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 Congratulations!  You have found the most comprehensive independent "over 50" site on the web!!  You, or someone you love, will benefit from:  www.SeniorARK.com  Thousands of valuable Money-Saving Tips and Links to help Seniors and Caregivers Survive retirement! 

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 "A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul."     ~ Phillip Moffitt

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1. Consider moving to a less expensive area. There are wonderful small towns in the country with low-cost housing. Sell the big house in the city, bank the money, and scale down a bit. Meet new people, expand your horizons. Investigate on the web. Start at Realtor.com. Then search on the web for info on the state and area where the town is located. I have done this myself, and will be glad to talk with anyone needing help about my process. Bob, New Castle, PA  springpure@aol.com                                  

2. Why in the world is Pennsylvania rapidly becoming a retirement mecca in the north? Many Seniors have decided that the hot south is not their cup of iced tea, and are looking for less expensive areas in the northeast. So why is the move toward Pennsylvania? Is it lower taxes, lower prices for housing, lower cost of living, senior drug program, scenery, history, friendly folks, a cultural and sporting buffet, or lower unemployment? Which is it? Or is it all of the above?

3. Go to tips/household for information on maintaining a home.

4. Great Retirement Housing on Less than a Shoestring A Quality, but cheap, place to retire? Are you entering retirement fearing that you may not be able to make ends meet? You have a "little" equity in a home, or "some" savings but are paying rent. Or no savings and are paying rent. You know that you can't afford to stay in the high-cost area where you have been, but don't know where to go?

One of our volunteers  faced the exact same situation, and has created a special SeniorArk feature to show you what he and his wife did about housing as they entered retirement..  This section is probably not for those with lots of options. It is about going back to basics in housing in order to survive in retirement. No, he doesn't live in a van---down by the river. He lives in a nice home in a wonderful community. This article shows us that there are affordable places for retirees to live for around $50,000. .  

Great Retirement Housing on Less than a Shoestring

5. Live golden years near campuses
Lloyd Huck, 83, a retired chairman of the board of Merck & Co, lives on the campus of Penn State University, his alma mater. He takes a class and enjoys football games and theater. (Alan Wycheck/ Getty Images)

6.Pittsburgh ranks 9th on magazine's list of 'smartest places to live'   Kiplingers Magazine ranked the Pittsburgh metropolitan area ninth in the nation in its list of the smartest places to set down roots, the magazine said yesterday. Affordability, cultural and leisure activities, education options and quality housing were major factors.

7. Mortgage and amortization calculations. Kiplingers Calculations
8. 50 Smart Places to LiveKiplinger.com, June 2006  "You told us your ideal city is fun, vibrant and affordable. We found dozens that fit the bill."  Another Kiplinger article discusses the Five Smartest Cities for Retirees 
9. Go to: Care Facilities by State (Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, so far)
10. Don't miss the Business Week Article  on "Where the Affordable Homes Are"
11.  It appears that Pennsylvania is rapidly becoming a favorite  retirement destination.  

       Why Folks are Retiring to Pennsylvania: 53 Great Pennsylvania Retirement Towns

Really cheap, and cool, housing!

12. When looking for an affordable place to retire, find out how property is taxed. Learn what type of property is taxed, what the tax rates are, and what the exemptions are. For instance, Florida has no income tax, but in addition to a high sales tax there is an intangible personal property tax that taxes a person's investment portfolio. So it might not be the cheapest place to retire. Watch out for local income taxes. States can levy income taxes either at the state, county, or city level. See charts on taxes by state. Also see the expanded section on tax rates favorable to seniors in Pennsylvania.

13. The biggest consideration in finding an affordable place to retire is housing. A good rule of thumb is to assume your housing costs will probably consume at least 30 percent of your expenses. When looking for a cheap place to retire, consider that even though most mortgages have been paid off by retirement age, taxes and upkeep will increase.

14.An Inexpensive Small Town Gem for Retirees  and  Reader submissions for inexpensive areas to retire.
15. See how your state ranks in taxes in the 2007 assessment done by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau and Tax Foundation.
16. Article on the top ten American cities for retirees, based on cost-of-living.
17. Top American Cities for Seniors---Study, Bankers Life and Casualty Company
18. One more thing to put into the equation when deciding where to retire. Survey of top 25 US cities. Least to Most Courteous drivers.

Most Livable Cities in America

19. Places Rated Almanac has published its 2007 list of the "Most Livable Cities in America" 

20. While Americans used to travel south to enjoy the golden years - and many still do, studies have shown an ever-increasing number of retirees are moving back home. Northward. Others, referred to as "half-backs" are returning in the general direction whence they came - but stop short in the middle. The University of Florida has offered the term "temporary migration" to describe this trend in a 2004 report on the matter. It turns out that 89% of those who returned home from Florida within six months had originally gone there for lifestyle reasons. Younger families in their 40's tended to stay longer.

21. Nine things to consider when choosing a new retirement location
22. Finding a new location involves more than just a house. An independent federal agency,  the Corporation for National and Community Service, has just published a list which ranks the 50 largest US cities by the number of "helping hands" in the community. Read "Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Helping Hands?"
23. Check out the invaluable U.S. Government H.U.D site for many a lot of information on a variety of living options.
24. "Where to Live and Play: 31 Adventure Towns"   nationalgeographic.com logo
25. 20 States with  no (only Pennsylvania) , or reduced (19) , state income tax on

       retirement benefits.

26. Forbes has just published a review of the 10 most stable U.S. housing markets in 2007.        Forbes: 10 Most Stable 2007 Housing Markets
27. World's Cleanest Cities  Forbes
28. AOL "Money and Finance": December 26, 2007  Where are the 13 worst places to retire? Read the complete article.

29. After all those decades of stashing money away for retirement, retirees should look for a place that will not only make them happy, but also keep their nest egg intact. Areas with a track record of slow, steady economic growth and home price appreciation are ones that will hold onto their value best. notes Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. These same places are also more likely to rebound quickly when nationwide economic conditions improve. www.SmartMoney.com  discusses 7 Recession-Proof Cities Retirees Should Consider. 2-25-08

30. There is a lovely 4-bedroom home in my neighborhood. Four seniors have banded together to rent, and share, this substantial residence. Although I am not on the inside to see for myself, it seems to work out quite well. I would think you would need to have some good written rules, and would need to select your housemates very carefully.
31. Forbes.com lists the top 7 States for Retirees from a perspective of being TAX HAVENS.

And here they are.

32. Go to Realtor.com and check out Palm Bay, FL, if you have considered Florida. Housing there has gone down by 50% in the last 2 years. Watch out for harmful drywall produced in recent years in China. There can be serious health risks from that product. This SHOULD be revealed on each listing, but ask the Realtor about it on any house you have serious interest in buying.
33. If you want to retire near or on a college campus, let Campus Continuum know. The company, based in Newton, Mass., is conducting a survey to determine the college campuses that would be most attractive to prospective residents. The company builds and operates university-based residential communities for people 55 and older. To participate, go to www.campuscontinuum.com and click on “Consumer Survey.”
34. A huge issue for those who retire to a foreign country is that Medicare coverage does not extend beyond U.S. borders. You'll either have to return to the U.S. for any care or budget to pay for care or insurance in your new home away from home. Either way, it can be more expensive than you bargained for.

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Where can I find -- a great home -- in a great town --  for less than $50,000?

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