Plan now to get the snowbird lifestyle for less

(NC) With cooler weather right around the corner, do you find yourself dreaming of heading to warmer destinations as a snowbird but wonder how you could ever afford it? Achieving this carefree and active lifestyle is easier than you think, even if you haven’t been saving for decades. Here are some tips on how to spend your golden years under the sun.

1. Don’t downsize, “right-size.” Get rid of your expensive house and large monthly mortgage payments. Instead, try the land lease model, a form of homeownership gaining popularity with today’s seniors. The key to the affordability of land leasing is that you can purchase a home but lease the land. This means homeowners pay for just the home and not the lot it resides on, freeing up money to head south for the winter.

2. Lower your monthly expenses. Reducing your out-of-pocket expenses can go a long way to helping you afford the snowbird lifestyle, especially if you’re on a fixed income. A smaller home means smaller hydro and heating bills and other upkeep costs, leaving more cash for fun.

3. Offload home maintenance tasks. Many land lease communities look after and maintain your residence while you are enjoying your second home in a warmer climate. This means you’ll have peace of mind and fewer daily responsibilities to worry about as essential services like snow shoveling, home watch security and mail collection are covered.

4. Experience healthy active living. One of the keys to a longer, healthier life is remaining physically active as you age. By heading south for the winter, snowbirds are not forced to hibernate on the couch. During the Canadian summer, living in a land lease community, such as Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities, makes it easy to stay active and enjoy the warm weather. Great amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, workout facilities, organized fitness classes, golf courses, and walking and biking paths.

5. Reap the social benefits. As a snowbird in a land lease community, you’ll be part of a vibrant neighbourhood that feels like family. Homeowners’ associations often organize dinners, dances, golf tournaments and other activities that keep retiree budgets in mind and encourage social connectivity and friendships.

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