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You are asking a question that is part financial and part lifestyle.

On the financial side: You will have more insurance, repairs, taxes, utilities, etc to pay. You may find a great deal that will pay-off however, home prices may continue to drop because of ongoing defaults.

Financially, you can use a spreadsheet, calculator or a sheet of paper to figure out which scenario might be better.

On the lifestyle side: Do you know exactly where you want to retire? Would you possibly find another area you like better? Will you use this place as a vacation home? Would having the extra home cause more worry for you because of vandalism, burglary, hurricanes?

The lifestyle choice is the tough part. To do that you need to get your facts together and sit down with your spouse and find out what is important to both of you. Talk about all the pros and cons, likes and dislikes. Then you should be able to make your decision.

I don't believe knowing what someone else would or might do can really help you decide this one. I know I wouldn't have wanted to follow some stranger's ideas for our retirement.

What I will say is my wife and I took over 6 years going to different areas and looked at about 200+ ranches before we found what we were looking for.

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