I’m thinking it’s time to become a Snowbird.
A Snowbird is someone that lives mostly in a northern state like Michigan, USA, and then spends several of the winter months in a southern state like Florida, USA.
I’m getting too old too fast for this cold weather anymore. I’m not into all the cold winter sports like sledding (snowmobile talk), ice fishing, (like on the movie Grumpy Old Men), ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowball fights or snow angels. Been there – done that. Picture me as more of a sitting on the porch or by the pool consuming a beverage of my choice; YEAR ‘ROUND type of guy!
I was down in Sarasota, Florida one year at Christmas time and was lucky to get one of two parking spots let. Boy was it a treat to walk on the beach on Christmas Day that year. Yep, it was strange, but I believe I could get the hang of it pretty darn quick. It’s 7:00 PM EST and I just now checked the weather: Sarasota 70 degrees and light mist. Grand Rapids 29 degrees and light snow. Why am I still up here when many of my neighbors are sitting around a pool with an after-dinner cocktail? I’m sitting inside with a hot cup of enhanced coffee, popping Bon-Bons and watching left-over Hallmark Movies. Something’s gotta change, right?
What’s the hold up?
There are several factors that I need to consider before making that decision. Money is one big issue. All the condos and townhouses must be made of gold and silver the way it appears on several real estate sites I’ve been checking. And that’s in the Northern portion of Florida. I expected the prices to be less because most everyone wants to be way down in the Southern portion of Florida. I’m thinking the inland in the top half of the state. Checking sites about where the sink-holes, fire ants and hurricane damage is more prominent. They all show a greater risk as you move more down-state. Ha, funny I should use the term down-state. It’s a derogatory term the Upper portion dwellers of Michigan use when referring to us lower portion dwellers of Michigan. Anyway, maybe more south will pan-out because it will become a buyers market come late spring and summer when the heat, humidity and alligators keep you hiding inside.
Medical, such as doctors, hospitals and home-care. I figure that probably isn’t too much of a problem since there are a bunch of other old people living there By old people, I mean “Mature Adults” beyond just being AARP qualified. Also need to check on how my Medicare insurance will play if I’m “out-of-network”.
Other mumbo-jumbo like how long can I stay before I need to change my license plates and drivers license? How does all this work with being a resident and home-owner in two states. And how to split the taxes come tax time.
Plan of Action
Keep researching the best areas of where and how to survive hurricanes, sink-hols, fire ants and gators. Contact some real estate agents in a few towns and see what they have listed, but are too low-priced to spend advertising money on. I don’t want a fixer or a run-down bug infested flop joint.
Consider renting in a few different towns before making a firm commitment to buy. I know you can rent for a month or two through an online rental company. This might actually be the best research, because from there, I can drive around to different towns and climate zones to see which better suits me.
Check my Medicare plan for out-of-network coverage and for how long am I covered.
The Dream Continues
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