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Author: TMFJeanie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 126962  
Subject: Re: Buying Retirement PLace in Fl Date: 10/26/2013 1:59 PM
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mstrelucky74, as others have said, 20 years is a long time out. You and your wife have no idea how much your goals and preferences will change in that time. We've been retired for about ten years now and spend part of the winter in central Mexico. Typically we rent for 4-to-6 weeks which is just enough time to get away from New England winters and return in time for daffodils :-)

Over the last decade we've often seen some attractive homes for sale in our vacation town and DH gets the "let's buy it" bug. Then I run the numbers for him.

The places for sale in that highly desirable town run $250-$350K on average. Occasionally we've found a bargain offered at <$200K. By contrast we spend less than $3,000 total rent on our "villa" for up to 6 weeks. Toss in airfare for another $1500 and counter balance that with food costs that are approx half of what we spend at home, and we're looking at under $5K annually to live in a gorgeous climate with absolutely no responsibility for repairs and upkeep.

As I point out to DH, at $5K/year, we'd have to live another 40 years to equal the $200K cost of buying. And then there was the year we decided to skip our winter retreat and instead go to Europe for a month to celebrate our 40th. If we owned that vacation home, we'd feel obligated to go there exclusively.

Retirement is all about freedom, my friend. I know too many folks (including my BIL) who sold their northern home, purchased in FL or other hot spots, got bored and homesick after 3 or 4 years and went through the hassle of selling it and having to re-purchase back "home" to be near grandchildren or an ailing parent.

Just manage your finances today, save all you can for the future, and keep your 20-year horizon open for the inevitable changes to come. Your preferences, your health, your family obligations may look very different then.

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