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DH (who is 66) and I are selling our home. Wondering how to best use what we have to put together a good new life.

Our Soc. Sec. and pension income is $23K, and due to health and other issues, our income fluctuates, so we make 10-40k over
that, depending on the year.

We will have over 500k cash after home sale. Sounds like a lot (imagine
having no $ and winning lotto for 500K, how your options would suddenly
expand!) but nowadays that can get eaten up just with buying a house.
(though we know we don't want to spend it all on housing!!)

Wondering if the creative minds here might be happy to play with this and
lay out their favorite scenario
as to what they'd do if the above was suddenly their financial picture? Rent/buy? How much to spend on housing in either rent or buy? How to manage the cash for best return.

There are so many ways to put one's life together...
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DH (who is 66) and I are selling our home. Wondering how to best use what we have to put together a good new life.

Our Soc. Sec. and pension income is $23K, and due to health and other issues, our income fluctuates, so we make 10-40k over
that, depending on the year.

We will have over 500k cash after home sale. Sounds like a lot (imagine
having no $ and winning lotto for 500K, how your options would suddenly
expand!) but nowadays that can get eaten up just with buying a house.
(though we know we don't want to spend it all on housing!!)

Wondering if the creative minds here might be happy to play with this and
lay out their favorite scenario
as to what they'd do if the above was suddenly their financial picture? Rent/buy? How much to spend on housing in either rent or buy? How to manage the cash for best return.

There are so many ways to put one's life together...




Do you have any savings other than what's in the house (you didn't say)?
Where is the 10K to 40K income over your pensions and SS coming from (you didn't say)?

Renting is a great option for those who don't mind living close to other people (in apartments) or not being able to change things to your own liking and having to mow the lawn (if you find a house to rent).

Frankly, there are lots of people in this area of the country that live in "manufactured" homes. :) I would certainly consider it for myself once we sell this house -- if we are ever able to sell this house ... IF the market ever comes back for housing.

But, as you have probably already figured out, that 500K is NOT like winning the lottery because now you are still faced with the problem of where to live. Unless you plan to pitch a tent under a bridge somewhere, that's going to cost money.

Also, you need to figure out WHERE you want to live -- you have a million choices. That would be my biggest puzzle. When the choices are so many, how do you make one? Of course most people (foolishly, in my opinion) choose to live near their children -- only to find later that the children get jobs in other areas and move away. Much better to find a spot YOU like and let the kids come visit you. :)

Best of luck with everything, though.
Sounds like you are excited at the prospect of the whole adventure.
And - do take care of your health if you can!

AM
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Our Soc. Sec. and pension income is $23K, and due to health and other issues, our income fluctuates, so we make 10-40k over
that, depending on the year.

We will have over 500k cash after home sale.


Using generally accepted assumptions, the $500K should produce about $20K per year if it's reasonably invested. This means you'll have a lower end annual income of 23+10+20=$53K, and an upper end annual income of 23+40+20=$83K. I would use the lower number to be on the safe side. Anyway, if you have an interest in variety and change, you could rent houses/condos in resort areas during the off season. In other words, live in the heat during the summer and the cold during the winter. For example, you could rent a place in Florida from May 1 through the end of October, then rent a place in the NC mountains during the rest of the year, thus taking advantage of the huge savings in long-term rentals during the off season. You could choose anywhere in the world to do it, just keeping in mind that it's about half price to live somewhere nice when all the tourists are living elsewhere. Just an idea. In resort areas, you can get six month leases during the off season at huge discounts, because the owners are happy as clams to get any income from the property during those times.
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Given that there are health issues, you might look into senior housing options that have services available, from rental apartments with linen & maid service and 15 dinners provided per month in a central dining room, all the way up to assisted living. BTW, are you much younger or older than your husband? Do you both have health issues? Does one of you work some of the time or do both of you--and do you need to be near certain types of employment? What kind of community do you need or prefer--urban? small town? Friends or relatives you'd like to live close to--that saves on travel expenses?

I would spend no more than half of the $500k on a home/condo/coop/sr housing purchase (less if possible) OR no more than $1k/month on a rental. If the pension has a COLA (annual cost of living adjustment), you can invest less aggressively. I would invest $50-100k in a 5-year CD ladder. It'll provide a little income, plus you could cash out a maturing "rung" if you need extra cash for health care, car replacement, or whatever without having to sell stock in a down market (like this one!). I would invest the rest in diversified index funds. Seems like a reasonable time to get into the market.

Learn about staging your house for sale. Take care of any deferred maintenance, repaint any rooms that look dark, declutter and clean thoroughly, take care of any odors such as from pets or mildew. Set the kitchen/dining table(s) with your best china and a small vase of fresh flowers when the house is being shown. This worked for me even in a previous buyer's market (San Francisco 2002).

Good luck!
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