You’ve worked hard your whole life. It’s time to retire and you’ve often dreamed of spending your days lounging on a beach. It’s a dream shared by millions of Americans. If you too dream of sandy shores, ocean views and life at a slower pace, a beachfront retirement community, where you can live on or near the water, is the answer.
Although many people think of Florida as the best place to find a beachfront retirement community, there are communities up and down both U.S. coastlines as well as all along the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico even offers beachfront retirement opportunities.
Benefits of Living in a Beachfront Retirement Community
There is a lot to be said for living in a beachfront retirement community. Some of the benefits include:
- A laid-back and potentially luxurious lifestyle
- Many communities have beautiful parks, sprawling golf courses and plenty of water sports, including boating, kayaking, surfing and fishing.
- Beaches are always close by, sometimes just a step from your back door
- Many communities are located in temperate climes
- Most offer lots of scenery and natural environments to enjoy and explore, including lots of hiking opportunities
- More northern locations may also offer opportunities for cross-country and downhill skiing
- Due to their nature, being beachfront, many communities are in towns that are popular tourist destinations and have a wide range of shops and restaurants to enjoy
- Most do not require, or infrequently require, snow removal and its related expenses including snow tires, except in Michigan
Cost of Living in a Beachfront Retirement Community
Purchasing a beachfront home comes with a higher price tag, but you never have to drive to enjoy the things you love the most – sand, gorgeous views and plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. Just walk out the door of your home, and there it is.
According to the managing principal of Ulin & Co Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Jon Ulin, Florida is one of the less costly places for beachfront retirement living. He shares, “The cost of living is significantly less for entertainment, transportation, food … and even in real estate costs. You can buy a lot more house in Florida for the same cost.” He goes on to share that Florida retirees do not pay city or state taxes.
Florida, however, is not the only place to find a beachfront home. There are lots of coastal retirement communities all along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico shores of the United States. Even Michigan has beachfront retirement homes, and at very reasonable prices. Although locations further north may not offer year-round temperate weather, each community has its own special features to offer – from unparalleled views to small-town charm.
When looking for a beachfront retirement community, you need to first decide if you want to live in the home year-round or seasonally as a snowbird. This will help you better determine the right home for you.
For instance, if you intend to live in the home seasonally, you may want to have the security that a guard gated community with roving patrols will afford. They can keep an eye on the home for you when you're not there. This too will increase the cost of the home; however, you'll have more peace of mind knowing someone else is watching the property for you when you’re not home.
The cost of any home is affected by several factors including location, amenities and size. When determining the best home to purchase, make comparisons and consider the following, which may also impact the cost:
- Taxes, including city and state taxes
- Property prices
- Amenities such as golf courses, clubhouses, community clubs and swimming pools. Determine the ones that are important to you.
- Cost of living – How much does a loaf of bread cost? Or a gallon of gas? Prices can vary greatly from one location to the next. Compare prices and costs.
- Are medical and hospital facilities convenient, especially if you have health issues that may require immediate care?
- What is the year-round climate like? Temperatures, rainfall, snowfall and other weather conditions can vary greatly. What is important to you? Do you need warm and dry conditions due to health concerns? Do you want to garden and grow your own food, making a certain amount of precipitation and temperature important? Are you willing to deal with any snow at all, or only on an occasional basis?
- If you want to work through your retirement, investigate the local economy and work opportunities.
- If having the opportunity to engage with a number of people is important, find out what socialization opportunities exist within the community?
- If you're moving further from children and grandchildren, are airports in close proximity; and, what are the costs of travel?
- Is the location in a hurricane-prone coastal area, requiring you to purchase flood or wind insurance to protect you and your possessions? Insurance costs/prices are generally higher in close proximity to the ocean.
These concerns and others that are important to you will be things that you want to check into to determine the cost of living in a community and whether a given community is right for you.
Want to live on the water but the price tag is making it difficult? Consider a lakefront property or towns near rivers and bays. All can offer spectacular views and quick water access without breaking the bank. Oceanfront properties located further from large cities and in the right region may have a more economical price tag as well.
How to Find and Pay for a Beachfront Retirement Home
So, you're ready to begin looking for your dream home or beachfront retirement community. We can help you find the best location that meets your needs. Give us a call or use our directory search to find the best oceanfront retirement options.
Paying for a beachfront retirement home in an active adult community will require you to secure a conventional home loan. If you have a home you intend to sell to cover the cost, you may be able to come up with a sizable down payment or completely cover the cost of your new home.