They even have a label: equity refugees.
So they migrate from high cost of living locations such as Orange County, California, to more affordable ones like Phoenix, Arizona.
In the latter, according to NerdWallet, the difference is about 56%. Here are more details from CN Cronkite News.
During 2017, the U.S. Census documents, AZ gained 107,628 residents. Among them are the financial comfortable over-50 who want to keep it that way. By buying property in AZ, as opposed to, for example, pricey West and Northeast regions, they are betting on dying with assets.
However, that adage - mankind plans, the gods laugh - may wind up applying. The growing popularity of AZ can make it unaffordable to the aging who must monitor carefully what goes out of their portfolio.
Take a small example of what is already happening.
In April 2014, I was among the Equity Refugees, migrating from the New York Metro area to Tucson, AZ.
Immediately, the monthly nut I was ponying up for rent was slashed. So was car insurance. There was no property tax on my auto as there had been in New Haven, Connecticut. Gas was also significantly less expensive. And by taking a 90-minute drive to Mexico and becoming a Dental Tourist, I saved about two-thirds on the bills for dental procedures.
In addition, the AZ ethos was not careerist. For the first time since I got serious about my professional life, I could relax. I was not called upon to justify how successful I was or to lower my eyes in shame because I had never made it into the 1%.
Because there was reduced age bias, I could pick up three part-time jobs in order to learn new technologies "on the company." Also, that boosted what I was earning from my two lines of business: communications and coaching those over-50.
That was then.
During the 27 months I bunked in AZ, the rent kept going up, on the average, about 50 bucks annually at lease-renewal time. Now, the complex's website indicates, the rent for an efficiency is $540. Add on:
- The $30 per month pet fee
- Electricity which can run lots more than $100 a month for air-conditioning in the 122-degree heat in summer and the below-40 degree temperatures in winter.
- Internet which costs about $40 per month.
Also, registering a car is relatively expensive. And that car must past emissions inspections.
What might be thought of as Arizona Dreamin' takes on the characteristics of a kind of Paradise Lost. Of course, equity refugees should factor in the culture shock of re-locating to the desert.
Researching has been part of my professional skills since my doctoral studies. So, of course, after the first boost in rent I hit the internet doing due diligence about the cost of living in other parts of America as well as overseas. Yes, I was aging, but the first move didn't have to be, to apply the cliché, the last gas station in the desert.
The search turned up Eastern Ohio, about an hour's drive from where I had put together the first 10 years of my career. Instead of desert, there were woods with white-tailed deer. The people are more EastCoast than even those who had migrated from that area to AZ.
In September 2016, I blew into town. What I rented has been a huge one-bedroom apartment with two walk-in closets and a walk-in pantry I transformed into a meditation room. At the time, the total nut, which included all utilities (yes, heat as well as air-conditioning) and pet rent, had been $632.
At the first lease renewal time the rent went up one buck. Yes, one buck.
At the second lease renewal time, the best incentive discount was the senior-citizen one. In September the rent will be $618. That covers keeping a dog.
In Eastern OH, there are no emission tests. And no annual car inspections.
In 2017, I sent a number of checks for deposit in my brokerage account at Edward Jones. This weekend I mailed one for $10,000. And we are just moving into the second half of 2018. It could be possible to return to those days of boom times of economic growth when I funneled a king's ransom into a brokerage account.
Those who are members of the New Aging have the burden of researching where they can truly protect their assets.
Obviously, the popularity of AZ is making it increasingly less attractive for betting on dying with the portfolio still intact. In essence, the aging have to beware those locations touted by the media to be affordable places for us. Those range from the desert of AZ to the major cities in Ecuador.
Tip: Look for affordable but not growing in popularity.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Over-50: Outsmarting Your Comfort Zone” https://over-50.typepad.com/over-50/2018/05/outsmarting-your-comfort-zone-free-book.html
“Over-50: The Four Monsters in the Mind” https://over-50.typepad.com/over-50/2018/04/ageism-bites-.html