Who’s buying homes for cash? (and more bits…)

Cash Deals for Homes Reach Record  “There’s nothing like the feeling of owning your own home free and clear of a mortgage,” said Trafton, who had paid off the mortgage on his Portland home before selling it. “I’ve spent most of my life making mortgage payments, and now I’m done with it.” So who’s buying homes with cash?

The Good News About the Crushing Costs of Retiree Health Care  The runaway inflation in health-care costs of the last decade has slowed way down. That means planning for retirement may be just a little bit easier, as a new Fidelity Investments study shows. Each year Fidelity estimates how much a 65-year-old couple retiring will need to cover out-of-pocket health care costs. That includes Medicare premiums and co-pays, but not most long-term nursing home care. The answer last year: $220,000. The answer this year, even as retirement accounts swelled thanks to rising markets: $220,000.

Hidden cost of retiring early: $51,000 in medical bills Retiring early may sound really tempting. But leaving the workforce just a few years early can saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in additional medical costs. Wait to retire until age 65 and the costs — while still steep — go down significantly. A couple retiring at age 65 can expect to dole out an average of $220,000 for health care costs over the course of their retirement, Fidelity estimates. That’s assuming both the husband and wife are in average heath and live to be 82 and 85, respectively.

What to Consider When Looking for the Right Place to Retire As people grapple with whether to pull up stakes and retire in another part of the country, there’s small margin for error. Get it wrong, and it’s hard and costly to undo. According to a report this year from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 57 percent of baby boomers say they plan to move to a new home in retirement. When asked which type of community they were likely to choose, 39 percent said a small town, like Chapel Hill, or a rural community. The next choice was a 55-and-older community (27 percent), followed by a metropolitan city (26 percent); 8 percent picked “lifestyle” communities (such as ones for active retirees, planned around golf courses).

Galvin Asks Congress to Force 401(k) Plan Disclosures Massachusetts’ chief securities regulator called on Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor to force companies to disclose any changes to the timing of 401(k) plan contributions to workers. Galvin in a report today recommended rules requiring companies to tell workers about changes to their 401(k) plans in advance and about the potential costs. While employers have to provide a summary to the Labor Department and participants of a material modification to their retirement plan, federal law doesn’t require them to disclose the financial risk of a shift to a lump-sum matching contribution, according to Galvin’s statement.



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