Finance Tips for Those Who Plan to be Snowbirds in the Future – At a certain point, some retirees get tired of the cold. Rather than spending a miserable winter up north they pack and head out to states like Florida and here in Arizona to stay warm all year long. The key to making a snowbird lifestyle work in the future is to do your research right now before you get to the best years of your life. Many financial experts will recommend you take the following five steps before deciding to become a snowbird in your future.
If you are unsure of where you would like to go in your summers as a snowbird, rent before you buy and for several years before you make a final decision
There are a large number of snowbirds that become absentee landlords because they buy a house very quickly in a destination they feel they love and decide it’s not for them so they end up renting it out.
Instead of falling in love with a destination in a rush to purchase a home in a summer atmosphere, rent for a few years in several different locations before you purchase a home. In these locations, you should stay for a long amount of time to make sure that you really would enjoy spending time there for half of the year. This could take several years leading up to the point when you become an actual snowbird.
Be prepared to pay and have someone look out for your second property
Homes in the north may need just a simple winterizing and locking up before an owner leaves them behind. Homes in southern locations, most often in tropical climates, need hands-on maintenance year-round. A good way to save on the expenses of having someone look after your home while you’re not in it is to purchase a condo or home in a 55+ community with a homeowners association that can take care of exterior maintenance for you while you are gone. It is a good idea to start saving up for these types of extra expenses well in advance of when you plan to begin the snowbird lifestyle.
Be prepared for more organization
With two homes there will be twice the amount of home needs to track. This will include twice the amount of paperwork, twice the amount of important documents, twice the amount of purchase paperwork, twice the amount of emergency documents and powers of attorney etc. If you are comfortable with storing items in the cloud you can easily access them from anywhere digitally, however many people feel comfortable having their most important documents in both technology and backed up in paper form. It is important to have a hard paper copy of important documents at each home that you live.
Save, save, and save some more to be prepared financially
Retirement costs a fair amount as it is, but being snowbirds is going to cost significantly more especially with the purchase and upkeep of a second home. Everything included in the cost of living in a home is going to be doubled from utilities to maintenance to even having a car, and then there is the added cost of travel expenses to get to and from each location each year. Many financial advisors will tell you to start saving as early as your 20s for retirement if you plan to be a snowbird in retirement you will want to start saving right now and save more than you think you should.
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