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Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-07-2003, 07:30 PM   #1
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Retirement Housing Choices

I am intrigued by the choices for retirees in the housing and (even more so) lifestyle areas. Across the US there are "Sun City" cities, many universities have retirement communities loosely affiliated with ILRs (Institutes for Learning in Retirement), lots of independent adult RV and golf communities. I am personally investigating a benevolent dictatorship called "The Villages" in central Florida. The latter has 30,000 residents, plans for 50,000 more, 400 active clubs, 9 golf courses, and several shopping and dining areas, all accessible via golf cart.

Is anyone familiar with discussion groups comparing and contrasting these types of housing choices? The financial aspect is just one of the topics that I find my previous experience with HOAs and home ownership leave me with too little to extrapolate from.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-08-2003, 05:21 AM   #2
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

I have a friend who retired recently and lives in the
"Villages". He likes it a lot. We would quickly go insane
there.
We like to be as far away from what passes for
civilization as possible. Different strokes!

I am still puzzling over the rent vs. buy question.
But, since we currently have 4 dogs the options for
renting are somewhat limited. If I did not hate the
winters here so much I would just stay put.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-08-2003, 12:07 PM   #3
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Obviously rent vs. buy depends on the lifestyle.

My wife and I are in the "buy" group. We have a house we like in the 'burbs of Phoenix that is well within our budget. It's not opulent but it has plenty of space (4 bedrooms for the 2 of us) and a wonderful view of a lake out back.

I think a house can have a negative impact on FIRE plans when people spend too much on one. If one goes with 28% of their income or more on a house like a bank will let you you're definitely going to have problems jumping out of the rat race. Our mortgage is under 9% of our net income, so it's a pretty reasonable expense for housing that we'll have completely paid off when we're in our mid 40s. At that point it'll be a lot easier making the FIRE transition knowing we can live in a paid off home that we like. It also gives us the option of renting it out while travelling or living abroad.

There are some things about owning a home that are important to us. We like having four pets. We like tearing up the carpet that we hated and putting in lovely pergo. We like chopping down the tree that littered the yard and switching the front landscaping from grass to desert/cactus. I like bouncing a basketball inside with nobody to complain about it except my wife. And we've REALLY liked watching our home appreciate over 40% in 4 1/2 years.

It's a lifestyle choice, and both owning or renting can be a successful option in the pursuit of early retirement.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-08-2003, 12:41 PM   #4
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

We like our house a lot (no mortgage), except for
the location. Not too fond of Illinois in general (long story how we ended up here). Also, do not like the winters. Never did really, but when I stopped working
the winters became very long. When I was working
a lot, I would just work more until it warmed up and
then cut back and resume my warm weather hobbies.
But..............we have a plan, which is to sell off some
Illinois real estate (I own other property here also) and
move south. Probably Florida, but maybe Texas.
I need big water (boater) and so being near the Gulf Coast is appealing. Right now I have all property here on the market and as soon as something sells we are outa here! But, I don't have to sell, so we could stay with the status quo although certainly not our first choice.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-09-2003, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Ever consider Arizona? It has a huge boat owner population because of so many large lakes.

The climate here is more diverse than Florida (we can drive a couple hours and be 7000 feet up where it is much cooler pine forests) and there are two big benefits:
1. I'll buy you a beer for making so many interesting posts
2. NO MOSQUITOS!

Is that how you spell that? Mosquitoes? Dan Quayle potatoes potato tomato arghhh
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-24-2003, 07:45 PM   #6
 
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Johngalt, we are in similar positions. What area of Illinois are you in? I've been told housing is moving well in Northern Illinois by Baird & Warner and Remax. Have you found differently? Jack254
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-25-2003, 04:23 AM   #7
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Hi Jack! We live in Ogle County, Illinois. Small house with 100 feet right on the Rock River. Beautiful spot!
All my other property is also river frontage. Re. this house, it's been on the market since June with no offers.
I think my main handicap is that I am located in the
flood plain, so if you live here long enough you will
have high water but hopefully not in the house. I have
owned property in the Rock River flood plain since 1974
and it's my primary residence for over 5 years. It's
not a big deal to me but may look like trouble to
potential buyers. I was just thinking yesterday that
over the past 20 years almost all the real estate I've
owned has been waterfront. Always thought of that as a big plus when selling. We're in no particular rush
though. As you know, there is a buyer for everything.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 03-13-2003, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

John,

The problem is there is no good beer down in Arizona. I too have appreciated your posts...so head to Washington and get a case of real beer...it might be an Oregon Micro...but close enough. Either way...life's too short...get out of Illinois.

JS
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 03-13-2003, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Maybe I should not say this as I was born and grew up
here in Illinois, but it is one of my least favorite states, and I have been in almost all of them. Only North Dakota springs immediately to mind as less appealing.
Nope, I need big water, minimally
intrusive government, and warm weather. Seems little enough to ask as I live out my twilight years .
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 04-15-2003, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Baah! There is good beer in Arizona, one just needs a nose for it.

Example: Rio Salado Brewery in Tempe. They've got a hef that is out of this world, and they've got a nifty little taproom at the brewery.

Not that I'm claiming to compete glass-to-glass with the NW mind you.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 04-16-2003, 06:13 AM   #11
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Well, my taste in beer is not that discriminating. I usually buy whatever is cheap and then only if I am going fishing . I do recall the best beer I ever tasted
(really an ale) was Boddingtons (sp??) It's English.

We are still stuck here in Illinois although some progress
is made. Still liquidating assets in preparation for the
"big move" and eventually a live-aboard lifestyle.
After spending a small fortune advertising our house
it occurs to me that I might be better off leasing it out
to someone trustworthy. The waterfront location is
attractive, and after all, what am I going to do with the
cash if I sell? As my faithful readers know I only go for the most conservative investments. With interest rates
so low CDs and MMAs won't help us much. I
don't need the cash (whether we rent or buy) for our
new housing. Wish I had thought of this before I
ran all of those FSBO ads.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 05-24-2003, 05:34 PM   #12
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Poocher.

My idea of retirement would not be living in a place that has 30,000 retirees. You say they are adding 50,000 more. What kind of a place is it. That is more that my town here. We are twin cities with mine only having 32000. The University is here giving another 34000 there. It is my ideal.
All the young people give it a good feeling and so much goes on. Theatre, golfing, parks, all the sports one wants to see.. Great for taking any kind of College classes. Most free if over 60.
Forget about the retirement villages.

JeanneP
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 05-24-2003, 06:27 PM   #13
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Quote:
We are twin cities with mine only having 32000. The University is here giving another 34000 there. It is my ideal.
All the young people give it a good feeling and so much goes on. Theatre, golfing, parks, all the sports one wants to see.. Great for taking any kind of College classes.
Jeanne,

Kind of reminds me of a visit to Madison, Wisconsin for some technical training many years ago. The walk along State Street between my hotel and the college campus was just fascinating. Here I was, not even 40 years old, and it seemed as if I were the oldest person on the street. For a moment, I felt quite young again.

Somehow, I believe that retiring to such a community might be preferable to a manufactured city of grey hairs.

Red
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 05-25-2003, 10:58 AM   #14
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

RED.

Yes, Madison is still a nice town. My area has a lot for Seniors to get involved with also is they wish. I prefer to be where people of all ages.
Only once, and I was only in m 40s then, I stayed in a retirement park in Arizona. They were all sweet to me but I swear I aged 10 years in that short a time. They do to much talking about ailments, grandchildren not calling, and what people were doing around them
Now I am sure that all place are not this way. Some people are living a good life in them. Put one single man in and he really has a good time. My mother lived in one in England and it was such a laugh with all the ladies fighting for his attention.

Boy I bet I get in trouble with this message.

Jeanne
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 05-29-2003, 05:17 PM   #15
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

Hello Jeanne! I know Madison and am somewhat familiar with the infrastructure. I just thought perhaps some visitors might be
interested in another viewpoint. Madison has a reputation of being very liberal, deserved I think.
I am off the chart right-wing-wise. Thus, Madison and I
must never meet, other than brief and furtive
affairs. I could not tolerate living anywhere close to
Madison. Obviously many people like it a lot. I think that's fine, but those folks must give me a wide berth
and I will reciprocate.
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices
Old 01-08-2004, 07:01 PM   #16
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Re: Retirement Housing Choices

We are about to put our 2300 sq ft. 3/2 home on the market. The property taxes in this upscale near city center surban style community is too high. The gains we should receive will pay for the rural property we bought west of here and the improvements on it. We waited until now because Austin real estate prices declined due to the loss of jobs in the high tech sector of its economy. Now, real estate and the economy is improving not to mention my portfolio has improved too.

We bought some acreage in Texas hill country 60 miles west of here (Austin) and had a very nice small cabin built on it about 3 years ago. We moved the cabin a tad (Texan for a 'bit') away from its site near the edge of the mesa with its big view, and our new 1100 sq ft. home built there is nearly complete.

I figure we will save about $1000/mo. in taxes, utilities, and cost of living. Keeping at least 4 animal units on the property gives us an agricultural exemption taxed at $2/acre instead of $250/acre. These animals need almost no care. I went to the local high school Ag teacher and asked if any students in 4 H needed some range land or animal to raise as a project. Now, I keep the exemption, help a local school boy, and have help with what little work there is to care for the animals.
If you own acreage here that is suitable for grazing, you can just lease grazing rights to a neighbor with no worries caring for live stock at all and keep the Ag exemption.

Check my profile or introduction post to link to my web photos and see how I am doing ...
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