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Retirement - Where Will You Live

Aug 19, 2008
There are many things that people plan for when planning their retirement. They plan for the travel they wish to do, to have money for gifts for the grandchildren they hope to have, and all kinds of wise and practical thing. In the process, however, many people neglect to plan for where they wish to live upon retirement.

We are seeing a growing trend of retirees moving to certain communities. This is all well and good. It's nice to be around people of similar ages and interests and live in communities that cater to those interests.

However, one thing is often overlooked during the process. The prices in these communities, and the average cost of living are quite likely to be different than the cost of living where you are. This is true unless you plan to retire where you live.

The fact is that there is a growing trend among retirees to migrate to certain population centers. The entire coastal region of Florida would almost qualify though not all communities in this area are equal when it comes to being retiree friendly.

The problem is that most people who retire live on limited budgets and can't afford the high dollar real estate that is part and parcel for these areas. One solution to that is to decide where you'd like to retire and buy real estate in that area early.

There are all kinds of housing communities being built around the nation as we speak. In addition to these communities high rise towers and condominiums are being built to cater not only to time-share renters but also retiring baby boomers that are moving into these areas.

The earlier you buy the better, as property values do tend to increase gradually over time. There are trends and twists and turns but for the most part, property will gain in value given enough time in which to do so.

The good news in these 'time share' and popular destination areas is that you can own the property and rent it out for a little extra income while you are biding your time waiting for retirement.

Once you've purchased a property in the area you can make the rounds and get a good comparison for the value of goods and services in the area compared with what you are accustomed to.

You can add the difference in your calculations for what you will need when making your retirement plans. Failing to do this can result in some very sad situations many retired people find themselves in.

These could include living in sub standard and unsafe housing and not having enough money left after paying the rent to cover the cost of food and medication much less other needs that may be encountered.

You should also make sure that you add the little cushion of money into your planning so that you can occasionally through caution to the wind and do something fun. After all, what good is it to be retired if you can never afford to live it up a little?

Make sure you have enough money set aside to take that cruise every spring or fly up to see the grandkids two or three times a year. You want to make sure that you can enjoy your retirement or you will find endless days of staring at the television. What fun is that?

The costs of living in this country from one region to the next can be significantly different. If you do not consider where you will be living upon retirement when calculating the numbers you are doing yourself a great disservice.

This is definitely something you will want to discuss with your financial planner before it is too late to make the changes that will affect your future and retirement needs. It is good to have dreams of where you'd like to retire but it is even better to take the steps necessary to make your retirement dreams a reality.
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