nice, including strictly owner-occupied- no renters at all. He lives on Social Security. No longer keeps a car due to eyesight.
I have always resisted people saying "trailer trash" or other such put-downs. Trailers, especially in well-kept parks (how about 55+?) are affordable housing. They are at least the size of a modest apartment, and there are no neighbors sharing walls or above or below.
There's one 55+ trailer park in my town here in eastern Mass. Very well kept, strict rules, a fine modest place to live. The cheapest I've seen there is about $25K, and go on up to about $50K (larger, I think).
And I always think about trying to be somewhere that doesn't totally require cars. You can always taxi now and then to buy heavy items/bulk groceries.
Good luck. It's a hard thing to figure out.

I think you gave an excellent suggestion and I will definitely look into senior mobile parks. I know they are not all 'trailer trash' parks. I will continue to work, part or full time and will not be destitute...just wanting to be conservative and not blow money needlessly.

Thank you!!
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,173 posts, read 4,988,935 times
Reputation: 1435
I'm in a similar situation. I had to retire early on disability. That's why I'm in Knoxville. I bought a condo three years ago and my mortgage (nothing down, seller paid closing) and condo fee are under $600. That's for a 2-bedroom, 2 full bath 1200 sq. ft. one level condo.
Very safe and convenient area. New condos down the street sell for three times the price. You can find a nice, older condo in a good area for $70-80,000.
East Tennessee weather suits me. Real seasons but never really hot or cold for too long, except for this summer. Electricity here is very cheap so that keeps costs down.
Lots of part time and seasonal jobs. Knoxville is home to the University of Tennessee so there's a large student workforce that comes and goes. As a result, employers love retirees and actively seek them out.
You'll find similar situations around large universities in the South. Athens, GA, is nice. So is Lexington, KY.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:40 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
7,861 posts, read 12,522,842 times
Reputation: 16534
knoxgarden's suggestion sunds wonderful, katie45. Also, I believe that you would qualify for housing subsidies ( in Portland , for one, but I am sure almost everywhere). Where do you live now? You should look into that. Most cities do have these subsidies and YOU are exactly who they are for. Good luck!!!
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:45 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
8,193 posts, read 17,001,706 times
Reputation: 4330
HUD! can live anywhere they take 30% of your income for rent!
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 17,965,834 times
Reputation: 18805
I don't know this for a fact, but I've heard that the southern appalachians in general are a good place for people on a limited income. I've also heard good things about Eastern TN.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Here
2,715 posts, read 3,740,543 times
Reputation: 4521
Default Thanks!!

You guys are great!! What wonderful suggestions that I can really use!

I am going to look into the Knoxville area like knoxgarden wrote about...I had no idea I could get into a home and have my mortgage payment be at that level...that sounds doable for me. I have 401k and am saving every penny I can and I think with her idea, and with brightdoglover's 55+ mobile home park idea...I am heading in the right direction.

You've all been very helpful and I really appreciate the advice!! I am going to make it, I know I will!
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