Real Estate May Be Baby Boomers’ Best Bet

gh-durango_190While financial planners are decrying many boomers’ lack of foresight in retirement planning, many of the generation are smartly utilizing real estate to leapfrog into affordable new lifestyles.

Those who anticipate needing funding for the later chapters of their lives and are fortunate enough to own homes in pricy areas can sell them and move to less expensive locales. Many are in Florida and the southwest. Others are opting for college towns in less well-known areas. Culture abounds, as do part-time work and recreational opportunities, restaurants and high-speed Internet connections.

Deena B. Katz, a financial adviser in Coral Gables, Fla., and the president of Evensky & Katz, summed up the situation: “All along, the boomers have controlled the culture, as they will control retirement. They are redesigning retirement to accommodate what they lack, which is a strong financial base.”

Downsizing is another aspect of financial reorganization. Many boomers will try out alternative living arrangements such as lofts or high rise apartments, preferring lower maintenance, more affordable options.

Yearly lists compiled by different organizations vary widely in the cities listed. Some are gone the next year as people flock to the areas, extinguishing much of their charm and affordability. AARP surveyed boomers to come up with a list of their 15 “dream towns.” As the cost of living varies widely among the different cities, is a free site for comparisons of cities within the country. And offers comparisons of state and local taxes.

Sometimes it’s best to look outside your current urban area to less expensive towns, still within reach of family, friends, medical professionals, etc.

From Fred Brock, the author of “Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future” (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2004) in:

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