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Old 01-17-2018, 09:04 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,664,703 times
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We snowbirded for five years, carrying two houses. With the taxes/utilities we paid in NY for those years, it would have paid for the pool we are putting in this year in FL. Living in two places was not for either of us. As time went on I found it harder to fully commit to either community each year. At the end of those five years, we knew where we wanted to live.

We know three sets of retirees that have great snowbirding setups that aren’t seasonal rentals.

The first couple have a house they each own, one in FL, one in NY. They each get to keep their home’s property tax breaks under their own names since they aren’t married. They have renters in each of their houses, one is a duplex, the other is a large house with an apartment. They have built in caretakers, no pets or other encumbrances and fly to each location with a car on each end. They have been doing this for years.

The next couple sold their large home they lived in for years to one of their kids. They park their RV there in the summer months and live aboard their boat with all the amenities a mile away in a yacht club. They take the boat out for trips/excursions during that time. Come the fall, they store the boat, drive the RV towing a car behind to FL where they have a home in a park. They drive the RV to see their other kids that live in different states and take other trips through the winter while in FL.

The last are our neighbors in FL. They inherited the house their parents used to own when they were the kids coming to visit. Now they are the grandparents with everyone coming to visit them in the winter from the North. They come two weeks in November to golf and then after New Years until Easter. They have a large group of friends to hang out with from their small town in MA that either rent, snowbird or live here year round. They also take trips elsewhere when here.

There’s lots of ways to snowbird and the costs cover a huge range. It depends on what you want and are able, or willing to spend.

Last edited by jean_ji; 01-17-2018 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,428,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwnmo View Post
Hubby is concerned about being able to afford this lifestyle and I am hoping to show him that it can be done depending on where you go.
When you start a financial analysis with the goal of showing it can be done, you will indeed show it can be done. Note that is far from a dispassionate objective analysis of actual data.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,428,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
And for some reason even the snowbirds do that crap.
New Yawkers?
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:51 AM
 
Location: equator
3,425 posts, read 1,524,633 times
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When I lived in Utah, I left right before Thanksgiving to avoid the first snowfall. I went back to SoCal where I'm from. What's good about that, is that winter is NOT high season there. Summer is. I was able to rent an oceanfront condo in Oceanside, next to the pier, for $2,700 a month. "Off-season". I stayed there until April. Temps are 70s daytime and 60s at night. Just perfect, I think.


Found it on VRBO, then dealt directly with the agent after that---went to the same place for 5 winters.


Now we are retired on the beach, so no need for that---but I'd still like to visit!
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:07 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
Hence the term "snowbirds".
Funny.

Most snowbirds are those who fly south for the in-season expensive winter.
I was describing the opposite.

Resettle where it's nice in winter then fly north in summer.
Avoid almost all of the in-season resort expense.
At least you expand the possible destinations 100 fold.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:17 AM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,310,108 times
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We were snowbirds in a motorhome and stayed in FL Keys for 4 months. It is very expensive there, cost of site about $2K a month (water view), groceries were very expensive. Home was in NE, so had to keep heat on low, have neighbors check on house. Mail was forwarded, bills paid online.

As OP have stated, going north less expensive. The Keys (which are in bad shape since hurricane) have ideal weather through the winter (until about 3/15) and water is beautiful. Medical care is poor.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:46 AM
 
13,874 posts, read 7,386,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Funny.

Most snowbirds are those who fly south for the in-season expensive winter.
I was describing the opposite.

Resettle where it's nice in winter then fly north in summer.
Avoid almost all of the in-season resort expense.
At least you expand the possible destinations 100 fold.
That's kind-a splitting hairs. I know plenty of people who have done exactly that and they all answer up to 'snowbird'. At least in Florida, there are some advantages to being a resident. You lock in your property tax rate. Automobile costs are usually a heck of a lot lower. There's no state income tax.

The ski resorts in New England have a huge number of vacant units in the summer. Prices for 2 or 3 month rentals are cheap since it's a buyer's market and retirees are unlikely to trash a rental.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:49 AM
 
14,256 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
We snowbirded for five years, carrying two houses. With the taxes/utilities we paid in NY for those years, it would have paid for the pool we are putting in this year in FL. Living in two places was not for either of us. As time went on I found it harder to fully commit to either community each year. At the end of those five years, we knew where we wanted to live.

When we were ready to make an offer on our current home, my wife stated that we should keep our home outside of Chicago. That is when I said, "STOP." We are not owning two homes.

The problem with owning two places include:

1) You end up not being part of either community that you live in. Back home, life goes on so people start making plans without you ... even when you are going to be in the area. It is harder to join organizations because some need you to be there all the time. In the new community, you get lumped in with the snowbirds and short-term renters. People will be friendly BUT they are not going to invest time in making friends wit people that won't be around. If you do it every year, that changes a bit.

2) You have two overheads. You are paying rent in the warm location. However, very few of the expenses back home go away. If you own, you have two sets of electric, water and gas bills, HOA fees, property taxes and the like.

3) Then there are the income tax issues. States like California, NY and Illinois, among others like to go after part-time residents and retirees in low-tax states.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:00 PM
 
4,343 posts, read 6,053,473 times
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Four months. We own. Before this, we rented for usually two months, never happily. We'd secure a lovely condo on the ocean via VRBO only to discover on arrival that the photos were taken back when it was remodeled and in every case, all five years with different rental units, the mold drove us away early. Windows that won't open, stained linens, inoperative burners on stove and dented tin cooking utensils. We got sick of the surprises and bought. We had our duct work cleaned and change our filters, everything is clean and new and we won't rent again. I hope this helps.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:23 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
..., I've thought about Thailand and Cambodia. How do you handle the language barrier?
Fake it... There will be limited help in rural areas (where I stay), but embrace the youth, they can help you and are anxious to learn more English.

If you are 'retired' you have LOTS of spare time to hang out with the locals and pick up enough phrases to get by. When you go to immigration services, they will reluctantly help you with your froms.

Medical care... Hundreds of thousands come to Thailand for 'tune-ups' (Most are from the 'National Health Care Nations of Western Europe...") I have never had a problem in Hospitals, as all Dr's and some staff are trained in UK, AU, USA (Medical Tourism is huge in Asia, so they are used to dealing with multiple languages). Pretty nice to get 'In & Out' of a hospital / Dr in less than 30 min (including all the 'new patient' paperwork and payment). Cost is usually <$20 USD.

Europe has been coming to Thailand for HC for 50 yrs. Many tenants in my condo / beach area have been coming every yr for 40+ yrs.
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