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Housing issues baby boomers

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Good article on one aspect of housing situation for boomers.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/11/baby-boomers-are-struggling-to-downsize--and-it-could-create-the-next-housing-crisis.html

In particular, one should pay attention to livability of home as one ages. FT'ers should have a SOLID exit strategy. The article points out the pitfalls of today's market.

In the Twin Cities, rents have soared. 1 Level type housing is very tough to find around here. My folks just moved into Boutwell Landing, a multi stage retirement community in Stillwater, MN. They lucked out and sold their maintenance intensive single family home in the woods -but it took time. At 79/76 they were ready. 

 

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An interesting article indeed! Companies like Del Webb construction are thriving but they are anything but low-cost housing. We found our answer to what comes next partly due to pure luck. Even though we are in a 55+ community of RV owners, we are nearing the point of moving to a location where more assistance is available when needed. We did plan ahead and thus far it has served us pretty well, but with costs continuing to rise money could be of concern in the future. As we look at future alternatives it becomes a question of whether or not our money will last as long as we do. 

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As a "Boomer" I can see why many are getting a rough ride. We have never been in better shape than we are now due to most excellent investments and sweat equity. I retired/relieved of duty in 1997, went back to work in 2004 because we wanted to update our cars and trucks. We have paid cash twice for this place. Once when we got it with a great loan to grab it, and then pay it off within a couple of years, and again when we put the new house up in 2015. We paid it off in 2016. The new house was because of realizing we would be enjoying our remaining parents longer than we thought. Now they are gone we added their property to ours, and added to our Tesla holdings with a couple hundred shares they owned. I just liquidated our Tesla shares because they are going to be down again just when we would need to buy a last stix n brix to spend our golden years in, with less property to mow, but with a workshop and RV pad as we have now. We can do that with an acre or a bit less, as opposed to the five acres we have now. But we have no debt, not even car notes, our remaining house is paid for, and we can live on my retirement and our SS, without touching savings ever. So we are going to do more travel in winter to finally see summer in New Zealand and Australia and maybe dive the Great Barrier Reef. We will return to Europe to visit friends, and make a separate trip to India and or Thailand. So we will spend little time stuck in winter. I am originally mostly from Connecticut/Ohio/Colorado, and as an adult seven years in Germany vacationing 30 plus days a year and all the long weekends skiing and once diving the Red Sea off Hurghada Egypt.

Despite being a military asset until my age 45, we would buy the eyesore house in the desirable neighborhoods and DIY remodel, as well, never bought a new car. Early on I restored Hot VWs and Porsches selling them to build another differently. I did Triumph motorcycles and MG midgets before switching to VWs in the 70s and 80s, more than 50of them for profitable fun. And from 1983 to 2003 we were pro mobile DJs doing venues in the US and Europe most weekends. So all were how I made my hobbies, stress relief, and luxury vehicles including a 911 Targa, a 1978 pre-smog Dodge Little Red Express Truck, BMWs, Mercedes, and a Trooper, and eight Superstock Westphalia campers, a popup, and started several businesses including the first private ISP, and a legal "bootleg" satellite biz on mainland Europe along the way. Many folks could not conceive of doing all that because it was fun, not because we had to. Besides my AF job for the last 20 of 27 years making loud noises and shooting things up. We trained folks on all the fun ground weapons, shot them daily, fixed them when they broke. I never worked a day in my life. Retirement sucks, so the new house and property will take up some slack, and we will play it as it comes. Not many folks were willing or able to have fun getting what they want. I will be buying a Tesla Model 3 once they catch up on past reservations and demand. So my lifetime score will be one Harley Electra Glide Classic new, and one Tesla new. (Unless I find a used one as a steal)

We don't eat out much, have always had a home theater type setup with our DJ gear and large screen TVs from CRT through A rear projection Pioneer unit in 1992 through LED and Plasma flat screens to our newest, a Vizio P series Quantum 65", that is waiting for me to sell the 65" on the wall before we take it out of the box and install it on the wall. We are keeping the box for moving next spring. See they had a sale and instead of $2199.99 it was $1499.00. We live well and don't sacrifice, we're just in the habit of being frugal. Now when I can afford all new cars, I won't. Not can't. None was luck, no smarts involved except for my university studies from age 30 - 45. Just getting what I wanted for me to get over the learning curves, and then having even more fun.

Our RVs were paid for restorations/customized, so we could use our retirements for food, fuel, campgrounds, beer, smokes which I quit in 2010 and fees for attractions as well as maintenance and repairs. Worked out great for seven years. I went back to work for just under five years and used all my compensation to pay off the property, buy USAA funds 2007-2009, when prices were rock bottom, and to invest in Tesla, which was bought @$17/$22.5 sold at $348 even though the order was put in at 352. I told all my friends here and local all of whom now say they wish they'd listened to me. It wasn't for lack of telling them since 2011. There is a thread here under finances and investing, "Are You Still In?" that I posted in the whole time to current when I liquidated in preparation for buying a smaller but more expensive property than here.

Here's another article about best places to live in/retire: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/22/americas-best-states-to-live-in-2018.html?recirc=taboolainternal

That is why I'm looking at Meeker and Rangely Colorado in the NW part of the state. Gigabyte synchronous Internet, and little traffic. They are away from the poorer quality air areas in Colorado.We'll see.

Safe travels!

Edited by RV_

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As we travel full time around the country we always investigate different locations and what they may have to offer.  We have never really believed in an "official" exit strategy.  About the only thing we are strict about while full timing is taking advantage of a cheaper life style and building up our savings.

In 2014 while hunkering down for the winter in SW Florida (full time in fiver) we discovered more or less by accident that there were some pretty good home prices.  There were homes built in 2005 and 2006 that had sold for around $300,000 going for well under $140,000.  It took us about 5 weeks of searching but we bought a home and just 22 months later were able to make a little money when we sold it.  Recently we talked to a couple that are looking at homes in Alabama.  Friends of theirs just had one built in a nice community there and were under $180,000.  We were planning on spending a month in that part of Alabama prior to landing in Florida for the winter so we will check things out.  We are not ready to come off the road and probably won't be for years, however we want to stay aware of housing prices in different parts of the country also.

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7 minutes ago, FL-JOE said:

We have never really believed in an "official" exit strategy. 

I consider a complete lack of any exit strategy to be a major mistake but suspect that your "official" may mean something very different from what I consider to be a strategy. If you consider exit strategy to only be official if it has a specific location or even a community, then I don't like an official one either but I very much believe that having a loose idea of what you may do and how you will approach it can be important. Sometimes people find that fulltime RV life is not for them and others have serious health issues develop with little or no warning and that is when the strategy can be important and for sure the financial planning to provide the ability to exit may even be critical. Our exit strategy consisted mostly of financial planning and some very loose ideas of where we might want to go and the type of housing. When we actually made our exit we found that we didn't do exactly what we had thought that we would but the financial part played a key role in our success. 

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My Dave's exit plan included moving to an apartment complex about a half mile from the last house we sold when going full time. After living there about five years, we moved to this complex about 2.5 miles from that house. After those years on the road Dave wanted to be where he knew where to find the grocery store and the library, etc. That was the only specific plan we made but, like Kirk said, financial planning allowed us the freedom to act on that choice.

Linda Sand

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I'm just saying about the only exit strategy we have planned is making sure our savings is built up/secure, plus not in debt, so options are always open.  There are very few sudden medical issues that come to mind which would immediately force us out of our RV or this lifestyle.  When we were full time before my DW had full knee replacement and it actually worked a lot better being in our fiver as opposed to our sticknbrick for her recovery.  

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Our RV travel actually started because our original plan was to live-aboard a nice big Catamaran, but then the old timer sailors at Fiddler's Cove Coronado military RV park and yacht club said if we cruised the oceans we would need a slower but more stable two master Ketch or Yawl to survive storms where big cats can toe in and tip over. 

We had bought the 1 Ton Diesel Dually and HitchHiker 36' fiver expressly so we could look at boats around our coasts, and find our ideal home port. We had read for years in Cruising Magazine how some folks buy the boat and the spouse leaves after the first trip for land. So it wasn't uncommon to see boats swapped for RVs. So once we made it to the NW the book came out, "The Perfect Storm" came out and later we saw the movies and decided we liked storms a lot better from a land yacht. You can't drive to shelter in the middle of the ocean.

So shore living was also a consideration for us as we traveled. Oregon, and Washington have too many active volcanoes that can and do erupt any time. If it weren't so dark in winter Alaska would suit us great! But we want no coastlines, no deep South, no triple digit heat with or without humidity and we both don't like desert living, adobe, or rock yards. Colorado calls to us. Now if the Yellowstone Caldera blows, 2/3 of the US will be out of business one way or another. If Kim yon or good ol Vlad lobs an EMP attack we are toast too. So we are in good shape experience wise with the different regions and pros/cons. I believe no matter what the climate does, we will likely be safe in Colorado, with the new Rocky Mountain High.

But no we were open and despite my kiddo and first grandson being in CO, it was a back burner until we were done taking care of parents. I did not expect to move at 66, but that is fine since we are both in great shape medically. No chronic anything and no high BP/Cholesterols/Diabetes/or cancer knock on wood.  Just some lumbar pain and joints that creak the day after anything.

We have always met life as fun. Might get a few more decades out of the ride so choosing is important. But we could move again if we had to. I'd just like 20 years in one house. We have been here for 15 years! I grew up everywhere and then did a career and the 7 years of full time RVing. I lived 12 years in Stamford CT, 2 Years in Colombia S.A., 4 then a final retirement tour for a total of five years in San Antonio, 3 years in Colorado Springs, 7 years in Germany,  but nine years in the 80S and now ending 15 years here in the Shreveport area. But I have always been a Connecticut Yankee at heart. And a Colorodan rockies goat in soul. We too are reaping the benefits of following our path, and ignoring the nay sayers along the way.

So new place, when the demand gets caught up a new Tesla Model 3 - 2 motor AWD Ludicrous equipped, and a Subaru forester. I think I will get another VW  Westphalia or whatever their new self contained camper is, electric I hope. Or a Tesla pickup later. I need to sell the diesel truck before they become dinosaurs like the ICE cars. my bet - 20 years

Edited by RV_

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