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Old 01-26-2012, 09:17 AM
 
25 posts, read 22,907 times
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I want to move back to Colorado, which is where I was living four years ago, when my father became ill and I had to move back to Brevard County to care for him. He's gone now, and I inherited his house here, which I had to spend ton$ of money to remodel. I'm currently living in it, and it's far more beautiful than any other house in the neighborhood. I absolutely love Colorado, love the dry air, the mountains, the cold weather, the scenery, the outdoorsy-ness of it.

My question is: do I stay here or do I go back to Colorado, and if so, when?

I dislike just about everything about Brevard County, especially the weather. I cannot stand the heat and humidity here, it's a swamp. My body does not tolerate it, and I'm physically miserable 24/7/365. I do have a great job, though. I'm a teacher here, and am still licensed in Colorado.

If I go now: do I sell my house or rent it? I won't be vested in my retirement plan at work for 3 more years (I'm mid-50s). So my years of service at work will be wasted if I leave now. If I rent my house out here, I can afford a 25% downpayment on a home in Colorado.

If I don't go now: I'm constantly physically miserable, but am getting closer to being vested in my retirement plan (which will only yield $3000 per year if I leave Florida as soon as I'm vested, in 3 years). I have no other retirement account.

I have grown children in Texas and Colorado. No grandkids (yet). I'm single.

Any well thought out, informed, possibly expert opinions out there? Thank you!
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,726 posts, read 10,550,161 times
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I think your priority at this point should be your retirement. In addition to your plan, you need to be putting aside money on your own, and you would probably be in a better position to do that in Florida.

Consider:
Would you be able to live in Colorado on Social Security alone in 10 years?
How likely are you to find a job in Colorado?
Will you get back the money you put into renovations if you sell?
Can you spend summers in Colorado for the next few years?
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:24 AM
 
25 posts, read 22,907 times
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Default Thanks, maf!

Maf, thanks for your reply. I think they moved this thread, so I hope you get this! Answers to your questions:

I could probably live on social security plus some small investments, since I will own my home (whether in Florida or Colorado). I think.

If I had not remodeled the house I inherited, it would have been worth $120K or less, not to mention that it was (in my opinion) uninhabitable in the condition it was. Today, realistically, I could probably get $180K for it. Considering that I spent $80K to remodel, I feel like that would be a loss of at least $20K if I sold now. The remodeling made it the nicest house for many blocks around, and although that is nice for me while I live there, I realize that financially it's a losing proposition, especially if I sold now.

I believe I can get a job in Colorado. I'm a teacher, and they need teachers everywhere.

I guess it comes down to quality of current life vs. living for my future comfort. I really hate it here (in Florida). Every day. My neighborhood (although single family homes) looks like a trashy trailer park to me, with trailer park neighbors who don't care about their homes, and they're noisy, rude, ill-mannered, bothersome.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:21 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 76,051,458 times
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Unfortunately while you may think "they need teachers everywhere" the reality is not so rosey. Many areas are facing both an unprecedented level of resistance to public employee pensions and the associated costs / taxes needed to support such hiring practices. In Illinois it is extremely difficult to get a teaching job even in districts that have experienced growing student populations. The trend is to increase class sizes to the max, hire teachers for only a single year /issue the necessary termination notices to allow for cutback, and generally to keep staffing levels and salaries as low as possible...

I don't have direct experience in CO but I certainly recommend you do some SERIOUS investigation well before listing your present home for sale and relocating.

Given that you seem to have minimal retirement savings and are facing a potential large loss on the sale of the home you are living in it strikes me as flat out DANGEROUS to leave good employment with any kind of pension. SS is widely recognized to be NOT A PRIMARY RETIREMENT STRATGEY! At best is a mere thread-bare safety net that could well leave someone without savings in a terrible poverty stricken state of financial ruin! I am reminded on quote attributed to Winston Churchill -- "He who fails to plan is planning to fail"... For goodness sakes why not ride things out AT LEAST until you are vested if not longer to build up your ability to retire comfortably? Spend the summers in CO. Spend Spring Break there too, but the LONGER YOU WORK the less likely you are to be FLAT BROKE!
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:41 PM
 
297 posts, read 669,258 times
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List your house for sale for what you want, stay there 3 years.

If your house sells, continue to stay there for rest of 3 years, but rent elsewhere.

Spend your summers and vacation time in Colorado in the meantime!
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:49 AM
 
25 posts, read 22,907 times
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Default Misery

Thank you for the last two posts, I think your advice is great.

My problem is physical: I cannot stand the heat here in Florida. I am miserable every day. Have to run the AC even in January. I don't like to go outside because it's too hot. It's a quality of life issue for me. It is not as though I'm considering Florida vs. Colorado like they're equal. The reason I need to move is the weather here. I'm just trying to be a smart as possible financially given that I must move to remain sane.

Other issues: my children live in Colorado and Texas, so I would be closer to them if I were there. I've only been at my job here for 3 years, so I'm not very invested in the retirement account, and even if I could manage to stay here until I'm 62 (which I could never do), my Florida retirement would yield only $5300 per year.

Obviously I am seriously behind on my retirement planning. But since I'm just now starting to get it together, I'd rather do it in Colorado than Florida.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,736 posts, read 5,551,478 times
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Good luck. Many states will be laying off thousands of teachers. Those that are hiring are looking for beginning teachers that they can hire at the lowest cost.

A lot of people are stuck right now until the general employment picture improves. This is not unique to teachers. Right now it appears the house is your greatest financial asset. If the neighborhood is truly deteriorating then maybe you want to sell and take the hit. You could rent and invest the money elsewhere.

I wouldn't quit a paying job without another one solidly lined up.
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:52 PM
 
297 posts, read 669,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawah View Post
My problem is physical: I cannot stand the heat here in Florida. I am miserable every day. Have to run the AC even in January. I don't like to go outside because it's too hot. It's a quality of life issue for me. It is not as though I'm considering Florida vs. Colorado like they're equal. The reason I need to move is the weather here. I'm just trying to be a smart as possible financially given that I must move to remain sane...

Well if you must move, then do so. In that case I would list the house for sale, then when it sells, move after that.

I would not advise moving prior to sale. Homes which sit empty have been broken into and all copper wire and pipe stolen. So do not leave it unoccupied.

And renters can trash a place. Hard to manage from out of state. I would not rent it out. Sell it and be done with it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:26 PM
 
25 posts, read 22,907 times
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I lived in Colorado before I moved back home to Florida. I had to quit my job there and I did rent out my house.

The renters burned it down.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:29 PM
 
25 posts, read 22,907 times
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Thank you for all of your good advice, even if some of it is alarming (I guess it should be). Since we're talking, I have another question:

My father's estate is not yet settled. When it is settled, I'll inherit about $200K. Any suggestions on what to do with the money?

Again, I'm 53, single, house is paid off, I'm just starting my retirement planning. I make $37K per year.

Thanks again!!
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