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  1. #1

    To buy or rent? Age difference marriage

    I am 45, husband is 70, we moved a couple years ago to Deep South with kids, for husband's job. Currently, we are in a long term lease while we get the lay of the land and made sure this would be our last move (we've moved 5 times in last 22 years that we've been married, within US and abroad). He currently has his dream job and intends to continue working as long as he can. We have 1 child in college, 1 who is a sophomore in high school and the other two are 10 and under. Yes, it's an unusual situation and most of our families think we're nuts but it is what it is

    So, our long term lease ends in 2020 and at that point we need to either finally buy a house or find a smaller, less expensive rental.

    My concerns:

    -if we buy a house and my husband retires or something happens to him, I won't be able to afford mortgage on my salary plus his Social Security/pension. (When he retires, our take home pay will be cut in half, almost). We will have kids in private school until 2031.

    -We have a house in Europe and we go there every summer, it ends up being less expensive to take family there for 2 months than to put them in summer camps/daycare. I teach so it works out. This is our "backup" plan. We can always go there but it would be disruptive to younger kids, they speak the language and so on but after 4 years here, they are very settled. it wouldn't be the end of the world, I could find a teaching job and there are aspects of life there I like more than the US. Another issue is the healthcare system there isn't great and while my husband is healthy, he's getting older and would be at the mercy of a broken system there (it's Greece, they're in the midst of a catastrophic financial crisis).

    -if we buy a house, I'm worried about hidden costs and all the maintenance and don't know if the tax savings/equity would be worth it.

    -Renting: I'm worried about throwing $ away but it would give us the flexibility that our situation requires plus we wouldn't have to worry about maintenance and taxes. Also, eventually, he will spend most of his time in Greece while we go back and forth.

    Sorry so long and would appreciate any insight! My sisters (one a lawyer and one a financial planner) think we should rent.

  2. #2
    Renting seems to make sense if you are uncertain of the city you will live in during your time in the USA. You are in a lease until 2020, so things may change a lot by then. But owning has benefits, too. It does offer some level of financial protection over ever-increasing rents. However, as property taxes increase, annual costs on an owned residence will also increase — but not as steeply as rents when the economy is good

    Let’s assume that your husband will live to 90+. That probably means, when your present lease renews, its likely he will be doing some serious planning about retiring. You have to make a few assumptions and decisions.

    *Assume your DH will retire at age 75 just for the sake of decision-making
    *Consider if its in the best interest of your younger kids to live in the USA if its truly the plan that their dad resides in Greece
    *Evaluate why you use private schools and if there are high performing public schools in affordable (either on a lease or purchase) areas. Or, are there acceptable private schools in Greece near your home there
    *Consider where, as a retired 65 year old woman, you will choose to reside. By then you should be a grandmother and where your children as adults settle will have an impact on your desires. Where do your sisters live? You may want to live in reasonable proximity to them.
    *Look at the variety of purchase options —- condo’s, towhouses, villas (zero lot houses) that don’t require much maintenance

  3. #3
    If you purchase a house then you should get life insurance or mortgage insurance to cover the loan. Life insurance is a better option because it offers flexibility and does not decrease in value like mortgage insurance.

    Also, in the event of your husband's death, your underage children can draw Social benefits until age 18

  4. #4
    I think you have to start working on a retirement budget. For planning I would assume your husband is retired. Once you have the budget figure out how much you need in investment assets to generate the necessary income. Then adjust your current life style so you can save enough money for retirement.
    I think buying or renting is a life style more than a financial decision. But if you buy I think you need to have the mortgage paid off before you retire.


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