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Low Income Retirement and Renting- A Discussion

Category: Retirement Real Estate

November 10, 2013 — Several members have requested a new thread be started on the subject of low income retirement. So we will start it for you with the original request (below):

Note to group – if you want to start a new discussion thread the best way to do that is to go the Forum (in the top navigation bar) and start a new Thread under the most appropriate “Topic” you see there. You do need to be registered as a Member to post there, whereas if you are commenting on the Blog you don’t have to be registered. Thanks for suggesting this Judith Keefer!

Jeanne C brought up a really great topic for discussion. There have been some good responses so far, but doesn’t this subject deserve its own thread (we are still in AZ vs. FL territory, after all)? How does one go about setting up a new thread
Here was Jeanne C’s original suggestion:
Hello everyone. I would like to start a new thread regarding those of us retirees who own a home but have little else. Most of the ‘senior villages’ etc cost more than what we could gt for our home here in Florida (N of Orlando)

Here is another comment on this story that came in from Diane:

Agree with comment of Judith Keefer on Ariz vs Fla thread suggesting a new thread for low income retirement choices. Also wish there was more to see about renting in 55 pus communities. Have learned much good info on this site, but there are many retirees who still cannot afford to buy, but are looking for reputable and enjoyable communities with rental options. Thanks.

What do you think – post your responses below in the Comments section.

Posted by Admin on November 10th, 2013


  1. Why are there not more 55+ mobile home/manufactured home parks? Is Florida the only state that has them?

    by Jeff Longstaff — November 11, 2013

  2. Great idea about information on Low-income retirement rentals. I have contacted many who show 2,000 sq ft. homes in the $200,000 and up price range. And no rentals. There must be active adult communities with social contacts and amenities for rent in smaller than 1,000 sq. ft. I do not want to own.

    Thanks for any information. I think I have found geographical area, but not
    the community.

    by Moving South — November 11, 2013

  3. A thread on low-income retirement choices interests me as well. We would love to move but feel stuck as we can’t sell our house for enough to purchase anything in areas we’d like to live. Three decades ago we expected a comfortable retirement. Now, at 70, it seems like we have to lower (significantly) our expectations. We like the idea of 55+ communities, but they seem out of reach, too.

    by Jane Alynn — November 11, 2013

  4. Looking for a place in florida we will be on a tight budget. anyone have any input on Harbor Cove in North Port Florida?

    by rindi covington — November 11, 2013

  5. Jeff, Arizona has TONS of mobile home parks.

    by Linda — November 11, 2013

  6. How about adding low cost winter rental (with dog for us)into the discussion. For the past two years we have rented a house in Cape Coral, but it was over $4,000 for 28 days: bedrooms, 2 baths and pool. But all we really need is 1 bedroom with 1.5 bath but not a condo or townhouse as one of the three of barks. Thanks for any suggestions.

    by Brutae — November 11, 2013

  7. 😎 I appreciate this type of discussion board for those of who (maybe) own a small-valued home and not much of anything else; who would be wise to plan ahead as much as possible. we have been looking into ‘communities’, active living ctrs (w/nursing homes attached) etc.

    by Jeanne C — November 11, 2013

  8. I would appreciate some ideas as to where to start to find rentals once I retire as I am not going to own a home either. can show you apartment rentals but I would like other options.

    by JoyceR — November 12, 2013

  9. My husband and I sold our home in 2007 and started renting in NC. In 2012 we sold all our furniture and now just find furnished rentals in SC and Florida during their off season. We spent last winter in Myrtle Beach SC in an ocean front condo for $700/mo. with all utilities included. We then went to Spruce Creek Country Club in Summerfield, Florida (about and hour north of Orlando) in a Del Webb community from May – Oct. Rent was $1,000/mo. for a 2 bedroom house with all utilities and amenties included (golf was extra). It was an absolutely beautiful community with homes selling for about $120,000 with an HOA of $125/mo. We are now on Hilton Head Island in a condo surrounded by 8 clay tennis courts. We are spending the winter here for $800/mo. all utilities included. We use VRBO to find our furnished rentals and have been very pleased.

    by Deb D — November 12, 2013

  10. My mother lives in a mobile home park in St.Pete. That park has many rentals available, but the owners chose to handle the rentals themselves, rather than list it on a central site. You may want to visit the area you want to live in and drive thru some parks to see if rentals are available.

    by Nancy c — November 12, 2013

  11. We like the Idea of a mobile/manufactured home in a gated 55+ community. I don’t want to buy real estate because it would take money we would rather use to travel.
    Renting leaves no base and storage fees, let alone the hassel of relocating each time we return after a few weeks/months. Arizona sound nice if they are truly 55+ gated communities.

    by Jeff Longstaff — November 12, 2013

  12. Deb D, can you share how you found that oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach? My guess would be that off season there would be better than winter in Minnesota!

    by Linda — November 12, 2013

  13. Hi Deb D. I also would like to know where the oceanfront condo was in Myrtle Beach….that sounds wonderful and the price was right! Thanks so much.

    by Nikki — November 12, 2013

  14. Hi Linda & Nikki,
    Here is the posting from VRBO The owner, Glenn, has three condos in Coral Beach Resort and gave us a discount for renting multiple months. The resort is beautiful and well taken care of. It has a huge indoor pool,roman spa and sauna.

    by Deb D — November 12, 2013

  15. Deb,

    This is exactly what we are looking to do as well. At first we considered buying a property to rent out during peak and use off peak, but realized we would do better keeping the money for this in the bank and using the investment income on unspent capital to rent instead. As I get our current family home ready to sell, I am looking forward to having less real estate to keep up. It sounds as though you do this full time, though, having sold off all your furniture? Did I interpret that correctly? We would only rent during the colder weather. SC in the winter would no doubt feel balmy to us!

    We’ve been vacationing via VRBO and for well over a decade. Great experience.

    by Julie — November 13, 2013

  16. No matter where you choose, I recommend checking that App Life360 on an IPhone or IPad before signing a lease or sales contract. I have kids who have gotten apartments, and have found registered rapists and child molesters in the complex. I’m a firm believer in knowing as much as possible before making a commitment to a neighborhood. You’d be surprised. (Of course, this can happen even in high priced neighborhoods.

    by Sharon — November 13, 2013

  17. Deb D thanks for the link to vrbo – I checked this out and you state $700/mo – the site states 700 per week…a big difference. What did you really pay? Thanks for your help.

    by Pat Campbell — November 13, 2013

  18. Pat,

    We did the winter monthly rental from 12/1 to 3/31 for $700/mo. The owner has it listed now as $800 – $1200/mo. for the winter months but gave us a multiple month discount. In the spring it does go up to $700/wk. That is why we leave the end of March. Sorry for any confusion.

    by Deb D — November 13, 2013

  19. Julie,

    We are hoping to do this full time for the next few years. We are trying to find the right weather where we can play year round tennis. I am not sure we will ever purchase a home again. We are really enjoying the carefree living right now of just taking our clothes, lap tops, and tennis gear with us.

    by Deb D — November 13, 2013

  20. Thanks for the information! Looks good. What’s the weather like there in January, February, and March? And the rental rates were clearly listed at the bottom.

    by Linda — November 13, 2013

  21. Linda,

    We found Myrtle Beach, SC to be in the 50’s in Jan., the 60’s in Feb., and the 70’s in March. The outside pools, lazy river, and hot tubs did not open until March. So it was nice to have the indoor pool and hot tubs to use through the colder months. We found that condo owners are willing to give a significant discount when renting multiple months. I have never been to Minnesota but imagine this would be quite a bit warmer. Good luck with your search. I hope this helps.

    by Deb D — November 13, 2013

  22. I am so glad to hear from some folks who don’t have money to burn. I have been looking at 55+ parks in Arizona, and am especially interested in park model resorts. Park model homes are just small manufactured homes, around 400 sq feet. They interest me for two reasons. I want to downsize and live more of a minimalist life. And, they can be cheap. I have found some very nice used ones for around 15K to 18K. The rent to be in the park is normally around 350 to 400. If I can scrape up the money to buy one, then rent and utilities would be around 500/month…and I’d be in a place with pool, spa, activities, etc. I haven’t found many of these except in Arizona and Florida. Wish there were more choices.

    by Ginger — November 13, 2013

  23. My wife and I would like to retire in the Phoenix area, however we are very concerned with the heat. How do people who live there handle the heat in the summer time?????

    by L.D. — November 14, 2013

  24. Looking at retirement in the near future. Rent or own? Appreciate all views.

    by Jim — November 14, 2013

  25. Deb D, you are right, those temps would be considerably better than Minnesota in January, February, and March! Minnesota is a lovely place in the spring, summer, and fall. Winter, not so much. Thanks for the information!

    by Linda — November 14, 2013

  26. Ginger, I actually did find a beautiful place with adorable little Park Models. in Vermont, and another in NY, however, intriguing, and very cute, I simply could not stand it to live in that tiny place with my husband. We just would need to have two of them!
    I can get the info if anyone would be interested or just scope them out on the web.
    Hve fun, guys.=O) 😀

    by Elizabeth — November 14, 2013

  27. To L D. I moved to Phoenix Az 3 years ago, and absolutely love it here. Yes the summers are hot and dry, but everything is air conditioned, and you learn to get used to it. Soooo much better than being up North or Back East with horrible cold weather in winter, hot and humid as heck in the summer, bugs everywhere, hurricanes, tornadoes etc!! 8 months of bliss out here, and it is not even like living in a big city, and I have lived all over. More like a big suburbia! Nice people from all over, and tons of fun things to do,and fantastic medical care and hospitals! If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them…

    by Loralee — November 15, 2013

  28. Elizabeth, If you have the info on the Park Models in Vermont or New York , I would be interested. I am like Ginger , looking for a more affordable places to live, by renting or buying if price is right. Thanks for any info .

    by Barbara — November 15, 2013

  29. My husband and I have traveled all over NC, SC and Fl, trying to decide where we want to live now that we’re retired. There are many beautiful communities and I think we would be happy in most, however, we have a real distrust about HOA’s. Most developers are still in these communities and you never know how much they are subsidizing the HOA until they pull out and your fees go up considerably. We have heard horror stories from some residents, and others are completely oblivious to it. We met with a developer, who is now retired, and he warned us to “beware”, that our concerns are well founded. Does anyone have any ideas/experience with this? I know the “sales pitch” you’re given when buying into one, but they are paid to convince you it’s “okay”. A healthy reserve is not always enough either.

    by Marilyn — November 15, 2013

  30. Marilyn, thanks for the reminder. I am curious if the big developers like DelWebb are better or worse than some of the smaller developers…what other factors need to be considered? Some of the larger old active adult seem to have been able to keep costs down and still are very well kept amenties. For example Wynmoor in Coconut Creek FL. It’s not for me…no pets, but everyone that I have met from there is very happy.

    by Elaine — November 15, 2013

  31. Elaine: I’ve been researching DelWebb, and have looked on line for complaints. It’s probably easier to find residents who are happy, since unhappy people may keep their mouths shut until they can afford to move out so that their property values don’t drop. There are several forums on line where you can find complaints though — probably the same for every community. For example, there are complaints that most of the activities carry fees, that some of the promised amenities have never shown up and that the pool and community center are too small for the size of the Charlotte community. Personally, I’m disappointed that Del Web wouldn’t give me a straight answer when I asked the simple question about whether all of their communities are based on 99 year leases. I got an email response to my question telling me to call. When I called, the Concierge said she didn’t know the answer. Then I got a follow up email asking me how satisfied I was with the answer! Anyway, I’m a little gun shy about Del Webb as a result of my research. I plan on visiting their Charlotte community in a few months, but I’m going to keep researching other communities in the meantime. It doesn’t sound like they will meet my wish-list.

    by Sharon — November 16, 2013

  32. Elizabeth: I too would be interested in info about Park Models in Vermont and NY-Thanks

    by judy — November 16, 2013

  33. Can anyone recommend a 55+ community in NC?

    by Linda — November 16, 2013

  34. Dharon, thanks for the info. I have heard that there are add-on fees and that some of the clubs are “full”. Please let me know what you decide about Charlotte…it is one area I am interested in, as well as Asheville NC and Greenville SC. I will probably end up in the Raleigh triangle area. I always look at the north vs South Carolina blog and will watch there for you posts.

    I would like to hear from others about the communities when the developers leave. HOAs scare me, but I think a good one would be a godsend. Just do not know how to get unbiased info…any additional advice would be welcome.

    I just looked at a community (not active adult) in my area. I know that I am not interested in that community, but I always get some information that is useful. I stopped in the library on my way out. It is located in the community and part of the county system. I was asking about the library system…I am one county north. The man behind the desk said that they will probably move in a few years to a more centrally located area with things nearby. He said that except for the one grocery store, you need to go about 25 minutes to another area (where I live) for restaurants, etc.

    But when talking to one of the three developers, he said it was great area and about the great Wyman’s grocery store…that would be about 45 minutes to an hour as well as good restaurants and easy to get to downtown. And I believe him…because for him about 40, it would be no big deal. And for the working folks, they just stop by on there way home. They are basically a younger community and only one plan had a first floor master.

    by Elaine — November 17, 2013

  35. Elaine,
    We have looked at Del Webb in Charlotte(actually it is in SC) at least five times because it seems to have a lot to offer. What we have seeen the last two times is the clubhouse is not big enough to handle the residents. They do have plans for a second one but when asked about the club being built, the comment was they would build it when the project is finished. What happens to all the many people that are coming in now and later when they need to use the club, pools and also use the facilities? As much as it seemed to offer it is just too crowded for us. The area is really growing and so is the traffic. We have also looked at the Triangle area. The Del Webb in Cary is almost finished and is very large. The Durham Del Webb is close to shopping and medical but is limited in other areas. The Triangle area has a lot to offer but needs more 55+ communities. Of course this is our opinion but we have really looked hard and this is what we have seen. North Carolina is still a great state and is a wonderful place to live.

    by Linda — November 17, 2013

  36. Judy and Barbara,

    Not sure if this is to what Elizabeth was referring, or for that matter what exactly a park model is, but I do know of this place in VT. It is located on one of the islands in Lake Champlain or if it is year round or seasonal but just thought I’d pass this information along.

    by NancyW — November 18, 2013

  37. Elaine,
    My wife and I now live in West Central Florida and have thought about moving to NC in the future. What do you like about living there and what are some negatives? We have been in both the Eastern and Western areas and are leaning to “Go West”. Any honest thoughts and info will be appreciated. Thanks.

    by Sam — November 18, 2013

  38. Sharon,
    Not sure what you meant by 99 year lease? The Del Webb communities we have visited stated we buy the lot, not lease it. Would appreciate knowing more about what you’re referring to.

    by Marilyn — November 18, 2013

  39. Does anyone one have any information on the following communities, Hilton Head Lakes, Sun City Hilton in Buffton, Lakeside Crossing or Wild Wing Lakes.
    Thanks to everyone for all your information

    by CB — November 18, 2013

  40. I live in Virginia, but lived in Chapel Hill and Wilmington, NC. I did not find Wilington friendly, but I think the new Brunswick Forest near wilmington might be nice since it would mostly be new people from various places. Loved chapel Hill, but do not think it falls under the low income blog discussion here. It is hard to give pros and cons for the whole state since it differs greatly. You might find additional info on the toperetirements Dueling Carolinas blog.

    by Elaine — November 18, 2013

  41. […] For further reading: 10 Affordable, and Highly Desirable, Places to Retire Low Income Retirement – A Discussion […]

    by » 2 New Lists to Help You Find An Affordable Place to Retire Topretirements — November 18, 2013

  42. Marilyn: The materials I received from Del Web’s Central FL community explained that their homes are sold with a 99 year lease. Kind of like owning property on an Indian reservation, you improve the land with your home but you don’t actually own the land under your house. At the end of the 99 years, the land reverts back to the Developer. I’d have to analyze the sales documents to determine how this works. For example, are you able to “purchase” additional years from the Developer when you sell your home, so that any subsequent purchaser also gets to buy a 99 year lease? Or if you sell your home after 10 years, does a buyer obtain an 89 year lease? And what terms of the lease constitute a breach so that the lessor can enforce rights against your lot? For example, if a hurricane wipes out your house and you don’t rebuild, does the lease revert to DelWebb? Not providing professional advice to anyone obviously, but any discount in property prices because of this arrangement isn’t worth it to me.

    by Sharon — November 19, 2013

  43. Elizabeth and Barbara…I’m. Not interested in staying in NY. I hate the cold, snowy winter. I also don’t like the taxes here. But I would be open to info on park model resorts in other states.

    by Ginger — November 19, 2013

  44. This thread is about low cost retirement and renting. Not sure del Webb communities qualify for that topic.

    by Ginger — November 19, 2013

  45. CB…I know quite a bit about Hilton Head Lakes and Sun City…What questions can I answer for you…Some generalities are..Built on more than 5,000 acres of sun-drenched woodlands and lagoons, Sun City Hilton Head offers its residents an engaging lifestyle. The community’s three golf courses, fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, walking trails, sports park, performing arts center and crafts facilities provide the venues for a daily schedule of events. With more than 100 active clubs and groups, and plentiful social and volunteer opportunities, there is truly something for everyone in Sun City Hilton Head. Fees are 227 per month billed quarterly…People are very friendly…New construction on north side of Hwy278…when finished I believe will be about 8-9000 homes and 14-16000 residents…

    Hilton Head Lakes..Stretch your legs with a stroll along miles of lighted walking trails. They have 155 acres of navigable lakes. A golf course that is challenging.. Explore the joys of Lowcountry lakefront living. Count egrets and herons as your next-door neighbors. Take in the salty ocean breeze; a constant reminder that you’re just minutes from the beach…. this is a beautiful waterfront community is just 15 miles from the resorts of Hilton Head Island and about 20 miles from the beauty of historic Savannah. But with more than 452 acres of nature preserve, it is next to Sun City and does not have all the amendities as Sun City the fees are only 100 per month..Both are very nice places and I would say visit both…Well worth your time…

    by paul — November 19, 2013

  46. I agree with Ginger. I think most of the posts on this thread so far are not about low cost retirement (unless most people think places like Del Webb are really low cost?). My husband and I, due to an unexpected catastrophic illness, have had to use most of our retirement money for medical and drug costs. We are now left in the position of retiring on only our 2 social security checks and a small monthly pension check. We were hoping this thread might provide some info on 55 plus rental communities, if there are any, in either Az or some of the southern states. We really wanted to try to get somewhere where the community is age restricted and may have some activities. We did not want to be in one of those rental communities that also provides assisted living services — those would be too expensive anyway. If anyone has info for 55 plus rental options that truly are low cost, we would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    by Diane — November 19, 2013

  47. I appreciate the post by Diane. I am basically in the same situation , except I am a widow and alone. So I am looking for a reasonable place to live with limited income. Any information on this subject is greatly appreciated.

    by barbara — November 19, 2013

  48. That’s a really good point. Compared to many of the golf communities and other places that have been mentioned in other threads, Del-Web and Top of the World are lower-cost. Realistically if someone is living on Social Security and renting, the costs of living in these communities are likely to be too high. That article about where to retire on less than 40,000 a year at addresses the higher costs of renting vs living without a mortgage. I’ll definitely be watching this forum for suggestions!

    by Ted — November 19, 2013

  49. Everybody: So glad to see that this Blog post is generating so many interesting comments. Be sure to check out our latest Blog post, which features 2 new lists of the most affordable towns. Mostly they are in the center of the country, along with Central Florida and parts of Arizona. And for the least expensive housing alternative, we definitely recommend manufactured home communities. You can buy a used home in many of them for less than the cost of a new car.

    by topretirementseditor — November 19, 2013

  50. I know this park and it is very nice. I do not know the monthly fees…would guess around $400 per month for the mobile homes…they also have adult RV Park.

    by Elaine — November 19, 2013

  51. Another good list for ideas from US News…this is the 2013 version. Greenville, SC does appeal to me on paper and the one quick visit.

    by Elaine — November 19, 2013

  52. HI Everyone,
    Who was it that said “Apple Island Resort.”That is it and I thought it was way too cute, and upon further investigation and perusal,I decided that my love of islands has be a little nutsy for me to retire on an island in Lake Champlain, and I did find out that it is seasonal. It must be frigid there in the winter, but really nice in the summer. I am sure there are many others. Did you all get my input from before? I hope it helped those who wanted to look into the smaller places. 😀

    by Elizabeth S — November 19, 2013

  53. Thank you Paul, I do have a few questions. First why the difference between the two communities, what does the $100.00 a month pay for, and the $227.00 pay for, does Sun City have a fishing lake like HHL does, when or how often do they increase HOA fees, can they ever decrease, is there good medical, restaurants, transportation services, adult education, grocery stores, movie theaters, farmer’s market, and last has either community been hit by one of the past major storm’s or are they inland just enough. Thank you for your knowledge, we live in Nevada and the cost to fly once a yesr to check out one or two states a yesr is very costly, I have spent many hours researching and came with a few places in SC and Florida.

    by CB — November 20, 2013

  54. CB..Sun City HOA pays for the following..Items covered by the HOA

    •Resident lawn care maintenance•2 Resident Activity Cards•24/7 Security•Roaming patrol•Community Association administration buildings and employees•Roadway maintenance•Maintenance of fitness centers and equipment•Maintenance of buildings that house other amenities•Insurance on those buildings•Maintenance of 4 swimming pools•Maintenance of several hot spas•Maintenance of tennis courts, bocce courts, etc.•Maintenance of various Nature Trails•Maintenance of all Riverbend amenities, e.g., clubhouse, pool, dock, etc.•Periodic maintenance and support for all other amenities
    the fees are paid quarterly avg at 227 per month.. This is a very large community about 5 miles from I95 and 20 miles from the water of Hilton Head Island…This community sits in Bluffton which is growing very quickly…Some other things about the area and Sun City are all the major hospitals from Savannah, Beaufort and Hilton Head have opened up offices in Bluffton, many are right outside our gate. I have not heard of anyone having problems getting a doctor. Beaufort Hospital Cancer Center is affiliated with Duke plus the major hospitals from Savannah have heart and cancer treatments in Bluffton. Also we are 2 hours from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and I do personally know friends who have chosen to go there for major problems.
    there are rumors that another major Hospital will be built next to Sun City. Most residents of Sun City have golf carts they travel to everywhere Outside our gates, within golf cart distance, you will find many Doctors, dentists, hair and nail salons, restaurants, a grocery store, outpatient surgical center, physical therapy, blood and x-ray labs and banks. In South Carolina, you may drive on roads 35 mph and less up to 4 miles outside of the gates. We have weekly movies in the community and we have two restaurants and 3 golf courses. Most of us are quite comfortable with one car and a golf cart (electric).
    you asked about resturants this area within 25 miles is every imagineable resturant you would want and they are GREAT…

    by paul — November 20, 2013

  55. Sharon
    That is very interesting and I have never been told this by any of the Del Webb communities we stayed in, thank you. I have to investigate further.
    I distrust the HOA’s and with the developers still building in Sun City, Hilton Head Lakes, Lawton Station etc. you just do not know what the HOA will jump to after they turn the HOA’s over to the residents. Also, there is no limit as to how much they can increase their HOA fees each year. Some communities we have visited had a 3% limit per year, but not these communities in SC because the developers are still there, subsidizing the community. There is a community in the Charleston area that had a golf course that was sold and when it went bankrupt the residents in the community were forced to purchase it back, through a majority vote of HOA members. Some residents (that we spoke to)had to leave their homes because they didn’t have the money to partake in such a large purchase, so they sold their homes and left. After speaking to them, I am gun shy about HOA’s and amenities.

    by marilyn — November 20, 2013

  56. For Paul…..I think that homes in the $250,000 range don’t qualify for “low income” homes… least not for me 🙄
    For LD….I live in Prescott, Arizona where it does not get as hot as it does in Phoenix, but it is more expensive to live here. Many people with loads of money have moved here and built “mansions” on our mountains. Rent is somewhat reasonable. I managed to find a manufactured 3-bdrm. home with garage for $1,050 per month in a good neighborhood, but homes like that are not available all the time. One does have to look around.
    I read Loralee’s post about living in Phoenix…..I, and others I know, would not want to live in Phoenix. That city does have many good doctors and hospitals. In fact many of us go to Phoenix from Prescott and surrounding areas if we want a good doctor, but it is a 2-1/2 hr. drive, at least. The traffic in Phoenix is very heavy. There is quite a lot of crime. I have friends living there, but they both are in very “exclusive” areas and both of them have huge homes with swimming pools, so life for them in Phoenix is better than the average person. I would suggest spending the summer months in Phoenix before making a move there.

    by Ursula — November 21, 2013

  57. Marilyn, some insurance companies have riders that can be bought to protect you from special assessments. Perhaps this would cover something like the purchase of the golf course. It saved around $40K for someone I know whose high rise condo building needed the face of the building replaced due to water penetration. Any one who is subject to an HOA should ask their homeowners insurance about getting the rider, or change their insurer to one who provides it.

    by Julie — November 21, 2013

  58. Marilyn…I take it you have limited yourself from a gated community if you don’t like HOA’s..For someone of my age or anyone who doesn’t like to do maintance on the home or grounds along with the amenities that you enjoy t places like Sun City and Hilton Head lakes..I also believe that the homeowners especially in Sun City control those HOA’s…Tell me what happens in the city that you live when the Water company, electric or garbage company needs more money, not to mention other services for you…Do you distrust them also..As an insurance executive I can tell you that many not all policies have assessments coverage for just that reason..

    Ursula..I understand your statement however let me tell you about a program that may benefit you and others over 62 years of age…It is called a Reverse Mortgage Purchase..If you have the means you could purchase a 250K home for less that half of that price with NO future payments…Goggle it…

    by paul — November 21, 2013

  59. I have to agree w/Paul…$250,000 homes … that’s not for those of us who own our current, very modest home & have no savings due to low-paying jobs most of our lives and in addition have been visited by a very expensive illness so that any savings have been wiped away.

    On to the subject associated with these discussions which is what to consider under the above conditions: We have considered moving from our home to a smaller home such as mfg’d or mobile to cut down on expenses. My concern is there is nothing stopping the ‘park’ owners from raising the lot ‘rent’ prices. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge as to how often and/or what % it goes up? Thanks

    by Jeanne C — November 21, 2013

  60. Hi enjoy all the great comments..we are looking in Florida again and searching for information on others experiences with ‘home owners insurance’..2 yrs ago we wanted to purchase a new home inland and was told by two major insurance companies they no longer insure in florida..then we had done some research and found companies there are charging very high we are hoping for info from real life residents..and ‘please if you detail prices the costs of the home are an important someone said they pay $900 a yr,,then it is important to know if its a 1000 ft home etc..and/or a mobile home..Thanks

    by Robbie — November 21, 2013

  61. Robbie, we live in Bradenton, FL. Our home is 2500 sq ft under air. 3100 sq ft under roof. The homeowners insurance is $3200 per year. NOT cheap! We hate the taxes and ins costs here but love our neighborhood and home. It’s going to be a tough choice when we retire. Hope this helps.

    by Allison — November 21, 2013

  62. To Jeanne C – There are a few manufactured communities in Florida (very few) where you own your own land and you don’t pay a lot rent. When we first looked I was astonished what some people pay to “rent” the lot. Also if the park closed for any reason you’d be left with a mobile home to move somewhere.

    by Karen — November 21, 2013

  63. 😆 To Robbie I live in a 2000 sqf under air, block & stucco. Located in the middle of the state of Florida. Next door to The Villages. I am insured for 250k I have flood & water backup also added
    500 deductible for hurricane. I have a new roof, house is 17+ years old. My ins. cost is a little better than $900.00 year. With a top rated Ins. co.

    by Dianne — November 21, 2013

  64. I totally disagree with Ursala about Phoenix, this is the 6th largest City in the U.S., and like any other area we have bad neighborhoods and crime, but you do your homework before moving to any place. The crime here is mostly in the southern section. I live up North, beautiful, and the traffic is not bad if you are retired and not travelling in rush hour. I have lived in other big city’s and this is one of the most manageable places! LOVE IT HERE! We all have an opinion, no place is perfect! I love the friendly people I meet here…Good luck on deciding where to retire!! I found my spot!!!:smile:

    by Loralee — November 21, 2013

  65. Paul,
    Spoken like a true insurance man. I believe that no one should go into any community under development and not have concerns. The developers hold the power in the HOA’s NOT the residents. Developers have the majority of members on the HOA boards. Your analogy of city water and electrical increases is not valid. All tilities in our city can’t be raised arbitrarily. They must go through the state public utilities commission and/or city council. Both the commission and the council have the right to say NO if the people deem it unfair through public hearings. I know residents in a community don’t have the power to stop an HOA increase as the developers have the majority vole on the board.

    by Marilyn — November 21, 2013

  66. Loralee you are a good advocate for Phoenix, which is where I want to go when I sell my house in Colorado next year. Have been told of the many over 55+ communities south of Phoenix, I think it is route 60. Most of them are pre-fab homes, which is OK with me. The less upkeep and maintenance right now is fine. I would rather travel than spend time on a yard or house. Do you have any opinions on that area? Always appreciate your comments as they make me think about where/what/heat in the area and give more info, which I need right now. Thanks

    by Svenska — November 22, 2013

  67. I was also planning to go to Arizona. I have done much reading and have learned that there is a problem with the water supply. I thought the water was just running low around the Tuscan area, but have found the same problem in Pheonix. Now I must make plans to go to another area.

    by Suzanne Miller — November 22, 2013

  68. Marilyn…The point I was making is I don’t like lawn maintenance…I have a lawn care person cut my grass for 6 months per year 4 or 5 times per month at 35.00 per cut which would equal 840 to 1050 per year and then if you figure landscaping at 1000 to 1200 per year (mulch, flowers, replace bushes damaged durning winter and labor) that would be by this estimate 2000 to 2300 per year. That is about 170 to 190 per month, not to mention other maintenance you may have to perform on your home or pool…In my thinking Sun City HOA’s are not out of line and you should look at the history in which they have been raised…Also how often in last 10 years has the city council or public utilities commission in your area failed to grant the utility companies thier increase…Louisville this past year they granted a 5.5% increase the 3rd in last 5 years..

    by paul — November 22, 2013

  69. I lost much of my retirement money to a Ponzi scheme (see IFFL, Gary Sorensen and milo brost) and have to make do on a tiny Ira and social security, so will probably be working at something most of my life. Meanwhile I need to find the best and cheapest place to live that I can. There is just ths ONE thread devoted to this topic. Couldn’t you folks who want to discuss golf resorts and Del Webb and 250k homes go to another thread more appropriate for that? I personally am interested in mobile home communities, as that is what I can afford, or rental options.

    by Ginger — November 22, 2013

  70. FountainView in North Fort Myers is a manufactured community that you own you land. The HOA’s are low and the community holds about 300 units. While it doesn’t have the same amenities as a Del Webb we like it very much as it is a very friendly community. There are units for sale or for rent.

    by Vicki — November 22, 2013

  71. Ginger, I’m with you about staying on topic, that is, on low-cost options for us seniors who aren’t flush. I’d like to hear from some folks on the West Coast who’ve found low-cost living in their senior years. My husband and I (71 and 70) have been living for 13 years in beautiful Anacortes, WA. But the cost of living here is a little higher than we can afford as we are both working artists and want to travel. While we want a place with a rich cultural life and good weather, we also need to real about what we have to live on. Any West Coast artists’ experience?

    by Jane Alynn — November 22, 2013

  72. Ginger, to be fair, there is more than one thread here about lower costs:

    But I do not remember any other blog for renting (high or low income) so perhaps renting and and mayve even HOAs can be appropriate here. Or maybe rent vs buy would be a good separate blog.

    by Elaine — November 22, 2013

  73. Has anyone applied to any of the federally subsidized senior housing were rent is based on a percentage of on income? There are a few apartment buildings in Pittsburgh with this arrangement, but I don’t know anything about them. I met someone who was getting low on savings and planning to live just on Social Security, who said she was getting on the waiting list for an apartment. She said they are all one-bedroom, one-bath They aren’t in the best areas, but they appear well-maintained from the outside.

    by Sharon1 — November 23, 2013

  74. Consider a roommate. This can dramatically cut costs. I interviwed several women who did so, and for the most part, it worked out great. There is a site called to help. And, read this article from AARP:

    Jan Cullinane, The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

    by Jan Cullinane — November 23, 2013

  75. Elaine, those are articles, some dating back to 2011. But this is the only thread billed as ‘low income retirement’. Please forgive me for being persistent but I have been follow this site for several years, hoping for a discussion that was more relevant to me and my situation, and this is the first one. I have posted several times on other threads to ask if others are considering mobile homes and got no responses. I have waded thru so many threads on whether this golf community has better built homes than that golf community that I feel really well informed on golf communities. This whole site has both a well-heeled and eastern slant, and now this thread was becoming more of the same. The rest of us need help too. I have been hanging on to the idea that I would eventually stumble upon some folks who were interested in discussing Truly low-cost options, that I have hung in for years and years. I hope I haven’t wasted my time Elaine.

    by Ginger — November 23, 2013

  76. In reference to rising HOA’s for a manufactured home in a developer park. I inherited my mother’s home in a very well maintained, popular park in North Ft. Myers FL. The lot rent can rise up to 3% annually. The community is still owned by the developer so there are no property taxes for homeowners – a very big concern in FL. In addition, the lot rent includes all the amenities and lawn and tree maintenance. If you had to pay to belong to a swim club, fitness center, tennis club, etc and pay for lawn care and pay for 24 hour security guards – AND pay for property taxes, it would be well over the cost of lot rent. There are no HOA fees either- the lot rent covers it all. Keeping all that to a 3% annual raise is a deal, compared to the increases we pay annually for services on our home in Maine. Just saying, do the comparisons when you look at total costs and don’t automatically rule out lot rents or HOA’s until you add up all of the plus and minuses. There are many rentals in the communities in North Ft. Myers – and many 15 – 20 yr. old resales for less than $10,000 to purchase. A great and fun spot for retires with moderate incomes. Worth a visit!

    by SandyZ — November 23, 2013

  77. Sandy, You mentioned N. Fort Meyers however you didn’t give the name of the park. I would be interested in researching it.

    by barbara — November 23, 2013

  78. Yea for Ginger! I have also been on this site for over a year. I have learned about climate and HOA’s, but when I contact individual locations I get Assisted Living or 2000 sq ft mansions. I wonder if there could be a separate thread for rentals as so many great retirement places do not seem to handle rentals. I am resigned that a community with activities and amenities will be more expensive than my current abode, but I do not need luxury or three gourmet meals.

    by Moving South — November 23, 2013

  79. Continued –
    or a golf course which I understand is expensive in upkeep which will be passed on to residents. Some hiking and biking trails would be nice.

    by Moving South — November 23, 2013

  80. Barbara – The community in North Fort Myers where my mom’s house is located is Lake Fairways. It does have a golf course, but that is optional and if you are not a golfer you pay nothing to just enjoy the view! We have rented it out for this winter, but it is listed for sale in the Classified section of this website as well. There are at least 10 similar communities in North Ft. Myers with a wide variety of rents, sale prices, and amenities. Beware of communities without gated security however. It is definitely not “Mayberry” in South Florida!

    by SandyZ — November 23, 2013

  81. Where is the classified section of this website found?

    by Billy — November 24, 2013

  82. Billy,
    Look down at the bottom. There it is in blue wedged between Reviews and Active Adult Communities. You can’t miss it!

    Editor’s note: Thanks MarianneK for pointing that out. You can also access the Classifieds (Real Estate Classifieds) as a Topic under “Forum” in the top navigation bar. You can also start other threads in the Forum under the appropriate Topic.

    Now, the point made by Ginger, let’s keep this Blog going on the issue of retiring on a low income and in particular, renting. As has been pointed out, there are other Blog posts for other issues. And if anyone wants us to start a new Blog post on a particular topic, let us know and we will consider.

    by MarianneK — November 24, 2013

  83. Another option I would like to bring up … Buying a rental unit, such as a duplex or multi-plex unit. You don’t have to be rich to do this and you could actually live payment free with additional income. If you do not want to manage you can hire a rental management company for 10% of the rent. I have been been in the rental business for 15 years in the south and have had several rentals, at the time I was married and did not need to live in one but now that my income is limited I know this would be a good option and supplement my income. If you do your homework and buy in a good area, be selective with your tenants and keep your property up things can run smoothly.

    by Iwashere — November 24, 2013

  84. Has anyone addressed home sharing or communal living here?

    by Liz — November 24, 2013

  85. It would seem with so many boomers living alone that 55+ studio apartment rentals would be popular. This would be an economical way to live.

    by Bubbajog — November 24, 2013

  86. Thank you MarianneK

    by Billy — November 25, 2013

  87. Jane alynn, sorry I took so long to respond. Have you thought about Tucson? Lots of artists there, and low cost living. If you can manage in a small space, they have several park model home resort communities. Park models are typically 400 to 500 sq feet. Used ones can be purchased for as low as 15k. And they are in communities with clubhouses that usually have spaces like craft rooms. Another nice place in Arizona is Prescott. Since you live in Anacortes, the hot weather might not appeal to you, but in the higher elevations like Prescott and flagstaff, it is much cooler.

    by Ginger — November 25, 2013

  88. I am interested in renting…is there a range that folks consider appropriate for this blog?

    I posted a $75 a day list and a lovely mobile home park in FL and other good low income choice blogs here, but somehow folks think I am rich and jump all over me. Like everyone else who follow top retirements, I am trying to find a good place for single folks like me. So I will just lurk on this blog unless I find the magic rental number.

    by Elaine — November 25, 2013

  89. I believe park model homes will be popular with single retiring boomers. The park model home is a low cost option for retirees. They seem to be popular in Arizona. And for us boomers living in the western part of the country, Arizona seems to be the retirement mecca.

    by Bubbajog — November 25, 2013

  90. Elaine I’m so sorry if you felt attacked. I didn’t mean to sound that way; I’m just so desperate for good low cost ideas. I’m frightened really; most of my retirement savings were stolen and I don’t know how I’m going to manage. But please don’t feel you need to lurk. You have good ideas. Lets help each other.

    by Ginger — November 25, 2013

  91. Bubbajog, the other reason I am interested in park models is I’m interested in the whole ‘tiny home’ movement, but I can’t afford the custom built ones. I really want to simplify my life and getting rid of stuff seems a good place to start. So park models seem like a good choice. But I’m open to other options. I could totally do a cheap rental unit.

    by Ginger — November 25, 2013

  92. Ginger, you’ve hit on the core issue: how to manage in a small space. Our space needs (art materials, equipment, etc) make tiny living an impossibility, unless we also rent studio space. Maybe with AZ’s great weather we wouldn’t need so many walls!

    by Jane Alynn — November 26, 2013

  93. Does anyone out there own a park model home? How well are they made? How are the doors/windows/roofs. Will you cook to death in Arizona summer. Once set up how hard are they to move again or can they be moved again. I googled and out they must be 400 sq. feet or less, that only a 20′ by 20′ building, or about 14 by 28 foot to go down the road. Lots of outfits seem to make these homes. Also do they need to be set up on a slab.

    by Marvin L — November 26, 2013

  94. There are senior studio apartment rentals that are economical and provide extra storage within the unit. Young people in studio apartments want a place to sleep. Storage area is not a priority. Oldsters want a more simple life, but storage area is a priority for their lifetime important belongings. There are senior studio apartments that fit the bill for low cost and simple living and provide that much needed extra storage within the unit.

    by Bubbajog — November 26, 2013

  95. HI Liz, and all interested in Communal Living,
    I have looked into and have found several sort of communal places. There are some in Utah, and Pricy, and actually they are quite interesting. Everyone is asked to contribute their time and join in the community, and in one place, where all ages live, the homes are placed so the elders can look out and get to know the young children and keep an eye out for them and get to know them as they grow up. Truly a community where trust is involved. They do have big gardens and everyone is expected to work in the garden when they can and are able. The gardens are beautiful and everyone seems to get along well. They have regular meetings where the community business is taken care of, and everyone has a say in what goes on. These places are rather pricy, but what a lovely concept. There is a nice place in Ithaca, NY (Cornell University), which is near to where we live. It is not for everyone, but I would go for it m, but for the expense. The communal garden sounds great to me since all the fresh foods in many markets are really toxic, and I do not totally trust the Organic, unless I grow my own.(Which I don’t!)
    We went to the market to get us through the horrible snow storm that is hitting Upstate NY, but now it is going to be just a dusting.
    Happy for that!
    Just go look online and you can find those places for communal living.
    Have a Great Thanksgiving and Let’s all be thankful for our Lives.

    Love, Elizabeth in NY~

    by Elizabeth — November 27, 2013

  96. Marvin l….I don’t currently own a park model but have been looking at them and know people that have them. They are just as comfortabl e as any manufactured home is in hot or cold weather. Quite livable. They are designed andbuiltfor the area where they will be used. These homes are not typically shipped long distances as they can only be moved with permits. They are on wheels but typically get moved to the location where they will be setup and…that’s it. Not moved again. They are just small mobile homes, really. In mst states, max 400 sq feet until they are moved to the site where they will reside. Then people add porches, decks, bonus room, etc. if you visit Phoenix or Tucson, like I did, you would have the chance to scope out a lot of these communities, and a lot of these units. In Florida, too. Many are very nice.

    And bubba g, my whole point is to get rid of ‘lifetime’ memorabilia. Don’t want to have storage space for it. Tat is what I mean by simplify. I will keep my photos, probably, but not much else. I’m not gonna need it when I die. And no one else will want it or need it. I got stuck with the lifetime memorabilia of my two aunts when they died. Took me weeks to clean out their houses and discard their junk. Stuff was precious to them but not to anyone else.

    by Ginger — November 28, 2013

  97. Thanks Elizabeth in NY. I did see one in CA but yes, VERY expensive. I will keep looking.

    by Liz — November 29, 2013

  98. Hi Ginger,
    I definitely agree that STUFF is something that we all would be better off without. I am going for the minimalist effect, hardwood floors, just a few choice things that I like to look at and a few mementos, and my own art work.
    The old KISS theory. Keep it Simple Stupid=KISS ~ Now before there is a riot or a shooting, I want to make it clear that I did not say that my dearest Ginger, is stupid. 😉
    I find her remarks rather brilliant and love the simplicity of everything and I would also like to live out in nature, but that is out ofmy budget also.
    ;)Thanks, Elizabeth in NY~
    Have fun kids,
    Elizabeth in NY~

    by Elizabeth — November 30, 2013

  99. We are trying to find a 55+ active retirement community in NH to rent. We are in our late 70s but in good health and would like to move near our kids. We now live in IN. If any of you know of apartments or small cottages in NH please post them. Thanks

    by Richard Anderson — December 2, 2013

  100. Hi everyone, I am moving from Ohio to either Albuquerque, NM or Pueblo, CO March, 2014. I have found apartments in my price range of below $500 per month and over 600 square feet in both cities. I live on social security only and I know if I look hard enough I can meet my goals to stay in budget. In addition to checking out apartment complexes online, I’ve also checked out rentals through Craigslist. There is a community in Albuquerque called Sawmill Community Land Trust where rental charges are based on your income. I plan to check them out when I arrive in March. I can’t wait to get out of the cold and the everlasting humidity. 🙄

    by Norah — December 4, 2013

  101. Norah, I live in Pueblo West Colorado moved here from Connecticut, also away from the humidity. I love Colorado but house is too big so have to move and thinking of Arizona. Although Pueblo has beautiful weather it also has some cold winter months, which I want to get away from. Pueblo is a reasonable place to live, and does have a lot to offer but less metropolitan than Albuquerque. So welcome.

    by Svenska — December 5, 2013

  102. Thank you Svenska for your kind words. Your comments are encouraging. Since I am an “urban chic” I must say that Albuquerque is first on my list. Pueblo would be my second choice if I can’t find an affordable apartment in a relatively safe walkable area. Good luck with your search of Arizona.

    by Norah — December 5, 2013

  103. 😎 Someone had been saying home insurance in Florida is difficult to get but that really applies to any coastal area & not so much now that the hurricanes have decided to leave us alone. I am located in what is known as Central Florida which is north of Orlando, South of Gainesville or Ocala, a few hours from Tampa & about 45 min from Daytona Beach. FYI, we have approx 1225 sq ft block home. Property taxes (which always include city stuff, school stuff, etc) were a little over $400 & home insurance approx $1000/year. We were situated right in the middle of the area where the 3 hurricanes in a row hit. Unless you had a tree falling on your home, there was minimal damage. Do ask, if you’re planning to relocate by purchasing a home where the latest sink holes are located & if your area is a flood zone. We are in neither. The traffic is busy but not insane like Orlando. Medical care & hospitals are accessible & good. I don’t use the bus. I’ve heard that in Orlando it’s an interesting venture to get around. Here .. I have no information. Very ‘senior’ oriented but like anywhere else, do your homework about what you may need in the future in the way of transportation, medical care.

    by Jeanne C — December 5, 2013

  104. Elaine–I couldn’t tell if you are looking for a short term or permanent rental. If permanent or 6 months minimum, check out On Top of The World in Ocala. Gated community with tons of amenities, activities and entertainment. You can rent a two br/two bath most over 1200 SF, for $750 to 900 a month. Yearly rentals are typically unfurnished, but six month ones are furnished (furnished are not always available. Their onsite rental office is found at

    by Jim Rogers — December 6, 2013

  105. Thanks, Jim. Do you know if they accept dogs? If you do not no problem, I will check it out when I closer to deciding where I want to be! Thanks again.

    by Elaine — December 7, 2013

  106. Other than VRBO and the classified on this website, are there links to other rental sites that offer the kind of deal that Jim Rogers mentioned: 1200 sq ft furnished for $750-900? If interested in checking them out.

    by Jane Alynn — December 7, 2013

  107. Jim Rogers, thank you for the website for On Top of the World rentals. Does anyone know of a website for furnished rentals at The Villages other than VRBO?
    Thanks so much.

    by Nikki — December 7, 2013

  108. Could you please repeat the website for Top of the World rentals?
    Are there locations in the Carolinas or Tennessee?

    by Moving South — December 7, 2013

  109. On Top of The World website– It will have the phone #. Ask for Lisa Reilly or Linda Adamson.

    by Jim Rogers — December 7, 2013

  110. I am by myself and have come to the conclusion that, by reading most of the comments, I am poor or I live really really cheaply! Anyway, I have a townhouse I would be glad to sell in central NC. I am about 3 hrs to beach and about the same to mountains. I am thinking about moving north or west to the colder states with snow. I know….I am crazy but I hate the heat and humidity. I have lived in FL and I hated it. I miss the snow and plan on retiring middle of this year.

    by Sandra — December 27, 2013

  111. I am alone as well and what was a dream is slowly becoming a goal. I want to retire to Maine. I’ve lived in the Hershey PA area most of my life but had also moved myself at age 44 to Montana where I lived for 6 years (at one time in a fifth wheel AlfaGold 26′ for a year. Now, at 64 I am still feeling brave enough to move again. I am most likely to be considered poor as I will have my SS plus a tiny pension plus very few investments til I retire (I hope) at 66. I believe, if I’m going to make another move, I best do it before I’m 70. I have two sons and 3 grand daughters who will be about 8-10 hours away if I make it to DownEast Maine. Till I do, I am saving and researching and watching this blog for any advice etc. Maybe I can find a courageous soul to make the move and share expenses (Golden Girl style except in the way north!)

    by Bonnie M — December 28, 2013

  112. Bonnie M: Just curious why you left Montana; where did you live and did you like it while you were there?

    by judy — December 28, 2013

  113. Hi Judy, I’ll “assume” you want the long story? My brother had moved to MT and kept asking me to visit. When my oldest son graduated HS, I took him and my younger son to MT for a ten-day visit (from PA). I fell in love with the mountains, rivers, lakes, and the beauty. Two years later I visited again myself and didn’t want to leave. When youngest son graduated HS in 93 and oldest was in Army – I made a goal to move out there. Youngest said he wanted the more urban life and proceeded to find an apartment with friends. I bought a small truck and packed my precious possessions and had the rest scheduled for delivery on a United moving van. I first lived in Bigfork then the Swan Valley, and later Deer Lodge (I had an AA position with the MT DOC. After 6 1/2 years my parents were aging in PA and in poor health and sons were getting engaged, etc., and I was home sick. While I loved MT, it was, in the mi-90s to 2000, a hard place to make a living – cost of living was high but income was not. I have NO regrets after now being home 13 years as I have 3 darling grand daughters. The financial problem is partly from having two decent 401K plans of which I used one to move to MT and the other to move home, essentially starting all over when I got home. I’ve always been peripatetic in nature and am getting the itchy feet to move again while I’m able. Maine to me is ideal, it’s only 9-10 hours from my sons, but still the mountains, sea, etc. I just have to find a way to afford it. Thanks for your interest!

    by Bonnie M — December 29, 2013

  114. Bonnie: thanks for taking the time to reply; I appreciated it.

    by judy — December 29, 2013

  115. Bonnie: Love Maine too, but I think the climate is a little too harsh for me (not to mention the cost of living being high). Can you tell us about living in the Hershey area? I’ve been considering retiring by Mechanicsburg, Hummelstown, Hershey or Lancaster, and would love to hear your thoughts. I’d like to have a mall for walking in bad weather, good medical care, a good library, and to be in an area where it’s possible to find service providers like a cleaning lady, mechanic or handyman at a reasonable cost. I’ll be looking for a condo in the $225,000-$325,000 range.

    by Sharon — December 30, 2013

  116. Sharon, Hershey, et al, which you mentioned are pretty much the extension of the state capital, Harrisburg. Everything you mentioned is in abundance (malls, shopping, libraries) and the medical care gives many excellent choices. The area can be depressed but seems to be coming back; but there’s no lack of the services you seek at reasonable costs. Definitely check out the websites for the various CofCs and services plus reviews. You would have no problem finding a condo in your range – again, check out the web! Best of luck.

    by Bonnie M — December 30, 2013

  117. Thinking about Athens Georgia to retire too. I am retired military (enlisted) with small disability. My wife and I are active (love to jog and bike) and play golf (I am a 7 handicap). What are home rentals like in the Athens area and what parts are the best and safest?

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — December 30, 2013

  118. Bonnie – Thank you so much. It’s great to be able to get some real info from someone who actually lives in a location that I’m considering.

    by Sharon — December 30, 2013

  119. FOR SANDRA IN NC…..tell me more about your townhouse and location in central
    NC. I am planning a move to somewhere in that NC area and would like to hear more of your experiences while living there. You can certainly email me at instead of posting here….or either way is fine. \ I will appreciate hearing from you.

    by EJ — December 30, 2013

  120. You’re so welcome! I want to add, this area is kind of a hub – close to other cities such as York, Lancaster, and Philadelphia is less than two hours not to forget the shore points at about 3 or so hours. I lived in Mechanicsburg in the early 90s and it was a nice small town; it and the surrounding areas has grown rapidly with road improvements and industry and housing building. I don’t know if I’d know how to get around any more not having been that way in a decade or so. Hershey has very high taxes, etc., and is overrun by tourists during the season. There’s been so much road construction between my small town Palmyra, and where I work in Hershey, that the 3-mile commute can take a half hour at times even off-season. I don’t know where you’re living now, but if you have any more questions on this area, just let me know. I’ll help if I can!

    by Bonnie M — December 31, 2013

  121. I am so happy to finally read some great suggestions on low income buying vs renting!

    Deb D. Thanks so. Much for your fabulous idea on VRBO. At one time I suggested to my husband that we become RVer’s but he said no way since I hate to drive. This would let us downsize on my small pension, his Social Security and our small IRA and still be able to travel. I guess you have to constantly forward your mail?

    We are also looking into Continuing Care Retirement Communities and would love to see info here on that as well. All that I have found so far has been limited and too pricy for us. Thanks all!

    by Yvonne — December 15, 2014

  122. Can anyone offer information about buying and living in a “manufactured home”? I’m looking at Lakeside Crossing in Myrtle Beach. Anyone familiar with that community? The monthly land lease is approximately $500, and I’m told the property tax is approx $500 per year?? Seems impossible…at least by Long Island, NY standards! Any feedback is greatly appreciated–particularly regarding life in the Myrtle Beach area. My husband likes the concept of The Villages in Florida, but it seems very expensive and is far from family. Appreciate comments! thank you!!

    by Kathy S — December 16, 2014

  123. Kathy,
    I wanted to see what Lakeside Crossing was all about. Looks very nice. Right now it looks as if they are offering a $199 monthly lot rent special to new buyers due to the economic slump. However, the current residents that are paying $500 or more are protesting! Not sure how long the $199 lot special will last but is a good deal compared to $500 monthly. Here is the article:

    The trouble with lot rents is that you will never have control of the prices going up. They typically never go down. You are at their mercy with yearly increases and this article says the increase are 3-5% per year. At 3% you’d pay $15 a month more a total of $180 a year more! At 5% you’d pay $25 a month and a total of $300 a year more! Each year gets higher and higher! At $500 a month you’d pay $6,000 a year lot rent. If you bought a home down south your yearly taxes would probably be half of 6K on a modest home. Take the other 3K and join the YMCA or other organization! At least you can quit the Y if you get tired of it and don’t need to spend money if you don’t want to. Don’t forget, these places always have special assessments like roof repair on the community center, pool repairs, dock repairs, and so much more. They just pass it to the owners and could be like $5,000 paid over a 5 year period on top of your lot rent! If you do go to this place to look around ask questions on special assessments. Same with the Villages or any community of that nature.

    by Louise — December 17, 2014

  124. Question about VRBO. How many months prior to renting do you normally need to make arrangements to get a decent place and price?

    by Karen M — December 17, 2014

  125. Re VRBO, depends on where you’re trying to rent. There hasn’t been anything available in the SW Florida area for January-March for almost a year.

    If anyone is interested, I know of a condo that just joined the rental market in Cape Coral, across the river from Fort Myers. Requires a 3-month minimum lease. Is newly furnished and decorated and on a canal. Send me an e-mail at lajessen at gmail dot com if you’re interested or post your e-mail here. Word of mouth is how it happens down here. That’s how I got my current rental after giving up on normal sources.

    by Linda — December 17, 2014

  126. 12/19/2014; Attention to: — Chief of Editor.

    This blog, since after it was first started 13 months ago, has generated 125 comments and still counting! I read with good interests on about over half-way through on those comments, and frankly, after awhile I got dizzied (and unfortunately, my guess is, I’m not the only person who gets our eyes hurt). Of course you and I cannot blame these good folks who contribute to write comments on this blog, in fact I enjoy most of them, some are quite insightful while others are rather challenging. Naturally, when you start one intended target of thread like this one, as the discussions go on down the line, many other people would respond unassumingly with different comments/answers, and thus creating some sort of diverting threads from the initial topic. And to make the matter worse (which causing me the headache after reading down 50+ comments), people are contributing on different sequences when each of them submitting their comments, sometimes on the same day and/or other days. The result of this blog speak for itself as you can see—it’s a chaotic jungle of threads with no orderly sequences down the list, and no wonder some of them complain (and understandably, fairly upset!) about others for straying out from the intended thread of topic.

    So here is my two-cent of thought: would that be possible, if not nicer, if your editor can divide a thread with subs of thread on its own? Say, thread A has subs of A1.A2.A3.A4.A5.A6.A7., and thread B has subs of B1.B2.B3.B4.B5, then thread C has subs of C1.C2., etc. Of course each thread with its subsequent subs would not necessarily be from the same day, for instance, A and A7 could be a month apart from each other, but they stay in one thread of discussion answering/commenting on each other responses. I realize it may take editing efforts on your part, but the end result, the blog, in my humble opinion, can be easier to read and understand, as well as your readers can pick and chose what they want/or not want to read based on each thread. And last but not least, hopefully in the near future I may not suffer from migraine anymore when I read a blog with such a long list of responders on it! Please kindly comment, thanks!

    by buddy h. — December 19, 2014

  127. @ buddy h.: Actually, reading your suggestion gives me a headache. Unfortunately, this is how blogs work. It’s free. Enjoy or not.

    by Linda — December 19, 2014

  128. Linda (regarding Buddy), I am in agreement with you. The suggestion is worse than the Blog. WHEW!! Tylenol someone??


    by Robert — December 20, 2014

  129. Actually, buddy h is ‘thinking logically’.
    He is either an ‘active systems programmer’ or a ‘retired one’.
    Kudos to buddy h.

    by botch57 — December 20, 2014

  130. The blog isn’t complicated for me as i use the dates to know what’s been entered when. I usually read it day by day, but if i skip a day or two can refer back to the date the comments were entered. And i DO enjoy the blog; THANK YOU!

    As for you, buddy h – would you help me plan my next (retirement) collecting-information trip?

    Happy holidays all!

    by ella — December 20, 2014

  131. To folks who responded to my posting in the last two days, I sincerely say, Thank You!

    I have an apology to make, first, I truly regret if you feel I’m not being a helpful/positive contributor to the theme of this blog; second, my posting is directed to the Editor of this blog (although I really welcome others/your responses too, I do!) but my failure is to not make it plainly clear to you in my writing and this may evoke your misunderstanding.

    FYI, I’m flattered, but I wish I’m an able ‘systems programmer’ like botch57 thinks (smile!)—who can make a much simpler suggestion to make this extra long blog easier to read systematically. That’s all my intention is. Again, greatly sorry if I sound like I make it more complicated than it already has here, and understandably it gets to your nerves and defenses as you respond. Please don’t get me wrong, as I said before, “in fact I enjoy most of them, some are quite insightful while others are rather challenging”, and I want this blog getting even longer AND better by days! Having said that, I’m still waiting patiently for this Editor’s opinion about an effort to find a more systematic solution to view current/future blogs friendlier to our eyes? Or, does it matter at all and who cares? I realize (whether new or experimental) changes are often not comfortable to make, and always evoke resistance to some—it’s almost impossible to please everyone. So I also totally agree with Linda, “Unfortunately, this is how blogs work. It’s free. Enjoy or not.” Thus, may I propose, more folks are invited to utter their voices here, be they care or despise it.
    PS. to ella: I like your sense of humor, but no, I’m not a professional travel agent either … nice try though 🙂

    ***May we all have peace and joy abundantly beyond measure … Happy Holidays everyone!***

    Editor’s Note: Dear Buddy, thanks for your suggestion. I think it is a good one, and I love the way you handled those who thought you were off your rocker. If everyone could maintain their composure and sense of humor like you – what a great world this would be!

    Of course the problem with your idea for us is that could be a lot of work to separate it out into threads. But we’ll take a look and see if at least part of it could be done. While we love all the great, free-ranging discussion we get here, you have put your picture on the problem. It usually starts when either a newbie of someone unable or too lazy to find the right Blog to post on puts up a Comment that is totally unrelated to the topic at hand. Then before we notice it, others react and an interesting new thread is created. Then we eventually get back to where we started, but it can be painful for anyone trying to track just the main idea.

    Now, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Low Income Retirement and Renting. Anyone have anything interesting on that topic!

    by buddy h. — December 20, 2014

  132. I just went through and read the 120 plus comments, and definitely did not find unbearable deviation from the topic of “Low Income Retirement and Renting.” Yes, the blog is very long now. It might be easier for someone now to take baby steps, and read 20 comments at a time. The comments are here, and aren’t going anywhere.

    During my working career, and now as a avid investor, I have always applied the acronym KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. If you are into NFL football, and listen to Terry Bradshaw: He sometimes applies KISS to the complexities of professional football.

    And yes, I am well aware that I have deviated MUCHO from the topic at hand. Happy Holidays!!!

    by Bubbajog — December 20, 2014

  133. With regard to all the RECENT comments (some extremlely lengthy) – EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion.

    “one never has to apologize for Silence” = SO ZIP!

    Since “Happy Holidays” manages to get through I wonder if my wishes will?


    Now = The Real ZIP!

    by Robert — December 21, 2014

  134. To Editor: many thanks for your kind words & consideration … and Amen! to Robert. 🙄 🙂

    by buddy h. — December 21, 2014

  135. Robert,
    Hope your holiday was both merry and meaningful. Yes, Jesus (or Jeshua as this Jewish girl refers to Him) is the very best part of the season. Chanukah too!
    Now, to get back to the mundane … why did you rule out NE Tennessee? (One of the areas within four states i’m considering.) Many thanks, and wishes to all for a happy and healthy new year.

    by ella — December 26, 2014

  136. Ella, Actually it was my wife who mostly ruled out NE Tn. As a motorcylelist I love the Smoky Mountains BUT as a “seadoned Citizen” I don’t ride as much anymore The weather is certainly not as nice as central Fl, some roads can be quite hilly (wife again & FL is flat) and we like the safety and solitude of a 55+ mobile home parks that are very up scale in certain parts of Fl as apposed to further North. Seniors for the most part take pride in ownership and keep their property and homes nice, neat and clean. Many mobile home parks further up North tend NOT to be a nice as Fl. The one we just put a deposit down on, has a swimming pool, club house (dancing, shows, dinners, etc), mows our lawn, water, sewer, cable tv and trash pick up are included in our lot rent.and one can purchase a “small” (which is what we are interested in and we cannot figure out why all these Seniors continue to want huge homes to heat, cool and “show off” when it doesn’t make financial sense – at least to us/lol) mobile home for a reasonable price (have them inspected FIRST). C’mon, we raised 3 kids in a 1200 sq ft rancher with ONE BATH. At this period in our life why in the world do we need a BIG HOME WITH BIG EXPENSES = Duh!.

    Having said all the above – NE TN has affordable “stick built” homes and if one stays out of the city limits the taxes are very very very affordable. I.e., as a Senior a $100,000.00 home outside of city limits would have a RE tax of around $500.00 a year! Thats Great but then look what u r payiing for the house. It’s all about personal choices and finances. Just remember all choices/decision have consequences. Last year we made a terrible mistake by moving to Pa and we are paying dearly for it. Can’t wait to “gitouttahere”! Wanna buy my house in Carlisle, Pa?? Good luck. Oh, I fogot. Read that in certain parts of TN the crime rate is highbut I guess that is true anywhere in this “screwed up world we live in now”. Living in a 55+ gated and secure community also allows one to travel if they wish and not have to worry TOO MUCH about their small abode while gone and teenage vandalism is also not a problem.

    by Robert — December 27, 2014

  137. Robert,
    Thanks so much for your thorough reply. We are looking for a site-built home and do love hills. My husband, by the way, is your age. (A good age!) We are considering a community vs. home in a regular neighborhood, and 55+ vs. all-ages community. As you stated, each decision has its own special set of consequences. There seem to be no simple solutions. For each gain there’s a cost. Oh well, hopefully we’ll recognize ‘home’ when we see it. Thanks, again.

    by ella — December 27, 2014

  138. Robert: Do you mind giving the name of the community and location of the mobile home you purchased – thanks very much.

    by judy — December 27, 2014

  139. This question came in from Tish (we would start by saying you have a lot of choices in the Southeast. Use the city guides or Retirement Ranger to find them.)

    We are looking for a retirement community with homes less than $100k – any state where the climate is not too cold. Can you help?

    by Admin — January 2, 2015

  140. Robert why was Carlyle Pa. A huge mistake? Please elaborate..

    by Joy — January 3, 2015

  141. To Joy, After my 10 years in the military I lived/worked in Md and Pa. When I retired from my civilican job I moved to Florida (1992). Last year We moved back to Pa to be near the children and grand children (who live about an hour from us) but did not do my home work. Although Pa is a beautiful State (I am also a Motorcyclist) the cost of living here is way too high for our Senior Citizen budget. Real Estate & School Taxes are extremely high as is the cost of living. Everything here is higher compared to where we lived in Florida – and then one has the WEATHER TO CONTEND WITH. The State of Maryland is worse – their crazy and certainly wouldn’t move back there.

    Everything considered we are moving BACK TO FL (as of now but have considered SC & TN) but probably because of the weather will settle back in FL. Not having done my due diligence before moving to Pa has m ade me much more cautious now in moving selections. There is a lot to consider for us “seasoned citizens” on a limit budget. Some Seniors seem to have a lot more income that we and I am totally amazed at how many purchase BIG houses. Since it’s only two of us we are consistently downsizing. My Seniors we speak to say, ” Oh we need a large house and a two car garage for when the kids come. Well the kids come maybe once a year and in the meantime you pay more RE taxes, more heating and cooling money etc.You could put them up in a fine hotel/motel for 2 weeks and still save a bundle of $$$. Oh well its their choice and $$$$ – maybe I am jealous/lol No, not really. A small house with or withoout a garage in Fl is all that we need – and stay away from the coast line – Ins!

    I think the Pa residents and the Northerners in General are use to the cost of living and taxes and maybe it doesn’t bother them(?). In our final years of life we want to be Warm, have a little money to eat out once or twice a month and not have every cent going to RE/School taxes and cost of living.

    Joy – hope that helps just remember (I fogot for a spell) ALL CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

    by Robert — January 4, 2015

  142. To Joy and others: In Florida we lived for the most part in gated 55+ mobile home communitites which most are verly very nice with plenty of amenities. The mobile home I now have a deposit on will cost me $25,000. Be careful in selection and lot rents to be sure what you receive for the money you spend on lot rent. Of course you always have the option of buying a stick built home – just make sure you HOMESTEAD it to save money on taxes. Hate to be critical but most Northern “mobile” home parks tend not to be so nice and a lot of them would be considered “trailer trash” Ugh – hard word but sometimes so very true. Some people purchase a mobile home and purchase their own land – another option to consider.

    I personally have found that in a 55+ community MOST of the residents take pride in ownership (of course their are rules and regs in the park) and take care of their homes and surrounding. I have not found that to be true with the younger generation – sorry but that is my opinion and observation. You can go somewhere an buy a nice house and then some “dirtball” moves in along side of you – has junk everywhere, and the place looks like crap and they don’t care. Who wants to live next to someone like that – NOT US. Guess I have to remain with the “seasoned citizens” and I am well SEASONED.!

    by Robert — January 4, 2015

  143. To Robert: Thank you for your seasoned wisdom and opinions as I agree with everything you said! I was wondering if you would share with me the area in Florida where you will be living and the particulars of the 55+ community.

    by Rob — January 4, 2015

  144. Has anyone heard of the 1031 Exchange? Just ran across this article. Interesting concept of ‘trading property’. It has tax advantages.

    I am not promoting the Thompson Team.

    by Louise — January 4, 2015

  145. Also, for those of you who are interested in Mobile Home communities in Florida, there are a lot of names on this list you could investigate further. There doesn’t seem to be links associated with the names but you could look them up individually.

    I am not promoting the Thompson Team. But there is good information on their website.

    by Louise — January 4, 2015

  146. As far as Florida goes, does anyone know where it is best to stay away from due to potential sinkholes? Are there certain cities to shy away from because of the sink hole problems? I keep thinking about that poor man who was swallowed up while in bed and was never found! Just horrible!

    by Louise — January 4, 2015

  147. Louise, the area around Tampa has been referred to as Sinkhole Alley, at least in this article.

    by Tom — January 5, 2015

  148. Thanks Tom, that was an interesting article. Sinkholes are very scary and if you buy property in the vicinity and have to be evacuated, what in the world would you do? Abandon your home that you may have spent $150K! I bet insurance companies have a million clauses to prevent them from paying you anything. I spoke with a man who has a home in FL and he told me it is in a sink hole area. He found out that his home, which is made of concrete, was cracking a lot and had someone come in an analyze the problem. They told him his home was on a sink hole and they had to dig down around the foundation and pump concrete into the ground to reinforce the home! I was pretty horrified because my conversation occurred shortly after that guy was sucked out of his home while sleeping. I asked the man if he could ever sell the home with the underlying problem. He told me his home was ‘desirable’ because of the reinforcement work that was done! I really wouldn’t want that house or any nearby no matter how much concrete was pumped into the ground! I think he said he lived in the Villages in FL and think that is centrally located in FL. I did a look up and it’s about 80 miles from Tampa, famous for sinkholes. This man said his insurance paid for the concrete reinforcement. Here is another article and this woman has a $21,600 deductible on her insurance to repair sinkholes! OMG!

    by Louise — January 5, 2015

  149. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s and are wanting to retire anywhere from north Georgia to the mountains of North Carolina. WWe love the mountains and enjoy visiting any time that we have the opportunity. We are interested in a small town. We would like an area where we can be active and enjoy the people in the community. We would not be purchasing property so would be looking to rent.
    I hope that I’ve included most of the information that is needed. Can anyone give us some pointers? I’m new at this so please bear with me on my novice state!

    by Virginia — January 5, 2015

  150. Virginia, there are many interesting small towns in the Asheville, NC area. I like Black Mountain (used to stay there when I was competing in the area), but there are many others. If you are looking for age targeted communities, northern GA would have more. I am just starting to explore that area on-line and hope to make make a trip shortly, but I will be looking at active adult communities that usually do not have that many rentals.

    by Elaine — January 5, 2015

  151. sink hole map of FL
    There are many other maps…just search for the state or area in a state that you are interested in.

    by Elaine — January 5, 2015

  152. This question came in from Jim:

    I am retired and searching for a 1-2 bedroom condo/apt/townhouse for long term rental. I am interested in a water view unit (ocean view preferred). I am interested in coastal, SC, NC,VA. Is there a mailing list that would keep me posted on available rentals. I plan to make the move by fall. Thank you

    by Admin — May 11, 2015

  153. I am also looking to find a rental in CA. and was wondering if there was a site that would keep me posted??? Please if anyone knows I would appreciate it. Thanks! Kathy

    by kathy — May 12, 2015

  154. […] Small House Movement Tiny House Blog Tiny House Nation (TV series) Tiny: A Story About Living Small Low Income Retirement: A Discussion Is a Money Pit Going to Ruin Your Retirement Tiny House […]

    by » Are You Ready to Join the Tiny House Movement in Retirement - Topretirements — July 13, 2015

  155. This comment came in from Mark. Can anyone help? All we can advise is that we havent directly done anything to answer his question, but we suspect that if you search or contact your local housing administration you might get some answers.

    I have subscribed to Top Retirements for over a year. We sold our house in West Hartford this year and was ready to a house in Cape Coral, FL A medical issue three days before the move made the move impossible and we are now renting an apartment in Bloomfield, CT. The money for the move is almost gone now and my question is Has this site ever reviewed apartments complexes for retirees or how to find any complex that is available based upon income. At this point I doubt if we will ever afford to buy because I do not want a mortgage. Thank you. PS we really like we are living now mixed community with young and old.

    by Admin — September 2, 2015

  156. Mark,
    review the Federal Housing subsidies and see what you qualify for based on your income. Senior high rises are nice for lower income retirees. They are usually centrally located to shopping and medical treatment centers. Best thing is they are a very informative to things pertaining to seniors. Go visit one and ask them about other options to housing. Blessings.

    by DeyErmand — September 3, 2015

  157. Mark,
    I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I always worked in the community services field and just checked for an agency on aging in your area. Here is the link for the Bloomfield, CT Commission on Aging:

    These non-profit organizations are established to help seniors connect with local resources. Their services are free. They should be able to assist you with housing opportunities and other items you may not even be aware are available.

    Best wishes.

    by CindyWoodward — September 3, 2015

  158. Haven’t been here in awhile. I found my park model home, in a 55+ community, in Tucson. Been living there since April 2014, however, I spent this past summer in New York. Getting ready to go back home soon. Absolutely love AZ. If I can share info with anyone, let me know.

    by Ginger — September 4, 2015

  159. Hi Ginger, how are you?

    by easilyamused — September 5, 2015

  160. Ginger—I am leasing a condo for the whole month of December and would love to meet for coffee if you have the time. I have a friend coming from the 5th through 14th, but am free otherwise. You have always been one of my favorite people on here and would love to hear all about your journey in person and compare notes. I retire December 2016 and can’t wait. Am still deciding between Tucson, Phoenix, and Vegas areas.

    by Patricia Reynolds — September 5, 2015

  161. I am going to be moving in the next five months to Phoenix to be closer to my son. I love all these comments. They give me the courage to do it myself. Thanks
    Sharon A

    by SharonA — September 5, 2015

  162. I am very happy to finally see something about rentals. My husband and I are contemplating moving to western NC or eastern Tennessee. We will not have the money from the sale of a house, so we will be renting. We are not looking for an over 55 community because of grandchildren and being very active in their lives. Does anyone have information or direction for us to look in?
    Thank you for any input

    by virginia — September 6, 2015

  163. Ginger remember when you traveled across country to your park model In Tuscon, and now you are leaving.

    by Svenska3 — September 7, 2015

  164. Ginger I sold my home In Colorado and bought an 30′ /rv to have some place to live, hard to find anything with 2 big dogs so now we have another home. Heading out to Arizona end of October and always thinking of you and our park model. Was hoping to meet up with you in Tuscon this fall. Why the move?

    by Svenska3 — September 7, 2015

  165. Hello Virginia … have you tried the northeastern area of TN in what they call the tri-city area? Everything in TN seems to be very reasonable, but I have done some research and discovered the Sales Tax in TN is high (a bit over 9%) so a lot of people shop over the border in Virginia where the Sales Tax is something like 5.2%. Also heard that prescription medications in TN are NOT taxed, so I am sure this helps many people. I realize that no place is perfect, and hope this information helps you during your search. I am also checking out the tri-city area for a final retirement place, and/or Florida too.

    by Patte — September 7, 2015

  166. Does anyone have first-hand knowledge on the Affinity Living 55+ retirement communities? They are rental and emphasize that the community is a walkable distance from shopping, restaurants, etc. AffinityAlburquerque is opening in January 2016. Sounds like my kind of retirement!

    by Edna — September 8, 2015

  167. Thanks Patte for the thought. I have a friend that is moving to the Dandridge area. We are going to explore Knoxville area next month. My husband needs to be in close proximity to a VA hospital so that will limit the address we look.
    We will look into the tri-city area also.

    by virginia — September 8, 2015

  168. Robert sent in this question as he is looking for ideas on where to retire on a budget:

    Most of the information you pass out is great. I just would like to know if you guys have any ideas on where a retiree and wife on Social Security and a small pension(we are not talking alot of money here).Might find a nice place to retire that the cost of living won’t sink us. I retired from a government job not a CEO retirement. A $250,000 house would be out of the question. Our credit took a major hit in 2009 with all the housing problems. I currently live in Nevada but they are falling in line with CA, OR and WA with cost of living going up and up. Housing and Apartments are just getting out of hand. Looking to escape, thanks for any info.

    by Jane at Topretirements — February 9, 2017

  169. Robert, you might want to check out southern oregon. You can purchase a condo for under $100000. Mfg homes start at $30000 on a rented lot for $400 monthly or with a lot for $70000 and HOA of $200. Rents start at $600 too. I currently live in sandiego and will be moving to the coast of oregon or inland such as Medford or Eugene.

    by mary11 — February 10, 2017

  170. I hope to retire in August 2018. I am currently renting in Chicago (Brrrr!) and want to find a rental in the Phoenix area. I’m hoping to find a one-bedroom or big studio under $1000/month. I think I would prefer a 50+ active adult community. I plan to travel there in August 2017 to scout around and look for a place. I’d appreciate any suggestions of 55+ communities where I can rent.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    by Edna — February 10, 2017

  171. I live in Phoenix. Here is a link for getting info on renting apartments for under $1000.00 in this area.

    by Lulu — February 11, 2017

  172. Robert,
    Check out Wichita Falls, Texas.

    by DeyErmand — February 11, 2017

  173. Robert,
    Don’t know if you would consider NE Tennessee (Tri-Cities area, etc.). My friend’s daughter just bought a lovely home for $100,000 in Greeneville. The house is a brick split with one acre. I know that splits were popular in the 70’s or 80’s; but i’m really not sure when it was built. Greeneville is the next major town south of Johnson City, the largest one of the Tri-City area. The downtown area is very appealing and the area is continually growing in amenities. Hope that this may help.

    I moved from NY to TN in Sept., and for the first time, my mail-order prescription meds are being taxed (6%).

    by ella — February 11, 2017

  174. Robert,
    Sorry, my last sentence was describing Greeneville, not Johnson City.

    by ella — February 11, 2017

  175. Yeah, Tennessee sounds appealing because of no state income tax, but they get you on the sales tax. Not great if you’re low to moderate income.

    by Vickie — February 12, 2017

  176. ella, Perhaps you have posted it earlier and I missed it, but I see you are now in Upper East TN. I do hope you are happy with your choice as I had suggested that you might. I know that there are some significant lifestyle and cultural changes, but I know you can adapt and hope everything will all work out well for your.

    by Rich — February 12, 2017

  177. Hello, Anyone out there know of any moderate, say < $1400/mo for active retirement living just about anywhere north, or west of Seattle, but not on WA coast? Thanks!

    by Olivia — February 13, 2017

  178. Edna, here are a couple more links to senior living rentals in Phoenix with rents under $1,000.

    (sorry these are not hyperlinks, so you would need to copy and paste them)

    If you find one of interest, you might want to write back to see what the bloggers on this site have to say about that area of Phoenix as to safety, traffic, etc.

    Also on this Top Retirement site, scroll to bottom to:
    Help page | Find a Community | Active Adult Communities
    Under Active Adult communities you should find “Active adult communities by state” to find a list of the best 55+ active adult communities by state and city, for at least the names of several communities. From there you can go on their individual websites to check if rental homes are available and at what price.

    Wishing you luck in your search!

    by BeckyN — February 13, 2017

  179. Olivia, try

    Good Luck

    by BeckyN — February 13, 2017

  180. Hi Rich,
    So nice to hear from you, and how thoughtful of you to reach out to me concerning my well-being.

    The original move was pretty rough on us, but i don’t think it was the change in culture, necessarily. More just that everything was new. We continually got lost while driving, didn’t know where to go for anything, or what events were worth doing or not. Food prices were quite a bit higher than we were used to, and that threw us for a loop as well.

    We are currently renting a furnished apartment in Jonesborough, but don’t know yet if we’ll stay in this area or not. It is not what we expected. The people are incredibly friendly, and we love that. Many in this area are transplants, and the makes for very little culture shock, if any. However, we were hoping to live in a more rural, wooded area; and this part of Tennessee is not rural or wooded. The closest towns, for shopping, for example, are large. The area is agricultural with hills bare of woods, used for hay or cows.

    We spent our first few months settling in, and then the cold weather arrived which cut down on our exploring new areas. Once March gets here, i think we’ll explore other areas in TN, as well as a town or two in SW NC, and the Blue Ridge mountain towns of Northern Georgia. That’s a tall order, and we don’t want to be unattached forever; so i’m not sure what will be the deciding factor as to where we’ll settle. It would be so nice to have a home again! So glad you are happy with yours. A true blessing! Sending my best to you!

    by ella — February 14, 2017

  181. Actually, I understand your dilemma completely! My desire would be a wooded environment also. Unfortunately, to some extent, higher food prices may go along with being farther away from the big cities. I would still say east TN or SW NC is worth exploring. I also like upper NW GA, but have no real experience there — just a couple of quick visits.

    You may know that Doc Stickel has now relocated to a new home near Waynesville, NC. It might be worth pinging him.

    Admin/John — if possible, a nice feature for TopRetirements would be the ability to “Mention” a username so they got an email if they are — well, mentioned. But that may be a function limited to formal “Forums”.

    by Rich — February 15, 2017

  182. Where can one find resources about how to locate and then evaluate what 55+ Mobile Home parks entail for those of us low-income seniors who want to rent, especially for those who rely on public transit? I’ve sent 2 emails to who seems to be a guru on this subject, Bob Bradley, of ROC USA, but he never wrote back.
    I do not want to go the HUD or other public housing routes because the offerings their tend to be in less desirable neighborhoods in which I’d feel unsafe/uncomfortable.

    by JohnR — July 15, 2017

  183. Correction to my previous post: The name of the person, with ROC USA, is Paul (not Bob) Bradley, who is President of that organization.

    by JohnR — July 15, 2017

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