Our lawyer sons and daughters likely pushed that. No caving to sentiment.
They showed us how that made good financial common sense. After all, house ownership pulls us into non-stop expenses which can't be controlled or even really anticipated.
Those range from accidental damage to the property which isn't covered by insurance to continuous increases in property taxes.
Regarding the latter, a 64-year-old communications colleague owns a modest ranch in Trumbull, Connecticut. The annual tax has reached $21,000. Since GE is relocating from the area to Boston, he isn't optimistic about being able to sell. Not now. Maybe not for years. He regrets not getting out from under that financial burden about 5 years ago.
After we take the prudent course of action - selling the family house - we Baby Boomers become again, for the first time in decades, renters.
According to CNBC, Baby Boomers are the fastest growing group of renters. By 2020, about 5 million of us will be opting to rent, not buy, our next kind of housing.
Unfortunately, that newbie status has made us sitting ducks for the lure of those move-in incentives promoted on the internet.
WARNING: Shop around for the right rental for your unique budget. "Right" means that you can plan on a long-term stay or actually settling in. Heavily advertised incentives cover the short term. After that, what kicks in might throw you off your carefully worked out budget.
For example, Pleasant Lake Apartments, based in Parma, Ohio promotes under-$500 monthly rent, including heat, with two months free, and special discounts for senior citizens. The location is a short drive to Lake Erie and to downtown Cleveland. Nice deal, right.
However, when I checked that out in-person, I found out the bargain only lasts 8 months.
After that, my monthly rent would be raised about $140. I have the option of locking in that rent price for 24 months.
Following those 24 months, the ownership has full control how much my rent would then be increased.
Since Cleveland has come back, the rent situation could mimic what happened in areas such as Jersey City, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York.
You bet, as a result, my budget might force me to move, which is an expensive and a soul-wrenching ordeal.
In Irwin, Pennsylvania, 540 square foot one-bedroom apartments at Villages of Easton are advertised for as low as $355. Add on an extra $40 rent for keeping a dog. But, still, for a location about a half hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh, this is mighty seductive. Pittsburgh has also roared back.
When I checked that out in-person, I was informed that for every rental there is what is known as an "ancillary services" fee of $140.
That covers mostly what is usually included in the basic rent: entities such as landscaping and maintenance. The extras in the ancillary package are cable (which I don't want) and access to the internet (which I am used to purchasing on my own, after hunting for the best price). Other out-of-pocket expenses are electric, water, and sewage.
Not such a sweet deal.
In addition, there are other factors to consider when selecting where to rent.
For example, in OH, as opposed to PA, there are no auto inspections for emissions and safety. When I put on my journalism cap and interviewed PA residents about how strict the PA annual inspection procedures are, they essentially answered "very." That could not only result in costly repair bills. It also creates annual angst about passing or not passing.
Probably the search for the right apartment should start on your network. Ask friends and colleagues about where the rents are affordable and there have not been wild increases. Then invest the time to interview the leasing agent and roam the complex casually asking residents about what they like and don't like about renting there.
Ideally, you want a forever rental.
One day, I took the Metro North from my home in Connecticut to Manhattan and picked up new business. The next day, I walked into the conference to pitch and jaws dropped.
Yes, I had become a victim of age bias. But, not for long ...
The good news is that there are proven ways to prevent age discrimination in our professional (and social) lives and outfox it when it is standard.
Here are 2 new books you can download at no cost (and nobody is collecting your data and selling it to owners of apartment rental complexes):
Since those grim days when I first got it that ageism exists, I have expanded my coaching mission to those over-50.
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The first session is on me.
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