The 'Couv'

The 'Couv'

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Should Retirees Avoid areas with Strong Economies?

That seems like an odd question, right? Frankly, it is odd, yet there is merit to thinking it through. A strong economy is very important for many reasons. There are lots of job opportunities, local governments tend to be flush with cash to keep things operating smoothly, property values tend to rise, etc. So why would all that be anything but great for a retiree? The answer is not yes or no, but rather, "it depends."

Generally retirees are not too concerned with the job market they are after all, 'retired'. Retirees are generally living in the last house they will ever own so property values that are high simply reduce the amount of house they can afford and any future profit is deferred to heirs.

But retirees living in an area with a depressed economy have other things to be concerned with. Crime, quality of services, etc. The retiree may be able to buy a much larger and nicer property in an area that is not experiencing an economic boom, thus quality of life could be enhanced.

In the end it really does depend. Retirees that are going to be on a tight budget may want to consider areas that are not quite as booming so as to keep housing expenses reasonable. Retirees in the middle of the financial pack can consider either scenario and those that are in really strong shape would probably benefit from the robust economic conditions of a boom economy.

Regardless of the financial standing of the retiree, a strong housing market is a valuable friend so long as the property is owned and not rented. Even though the appreciation in value is likely to benefit heirs, there are scenarios whereby that equity can be leveraged by the retiree later in life. A reverse mortgage for example can provide income later in life should other resources become scarce.

There are a great many things to consider before making that decision on where to retire. Consulting a professional financial planner is typically a wise move. Washington State offers a wide variety of areas spreading across a large swath of incomes and property values. No income tax and senior discounts on property taxes for qualifying seniors makes Washington State a fantastic place to retire.