Low cost retirement options

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
mlipps
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Low cost retirement options

Post by mlipps » Sat May 24, 2014 9:59 am

My parents currently live in a very small town in the Midwest. My dad has COPD and they seem to be finally accepting that they need to move to somewhere that has better healthcare closer by (they are currently 2.5 hours from major hospital) and also with cleaner air (our town has several chemical plants and the air quality is on par with LA and Chicago). I am trying to help them come up with some low cost options. Their house might sell for $70-80k. They are thinking of buying a new mobile home and renting or buying a small lot to put it on to reduce maintenance needs. So far my best ideas are the outskirts of the Research Triangle (Duke nearby for medical needs) but I'm not sure the air is much better, or Colorado, maybe east of Denver, but the altitude may pose a challenge even if its only 1000-2000 ft above sea level. I think even being within an hour of a major city would be a big improvement. Any ideas?

freebeer
Posts: 1994
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by freebeer » Sat May 24, 2014 10:13 am

Seattle has top quality medical facilities and very low pollution because the general direction of air flow in the northern hemisphere is west to east. Housing is expensive in Seattle but there are plenty of nice areas close by in greater Puget Sound that are still sub one hour to central Seattle, with transit options, and that are much much less expensive. Go out a little further and it gets even cheaper. Many of the less central areas don't have great public schools, one of the things keeping the prices down, but that would not be a factor for retirees. If pollution was a major concern I would go west - Kitsap County - since that misses the bulk of local pollution sources which are further east. Bainbridge Island is expensive but much lower cost are the next towns such as Poulsbo and Kingston, and mobile home parks exist.

rec7
Posts: 2369
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by rec7 » Sat May 24, 2014 11:21 am

A large Missouri town might be the ticket for you if the weather does not bother you. Money wise it sounds like it might work.

User avatar
BL
Posts: 8285
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by BL » Sat May 24, 2014 12:23 pm

It might be very important to them to be near family or friends. Granted family tends to move around a lot sometimes. Do you live near them now? Moving to a place where they know no one may not be so great for either the person with COPD or the care-giver. Would moving a couple hours away be of help? Have you checked out assisted living and nursing homes in the extended area? Are you saying there is no medical care closer than 2.5 hours?

Have they considered in-place improvements such as air conditioning? Being a snowbird might also be considered if it is winter that is a problem. Has the doctor recommended a different climate? Sometimes there is no improvement no matter what we do. I realize this is difficult to accept. Visiting these places temporarily might be smart because you don't really know if it will help if disease is severe.

davebarnes
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Berkeley, Denver, Colorado USA

Forget Colorado

Post by davebarnes » Sat May 24, 2014 12:36 pm

They don't have enough money for Colorado.
Close to medical means the Front Range and the average house is $250K
A nerd living in Denver

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3527
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Forget Colorado

Post by Steelersfan » Sat May 24, 2014 12:44 pm

davebarnes wrote:They don't have enough money for Colorado.
Close to medical means the Front Range and the average house is $250K
And is about 5,000 feet above sea level, not good for someone with COPD.

mlipps
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by mlipps » Sat May 24, 2014 12:51 pm

We live in Chicago now, but hope to move next year so ideally we could all find somewhere together, within an hour and a half or so of one another.

There are hospitals within 30 min of my parents but the quality is very poor. For example, they have been treating my dad for a few weeks for various infections, and finally dent him to Columbus for treatment; he was at OSU all week this week and it was hard for my mom to get there to see him because of the distance. Not to mention the distance in a time sensitive emergency makes me nervous.

Colorado13
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by Colorado13 » Sat May 24, 2014 6:22 pm

I agree that Colorado is not likely a good option due to cost and altitude, as others have mentioned. I can't vouch for this website, http://www.copd-international.com/COPD- ... lmonology/, as the original source is US News and World report rankings, but here are some entries from the "top 20 hospitals for pulmonology" that are in somewhat affordable areas:

#3 Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
#8 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis, MO
#18 University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS

User avatar
jeffyscott
Posts: 7235
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by jeffyscott » Sun May 25, 2014 8:57 am

May not need to be near a big city. For example, I know Wisconsin has Marshfield clinic in the middle of nowhere. I don't know much about it, but it seems to have a good reputation and I assume the area would be cheap.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

User avatar
4nursebee
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:56 am
Location: US

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by 4nursebee » Sun May 25, 2014 9:40 am

Isn't Colorado a lot smokier these days?
4nursebee

mlipps
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by mlipps » Sun May 25, 2014 7:04 pm

4nursebee wrote:Isn't Colorado a lot smokier these days?
I have no idea. If anyone has reliable recommendations for a website to compare air quality stats, I'm all ears. Most of what I can find is up to 20 years old.

User avatar
NAVigator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Iowa

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by NAVigator » Sun May 25, 2014 8:19 pm

If they want to stay in the Midwest and enjoy a small town atmosphere, consider Rochester MN, home of the Mayo Clinic.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

Colorado13
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by Colorado13 » Sun May 25, 2014 9:46 pm

4nursebee wrote:Isn't Colorado a lot smokier these days?
No majors fires this spring...yet. Many areas have received near-record rain in the past couple of weeks (depending on location, of course). But, you may not be referring to smoke from fires and are referring to smoke from a recently legalized substance..the one that supposedly causes people to eat large amounts of cheetos?

DireWolf
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 4:53 pm

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by DireWolf » Sun May 25, 2014 9:57 pm

It doesn't get much more affordable than the Missouri cities of St. Louis, KC, and Springfield. All 3 of them offer tertiary medical centers.

Cost of living: St. Louis > KC > Springfield

Medical facilities: St. Louis > KC > Springfield

letsgobobby
Posts: 11590
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by letsgobobby » Mon May 26, 2014 8:08 am

Aren't there any other geographical considerations to help narrow it down? Where do you want to live, where will your job be, what are their hobbies, where are all their children, etc?

texasdiver
Posts: 2665
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by texasdiver » Mon May 26, 2014 9:51 am

Western Oregon comes to mind as an area with clean air and a mild moist climate that should be good for COPD. The major hospitals are in Portland, Salem, and Eugene. If one isn't trying to live within commuting distance of Portland then the cost can be reasonable. But it will still be considerably more than Ohio.

For an inexpensive area with clean air and decent hospital care, maybe the Little Rock area of Arkansas?

rec7
Posts: 2369
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by rec7 » Mon May 26, 2014 10:04 am

Missouri is low cost but humid. How is humidity for COPD?

mlipps
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by mlipps » Mon May 26, 2014 11:45 am

letsgobobby wrote:Aren't there any other geographical considerations to help narrow it down? Where do you want to live, where will your job be, what are their hobbies, where are all their children, etc?
Our family is all in Ohio, but we're not very close to them. My grandparents have all passed away. I have one sister but we don't see her for various reasons. My husband and I are planning to move next year anyway, location undecided. My parents have never had enough money for hobbies, they live quiet lives. My husband's family also lives in the same town, but they can afford to come visit us where ever we end up, while my parents can't.

mlipps
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by mlipps » Mon May 26, 2014 11:45 am

rec7 wrote:Missouri is low cost but humid. How is humidity for COPD?
Its very humid where they live now too, so I don't think that would hurt much. It's definitely worth considering.

Boglemama
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:27 am

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by Boglemama » Mon May 26, 2014 9:10 pm

Have you checked out near Indianapolis, Indiana? There are some wonderful hospitals there (Lance Armstrong was treated for his cancer at Indiana University Health) and the cost of living can be REALLY low in nearby suburbs. Money magazine voted Carmel, Indiana as it's top choice to live in the country.

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by OAG » Tue May 27, 2014 4:12 pm

mlipps wrote:
4nursebee wrote:Isn't Colorado a lot smokier these days?
I have no idea. If anyone has reliable recommendations for a website to compare air quality stats, I'm all ears. Most of what I can find is up to 20 years old.
http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14129
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Low cost retirement options

Post by Watty » Tue May 27, 2014 5:29 pm

College towns often have good medical facilities and the economy is often fairly strong if either your parents will still be looking for work. It will vary greatly but in some college towns the housing is pretty affordable especially once you get away from the colleges.

Many college towns also have some public transportation which could be an important factor to consider if they might have to give up driving some day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ted_States

I'm not sure I'm not sure if the comment about towns in Missouri was related to something you had said in some other post but went to college at Columbia Missouri years ago and if you have some connection to Missouri that might be worth considering. With all the college towns there are likely other better places when you look at all the details.

With tornados I think a rental house would be a better option than a mobile home if they cannot afford to buy a regular house.

At point one backup retirement plan that I had considered was to buy an inexpensive duplex or triplex in a place like that and use the rental income to supplement any retirement shortfall. There would be lots of pros and cons to this but my inlaws were on a modest retirement budget and they had their retirement home built with an apartment in the back and while they had several bad tenants over the years it did bring in some retirement income.

Post Reply