Boomer Conflict Looming on Suburban Retirement: Desire Vs. Reality

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

Note: This article is a continuation of our earlier article, “55+ Home Buyers and Builders Not Exactly in Synch“. See Part 3, a Boomer’s Retirement Self-Assessment.

Baby boomers’ expressed desires about where they want to retire are pretty clear: we want to continue living where we do now – in suburbia*. That sounds fine as long as we are in our 60’s and 70’s. But think about what will happen when we get into our 80’s and 90’s. Studies find most people outlive their ability to drive by 6 to 10 years. In the suburbs if we can’t drive, we will be in very big trouble. Also, at that age moving and starting over with friends and neighbors is not that easy. It sounds harsh, but the reality is that many of us will become trapped in our homes with no easy exit. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 27th, 2009

August Home Sales Break Streak, Inventories Decline

Category: Retirement Real Estate

August home starts were positive. Unfortunately sales of existing homes including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops declined 2.7 percent in August, breaking a four month streak of increases. That led to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million units in August from a pace of 5.24 million in July. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the NAR commented: “The decline demonstrates we can’t take a housing rebound for granted.”

There was some overlooked good news in the numbers, however. August 2009 sales remain 3.4 percent above the 4.93 million-unit level in August 2008. Existing inventory of homes, which has been a big part of the housing crisis, fell 10.8 percent to 3.62 million existing homes available for sale, an 8.5 month supply. That is a big improvement from a 9.3-month supply in July. Unsold inventory totals are 16.4 percent lower than a year ago. The national median existing-home price was $177,700 in August, down 12.5 percent from August 2008. Foreclosures, short sales, and the government incentives for first time home buyers were major forces in the market. Distressed sales accounted for about 30% of sales in the month, first time home buyers were also 30% of the market.

Posted by John Brady on September 24th, 2009

55+ Home Buyers and Builders Not Exactly in Synch

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

Note: This is the 1st of a 3 part article. Here is a link to the second, “Conflict Looming on Suburban Retirement: Desire Vs. Reality“. Part 3 is a Self-Assessment for Baby Boomer Retirement Preferences.

As the largest demographic in American history, the baby boomer population is a well-studied group: all sorts of marketers are anxious to know what we will be up to next. Part II of a 55+Housing joint study done by the National Association of Home Builders and The Met Life Mature Marketing Institute was just released: “What are Builders Building, What Do Buyers Want“, and the results provide an interesting insight into what is happening in the 55+ housing market.

55market1One important fact to know is that some 62% of all boomers plan on staying where they live now,which is generally in the suburbs. That percentage staying home is probably lower than their parents’ generation, but it still represents a very large number of people who intend to age in place. Only 9% are interested in living in a city, and 28% would prefer rural life. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 22nd, 2009

Housing Starts Increase in August – Hallelujah

Category: Retirement Real Estate

The Commerce Department released August construction numbers last week to the great joy of economists and builders. Overall, construction of new homes and apartments increased 1.5%. Advanced construction permits also increased (2.7%). Construction levels are now almost 25% ahead of where they were in April.

The good news in construction was mostly confined to some odd sectors. Apartment building construction soared 25% (from very low levels). And the northeast, which hardly ever has any good economic news, saw new construction go up 24%. Most other regions were flat or down slightly (the South). As bellwethers of the economy, the positive data lends credence to economists’ opinions that the recession has now officially ended. Now lets see real estate prices recover a bit so people can sell their houses and move to where they want to live in retirement.

PS. Your editor had an interesting chat with a builder friend today. The builder specializes in buying run-down or under-improved houses in nice neighborhoods, then totally fixing them up and selling them, hopefully at a profit. He has no work now, and one reason is that there are too many nice houses on the market at reasonable prices. So although he could buy a fixer upper, chances are he will never get his money back.

Posted by John Brady on September 21st, 2009

All States Not Equal When It Comes to Tax-Friendly Retirements

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

With many of us baby boomers increasingly worried about their finances in retirement, reducing what we pay in taxes is an attractive option. It’s one option that might not impact our lifestyles in any way. So, if you already live in a high tax state, voting with your feet to escape some of those taxes might be a good idea.

The principal state taxes you typically face in retirement are income, property, and sales taxes. Gasoline, cigarette, and estate taxes certainly exist, but they probably (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 8th, 2009

Fab 4’s New Releases Rock

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

First we must start with a question for you: “What is the best way for a member of Gen Y or Gen X to bait a baby boomer”? Answer: Be less than reverential when discussing the Beatles. (Thanks to Seth Schiesel of the New York Times).

So the music and the game world is, shall we say, “rocked” about 2 new releases about and from the Beatles. First up is a new video game that is garnering rave reviews, “The Beatles: Rock Band”. It comes as the latest release in the highly successful Rock Band and Guitar Hero series. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 7th, 2009

Top 10 International Best Places to Retire

Category: International Retirement

Our friends at International Living Magazine have just published their annual list of best places to retire in the world. In what appears to be a tight contest, Ecuador beat out Mexico for the number 1 spot on the Annual Global Retirement Index. Latin and Central American countries head up the list, with only two European countries (Malta and Italy) making the list. In our minds the list shows an unhealthy bias towards Latin America and a disregard of (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 7th, 2009