Finding Your Retirement Value.
Article by Scott Norton.
Since a lot of the discussion about retirement centers around costs these days, lets just confront the issue head on; how do you define “Value”?
All too often the comparison between two options comes down to “price” when it should come down to value. If you happen to be one of the few people in the world for whom money is no object, you might decide simply to buy the most expensive home you could find – just because you can. If you don’t really love the location, then there’s arguably no real value to the purchase. Price wasn’t a factor, but who the heck wants to live in an area they don’t like?
Of course, for most of us, money is an object. It’s a major aspect of our decision-making. For a lot of us, taking the opposite tack is our default choice. We might choose a “more affordable” retirement home because it’s actually more affordable.
Funny thing is, you end up in the same position as the first example – totally unhappy with where you live and having wasted a lot of money. Considering that we’re discussing retirement home purchasing here, such unhappiness could seriously affect the rest of your life – or maybe that’s too dramatic.
Or IS it? First things first; if you’re going to enjoy retirement and really make it your life’s next big adventure, you have to decide where you want to be. Ideally, you’d have an idea of where to be and what to do when you’re there – but in the interest of keeping it simple, lets start with place.
For example, you might generally want to be in California. Maybe you have an affinity for wine country. You start looking around and find the central coast, and see a really nice community called Trilogy Central Coast near Nipomo. Trilogy is a beautifully designed 55+ active adult community and like most of us, you’re pretty excited by the idea. Then you find out that listings there are between somewhere over $450K to somewhere over $800K. Depending on your life experience, you might either go into sticker shock or just shrug and say, “well, that’s California.”
And yes, that is California. But before you write it off as an option and look elsewhere, it does bear taking the time to understand the value of what you get for the money. It’s true that $450K will buy you a lot of house in most states, but are we really prepared to compare retirement lifestyles by square footage?
Look at the California Central Coast this way; where else are you going to find a thriving coastal community, surrounded by a dramatic backdrop of vineyards, beaches and hot springs? Where else puts both San Francisco and Los Angeles within a few hours drive?
Imagine being located a mere hour away from exploring the Santa Ynez wine country, or Shopping & Dining in Santa Barbara. Imagine being able to randomly pick day trips to several of the Historic California Missions or the Los Padres National Forest, the Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve, or Montana De Oro State park. Consider that every October to February you can stroll among the thousands and thousands of Monarch butterflies in the Eucalyptus grove at Pismo Beach.
The reality is that the California Central Coast is a truly unique place that is highly desirable – and by California standards it really isn’t that expensive. In addition, when you look closely at Trilogy Central Coast you also find that you’re buying an exceptional value for the price beyond the location.
Trilogy Central Coast features contemporary design, green building practices, and a community plan that focuses on wellness and community. Amenities include The Monarch Club, which won the 2009 Gold Nugget Grand Award for architecture, and the lush, green Monarch Dunes Golf Course. You end up with a dream retirement in resort style living in one of the most amazing parts of California – and those green building practices end up translating into lower monthly costs, so your dollars can be put to better use, which adds to your overall retirement value. At the very least, have a conversation with your real estate agent, or contact the nice people at Trilogy directly – know exactly what your options are by value – not just price, and put together a retirement lifestyle you’ll actually enjoy living.