Saturday, November 29, 2014

Starting to plan retirement and move

My husband is starting to think that he may retire on his 20 years of service anniversary in May 2017 rather than waiting until the end of 2017. This is starting to generate conversation about how to plan for this major life change which we intend to include a move back to the Los Angeles area. Whew!

So far we are trying to wrap our minds around the following:
- Would we rent or buy when we move?
- How much cash will we need for the move and first year?
- Should we leave the cash from my inheritance in a money market account in case we decide to buy?
- Where precisely would we look for a place to live and what are the criteria for making that decision?
- Is it possible to find a place we can afford that would allow us to age in place near family for 15 to 20 years with our budget?
- What repairs/upgrades do we need to make for our current home to sell it for top dollar?
- Would we try to time the sale and move to coincide with his retirement or start working on the sale after he retires?
- How and what would we move across the country?
- Would he look for work that requires being "in the office" or only do consulting work? This really would affect where we live?

We both spent a few hours yesterday looking through houses for sale sites to get a sense of what might work for us. We know it would be more expensive to buy there than what we can get for this house even though we will be downsizing. Moves are so much work that we really need to think through how to do this. When we moved here we rented an apartment on a month to month basis and stored our belongings. Hating living in the apartment drove us to buy a house too quickly I think.

2 1/2 years seems like a lot of time but with a change this big and wanting to be happy with our living circumstances means that we need to start thinking about it now.

If you have any words of wisdom based on experience please share them!

10 comments:

  1. Very smart to think ahead now. So many decisions!

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    1. Yes and I am very happy that my husband is starting to talk about it. I've been waiting for him to be ready to start envisioning what could be next and he hadn't wanted to think about it.

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  2. It's funny about things that we don't want to think about... they happen anyway. So, it's good that you are looking at all of your options. Whether you move or not, it's probably a good idea to start off-loading stuff (assuming you are like most people and have way too much stuff) now. If you do move, it will make it easier and less expensive. If you don't move, you will enjoy living in a more organized house. Because you have a few years, you can do just a bit at a time. I can't blame you for wanting to move out west. Despite our drought, you can't beat the weather!

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    1. You are so right about de-acquisitioning. We are not only doing that but also not buying anything we would have to take with us and don't really need in the interim. Our move here was paid for by the employer but we are on our own going the other way.

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  3. We made a big move ten years ago and the one tip I would share is this. Even though it's a hassle to store things and to live in an apartment, if you are not familiar with the area, you might buy a house and then with you had explored the neighborhoods more and made a different decision. Though we like where we live, we should have taken more time. But owning beats renting in the long run. I have always said, grown ups shouldn't have landlords or bosses! Rosy (AKA Rosy the Reviewer)

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    1. Rosy, that is what we did moving here although we only rented for 6 months. Fortunately we are quite familiar with where we are heading and have lots of family there to help us.

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  4. It's good to plan ahead ... we've ruled out Calif. as a retirement place mostly because it's just too expensive (altho' we're thinking of spending a year in Berkeley, but not Silicon Valley b/c, again, just too expensive). Anyway, if you can swing it, sounds like a great move.

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    1. Tom, From a purely financial perspective we would rule it out too but our sons are in Pasadena and Berkeley with lots of other family in the LA area so that is where we are headed. My brother and cousins are mostly in NH/MA but we hate winter and will not head there. I think it is very important to be near family if you want to age in place. We just have to figure out how to make it work is all.

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  5. I totally agree with Rosy. We were buying an off-plan property, which sadly went wrong and we have lost the deposit. However we decided to move here while waiting for the property and rented an apartment in the local town. We enjoyed our life in Spain so much that we went ahead and bought another property, where we have been living for over 5 years. Life in our small Spanish town is really good: we have lovely friendly neighbours, the weather is better than in the UK (except for yesterday!), the cost of living is a lot less than it was in London and there's lots going on within the town. We had a good clear out before we left the UK and brought very little furniture with us, buying furniture, electric goods etc locally. You might want to check prices in the area where you plan to move to before deciding what to take. Great that you are planning well in advance and can do lots of research. You can always get the kindle version of my book to read how not to do it!

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  6. Sounds like you had quite the journey but it has ended happily. Fortunately we used to live where we are planning to move so it is simply the differences in housing prices and the changes in area since we left that are of concern. We visit there at least twice a year and have family living there so we will be able to research this readily.

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