As 2008 draws to a close and fond memories of the holidays begin to recede, here’s a wish for much better retirement and retirement community news next year.
This past year featured retirement news which went from bad to worse. Early in the year, housing prices completely hit the skids in south Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Most other parts of the country saw double digit declines as well. Folks approaching retirement who held out for 2006-type prices found they could not sell their existing homes. So their dream to move to an active adult community, college town, CCRC, or retirement destination went un-fullfilled. More than a few experts, including this one, predicted that real estate prices might finally be getting close to bottom – only to see them sink lower. November’s housing prices fell at the fastest rate in 40 years, and the number of sales went down as well. Condo and cooperative apartment sales – the usual housing choice for retirees – were even worse than those of single family homes.The Jim Lehr News Hour had a feature on Christmas Day showing nice homes in Stockton California being auctioned off for $40,000. The good news there – prices don’t physically have much lower to go than that! And of course another item to celebrate – if you are buying and don’t have to sell to do so – prices are low!
Meanwhile all eyes are on our new President-to-be. Can he return our confidence to us, encourage those with resources to start spending again, and prime the pump with federally financed infrastructure projects? It’s been a long-time since such so much hope was pinned on a new President. Personally, we think he has what it takes. So we are hopeful that at this time next year we will all be feeling better about our stock portfolios, able to sell our existing homes, and looking forward to moving into our dream retirement home (which we purchased at an outstanding price in early 2009!)
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