Just where will you live when you retire? At the beach, on the golf course, by the lake? In your own home, a condo, a double-wide, or a nursing home? On your own, with your spouse, with your children, or on the dole?
To do what you want to do – takes money
A recent segment on NBC Evening News reported an increased number of retirees moving into university towns. They enjoy mingling with young people, having lots of things to do, and being independent. That is a feeling we all can envy.
Now, blessings on those who have worked hard to save for their retirement in comfort. It is not easy to do, and it seems limited to those with professional and military careers and those who are double-dipping into more than one pension at a time. These retirees seem to settle well into communities in the sun where they can live – for an additional fee – independently until such time that they need assisted and continuing care. The buy-in and sustaining fees for these arrangements are quite high and prohibitive for most citizens.
Downsizing to a smaller house or from a house to an apartment is a plausible solution – that ignores issues of healthcare. For many people, this means living off the equity from the sale of the larger home. However, relocating to somewhere nearby is not likely to reduce your cost of living, so you need to think about relocating to an area well outside of that economic environment. This may take you out of state and away from family, but it may be the only way to make this work. Then, you will find that “out-of-state” does not mean the better known senior refuges because they have all been built-out. AARP recommends Spokane, WA Eau Claire, WI, Las Cruces, NM, and Morgantown, WV.
There is public housing for seniors in most urban areas. It is not a shameful or embarrassing option, but your eligibility depends on a lot of factors. HUD will help with the purchase of a home or with rent subsidies. You can have a comfortable retirement in such housing, but it does not anticipate your healthcare needs.
So, where will you live when you retire? The sad thing is that most of the people asking this question are too close to retirement to save for their needs. They need to find retirement savings solutions fast!