Thursday, February 1, 2007

Early Retirement Housing

In October 2006, I wrote about Billy and Akaiska Kaderli, a couple who retired early, while they were still in their 30s. Over the years, the couple has been able to keep their expenses very low -- about $24,000 annually. So, in my post, I posed a question to my readers, "do you think that you could live off $24,000 a year?"

One of the ways that Billy and Akaisha are able to cut back their expenses is through their choice of housing. A couple of months ago, the Kaderlis sent me a link to an article on their Retire Early Lifestyle website where they wrote about active adult communities. I believe that the residences depicted in the article are similar to the type of accommodation that the Kaderlis have in Mesa, Arizona. Formally, their home would be referred to as a manufactured home, but it is also commonly called a mobile home. In this article, they show one mobile home that cost only $7,000.

Personally, I don't think that my wife and I would ever choose to live in a mobile home. On the other hand, Billy and Akaisha can say that their house is paid for. And, I don't think that the majority of us could say the same thing about our housing situation...

In the October 2006 Kiplinger's Personal Finance article "Extreme Early Retirement" which profiled Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, one statement stood out as being confusing to me:

Sixteen years after they retired, they are now both 54 -- almost old enough to satisfy the minimum age requirements of the active-adult community in Mesa, Ariz., they call home (when they're not traveling around the world).

I presumed that the minimum age for their active adult community is 55 years old. So, I asked Akaisha to clarify this point. She said that they bought their home when they were about 39. At that time, there were no age restrictions for their community. Later, their place became an "age restricted" community, as some active adult communities are. Since they already lived there before that age requirement became a rule, they were grandfathered in.

One question that I did not have the opportunity to ask the Kaderlis is "How do you think your lives would be different if you had children?" The rules concerning active adult communities generally require that one occupant be at least 55 years old, and generally prohibit children under 18 from residing permanently in the community. So, I suppose that their choice of housing would be one significant difference.

PF Stock


L. Marie Joseph said...

I was gonna say the same thing.

Housing is the most expensive item a couple have today. Without that we all probably be more wealthier.

Having a mobile home and living outside the US can make it possible to live off of 24K a year.

But if you have children and a mortgage it's not that simple.

Seems like this couple did not have children.

fin_indie said...

Children are the kicker. For my wife and I, kids are out and thankfully, we have > 10 nieces and nephews to keep us busy. If we chose to have kids, our "retirement" date would easily be another 10+ years out at the BARE minimum.

pfstock said...

The Kaderlis do not have any children. However, they do spend a large portion of their time traveling -- mostly in Asia and Latin America. As far as housing is concerned, they maintain their residence in the United States year-round and lease the land under their home. But according to the couple, their lease expense and fees are less than most homeowner's property taxes.