Cheapest Places to Retire
In 2006, when we first conceived of a website to help retirees find the best place to retire, we had no idea just how challenging retirement would become. With retirement savings depleted by investment losses and the housing market crisis, finding an affordable place to retire has become much more difficult. Add in soaring healthcare costs and tight credit, and the task becomes daunting. Now, even our retirement benefits, Social Security and Medicare, are being threatened.
So, are there great retirement places that are truly affordable? That depends on what lifestyle you want and where you are willing to look for a retirement place. As gloomy as the economy may seem, there are many places in the world, and yes, in the USA, where your dollars buy more than you expect and where the standard of living is comfortable.
The current market conditions offer an unparalleled opportunity to find affordable places to retire, even in warm, sunny retirement places. We help you find great retirement places in the U.S. and overseas that offer the warm and sunny climate we seek and yet are surprisingly affordable. Here at Great Retirement Places, you can explore a variety of housing options and locations looking for the best places to retire. But you must be careful; although bankruptcies and short sales have the potential to offer great retirement opportunities, they require caution, diligence and patience.
Finding the Cheapest Places to Retire
When it comes to retirement, finding a cheap retirement location can make a huge difference in how you spend your golden years. In fact, the money you save on housing and other costs—savings that can be even greater when living in an affordable retirement communitie—can allow you to enjoy a better quality of life at a lower cost.
So how do you find really affordable retirement places? Your options for cheap places to retire depend on your desired standard of living and your willingness to relocate. Retiring abroad can offer affordable locations with warm climates. GreatRetirementPlaces.com explores many of these overseas retirement options. What if retiring overseas is not right for you? We have found some cheap retirement places in the U.S., including sunny, warm Florida.
If you understand the value that today’s manufactured homes represent, you will be glad to know there are thousands of manufactured home communities in Florida and some rival the style of site-built homes. Equally important, the newer “mobile” homes stand up as well as site-built homes in high winds.
How do you go about finding a cheap place to retire? It takes quite a bit of research and information gathering, and the best time to start is now – even if you haven’t retired yet.
Great sources include friends and relatives, a real estate agent you trust, chambers of commerce, government demographic websites and tourist bureaus.
If you are wondering about prices, there are some great websites that allow you to enter a location and see a map of home prices and sales. Three such sites are Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com. These sites have mobile device apps as well. This process helps identify cheap places to live and retire.
If you want information about neighborhood demographics, both the US Census website and Bestplaces.net are great sources. You can find information about weather, housing, transportation, people, cost of living, school systems, water and air quality and much more.
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a small number of locations, go there and explore. You’ll want to know about health care facilities, shopping centers, food outlets, as well as arts and cultural activities.
How are the prices for services and commodities?
To keep spending to a minimum, look for locations near discount stores. Save more by looking for a home near public transportation routes.
Lastly, research taxes and insurance in your prospective location(s). Real estate, sales and service taxes vary by state, even by locality. Some jurisdictions offer special tax breaks for retirees. Insurance is another important consideration. Home, car, health and dental insurance premiums vary greatly by location. For instance, home insurance is very expensive in places like Florida where natural disasters are more frequent.
When you finally are ready to purchase a home, be sure to enlist the aid of a real estate agent who understands and respects your financial objectives. Even though most of us prefer to own, sometimes renting makes sense. Renting allows you flexibility and avoids the considerable expenses of real estate taxes and insurance, not to mention the considerable expense of purchasing a home. If you have or develop serious health concerns, it is easier to transition to assisted living or nursing from renting than from having a home you must sell.
After all, if you’re willing to think a bit outside the box, do your research, and plan ahead, there is no need to compromise between the quality of life you can afford and the quality of life you’ve earned.