Monday, December 27, 2010

Beating the "High" Cost of Retirement

Lower cost of living doesn't necessarily mean lower standard of living, but in fact, a lower cost of living, will result in a higher standard of living -- but one has to be willing to move to where the cost of living is lower, and out of places where the cost of living is high.

The surprising thing is that many places with a lower cost of living, are actually good places to live -- while invariably, the worst environments, also have a higher cost of living -- which is the case in the major cities, in which the most affordable neighborhoods, are also the most undesirable, dangerous and stressful.

But for that same money, if they move to a smaller town in the US, they could live at least a middle class existence quite easily -- in virtually all the cities of less than 250,000. The state of the art in medical care is usually fully available in such communities, as well as the financial infrastructures and consumer accessibility to all the goods and services the world has to offer.

The key factor is achieving "retirement" in good health, because if one isn't, the health care costs can suck up whatever assets one has quickly, and if one is in good health, they can still work, hold (part-time) jobs, create their own self-employment opportunities, or be meaningfully and productively engaged in any other activities, besides paying for health care as their major preoccupation.

In the world of the Internet, one doesn't have to actually live in the major metropolitan areas to have access to the global marketplace and culture; one can access it from anywhere, and then go into the big city when they really need to -- which is increasingly unnecessary to do.

Thus, this would be the undiscussed great development and migration of the 21st century -- from high cost of living areas, with their greater crime, stress, noise and pollution, to the smaller communities where the idyllic higher quality existences are fairly/relatively inexpensive.

Many Americans think they have to live abroad to find those inexpensive communities -- but they also exist in the less crowded areas of the US, like a Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virgina. A Walmart is a Walmart. If one needs a tan, look up "tanning booths."


At December 27, 2010 4:38 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It's calculated to be the exact same amount of money -- if one collects early or late and lives to the expected life expectancy, but that ignores the time value of money -- that a dollar received today, is worth more than a dollar received eight years from now.

And also with that time, one can possibly invest it to make more money, or invest in one's health and other ways of achieving a higher quality of life, which could include developing the skills they really want to be good at and enjoy, which is the whole purpose of making more money in the first place -- to do what you really want to do and enjoy.

Not surprisingly, 3 out of 4 people choose to take early withdrawal, which makes sense the less income one has -- which may be absolutely necessary for their financial viability, while mainly the secure (rich,) are not so dependent on Social Security and may actually enjoy the job they have as what they really want to do even if they weren't paid, or also, they wouldn't know what else they would do otherwise.

Early Social Security merely gives the less well off that option also -- because usually those jobs are more physically demanding also. The problem is those who get fat and in poor health on their jobs -- and get worse the longer they stay at their jobs. Those people need to tend to their health as their top priority -- which early Social Security could help them do.


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