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Thread summary:

Retirement: cost of living, taxes, renting a home, housing, traffic.

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Old 06-16-2008, 12:53 PM
 
2,317 posts, read 4,639,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Counting Down View Post
For those of you who moved upon retiring, how did you decide to go where you did? I understand those who choose their destination because they have family or friends already there, but what about those of you who went somewhere in which you didn't know a soul? In other words, take family and friends out of the equation and what made 'your' town 'the' town for you?

Every time I think I've narrowed down my choices, I read something on one of the state forums or an article in a magazine and add another location to my list. I'm currently at about 7 cities, and 'the' city changes every few weeks.

I know I should visit them as much as possible, and I have quite a bit, but I still can't settle on one. I should state that I'm one of those annoying types who analyze everything beyond whats reasonable and at some point I have to just decide. I'll probably move and rent for a year anyway, but I still want my choice to be the best bet. So what did you all do? Gut feeling? Long time vacation destination? Analysis of cost of living, climate, scenery, hospitals, etc? Was it a big stress decision for you or did you just 'always' want to go there? And perhaps most interesting question to me... did you feel confident when you finally decided or were you packing for you move and still questioning your decision?
Just remember one thing...there is no perfect place,it's what works for you.
you are actually doing the right thing by taking your time and analyzing it
to death...This is how we decided where to go...5 years before I retired
(just retired 3/1/08 after 20 yrs NYC law enforcement) started looking into
places that offered...Low crime,low cost of living,mountain views,good
quality of life,affordable homes and taxes,close to shopping,doctors,hospital
made sure no flood zone and not zoned to build in area,chose a place that
would not tax pension(city and state) we found the place and very happy
but you really have to visit these places to see for yourself,because whats
good for one person may not be good for someone else.
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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Depending on how far you move;moving itself can be expeensive especially at older age.Also if you buy you don't want to cash yourself out as you have to have upkeep. To many renting makes sense since they don't have alot of extra money and a fixed payment is budgetable.Its like people that buy a car based on the monthly payment rather than the actual cost.If your are living in a condo the expense differences can change alot.Condo can also make sense for many as their cost are more fixed compared to owning.In fact I find that renting a apartment has more in common to owning a condo than owning a house has to a condo.
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,685 posts, read 49,462,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolL View Post
This thread is extremely helpful for me. Thanks to all of you who have responded.

DH could retire this year but probably won't. (He's one of those people who will die at his desk.) And I won't retire fully for 5 years. However, DH does agree he's ready to leave his job for something less demanding, and I work at home and could live anywhere, so we just sold our condo and are going to rent an apt for a year while we figure out where we'd like to live and what we'd like to do for the rest of our lives (!).

How did you decide whether you should rent or buy property for your retirement? I understand renting at first, particularly if you're moving to another area—we hope to move out of the city and into a smaller town or maybe even rural area. (I grew up in the country, so yes, I know what I'm getting into. Not sure DH does, tho.)

I once heard Suze Orman advise someone that, if you only have a little money, you should rent rather than buy, because you will need cash for bills and expenses. DH and I have enough to pay cash for property, but wouldn't have a lot leftover if we did. However, I feel like I need the security of owning my own home, as small and modest as it might be. We know we do not want a mortgage, but maybe that's not a bad thing either?

What's better: renting or buying? And what about a mortgage at this late date in life? (DH is 62; I'm 57.)
Renting or buying?

All depends on your actual numbers.

We were living overseas when I retired. So we had to move stateside, and then begin looking for retirement property.

We were able to cash-out a portion of our nest-egg, to use to buy our retirement home mortgage-free; and yet still have enough left in our portfolio to keep it going and growing.

So in our case, we bought. Our annual property taxes are low, and our portfolio is growing once again.

It really does depend though on exactly how much you have [now please don't publish the amount].

If you found a home that you liked for $50k with annual taxes of $100; and your portfolio was at $200k, then you could buy it, and still have $150k left earning money for you to cover expenses.

But if you had your eye on a $195k home, with $5k annual taxes; then on your second year, you will be hurting.

I am big on advocating that folks live in lower cost 'depressed' areas with low taxes. Once you have a fixed income, your income will go much farther in such an area.

We hosted a dinner party last night; one couple that attended is looking at a 3bdrm home on 2 acres on the market for $29k, with annual taxes under $100. If they go into that home they will still have sufficient money for living expenses.
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:06 PM
 
Location: WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolL View Post
...
What's better: renting or buying? And what about a mortgage at this late date in life? (DH is 62; I'm 57.)
When you consider the value of the money to buy (even at today's low rates), the taxes, insurance, and maintenance it is almost always cheaper to rent than buy. Only when you factor in appreciation (which is a big guess, especially today) do the numbers turn to make buying a positive. The downsides to renting are fewer choices in some markets/prices, and the control over your rent (long term) and property (for changes).
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
... All depends on your actual numbers.
...If you found a home that you liked for $50k with annual taxes of $100; and your portfolio was at $200k, then you could buy it, and still have $150k left earning money for you to cover expenses.

But if you had your eye on a $195k home, with $5k annual taxes; then on your second year, you will be hurting.

I am big on advocating that folks live in lower cost 'depressed' areas with low taxes. Once you have a fixed income, your income will go much farther in such an area.

We hosted a dinner party last night; one couple that attended is looking at a 3bdrm home on 2 acres on the market for $29k, with annual taxes under $100. If they go into that home they will still have sufficient money for living expenses.
Of course, Beekeeper. That makes perfect sense.

I agree with your stance on living in "depressed" areas with low taxes. We've found one of those areas that may work out really well for us; the area we favor, however, would work for us only if we rent, altho neither area's taxes come anywhere close to your $100/year. (Guess I need to do more research on Maine!)
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
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We hosted a dinner party last night; one couple that attended is looking at a 3bdrm home on 2 acres on the market for $29k, with annual taxes under $100. If they go into that home they will still have sufficient money for living expenses.

Did you mean to say that there are homes for $29,000? Property taxes of $100.00 a year ?
There are many people here on Long Island who pay that for six DAYS of taxes !!!!!
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,685 posts, read 49,462,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
We hosted a dinner party last night; one couple that attended is looking at a 3bdrm home on 2 acres on the market for $29k, with annual taxes under $100. If they go into that home they will still have sufficient money for living expenses.

Did you mean to say that there are homes for $29,000? Property taxes of $100.00 a year ?
There are many people here on Long Island who pay that for six DAYS of taxes !!!!!
Homes for $29k? Yes.

Annual property taxes of $100? yes.

My property taxes are $47, but I live in a rural area. I have 42 acres with riverfrontage, and a 2400 sq ft house.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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With all my research I have lived in DE, NC, SC, back to PA, and now TN since I retired. I find there are certain things I like about all the locations and wish I could combine them all. I keep thinking that this place will be the last, but knowing myself, if the wind blows just right and I am in the right frame of mind, I will be moving on.
Don
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:07 PM
 
365 posts, read 1,130,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
...it is almost always cheaper to rent than buy. Only when you factor in appreciation (which is a big guess, especially today) do the numbers turn to make buying a positive. The downsides to renting are fewer choices in some markets/prices, and the control over your rent (long term) and property (for changes).
Yes, you're absolutely right. I guess I'm trying to convince myself that spending most of our money on a house at this stage of life would be a mistake. Not easy when you want it so badly!
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,058,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
... a 3bdrm home on 2 acres on the market for $29k, with annual taxes under $100.
A friend and I were looking at the neatest looking farmstead in a real estate catalogue a few years ago and for just a bit more than the place you mention forest beekeeper. The listing said it had a barn, stables, outbuildings, woods, fenced pastures, came with a tractor and all farm equipment and had a picturesque creek running through the property. My first response was, "Whoa---what a deal" quickly followed by "And the house sits smack in the middle of the picturesque creek." Shoot! From what you're saying, it could have been the real deal. Often my skepticism pays off, sometimes not.
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