Updates from January, 2012

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  • Best Places to Retire 2012 - 10 Great Sunny Places to Retire

    11:37 am on January 26, 2012 | Comments:0
    Tags: AARP, , Dr. Beach, , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Retirement, Sarasota, Second Home Buyers, Seller Info, Siesta Key, The Gulf Islands, Tourism, Vacation

    If bright skies and warm temperatures are on your must-have list, these cities fit the bill

     from: AARP | January 2012
    Sarasota, Florida

    If you’ve ever dreamed of retiring on the best beach in the U.S., now might be your chance: Siesta Beach, of the dozens of waterfront strands in and around Sarasota, earned the top beach in the U.S. honors from Dr. Beach for the white sands, crystal water and wide area for sunbathing, playing or people watching.

    Sarasota, which sits south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is beach-centric but there’s more to this city of 52,025 people than simply embedding toes in sand.

    See also: Ten best states for retirement.

    Start with the arts scene, which includes a renowned Rubens collection at the Ringling Museum of Art, which is adjacent to John Ringling’s Ca D’Zan Mansion, an impressive, if somewhat gaudy, homage to Venetian Gothic architecture. Sarasota also has its own opera house, ballet company, symphony orchestra and multiple theaters, all in a modern downtown surrounded by water.

    The city’s historic neighborhoods include Towles Court art district, which harbors colorful wooden homes, galleries, shops and restaurants. Main Street is ideal for walking — and popping in and out of quaint boutiques and restaurants, along with lively bars. Towles Court hosts regular art walks, featuring works of local artists.
    For non-beach natural diversions, forge into Myakka River State Park, which offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, cabin rentals and airboat tours. Wildlife here includes red-tailed hawks, otters, foxes and alligators. And for man-made diversions? Golf and tennis are big in Sarasota, with dozens of public and private courses and hundreds of tennis courts. For baseball fans, Ed Smith Stadium is the spring training headquarters of the Baltimore Orioles and home to a minor league franchise.

    Sarasota was hit hard during the housing crash and is still recovering. Foreclosures are a big issue here, but that also means you might pick up a house at a steep discount. Unemployment is above the national average and most jobs are in retail, tourism and hospitality, and thus don’t pay well. But prices of most goods and services are in line with incomes, thus the cost of living index is average.

    Crime is above average here but most residents say they are happy living here, and most are fairly healthy: The obesity rate is below the national average (although the diabetes rate is slightly above average). While there’s no science to prove it, good health and happiness may be linked to hanging around some of the world’s best beaches every day.

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  • Port Charlotte named one of The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report

    12:39 pm on October 31, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: Best Place to Retire, ,   Filed under: Baby Boomers, Buyer Info, Charlotte County, Consumer news and advice, Retirement

    These cities will meet your retirement lifestyle needs and suit your budget

    By Emily Brandon 

    Better weather, affordable housing, and plenty of interesting things to do are just a few reasons people move to a new place when they retire. Whether you want to spend your golden years watching the sun set over the water or taking on a second career, we’ve identified an ideal place. Using data from Onboard Informatics, U.S. News selected 10 key attributes that many people look for in a retirement spot, along with a city that excels in meeting each need. Here are 10 excellent places to retire in 2012.

    Pleasant year-round weather: Flagstaff, Ariz.

    Flagstaff’s high altitude and low humidity generally lead to a pleasant four-season climate throughout most of the year. To select a place with great year-round weather, we used National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data to find places with the most sunny days. Among the sunniest cities, we looked for places where the temperature seldom rises above 90 degrees. The sun shines in Flagstaff an average of 78 percent of the year, according to NOAA data, but unlike most other sunny climates, the temperature only rises above 90 degrees an average of three days per year. Flagstaff can receive a significant amount of snow in the winter, but the prolific sunshine often quickly melts accumulation. “There is a lot of sunshine and no extremes of temperature,” says Karen Haskins, 71, a retiree who moved to Flagstaff from Amherst, N.H., in 2007. “Summer and early fall are really pleasant. Winters are cold and you do get snow, but because of the intensity of the sun, it melts quickly.”

    Affordable mountain town: Boone, N.C.

    Pricey Aspen and Vail may be beyond your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend your retirement years appreciating spectacular mountain views or making runs on the slopes. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone boasts three nearby ski resorts as well as trails for cross country skiing, winter hiking, and snowshoeing. Residents of this small town of 14,000 also have access to one of the country’s most scenic roads, the Blue Ridge Parkway. A bonus: Boone provides residents with a free local bus service, AppalCART, and access to many of the amenities at Appalachian State University. In 2010, the median home sale price was $215,250.

    Water views on a budget: Traverse City, Mich.

    Dream of retiring to a lake house? The Traverse City area offers more than 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 149 large lakes measuring 10 acres or more. Residents can climb the high sand dunes and lounge on the freshwater beaches at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, or take a ferry out to the Manitou Islands. There are also plenty of opportunities for boating on the twin Grand Traverse Bays. Housing prices in this lakeside city average a reasonable $155,715.

    Greenest place to retire: Walnut Creek, Calif.

    Retirees make up more than a quarter of the population of Walnut Creek, which combines the amenities of a city with abundant access to the wilderness. Downtown is filled with high-end shops, fine dining, and organic eateries, as well as the Lesher Center for the Arts. The city also has 22 city parks and 2,704 acres of open space. “There’s a great amount of open space available,” says Joe Stadum, a resident of Walnut Creek’s large 55-and-older gated community, Rossmoor. He enjoys hiking with the Rossmoor Trails Club, which counts more than 200 members. “You can drive or ride your bicycle or run and hike. It’s a great asset.” Residents may choose to drive up to the summit of 3,849-foot Mount Diablo or travel to nearby San Francisco. But life in the Bay Area doesn’t come cheap. The median home price is $411,000.

    A college town for retirees: Ithaca, N.Y.

    College towns like Ithaca can be an ideal place to retire. For a median home price of just $176,500, retirees can take classes at Cornell University or Ithaca College and attend speeches, concerts, and sporting events. They can also spend their days hiking to the more than 100 waterfalls and gorges within 10 miles of downtown or sampling the wares of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Don Wilson, 65, a retired cardiologist from Rockford, Ill., bicycles throughout the Finger Lakes region three times a week. “The rural roads in the Finger Lakes region have so little traffic that you can ride three or four abreast on a bicycle in continuous conversation, learning from each other,” he says. Wilson has also developed an interest in paleontology, and is taking a course on the subject at Cornell University and conducting research on fossils at the Museum of the Earth. “I think that university towns tend to attract interesting organizations, like the Museum of the Earth, and interesting people who may or may not be connected with the college.”

    Place to launch a second career: Lincoln, Neb.

    Clague Hodgson, 65, retired early from a faculty position at the Creighton University School of Medicine and founded his own biotech company, Nature Technology Corporation, in 1998. His Lincoln-based business now employs eight people who investigate the use of DNA as a medicine. Hodgson says the city’s low unemployment rate and proximity to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln make it an excellent place to launch a second career. “The University of Nebraska Technology Park really takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders,” he says. “For an entrepreneur, remaining affiliated with the university is a good source of information, the library is very helpful, and occasionally we collaborate with researchers there.” Nebraska’s state capitol had an unemployment rate of just 3.5 percent in 2010, among the lowest in the country. According to Onboard Informatics data, the city has added more than 15,000 jobs since 2000, many of which are in fields known to hire older workers, including government, higher education, and healthcare.

    Best mix of affordability and amenities: Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Pittsburgh has a low cost of living coupled with a wide variety of amenities that retirees will need as they age. The median home sale price was $97,900 in 2010, which is unusual for a city with a large university and top-notch hospitals. Senior citizens age 65 and older with proper identification are entitled to ride Port Authority buses and trains for free. You’ll just have to decide whether you want season tickets to the ballet, symphony, or Steelers games, assuming all three won’t fit into your retirement budget.

    Best place for affordable housing: Port Charlotte, Fla.

    Port Charlotte home prices were battered by the housing bust, which could mean bargains for retirees new to the area. The median home sale price was a shockingly low $59,950 in 2010. And many of these homes are located along canals and waterways. “There are a tremendous number of houses on the water, and everybody’s got their boats in their backyard,” says retiree Chris Zwirner, 78. “All the people who live on water essentially have access to the Gulf of Mexico, and from there you can go around the world.” The Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park spans 42,000 acres, including 70 miles of shoreline along the Charlotte Harbor. An added bonus: Florida has no state income tax.

    Best place for single retirees: Pittsfield, Mass.

    Dating is increasingly becoming a part of the retirement years. And Pittsfield is the only metro area where the majority of the 55-and-older population (52 percent) is single, according to Census Bureau data. Carol Scott, 60, an event planner who has been widowed for three years, likes to connect with new people online and has arranged five in-person dates so far this year. “I usually like to meet for a coffee or a drink,” she says. “If we find we enjoy each other’s company, perhaps it runs over into dinner.” But even if you move to Pittsfield, we can’t guarantee that dating will be easy. There are nearly twice as many single women (14,237) age 55 and older as single men (7,869). “A lot of my women friends are single,” says Scott. “And while I have met some very nice people, I have not met someone I am interested in pursuing.”

    Best place for recreation and culture: Santa Fe, N.M.

    At more than 400 years old, Santa Fe is the country’s oldest state capital. The city is known for its unique culture and art galleries, including the New Mexico Museum of Art and Institute of American Indian Arts. “Santa Fe has a character that is unlike other cities,” says Karen Ralston, 67, a retired director of marketing for a publisher. She moved to Santa Fe in 2006. “The cultural mix that we get here—the Anglo culture and the Indian culture and the Hispanic culture—blends very beautifully here. We really love that mix,” she says. An art history minor in college, Ralston rediscovered that interest by volunteering at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Center for Contemporary Arts. The creations of artists worldwide are also celebrated at a variety of annual festivals and markets, such as the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.


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  • Living in Sarasota

    10:46 am on August 25, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Relocation, Retirement, Sarasota

    as seen in FLORIDA TRAVEL + LIFE Magazine

    Sept/Oct 2011

    Click on image below for printable format
























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  • Your Retirement Home: Is Now the Time to Buy?

    11:03 am on April 25, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Foreclosure, Retirement, Seller Info, Supply and Demand, The Housing Market

    by The KCM Crew on April 25, 2011

    The last several years have wreaked havoc on many people’s plans for retirement. They have seen their nest egg dwindle and in some cases disappear. Many have pushed back the date they will stop working and some have stopped even thinking about what part of the country to which they plan to relocate. For some however, this may be the time to again begin putting their retirement plan together.

    There is a tremendous opportunity right now to buy a home at a sensational price in certain traditional retirement destinations. Couple that with the fact that in other parts of the country the housing market is still experiencing falling prices and we may be looking at a perfect window of opportunity to buy your retirement home. (More …)

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  • Vacation Home Sales Surge Higher

    9:18 am on March 29, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , , single family homes   Filed under: Buyer Info, Condominiums, Consumer news and advice, Retirement, Second Home Buyers, Seller Info

    By Mike Colpitts

    RISMEDIA, March 26, 2011—In a sign that the housing market is finally making a major move in a positive direction, vacation home markets—some of the most battered in the real estate downturn—are making a surge higher in many of the hardest hit areas of the nation. Condominium sales in Hawaii and Florida are surging higher even as some potential buyers remain hesitant about the economy. (More …)

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  • Demographic Shifts Shaping Future of the Housing Market

    8:43 am on February 10, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , ,   Filed under: Baby Boomers, Consumer news and advice, Retirement, The Housing Market

    RISMEDIA, February 9, 2011—With the great recession driving unemployment, foreclosures and vacancy rates to historic highs, the housing market has certainly been on one wild ride the last few years.

    Today, we see the confluence of a deep recession driving behavioral change and shifts in the demographic distribution of the population poised to impact the real estate market in unexpected ways. Americans who have experienced or witnessed the loss of jobs, homes and home values have grown skeptical about the benefits of homeownership. Not only will the financial impacts of the housing meltdown burden the real estate market for years to come but so too will the emotional impact. More than ever, Americans of all ages are considering their options.

    At a time when aging baby boomers might be retiring, they continue working in order to build back up the retirement savings they lost in the economic chaos. This has a trickle-down effect, preventing younger generations from moving up in the workplace or from moving into the workplace to acquire the wealth they would need to drive new demand for homes. (More …)

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  • What U.S. Cities are the Best Places for Retirement? Portfolio.com Ranks the Most Attractive for Seniors

    9:32 am on December 20, 2010 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , , people relocation, , ,   Filed under: Baby Boomers, Bradenton, Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Manatee, People, Relocation, Retirement, Sarasota, Seller Info

    Top Ten List Dominated By Warm Weather Cities

    /PRNewswire/ — Portfolio.com – the national business news site for small and mid-sized business (SMB) executives – today revealed its latest U.S. Uncovered study, ranking the most popular and desired cities for retirement. The study, which used a six-part formula to rank 157 metropolitan and micropolitan markets with at least 40,000 seniors, named Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida as the number one choice for seniors’ post-retirement plans.

    “Beginning next year, an unprecedented three million Americans will turn 65. While most of these seniors are expected to stay in their current homes, a significant number will decide to seek new places to live in other parts of the country,” said J. Jennings Moss, editor of Portfolio.com. “In addition to warm cities, we’ve also seen that seniors are attracted to communities that already have a significant population of retirees. This demonstrates that seniors will go to places that already have a comfortable infrastructure in place.”

    Already thought to be the classic retirement destination, the state of Florida is home to eight of the top ten cities in the survey, with Bradenton-Sarasota taking the top spot. Senior citizens represent 26.81 percent of the city’s population, which is more than double the national average of 12.9 percent. With a population of 688,126, Bradenton-Sarasota is the largest city among the top 10, while Homosassa Springs, Fla. (#7) is the smallest with a population of 140,357. More than 95 percent of seniors residing in Bradenton-Sarasota were born out of state compared to only 53 percent of the elderly residents of a typical U.S. market who were born out of state.

    The Most Popular Retirement Cities  
    Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.  
    Prescott, Ariz.  
    Lake Havasu City, Ariz.  
    Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.  
    Naples, Fla.  
    Palm Bay-Melbourne, Fla.  
    Homosassa Springs, Fla.  
    Ocala, Fla.  
    Punta Gorda, Fla.  
    Port St. Lucie, Fla.  

    Two cities from Arizona earned a place in the top 10. Prescott, Ariz. ranked #2 in the study with 23.6 percent of its population comprised of seniors. Lake Havasu City, Ariz. followed directly behind taking the #3 spot. The rest of the top 10 are occupied by Florida cities including Cape Carol-Fort Myers, Naples, Palm Bay-Melbourne, Homosassa Springs, Ocala, Punta Gorda and Port St. Lucie.

    “The study explores a wide variety of markets, both in terms of size and geography. The markets that ranked the highest in the study were areas where the population of seniors is already substantial and growing rapidly,” said G. Scott Thomas, a nationally-recognized demographer who created the analysis for Portfolio.com. “While not surprising that many cities in the top 30 were from the southeast and southwest, there are several cities that have broken the stereotype of beach retirement communities including Seaford, Del. (#13), Barnstable, Mass. (#14) and Eugene, Ore. (#29) from the north.”

    The study used data from the American Community Survey, which was conducted in 2009 and released in September 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data was used from the top 157 metropolitan and micropolitan areas with at least 40,000 residents that can be classified as seniors. Rankings were determined using six statistical indicators: seniors as a share of the total population, median age, seniors born out of state, incoming seniors, difference in out-of-state births and difference in incoming rates.

    The U.S. Uncovered series provides original, insightful analysis of the American lifestyle and business trends of interest to the highly lucrative market of small- and mid-sized business executives, who will fuel the country’s economic recovery over the next five years.  Most recently, the U.S. Uncovered revealed the most educated cities with a unique “Brainpower Index,” ranking Boulder, Colo. as America’s smartest city. The series also disclosed the rankings of the cities with the “Highest Income Growth,” ranking El Paso as the city with the most growth potential; “Most Stressful Place in America,” ranking Detroit as the most stressful city; “Best Mid-size Places to Live” ranking Boulder, CO as the small city with the highest quality of life; “Best Big Places to Live,” ranking Raleigh as #1;  “Best Cities to have fun,” ranking New York City as #1; “Top U.S. Wealth Centers,” naming Newport Beach as #1; “Small Business Vitality,” naming Texas the best state and Austin the top city for small business; and “Best Places for Young Adults,” naming the Southwestern region the new frontier for young Americans with Austin as #1. About Portfolio.com

    Portfolio.com is the national business news site for small and mid-sized business executives. Comprising original, in-depth reporting, thought-provoking insights, colorful features, exclusive analysis of custom research, and an intelligent business-news filtering tool, Portfolio.com is the first national business media outlet dedicated solely to delivering actionable news and information to this coveted audience. Portfolio.com relaunched in December 2009 as the information destination for business executives, insiders and strategists within the growing and profitable American City Business Journals.

    About American City Business Journals

    American City Business Journals engages 13.5 million decision makers each month through the company’s 40 newsweeklies, 42 Web sites, digital newsletters and more than 400 local events across the country. It is the largest publisher of business-to-business information in the United States. More than 4 million readers each week engage with exclusive, in-depth coverage of local business communities; some 9 million unique monthly users engage with the company’s digital content; more than 11 million e-newsletters are delivered each month via email; and the company sees more than 1 million mobile page views each month. American City is a unit of Advance Publications Inc., which also operates Condé Nast Magazines, Parade magazine, Fairchild Publications, the Golf Digest companies, Newhouse Newspapers and cable television interests.

    Media contacts:  
    Sharon Oh / Maggie Duquin Nolan  
    Brainerd Communicators, Inc.  
    (212) 986-6667  

     SOURCE Portfolio.com


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