I seem to be thinking about this a lot lately. To be honest, I have thought about retiring for many years but the time is finally getting closer. I realize like most people my planning and saving were most likely not adequate. I have a few more years to plan and save and I am trying to make the most of them. I am considering the best place to live that will be enjoyable and affordable and still be a place I want to be.
There are many articles about the best places to retire and I have read as many as I can in my quest for my new home. There are also posts on the Forbes site that discuss the best places to retire and the worst places to retire. They base their recommendations on finance, healthcare, quality of life and give compelling reasons for the places they choose. The problem is that they are not places where I know anyone or where I want to live at the moment. I don’t think I can choose a place based solely on that criteria. It would be smart and maybe a great choice based on that information but to move someplace where I don’t know anyone and a place that I have never seen just because it makes financial sense would not suit my needs.
The places I want to retire are places I know, with people I know and a climate I enjoy and I want activities available to me that will include day trips to fun spots, like beaches and wineries and mountains. For that reason, I am choosing to start my hunt for retirement in two places that are always at the bottom of the list of smart choices for retirement, California and Hawaii. This means I will need to downsize and really look at some choices I had never considered like living in a manufactured home and mobile home parks for those of us that are over 55.
I am doing as much reading as I can find on the internet about these options and there are a lot of pluses and minuses to consider. There are blogs devoted to this topic. It all seems to boil down to – they are more affordable with some caveats :
It will be difficult to get financing. Do I have up to 50,000.00 – 100,00.00 to plunk down for a used mobile home in the desireable areas that I am considering ? Not really.
Is the risk of having the space rental rates go up so high that I can no longer to live there an acceptable risk ? Not sure.
Will living in such close proximity to my neighbors be something I can get used too ? I think so.
Will the rules of the park be something I can live with ? I have two dogs and as any good dog owner can tell you that is a committment you don’t walk away from, nor would I want to. Non -negotiable
And there is a stigma associated with living in a mobile home park but that is fading and although it is there and yes makes me take pause should it stop me from making a choice that is good for me ? No
There will be things that will defintely make life easier:
Minimal yard work
Amenties – like pools, walking paths and community rooms
Choices and control over the space I live in is a big plus. I lived in an apartment when I was young and not being able to do something simple like call a plumber if there was a problem was difficult. No one wants to have to call a plumber but needing one and waiting for the manager to take care of it made it more unpleasant than it had to be.
I am looking at sites that talk about tiny houses and reading the information on how to live in a smaller place. As you can tell by my previous posts , I am a lover of crafts and hobbies. I would like to continue that into my retirement and in fact develop more of them if I have the time. These activities ( especially making stained glass panels ) take up a lot of space and I would love a garage or shed to work in that has power and water. I also want to down size before it becomes a crisis and as we age that it is there lurking in the back of your mind unless you have unlimited resources to care for yourself if your health deteriorates, most of us do not.
There are mobile home parks that are amazing and way out of my price range and notice that most are in California. I am looking for a middle of the road choice that will allow me to enjoy my retirement for as long as I can. Pismo Dunes Senior Park looks great but the units too small for my needs at this time, but I am filing that away as a great place I may look at in the future.
Another appealing option is retiring outside of the United states. I read a lot of articles about good places to retires outside of the USA and it looks like it could be a viable option. I will need to make a few trips and see if I like these countries. I always thought Costa Rica and Nicaragua sounded like great options. It might be time to learn another language.
For now my search continues, I hope to land in a place that suits my needs and wallet all at the same time. I know I can do it !
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