A comfortable, happy retirement on a $29,000 budget won't just happen. If you want to retire cheap, it requires these 5 steps.
A U.S. News article on the world’s most affordable retirement haven has a sample retirement budget abroad of $850. Most of these places are in third world countries but you can retire cheap right here in the U.S. as long as you are careful and know the financial secrets of retirement.
So do it right the first time. Retirement can be an expensive transition without adequate retirement planning. (link below)
We’ve been told that you need a million dollar nest egg to retire but the fact is, most people retire on social security alone, or SSI and a small pension. So for these folks, we have some palatable answers for retirement.
One of the easiest ways to retire cheaply is to relocate to an area and home that offers a lower cost of living than your current home requires. According to U.S. news, “a city's affordability extends beyond housing... A night out on the town can cost a bundle in big cities like New York and Miami, but you'll find loads of free or low-cost entertainment in less ritzy locales. Kansas City, Mo., which is undergoing a major downtown revitalization project, offers free concerts and theater in area parks. And in Columbus, Ohio, seniors can get reduced admission to everything from baseball games to symphonies.”
If you are living in or on the outskirts of a large city or on a coastline, you will save thousands of dollars a year on R.E. taxes alone. If you currently live in a state that has high income, gas and real estate taxes, this will cut deep in your cost of living expenses. Example: the median income in Auburn ALA is just under $22,000 a year and the winters are mild. (more places to live for under $30,000/year).
We have even found cheap beach retirement towns and cities. You may not be able to find cheap beach living in any of California’s high-priced beach towns but we have found several affordable beachside communities if you are on a tight budget. Places like reasonably priced Jacksonville, Fla. more
Not every small town is worth considering. Check out our list of the best places to retire for a small budget, and learn the tips about places and homes you shouldn’t consider because they are bad investments.
Second, retirees should consider purchasing items previously used, whether they are shopping for cars, clothes or furniture. Eliminating frequently eating out or purchasing processed convenience foods can save a remarkable amount of money over the course of a year. Reviewing line-by-line charges for utilities such as electricity, water, gas, Internet service and cell phone services may suggest actions that can be taken to save on these expenses.
Third, pay off your house. Unfortunately, the most recent statistics show that at least a third of people who are 65 and older are still paying off mortgages. It is one of the top reasons retirees have to continue working because housing, as we know, is the largest single expense in the cost of living equation. Paying off your loan could add an additional $12,000 to $24,000 a year to your retirement income.
You don't have to live in a gang infested city or a one horse town that is on the decline to live within a tight budget. There are plenty of states with cities that have tons of amenities that are great places to retire.
But there are certain criteria you need to look for to make the best decisions. The most important are climate, cost of living, medical facilities, crime, cultural opportunities. Often times they include outdoor activities, shopping and dining out which are things we suggest you include. (continues next column)
Living on a retirement income under $29,000 can be found in great places to retire across the U.S. You just need to know where to look. more
Pitfalls of retirement planning. more
Cheap beach retirement in small communities you probably never heard of...more
Arizona retirement on the cheap ...more
When you begin the “where should I retire” search use the seven key factors the experts use for determining who makes the top 10 best places to retire list: Cost of living, property taxes, Climate, violent crime rates as seniors are especially vulnerable to crime and life expectancy for seniors.
Experts decided to include the senior population growth as a factor in 2012. It measures which states had the fastest growth rate in the 60 plus demographics between the 2000 and 2010 census reports. States and cities that are rapidly attracting seniors tend to have some of the appealing retirement characteristics seniors are looking for.
Cost of living expenses. Seniors are greatly impacted by cost of living when considering where to retire, and since housing tops the list of expenses, issues such as real estate prices, rental prices and property taxes are a big concern. Making the top ten best states to retire must also include whether or how much a state taxes pensions and social security checks.
Crime Rate. Personal security is a vital issue for seniors, so many seniors want to find safe places to retire. Violent and property crime should always a factor when you start your search . more
Climate. Look for states that have moderate climates. These should be climates that have the least monthly variations around 68 degrees, especially during the fall- winter season. During summer, watch out for high heat and humidity combos, and hurricanes. more on sunny cities
Life expectancy. Life expectancy category offers a number of issues that are of interest to seniors, from quality of health care to environmental conditions.
Once you have decided on the best states to retire in, you will want to narrow your search to cities. Here are a few things to consider.
Medical Facilities. As seniors age, having medical facilities near becomes increasingly more important. Make sure there is a hospital within a reasonable distance to your home that accepts Medicare patients.
Cultural and Educational Amenities. For many seniors, cultural and ongoing educational opportunities are still important, and most experts who evaluate states and cities to determine their top choices include those amenities. If they are important to you, make sure to include them in your list.
Shopping and Dining. If you love to eat out often, or shop (even if it’s just window shopping) make sure you include this in your search and take into consideration how far shopping is from your neighborhood.
Outdoor Activities Look for places that have a climate that will allow you to participate in hobbies and activities you enjoy. Exercise and fresh air is important to a retirement life that is well-rounded and healthy.
It's great to get a good deal. however just because the price is dirt cheap it doesn't mean you should buy it.
If a town is in decline, with no possibilities to recover over the next several years, it isn’t a good choice even if you can save money on the cost of the real estate and retire cheap.
If, when you look down a street you notice that many of the buildings are boarded up or appear to be abandoned it is probable that the town is dying. Also, take note of how many for sale signs are in a city or neighborhood. You might be able to find a home for $15,000, but the only way you will be happy is if you are a hermit and like being alone.
Don’t buy a home in a drug-infested area, or high crime area. How do you know if it's riddled with crime? Look for graffiti and homes and businesses that are boarded up or abandoned. Call the local police dept and ask how many times they're called a week or month.
Look instead for Cheap Homes In Paradise…ok maybe not paradise, but there are wonderful towns all over the country from east to west and everything in between.
Guidelines on buying a cheap house in a small town:
1. A town that is clean and inviting.
2. Population between 4,000 and 70,000.
3. 6 or even a few more homes for sale under $50,000, but not every home. Some should be higher.
4. A grocery store that is well stocked.
5. A movie theatre; preferably one with discounted prices.
6. A nice library with internet access and maybe a good selection of free movie rentals.
7. A town that is either close to a larger city with jobs and amenities or close to resorts or places tourists frequent with outdoor activities you enjoy.
How do you find these gems? Start by using the internet. It is easier than ever to find a home in a place you will love your retirement life today. Using professional real estate agents that specialize in the area you want to retire will make this journey a lot easier.
The money you save on housing and other living expenses lets you enjoy a better retirement lifestyle. Savings will go even further in affordable 50 plus retirement communities. Choose ones that offer clubs, hobbies, outdoor activities like golf etc., swimming pools, ball courts, wood, craft and jewelry making shops and more.