In the 1970’s and 1980’s South Beach was basically a retirement community. Most of its ocean-front hotels and apartment buildings were filled with elderly people living on small, fixed incomes. That demographic changed dramatically with the influx of what were then referred to as the ‘cocaine cowboys’. The area declined, became a dangerous place and the older people who had called it home, fled. www.travelrows.com
Now that South Beach is flourishing, those older people on small fixed incomes simply cannot afford to live in this affluent community. But the weather is wonderful and the ocean and warm beaches beacon so there are more and more older people (or those who see themselves becoming older) looking for ways in which they might be able to afford to retire to South Beach.
Some of these enterprising folks have come up with the idea of buying a second home or a vacation home in South Beach while they are still employed and long before they are ready to retire. They are providing themselves with many years of planning for and paying for retirement to that warm, sunny place called South Beach and they are even finding that they can let others help them pay for it if they plan well.
Many baby-boomers and those of younger generations are discovering that they can buy a house or a condo in South Beach at today’s prices and use it themselves for vacations and, also rent it out to others when they are not using it. Now, today’s prices are not all that cheap, mind you, but they are a lot cheaper now than they will be in the future.
Now before you decide to rush right out and buy property in South Beach, you do need to ask yourself a few questions and answer them to the very best of your knowledge. Here are the questions that you need to ask and answer:
- Is it likely that your financial position will change dramatically in the upcoming years either for the better or for the worse? (Don’t count on winning the lottery.)
- Is South Beach going to be a dramatic environmental change for you?
- Does it matter that seeing your family will likely require long periods of travel?
If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you very likely need to do some further investigation before you make a financial commitment that is as substantial as purchasing a second or vacation home for the purpose of retirement travel.
Remember that Florida in January is very, very different from Florida in, say, August. January is perfect and August is very hot and it is hurricane season. I am not trying to discourage you, I am only pointing out that you need to be aware of the changing seasons. Most of South Beach is air conditioned.
Vacationing in a paradise like South Beach can make you think that living there full time after you retire in a few years is an ideal substitution for shoveling snow. You just need to be certain that you will be happy living there full time.