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I don't care about 401's, IRA's, CD's, Savings rates, and pension plans. I have them all. My questions center around the quandary of relocation, destination, and the means employed to achieve those goals. I own my primary residence free and clear. I have no extracurricular expenses ( kids are gone, no credit cards, no bills beyond utilities) and $80,000 dollars a year to save and spend.

I want to buy a retirement home in a destination of my choice now while all the market forces are in my favor. Low interest rates, housing valuations 50% what they were three years ago, a smoking hot buyers market awash in vacant structures, repossessions, and distressed properties. I can take a first against my paid off home and pay cash to purchase a house in Florida for half what its original sale price was three years ago. Spend the next nine years paying down the new low interest loan. Use the secondary residence as a vacation destination for my wife and I, and other family members interested in going to south Florida within easy traveling distance of Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Palm Beach, and Key West.
In nine years when I drop my papers, sell the old house pay off the First on it, pocket the balance and move to my free and clear retirement destination.

Does this idea make sense or should I wait nine years, sock away all the cash I can and buy at that time with all the unknowns and imponderables left for that far off day? Is there a better idea?
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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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On the other hand this is exactly the sort of input I am looking for. Reasoned, logical, honest. If i get enough opinions I can distill a plan of action offering a selection of rational options. thanks
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