Baby Boomers who own a residence ultimately face the issue of whether they should sell their home or retire in place. Many decide to downsize in retirement or move closer to their kids. So the question is, “What is the best time to sell your home?”
Historically, the best month for quickly selling a home at the highest price is May (don’t ask me why). Spring is better than Winter, and if you live in a warm climate anytime may be good. Just remember, working families often move during the summer school break to accommodate their children. Other major considerations are:
How much can you get for your home? Take a look at the prices for sales of similar properties in your local area by doing a zip-code search on Zillow or Realtor.com.
How long will it take to sell your property? Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market (i.e., you will get a higher price and a faster sale when there are more buyers than sellers)?
What are the interest rates? Do buyers have access to attractive financing programs? How much income does a buyer need to qualify to purchase your home after a normal 20 percent down payment?
Have you lived in your home for at least two years so you qualify for tax exclusion on the first $500,000 of profit (for a couple)? If you are selling rental property or a vacation home, consult with an accountant first to determine the tax consequences for your income level.
What are the anticipated selling costs? Do you have to fix some things up before listing the property? What are local Realtors charging? Will you get enough profit to implement your plans (i.e., the underlying reason you wish to sell your home)?
Selling one’s home is not a decision to be taken lightly. Most Boomers have their major retirement assets tied up in home equity. It pays to be informed. I suggest digesting these quick articles to educate yourself:
Baby Boomers have many reasons for wanting to sell their homes, vacation properties or rentals. Usually this centers around wanting to downsize, being closer to family or to consolidate finances. It is a process, so be prepared to take time and do your homework. The most important thing is that the sale successfully opens the door to what you want to follow.
Whew!. I just finished my early morning ten-mile bike ride. As usual, it was wonderful. The world was just awaking on this fine Spring morning. Traffic was minimal. The sun in southern California had not yet turned toasty. And I feel so invigorated when I’m done. It’s good to be alive!
Bicycling is a wonderful experience for older people. It exercises the heart, burns calories and tones the body. And it leaves riders with a positive attitude (really!). Plus, it’s fun! This is especially true when biking with friends along scenic paths and letting go of all your concerns for a while.
Biking to lunch or brunch is a favorite activity among my group. Stimulating conversation, good food, a little wine or beer – It’s makes for a perfect day!
I still ride my 25-year-old Trek bicycle which has been through several sets of tires. It has a lot of gears, which I appreciate as I’ve gotten older. Upgrades, like a bike rack, speedometer, and helmet, gloves and extra water bottles all came from my local Walmart or Target. I’m a cheap bicycler, but still a sight to see in my tight (and heavily padded) shorts!
If bicycling piques your interest, I suggest starting by reading these fine articles:
Bicycling is an exhilarating experience…and it’s affordable for everyone! It is also healthy. In fact, it’s hard to find anything negative to say about bike riding, especially among Boomers. My advice – Join (or start) a local bicycling group with people of your age bracket. You won’t regret it.
In 1989, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I resided in Silicon Valley when the Loma Prieta earthquake (a 6.9!) hit. The initial quake was strong and over the next few days, there were hundreds of aftershocks. Electricity and water were out for several days in the area where we lived. There was no phone service. All the local stores and gas stations were closed; some heavily damaged. Fortunately, we had a full refrigerator, canned food and plenty of wine to see us through. But we were overjoyed when the lights finally came on again after three-to-four days. If the lack of services had continued for much longer, everyone would have been in trouble.
I live in southern California now and a major earthquake is always predicted as just around the corner. Plus, every summer seems to bring devastating fires and evacuations. Not to mention a nearby defunct nuclear facility or the possibility of a tsunami appearing off the coast. It’s the risk we accept for great year-round weather.
Ask yourself, “What would I do if a natural or man-made disaster hit my area?” Could you and your family survive a hurricane Katrina or power grid failure? Does your family have a plan in case you are separated? Do you have enough stored water, non-perishable food and medicine to last a week or two until help can arrive? How about your pets? If mobile phone services die, do you even own a battery-power radio to find out what is going on?
Now that we are older Baby Boomers, we recognize the need to have a home survival kit. It is a simple thing to prepare and maintain. And it can literally mean the difference between survival and death in an emergency situation.
What Every Baby Boomer Needs to do NOW!
How can you get prepared. It’s easy. Others have already done the home for you. Start by taking a few moments to digest these great articles and checklists:
No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster hitting their area. But if it does and you are not prepared, the consequences can be devastating. Your survival – and that of your loved ones – can literally depend on the amount of forethought invested in preparing for this possibility. I strongly urge every Boomer to take this issue seriously and prepare accordingly. It takes so little to dramatically enhance your survival odds if the worse happens.
It sounds like a great deal for retired Baby Boomers living on a tight budget. For just a $9.95 monthly subscription (no contract required), the MoviePass allows you to see unlimited new movies monthly at nearby theaters. It’s like Netflix for people who enjoy going to theaters and seeing new movies as they come out. Who wouldn’t love that?!
How does it work? According to MoviePass:
And MoviePass is great….when it works. Yep, there a some flies in the soup:
MoviePass claims their card is accepted at 91 percent of theaters, but you better check your local area first (their website will display acceptable theaters by zip code).
You need a smartphone to download and use the online MoviePass application.
The gears behind MoviePass still have some hiccups. The online application is said to be “buggy,” customers have reported problems getting their card authorized, and customer service is “iffy.”
It only works for 2-D movies and just one per day.
The card is smartphone-specific. So, if you and your wife or significant other want to go to the movies, each must have a card tied to their individual smartphone.
You have to be within 100 yards of a selected theater for the online application to work.
You can’t make reservations or purchase tickets in advance, so catching movies on opening day may be difficult!
MoviePass and AMC theaters are in a pissing contest, so your pass may not work at AMC theaters.
Suggested Reading Before You Buy
I suggest taking a few minutes to learn from the experience of others. Here’s some recent articles about MoviePass:
In the latest business model twist (as of April 13, 2018), the MoviePass website now displays:
MoviePass + iHeartRadio
$29.95 for 3 months (billed quarterly)
See up to 4 movies a month in theaters with MoviePass.
3-month trial of iHeartRadio All Access.
Huh? This is a major revision. The popular “old” plan is now kaput. Apparently, MoviePass is still experimenting to find a profitable business model….kinda scary, my friends.
The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers
There are a lot of good things about the MoviePass. Even under the latest revision, the ability to see 12 movies over three months for $30 works out to just $2.50 per movie. However, there is also a lot of uncertainty about its business model (can it ever be profitable? Will it survive?). Our advice: If you love to watch new movies as they come out, try MoviePass for a quarter ($29.95) to see if it works for you. BUT, only subscribe a quarter at a time – MoviePass may revise their offerings again or simply vanish one day.