Ross Barnett Reservoir
Many Retirees Ask:
Can We Afford To Stay
by Dave Robertson
DaveR@LiveSouth.com Here In Retirement?
For decades, retirees have moved south for a lower cost of living and warmer winter
weather. As many people about to retire
brace for winter, they also brace for higher
property taxes. The question is—“Can I
afford to stay here in retirement?” It’s not
just about better weather anymore.
The Newark, NJ, Star Ledger said that
the so-called ‘millionaire’s tax’ is just the tip
of the iceberg for many. Already taxed as
the highest property owners in the country,
New Jersey is just one example of a growing
exodus to lower taxes and reduced cost of
living. Many families can no longer afford
to stay in their homes after retirement.
A 30-year-old, 1,800-square-foot home
in Parsippany, NJ, for example, has annual
property taxes in excess of $15,000. Add
$1,000 monthly maintenance, lawn care,
snow removal and utilities to the annual
cost of keeping a debt-free home, and it
exceeds $36,000. For couples earning a
$200,000, pre-tax income, it’s no problem,
but when they retire and only receive a
$60,000 a year pension, they may not be
able to maintain their lifestyle, especially
when cash-strapped municipalities raise
taxes to make ends meet.
The Carolinas and Tennessee are two
popular places attracting buyers. The
Forbes.com article “America’s Money is
Relocating south will save, on average,
44 percent off their cost of living and tax
burden. You can use home equity to buy a
nicer, new home, lower your cost of living,
get better weather and have money left over.
Why wait? Values are better than they have
been in a decade.
Heading South” listed buyers’ top five
counties based on IRS data; three are in
Florida. Collier County (Naples) is number
one, with Nassau County (south of Jacksonville) number three and Walton County
fifth respectively. Greene County (Lake
Oconee), GA, is number two.
“Puerto Rico: The Caribbean’s Best Kept
Secret” (see page 54) offers tax incentives for
real estate buyers. Some are heading to other
countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico,
Panama and St. Lucia, which is predicted to
be the next “it” Caribbean island.
©IS TOCKPHOTO.COM/ABEL MI TJA VARELA
Jim Taylor, Vice Chair of The Harrison
Group, which produces the annual Ameri-
can Express Wealth study, said, “Americans
with a net worth of $4.6 to $17 million
plan a 300 percent increase in real estate
purchases this spring.” He continued, “this
intent to buy is largely value driven.”
Whether it’s a place to enjoy family,
better weather or a lower cost of living, get
what you want while you are young enough
to enjoy it. Your “Ideal” lifestyle is waiting;
visit www.LiveSouthShows.com and RSVP
to attend a show in your area and get
more information to improve your lifestyle.