What’s The Most Important Thing In Retirement? To Me, It’s Housing.

There’s only so much land in the world. With that thought in mind, New York City decided to build over the Hudson Railroad Yards and erect an entire city within a city, as a means to conserve land. A whole new neighborhood (called Hudson Yards, click here) has been erected that includes apartments, condos, shopping areas, restaurants, commercial businesses (providing jobs) and a 114 acre open area park. Mostly everything being built is pure luxury. The starting price for a three bedroom condo is $3,000,000 (three million dollars). If that’s too much for you and you only need a studio, the starting price for a one room condo is $1,000,000 (one million dollars).

Brooklyn-Navy-Yard-Building-77-1
Condos, apartments, commercial buildings are being built ON TOP of The Hudson Railroad Yards.

Is it any wonder that New York City (as well as most other cities throughout America) have seen an increase in their homeless population? You can’t miss them in Manhattan. They publicly roam the streets, take baths in the open (once beautiful fountains), sleep on many a park bench and relieve themselves without any shame on the sidewalk curbs.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the silent sweeping changes occurring in America BUT we have slowly become the land of the haves and the have-nots. You’re either rich. Or you’re poor. There no such thing as the middle class anymore.

Can’t afford that $3million price tag and think renting an apartment would be a better solution? Click here to see a list of available apartments for rent at The Hudson Yards. A one bedroom apartment has a starting monthly rent of $2400 a month. If you’ve retired early, you had better have saved over $5,000,000 as Suze Orman suggested (click here). If you haven’t prepared for retirement housing over your working years, you just may wind up part of the homeless trend infiltrating American society.

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Snapshot of current available apartments including monthly rent

Throw in the recently revealed financial fact that the last few years of New York’s socialistic policies: tax the rich to give to the poor  (free college tuition, free health care, sanctuary city status, etc) has caused many financial experts to predict that should a recession hit NY in 2021 (or any financial blip), the entire state will crumble and fold.  Click here for more info. For the first time in 30 years, NY is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. When that shit hits the fan what’s going to happen to all of the above who bought those $3million dollar condos?

According to some financial experts, NYC is currently facing the worst financial situation since February of 1975 when the city, under Democrat Mayor Abraham Beame, literally ran out of money to pay for its operating expenses and was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. Both New York City and New York State are ranked number one in local and state tax burden in the United States. Currently, the top one percent of earners in the city shoulder 50 percent of the tax burden. “If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100%, New York has always been aggressive. But it’s getting worse.

Chasing down former residents to collect taxes is not a long-term solution to the financial crisis New York faces.

If you are shrugging your shoulders now and saying “This can’t happen to me, I don’t live in NY“, think again. The policies that NY follows are probably the same socialistic policies your own state is following. You just don’t know about it. Yet.

Here is my advice, one that I have always stated and I will state it once again. I have always recommended that people buy their own home, no later than age 35. Make it the smallest you can tolerate yet grow your family in. Put as much of a down payment as possible. Keep your mortgage payments low. Get a 30 year, fixed mortgage, (or a 15 year mortgage) pay it off dutifully and hopefully by the time you are 65 and retired, you will have a paid off roof over your head. To me, I feel that having a paid off home in retirement is the smartest, most cost-effective, financially savvy thing any of us can accomplish.

Never ever! borrow out your precious equity or refinance your mortgage (unless it’s for a much lower mortgage rate by at least 1.5% to 2%). Make sure you keep up with maintenance and repairs. Try to do the upkeep yourself. Watch as many YouTube videos needed in order to DIY (Do It Yourself). Try to have a smallish patch of land so that you can grow your own fruits and vegetables (chickens are now permitted on most properties). Make sure you have enough cash ready in savings to cover your taxes for at least 10 years. Failure to pay your property taxes will cause your home to be seized by the local government. Technically, in our lives, we own nothing.

A steady, consistent mortgage payment is one way to hedge against inflation and rising housing costs. Property taxes, however, is another thing. As more and more people move to avoid paying them, they unfortunately bring with them the same political slant they all tried to escape from to their new locations. It’s just a matter of time before the new locale becomes just as burdensome as the old locale. In that case, remaining in place and making cost-cutting decisions in order to pay the rising taxes just may be another good solution.

You’ve been advised. Warned.

Next Up: The 2nd most important thing in retirement: eating. Stay tuned.

For more information on the Hudson Yards (I highly recommend) click here.

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2 comments

  1. I’m glad you mentioned having money for taxes and maintenance on your paid for home. Don’t forget homeowners insurance and HOA fees. We built our house 15 years ago and it is paid for. This past year, we were hit with a series of expensive maintenance on it: The a/c died and had to be replaced ($9000); the roof had to be repaired ($3800); an electrical problem ($500); a window had to be completely replaced frame and all ($400); the house had to be re-piped (long story, $8500); and to top it all off my husband is having a dental implant ($5200). So far, I have been able to cash flow it all without touching my emergency fund but this has been a good reminder of how quickly things can go wrong and how necessary it is to live frugally, well below your means.

    Like

    • Oh Florence. You’re having a bad year for sure. Our home was built new too but that was 17 years ago. We’re paying for upgrades now, such as all new appliances. We’ve been paying cash for everything without touching our savings either.
      Keep the faith. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

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