Thinking Ahead: Retirement Property

Right, most of you are thinking “I can’t even afford my first house, forget about retirement.” But there are those of us that are thinking about these things. There has been a large exodus from California urban areas in the last 10 years, and will continue to be, due to baby boomers cashing in their equity and moving to a slower-paced life, in a less-expensive, smaller home.

My husband and I are looking down the road a few years to retirement. It has been our intention and goal to semi-retire in our fifties. We’d like to move out of suburbia and have some room to stretch our legs. We’ve seen too many family members either work up until they died, or retire early and succumb to disease and illness in their sixties. We had our children young, so we’d like to spend our later years doing a bit of travel, gardening, and whatnot before infirmities or death set in. While we may very well live into our 80s or 90s, nothing is for certain and we’d like to take advantage of our stable legs and sound mind while we can.

While we don’t have the money to invest in a second home yet, it’s important for us to try and find the right fit, location-wise, which means some travel. There are a few things we are determined to have in our search for a new area to live. One is that we will stay in California and the other is that we want some land. Doesn’t have to be a lot of land, just an acre or so, just so we don’t have to hear our neighbors sneeze and we can sleep without loud music keeping us awake or leaf blowers waking us up. Beyond that we have criteria to help us whittle down the large number of potential sites available to us. They are in no particular order, but I’m sure over time that I will build some sort of spreadsheet and we will develop a rating system to help guide what is sure to be an emotional decision.

  • san-diego-map.jpgPromixity to family (by plane or car)
  • Proximity to major airport
  • Price of real estate
  • Weather ( we like it warm/hot)
  • Quality of medical facilities
  • Cost of living
  • Safety
  • Ability for additional residence on property (for aging parents)

A few months ago I found a link to a site that recommended areas to live based on a few minimal criteria (and which I cannot seem to locate now). It seemed a bit half-assed, but I’m game to try these things in the interest of research. What came back was 8 of the 10 recommended cities were in San Diego County, a place we had never entertained thoughts about (as we live in the SF Bay Area). But it got me searching and wondering, and given that a friend just relocated to Carlsbad, I though it might be a good idea to check it out. So, today my hubby and I are off on a road trip to visit said friend and look at possible cities to retire in San Diego County. I’ve done my homework and there are quite a few, at least on paper. So follow along, and please feel free to chime in on locations, secret places, great restaurants, etc. I look forward to making the acquaintance of your fair county.