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Retirement is all about living a life that you want for yourself without a career getting in the way. Now that you’re retired—or coming up to retirement—it’s time to think about all the things that you want out of life. For some it’s boats, vacations, nice cars. For others, it’s spending time helping to raise grandkids. For you, it may simply be about living comfortably. Comfort may mean financial stability, but it can also be geographical—what the weather is like where you choose to live. If you’re a Midwesterner or come from a Northern state, you may want to escape the dreadful winters, but don’t want to permanently move. In this case, you might like to become a ‘snowbird.’
Finding the Right Place to Live
Being a snowbird means choosing a destination that is warm to spend your winters. It’s common for a lot of snowbirds to move along coastlines or into southern states. Arizona has a dry, warm climate, Florida is breezy with lake-effect weather, and California offers a lot of beautiful places to live (like in Napa Valley).
It’s also quite popular for snowbirds to take full advantage of purchasing a home elsewhere by doing so in another country. If you’ve always wanted to live in another, warmer country somewhere around the world, then this might be the best way to do it. Leaving family and the place you’ve come to live in and love is hard, but when you’re only gone for a portion of the year it’s similar to a long vacation. Who doesn’t want an annual extended vacation?
Financing a New Home
Snowbirds often own two homes, which bears double financial responsibility. Maybe your winter home isn’t as big, but depending on where you move and what kind of house, it can be just as expensive or possibly even more than your permanent home. Financing this can be difficult if your retirement funds can’t cover everything. Here are some ways to finance the rest:
Sell your permanent home and purchase a smaller one in your permanent location and a smaller home in your new winter location. This becomes especially practical when you’re still living in the home you raised your kids in—you more than likely no longer need that much space.
Sell your big ticket items in order to raise extra money. What we mean by this is to take inventory of your larger, more expensive assets and consider parting with some of them. If you have an expensive car, you might consider selling it and purchasing a less expensive one. You can do this with almost any big item that you might have and don’t need.
Sell your life insurance policy. If you have a life insurance policy, you might be able to sell it for a large sum of money that can be used to make your dreams of becoming a snowbird a reality. This is a great, easy way to come up with the extra funds needed and eliminate the expensive premiums while still holding onto all of your other assets.
If you have a life insurance policy that you no longer need or want, talk with your financial advisor about selling it for retirement funds. To see if you qualify, use our Qualification Calculator, or call us directly at 888-849-0887.