Debate Over How Much You Can Safely Spend in Retirement Simmers On

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

For many baby boomers one of the questions we have always loved to debate is about to change. The old question was – how much do we need to accumulate in savings to afford a comfortable retirement? The old question had a corollary which is also changin – when will we be able to retire and start spending?
These questions will change direction because retirement is either here for a lot of us boomers, or it will be here within just a few years. We will have saved and invested what we did, and that is what we have to work with. for many of us, our traditional careers are over. So now the question has mutated into – how much can we safely spend each year and not run out before we die in 30 years or so from now. The decision is a momentous one, because if we miscalculate we might end up working as a greeter at Walmart to make ends meet. Or almost as bad, we will reach the age when we can no longer do anything with a pile of money, but regret that we never took the trips or had the fun we actually could have afforded. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 30th, 2009

Home Prices Are Now at 2003 Levels

Category: Retirement Real Estate

Some say it’s a good thing: declining real estate prices are an indication that demand and supply are finally catching up with one another. Fueled by foreclosures and distress sales, at least homes are selling – even if prices aren’t what sellers would like to see.   Year over year price declines slowed in the 2nd quarter of 2009 – the first quarterly improvement since the current slump began.  Even better, economists are pumping fists and high-fiving over the month to month price increases that showed up in many markets during July.

The Zillow Real Estate Market Report for the 2nd quarter of 2009 was just released, and it shows a 12.1% decline in prices from the comparable quarter of 2008. Predictably, the worst hit metros were those who showed the biggest price run- ups and overbuilding in 2005-2006. Florida (-23%) and California (-19%) were hit the hardest hit. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, only experienced a 3.8% decline in prices. As an example of the worst markets Fort Myers (FL) took a 29% haircut in prices, El Centro (CA) a 37% decline, and in Las Vegas prices were off 35%. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 25th, 2009

Sunshine Harder to Find in Florida These Days

Category: Retirement Real Estate

Along with California, Arizona, and Nevada- Florida is one of the hardest hit states in the nation when it comes to the real estate bust. In the Sunshine State these days the usual optimism is harder to find; many are starting to talk about a need for change.

The foreclosure rate in Florida is frightening; 268,064 properties were foreclosed in the first 6 months of 2009. Put in perspective, that’s 3 times the number of condos and houses sold during the same period. Over the winter Lehigh Acres near Fort Myers became a household word when the collapse of its real estate market got national headlines.  Although prices of homes have recently stabilized and some experts even believe prices are now at reasonable limits, there is plenty of fear and even anger. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 15th, 2009

Woodstock Trivia Quiz

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

Our friends at Eons.com ran a pretty nifty trivia quiz about Woodstock, now celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. The survey’s rankings of favorite rock groups playing at Woodstock: #1 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, #2 Credence Clearwater Revival, and #3 Jimi Hendrix.

Favorite expression from that era: “Far Out” was “out of sight” compared to 2nd place finisher, “Groovy”.

For full details, go to the Eons summary of the Woodstock poll.

Posted by John Brady on August 11th, 2009

How to Find Your (Bargain) Retirement Dream

Category: Retirement Real Estate

pricereduced-cut1If the old cocktail party conversation was about how much your house had gone up in value, the new one could be – what a great 55+ bargain you found in this distressed market.  Home prices are down, big-time, in most markets. Smart buyers are out there now looking for the best deals.  This article will talk about possible strategies that you might follow to buy a house at a bargain price – and without getting burned in the process. Our emphasis is on the “nearly new”, homes that are 1 or more years old. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 10th, 2009

Housing Market Recovers Some Ground

Category: Retirement Real Estate

The consensus appears to be that we are at or past the bottom, at least for many real estate markets .  Inventories have been going down a bit and prices correspondingly up in places like San Francisco and Boston, and that is definitely a good thing.  NPR has both a web article and a podcast, “Housing Market Shows Some Signs of Recovery” that gives a good explanation of what is happening.  It cites figures from the widely regarded Case-Shiller Home Price Index as well as anecdotal remarks from various buyers and industry figures. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 4th, 2009

GE: Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015

Category: Green Retirement Communities
ge_netzeroenergyhomeInterested in building or refitting your retirement home so that it’s green? General Electric (GE) announced last month that by 2015 it will have developed the products needed to let new home builders and existing homeowners  manage and generate electricity for overall net zero annual energy.  If achieved, that means that you will have a zero energy bill! GE will get to that goal through its current portfolio of energy-efficient lighting and appliances products,  demand response technology,  and residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products.

The GE net zero energy home offerings will come from three major groups within the product portfolio: energy efficient products, energy management products and energy generation/storage products. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 3rd, 2009