31 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2014 9:17 AM by BoBraxton

    Are you considering snowbirding?

    BoBraxton

      start a discussion thread on snowbirding

      This is not in the works for us (age 70); however, the sister of my spouse is struggling with this issue - between Montana (on the high line) and Tucson, AZ.

        • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
          JerryD

          No need to be a snowbird. Our winter is only really about 6 weeks long. Too short to pack up and unpack a couple of times.

           

          We do spend some time at the RV "up North". Well, not that far north. We can open the place in 1/2 hour if you don't count waiting for the refrigerators to cool down. Not a problem if you pick up a few cold ones on the way. Besides, I can always just show up and the resort owner's office and it takes only a couple of minutes before he asks if I want a cold one. You see, he seems to have this thing about drinking alone.  :-))))

           

          Shutting the RV down is longer due to shutting the frigs down, letting them warm up and cleaning off the moisture. We could let them on between trips like many do and just "use the resort owner's electricity" as we are fond of saying but I have this thing about leaving power and other utilities "hot" when there is nobody there to watch them. There is something to the thought that one never gets rich running a resort with a less than100 day season and we feel a bit sorry to just let the electricity running for our slight convenience the next time we come.

            • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
              BoBraxton

              our "back and forth" is three hours (one way) and we go for just a few days each a few times per year, seasonal, vacation In fact, we just had the plumber "winterize" (drain plumbing pipes and fixtures) two months this year and the first three months (at least) upcoming year - until time to "de-winterize"

            • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
              MyR Community Manager

              Thanks for starting this discussion thread, BoBraxton. CurtGufe, please post your thoughts on this topic!

              • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
                herbyreed

                For me snowbirding makes sense if one has grandchildren/family in the two locations.  What makes sense to me is to keep the paid off family house in the one location and rent or buy an apartment or small house at the other location.  I would only go the RV route if there were multiple locations one wished to visit for extended periods each year. 

                  • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
                    smaneck

                    I more or less own my house here in Mississippi free and clear (I bought it with a loan from my solo401K.) Lake Tahoe is trickier. Houses there cost real money! I'm thinking of maybe buying a Forest Service Cabin. Seems appropriate for a snow bird.

                    • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
                      JerryD

                      Whereas we don't do the "snowbird" thing we do go back home for some stays up to a month. We used to have a reliable place that was adequate but far from posh. It was reasonable. When we lost that long-term solution to extended stay occupants, I started networking with people we know where we want to stay. One came up with a far nicer place at the same reasonable rate. Another schoolmate that lives far from the family home that was inherited came up with an offer to rent on a daily basis at a rate that blew us away. Two couples from the hometown stayed in a family home for a fraction charged elsewhere.

                       

                      Do a little planning and some networking. You might be surprised at what pops up.   :-))))

                      • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                        BoBraxton

                        We have but one offspring (now age 43) so the grandchildren (two) are in one place and very near us (we can walk or bicycle there, as can they to us).

                      • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
                        jkom51

                        My spouse's aunt and uncle in Calgary Alberta did this for a couple of decades. They bought a condo in AZ, near Flagstaff, in a senior community. They loved it, as it gave them the best of both worlds:

                         

                        - Winter in AZ, in a community with lots of activities. They got into C&W, and then line, dancing classes. Had a great time, made lots of friends. After about 15 yrs quite a few of their old friends had passed away, and they sold their condo to buy into a newer senior community. The condo was a little smaller but still very comfortable, with the extra bd/ba for an occasional guest.

                         

                        - Summer at home in Calgary, family nearby, all the health/pension benefits as Canadian residents.

                         

                        As they aged, the drive RT became more of a problem. They were just thinking of selling the condo when unfortunately they had a rather bad auto accident driving back to Canada. Came out of it okay, but had to face the reality the uncle would always need some assisted care.

                         

                        As it turned out, their daughter bought the condo from them, so they didn't lose any $$$. Sold their Calgary home and moved into senior living about 6 yrs ago. The wife, my husband's aunt, still lives there but his uncle has passed away.

                         

                        I reiterate the point I've made before: no matter what you do in retirement, think about extreme old age/disability. In the U.S., going into senior living/assisted care is private, not government-funded as it is in Canada. My husband has 230+ relatives in Canada, and they think we're nuts for having to pay so much of our own money to ensure an old age in pleasant living conditions!

                          • Re: Snowbirding has a lot of issues
                            smaneck

                            Snowbirding in Flagstaff? I thought the whole point of snowbirding was to get out of the snow!

                             

                            As for extreme old age, I think there are two solutions to this problem, one which I'm already, the other of which I'm considering. The one I'm already doing is Long Term Care Insurance. The second is a Longevity Annuity which wouldn't begin paying out until I'm 80 or 85. These can now be purchased inside of an IRA or 401K without being subject to RMD until the payout date. Since the actuaries are counting on you dying before or soon after payout begins you can get a pretty nice annuity payment for 50-100K investment made at 60 or 65. For me it would mean being able to enjoy my retirement without worrying about running out of money if I live too long. Yeah, if I die early all that money goes to waste, but how much money would I have to keep in reserve otherwise just in case I live to be 100?

                             

                            And by the way, your Canadian relatives are right. We are nuts.

                            • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                              Sharon

                              Love the idea of "snow birding" back to Calgary, Canada and enjoying the winters!!! Hate the heat and Canada does have winter and my husband is Canadian.  Must  get him to read these articles and maybe I can get him to move back to Canada and see his relatives!  Then medical won't be a worry as we get into our 90's. And by then the grandkids will be grown,

                              My Aunt is 99 and on her own but soon may need to visit doctors and have help, so having government care sounds good.

                              • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                BoBraxton

                                perhaps we are (speaking for myself, no one else).

                              • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                Sharon

                                Is there a word that is the opposite of snow birding?

                                I live where it is expensive and hot all year.

                                I pray for snow and go to places that are cold as much as I can afford.

                                But grandkids are here so downsizing to a cozy COLD place would be wonderful, but I'd miss the little guys too much.

                                At least I can take them to the snow.

                                  • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                    JerryD

                                    "Is there a word that is the opposite of snow birding?" Skier???

                                      • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                        Sharon

                                        My idea of snowbirding is living where it snows and never never gets hotter than 80 degrees. We need to downsize and live on our $4200 a month income someplace where we can spend only 400000 on a house and invest the other $400000 from the sale of our home. Im researching all over the USA. Any ideas?

                                        Ive loved your comments over the past few years. You've been through similar situations and come out ok. You seem to be in similar age bracket. We are 69.

                                         

                                        Sent from my iPhone

                                          • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                            JerryD

                                            I am personally very familiar with locations in the snow belt of the US up on Lake Superior. Last winter one specific location had 340" of snow. Homes there are old but some have been fixed up. There are also some newer ones. I know of one specific newer home at your price range that is located on a waterway with access to Lake Superior, a very nice dock, built by a quality builder, in a rural setting within 10 miles of town and within 20 miles of an STEM university that has national sports and college activities. If you are interested in the area and/or this house send me a personal email through my profile.

                                             

                                            PS: If your husband is Canadian, ask him if he knows who Tony Esposito is. He was a national champion goalie who graduated from this university and played for Chicago. I believe there are some other retired hockey players in the area.

                                            • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                              smaneck

                                              $400,000 for a house? seriously?

                                               

                                              For that much money you can buy ten houses here in Mississippi and rent all of them out for $800 a month producing nearly 100K of income a year. I just downsized from a four bedroom two story house to a three bedroom 2ba house without about 1700 sq. feet. I paid 30K  in cash for it and I love it. I now own 5 houses here. One more house and I will have replaced the income from my job.

                                                • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                                  Sharon

                                                  And how hot does it get in Mississippi in the summer?  Need under 80 degree weather. Don't care how cold it gets, just can't take heat.

                                                  • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                                    JerryD

                                                    Never have owned a "rent house" as they call them here, but I am quite surprised at the income you describe. One of the kids sold a house like you bought, possibly smaller, and got $150,000. We are not in Mississippi but we can be considered in the South and it is certainly not a high price area.

                                                     

                                                    It has been my experience that used homes in low-value areas could never be re-built for what others are willing to pay for it used. I remember that I read years ago now that the value increase in a house is really for the property - the old "that's the price if you want to live in this town" phenomenon.

                                                      • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                                        smaneck

                                                        The recession was late in hitting Mississippi because our real estate was

                                                        never over-valued in the first place, but when it hit, it hit hard. The

                                                        neighborhood where I have most of my rental property is a predominantly

                                                        African-American working class neighborhoods. Most of the people who live

                                                        here own their own homes and keep their lawn mowed. But many became victims

                                                        of predatory lending and hence we had a lot of foreclosures. Right after

                                                        hurricane Katrina most of the houses in the neighborhood were worth over

                                                        100K. Now I'm buying them at 30-35K. Once these houses went below 55K only

                                                        investors paying cash could afford to buy them because homeowners can't get

                                                        mortgages for less 50K.

                                                         

                                                        On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 5:37 AM, JerryD <communities@tiaacommunities.org>

                                                        • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                                          BoBraxton

                                                          Certainly the case both with our primary residence and vacation shore-line "cottage"

                                                          In this state, the assessment is stated between "Land" and "Improvements" and in both cases it is the Land that is by far the higher stated monetary value. Real estate property taxes are based on the sum of the two - and in each case we pay half the year at a time (June and late November or so).

                                                  • Re: Are you considering snowbirding?
                                                    BoBraxton

                                                    Perhaps the no-snow-boarders could be called the hiber-nation.