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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1490  
Subject: Re: Retire to Alaska? Date: 11/7/2005 10:49 AM
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So three or four months in the desert or Florida or somewhere else and you avoid winter's bite.

Wishful thinking. Alaska really only has one month of summer--July-- and even during that July it often goes into the 50s. May & June are 'spring', Aug & Sep are 'fall', so winter lasts from October through April (about 7 months). So you'd probably want to plan on spending six of those in FL (or somewhere else warm). It's also plenty dark from October thru April.

You'd have to love the great outdoors of Alaska which is not for most people...

That's for sure. You probably wouldn't want to live anywhere except Anchorage. Juneau is nice, but 'locked in'--so almost everyone who lives in Juneau has their own plane. (In Alaska there are almost as many airplanes per capita as automobiles per capita in the rest of the country.)

There's a very high rate of alcoholism, and a lot of folks who are 'outcast' from other parts of the country end up there.

Before I went there, I had heard that in Alaska the ratio of single men to single women is much higher than other parts of the country--when I went there I understood why.

There are numerous health and emotional benefits to working part time after traditional retirement.

This might be difficult to do in Alaska, as most jobs are scarce. If you could 'tele-commute' you could make it, or work as a waiter/waitress/bartender during the summer months. If you're an R.N. you could probably get good bucks even for part-time work. Last I heard R.N. pay was much higher in Alaska than any other state, as there is a shortage of them there and they're trying to attract more.

In this example the Permanent Fund contribute close to 10% of a reasonable income need. It makes sense to me that the dividend could increase in the future because of higher oil prices and less volatility in the stock market.

Cost of living in Alaska is very high (despite low housing costs)--cost of food is a killer. IMO the 10% from the permanent fund would get 'eaten up' by the higher living costs. Just imagine the cost of heating your home, even to just a bare minimum temperature to prevent pipe freezing, in such a cold climate.

Also, many of the 'amenities' one is used to in the lower 48 are just not easily available there. They only got their first Wal-Mart about 7 years ago, after much begging, and as far as I know, it's still the only one (about 1/2 hour drive from Juneau). Fast food is also hard to come by.

Don't plan on making many improvements to your home, because all lumber products have to be shipped from the lower 48 and are extremely expensive. I was quite surprised by this, what with all the forests in Alaska--but all their forestry is protected from logging--individuals are also forbidden to cut down trees on public lands (which is mostly what Alaska is--public land).

Just wanted to point out some of the drawbacks--it's not as easy as it might first appear. I'm a nature-lover, and even so, I would not consider Alaska--too desolate.

The big picture here is that many of us may need to use some ingenuity to have a financially stable retirement.

I agree with this completely, although it's harder and harder to find anywhere that's 'inexpensive'. Rather than Alaska, I would choose Ohio or Michigan, where the loss of jobs has meant lower housing costs, and it's not quite as cold, dark and desolate as Alaska.

Just MHO,

2old
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