Archive: October 2009
The sky is pink and golden, a warm ocean breeze ripples over the dunes, and a pair of wild horses gently step along the shore, enjoying dusk near the water’s edge. While taking in such a beautiful sight, it’s not surprising that many vacationers’ thoughts turn toward investment properties and retirement in the Outer Banks (OBX). Retirement in North Carolina is on the rise and the picturesque shores of the Outer Banks are becoming a Baby Boomer hot spot. The mild weather, leisure activities and low property taxes draw new residents to this unique stretch of islands.
Richard and Frayda Kerstein have relocated to sunny Florida, yet they have found new ways to easily stay in touch with their children and grandchildren back in Massachusetts. Like many relocated retirees, the Kersteins take advantage of today’s communication technologies to breach the physical distance separating them from family and friends. At one time, retiring across the country meant sacrificing frequent communication with your children. Today, communication technologies, such as those listed below, give couples like the Kersteins the freedom to retire to their dream locations and still stay involved in their family’s lives.
It is nearly impossible to think of Las Vegas without picturing the glittering lights of its famous casino-lined Strip. This impressive stretch of spectacular hotels and casinos bustles around the clock, exuding the powerful energy of high risk and heady promise. Yet there is more to Las Vegas than glitzy gambling. Many people considering retirement to Las Vegas might conjure up images days spent by the pool and nights at the casinos. But ask just about any resident of a Las Vegas active adult community and they will tell you there is so much more to see than what the typical tourist experiences.
It is frequently said that you must love yourself before you can love someone else. This bit of wisdom is often given to young adults in search of new love, yet it applies in later stages of life and to relationships that are well established as well. How does this bit of conventional wisdom relate to empty nesters? Many couples experience a more satisfying sex life and greater marital happiness once their children have left the nest. With increased privacy, and decreased daily parenting responsibilities, that may not seem surprising. Yet, as reported in the New York Times earlier this year, researchers have found that it is not necessarily the quantity of time couples spend alone together, but the quality of that time which improves marital happiness.
It’s been said that home is where the heart is. Your home has seen holiday dinners and birthday parties, playdates and science projects, arguments and reconciliations. Moving out of the house where you raised your family may feel like leaving a piece of your heart behind. For many empty nesters, a decision will come to move out of the family home. Perhaps you are embarking on your long awaited beach retirement or realizing your dream of a smaller, low-maintenance home. Although you are happy about your future plans, you may feel sadness when the time comes to move out. While this is to be expected, there are some things you can do to help with this transition.
A century ago, kitchens were relegated to the back of the house. A kitchen far removed from the social areas of the home was a sign of affluence. Yet today, many Americans recognize the kitchen as the true heart of family gatherings and design the room accordingly. A recent study by the Electrolux group found that kitchens are being used for much more than food preparation. Nearly nine in 10 Americans (86%) are involved in some sort of activity in their kitchen besides cooking or eating, and more than two thirds of adults (67%) say they use their kitchen to socialize and entertain guests.
It’s 4:30 in the afternoon and the house is quiet. The whirlwind of racing to after school activities is no longer a part of your daily life. You are free to plan dinnertime without first checking team practice schedules and your weekend is again your own. This is life in a newly empty nest; simultaneously freeing and perplexing. The term Empty Nest Syndrome gained popularity in the 1970s and has since been considered a standard rite of passage for parents, particularly for mothers. Yet recent research has shown that for that majority of parents Empty Nest Syndrome may not be nearly as bad as we’ve been led to believe.
Meritage Homes Corporation reported today that they have purchased Province in Maricopa, AZ. Province is a popular active adult community near Phoenix. In 2006, it was voted the Best Active Adult community in the country by the National Association of Homebuilders. Province opened for sales in 2004 by the original developer, Engle Homes. Despite its initial success the real estate downturn proved detrimental to the Maricopa real estate market. As a result, Engle Homes filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Since then, the banks that financed the community have shopped for a buyer to complete the property.
No matter how well we plan for the future, there are some things we just can’t foresee. Planning for retirement is one of the most thought-out, long term processes, as well as one of the most important financial journeys we can undertake. Unfortunately, retirement finances are just as subject to volatile changes in the market as any other investments. Many seniors have seen their assets severely cut during the last few years and may wonder what this means for their retirement options. If you were affected by economic downturns and fear that you now must work longer and put off your long awaited journey into comfortable retirement living, consider some other factors first. Perhaps Florida or California were at the top of the list, but are no longer an option due to high relocation costs or other financial reasons.