65. Save $1,000-$2,000 per month – Save money by relocating to a less expensive area
You can save money by relocating to a less expensive area.
How they did it: Several years ago Lynn and Larry Luessen, now 62 and 65, built an idyllic four-bedroom second home at Virginia's Wintergreen Resort, 110 miles away from their three-story townhouse in Fredericksburg, Va.
But as Larry, an engineer, neared retirement, he and Lynn, a former teacher, worried they couldn't afford two mortgages. So in 2008 they sold the townhouse and moved to Wintergreen year-round; Larry commuted to his office once a week and stayed in a hotel overnight until his retirement last year.
The savings were huge: Their living expenses dropped by $1,900 a month without the mortgage, HELOC, taxes, insurance, and association fees, even after accounting for monthly gas and lodging bills of $450. That's not including the $4,500 annual country club membership they canceled or the $300 monthly payments they erased by paying off their car loan with proceeds from the sale.
Life couldn't be better -- or cheaper -- for the Luessens, who are avid skiers, golfers, and tennis players. Says Larry, "All the things we used to pay extra for are here, no extra cost."
How you can do it: One in five people who moved last year were motivated by a lower cost of living, according to a Moving.com survey. But finding a place that suits your family as well as your finances takes some legwork.