By Graham Farran

Southern Oregon has attracted retirees for years with its four seasons, culture, wine industry and outdoor activities, all combined with great heath care and affordable housing.  For the last sixteen years, we have been helping hundreds of people find their perfect retirement home and along the way we have learned a lot about the perfect retirement home and how to retire the right way! In our office, we have a standing joke that the number one most requested home in Southern Oregon for a retiree is a one story home, new construction, on one acre and in town.  To find a home like this can be hard, so they often end up compromising and end up with a two story house with the master on the bottom, completely updated, but not necessarily new, and outside of the city limits. Most of our retired clients are in great physical health but have taken care of their elderly parents and have seen first-hand what it looks like to be in your 90’s; so, they are planning for the future and want to “age in place” and not have to move. What has surprised us is how many retirees have never lived on rural property before but want to retire on a rural property. Many have spent their lives in subdivisions, and part of the attraction of Oregon is its rural feel and small population.  They have been living all their life in homes on small city lots with sidewalks, street lights, neighbors and crowds so it’s natural that they have dreamed of living in a rural setting. We have learned from our clients and have seen some important differences on how to retire. There is no right or wrong way, there are just different ways. Here are some philosophies on how best to retire.

Many retirees come here with dreams of living on rural property. Many prefer to be away from a city, on a river, in a forest, with a view, but away from herds of people. We all want what we don’t have, so it’s natural to leave a state like California with 40 million people and seek a rural life. We have helped so many retirees find a beautiful piece of property – some so private you can’t see a neighbor, some with shops large enough to accommodate all their retirement hobbies, some on a river or creek, some with irrigation to start that vineyard they have always dreamed about and some with views to die for. These rural homes make for a great retirement, fulfilling many life dreams and are perfect in early retirement.  However, in many cases, when they reach their 80’s or 90’s, their rural properties become too much to handle and they call us to find them a smaller house near town and medical services.  So, the only downside is that often a rural property is not the last retirement home.

There is another philosophy involving retirees who want to move to a small one story, newer home, within walking distance of stores and restaurants. Jacksonville is a popular place for this. Everywhere in Jacksonville is close to town and you can walk everywhere. Retirees see themselves as aging in place and living in their last home. With our housing prices well below our neighboring states to the north and south, we are seeing couples who are able to sell their homes out of state, buy a great home here, plus have monies left over to invest in the stock market or buy a few rental homes.

We have also seen many retirees buy two homes and split their time at each. This can take many forms – one home here and one near their grandkids, one home here and one winter home in Arizona or Hawaii, one home here and one on the coast. Or my favorite, one home here and one home in the mountains, perhaps near a nice, high mountain lake. So many of our clients have turned into our friends, and what we have learned from them is to plan well for your retirement, no matter what age you are, make your retirement time one of the greatest times of your life, fulfill your dreams and enjoy those golden years.