Retirement Relocation

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I was recently interviewed by the AARP about ways to get the most from your assets as you move into retirement.

I noted that a great way to do this is by relocation.  Not on a large scale, like how so many automatically move to Florida or California, but on a micro-scale.

I’m talking about 50 or 60 miles, to just outside a major metro area.  You’re still close enough to get most of the benefits of the city, but avoid the premium prices of real estate and other goods and services in its heart.

This way, you can keep all the friends and routines you’ve built up over the years and extract up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity from your housing investment.

Sweetening the pot, federal tax law lets you keep as much as $250,000 of the gain tax-free if you’re single, and up to $500,000 for couples.

Take a look at the entire article here, entitled “4 Ways to Tap Your House for Cash” (my quote is on the second page):

Tapping Your House for Cash

It’s nice to be featured in AARP’s magazine, as its circulation is the largest of any magazine in the world.

There’s also a nice graphic on their site that illustrates some possibilites of what I’m talking about:

When Moving Makes Sense


4 Replies to “Retirement Relocation”

  1. Bert,
    I’m a native Californian who retired in 2010 and moved from Santa Barbara CA to Healdsburg CA.
    Unfortunately, my grandchildren are scattered (Portland, DC, Austin, LA). I leased a house to test the area.
    Traveling has become burdensome, mentally not physically. I miss the ocean and the grandkids, fear earthquakes, need more variety,stimulation and people around, but do love the seasons, weather and back roads here. Where do I go and have it all? I trust that you’ll have the answer. 🙂

    1. Hi Peggy,
      I just drove through Healdsburg not long ago.
      I can see what you mean. Healdsburg is a little removed from the constant stimulation of a more urban environment and the ocean is a good drive away.
      First, I think ‘having it all’ may a bit much to ask.
      Personally, I like the notion of living on the outer fringe of a major metropolitan area. You benefit from much lower home prices, and a more rural lifestyle can be appealing. When you want to enjoy all the activities and benefits of a big city, it’s a 30-60 minute drive away. You wouldn’t want to do this on a daily basis, but it’s much better than living 3-4 hours away.
      On the down side, you’re more dependent on your car, at a time when more people are interested in walking or biking to the local market, restaurant or coffee shop.
      Again, there are always trade-offs.
      Decide what climate you like and see what major metros might meet that criteria. Also give some thought to being around people who think like you. Judging from the cities you mention, I’m guessing that you might have a more liberal outlook, and could feel a little out of place in some more conservative parts of the country.
      Remember that college towns are almost always more liberal in their mindset than other cities nearby. For example, Oxford, Mississippi has the reputation of a very literary community.
      Good luck in your search!
      Best, Bert

  2. Bert,
    Love your books, got two editions of Best Places. Thinking about retirement in 498 days and relocating from West River MD to Salmon Creek WA.
    Can then meet you in Portland for a tax free lunch!!
    Thanks for the research and contributions to demographic geeks like me.
    Mark Polansky, Sr., B.S., M.A.S.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mark. That really makes my day!
      I’d like to hear about your retirement plans as they evolve. Maybe I can provide some help.
      I’ll save other readers a little research – Salmon Creek is a small town just north of Vancouver (Washington) and since it’s located in Clark County, it is actually part of the Portland (Oregon) metro area. This represents a great relocation strategy. If you can avoid the long commute or other frequent trips to the city core, then you can expect to save a bundle over homes that are located as near as possible to the jobs and amenities of the big city. Living in Clark County offers another advantage over Portland; Washington has no income tax. Washington does have a sales tax, but many residents travel take the ten-minute drive across the Columbia Rive to Oregon to shop tax-free for major purchases.
      Best, Bert

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