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My wife and I are both federal employees and will retire in a few years with total (combined) pensions of around $10,000 a month. Our nest egg for retirement (TSP plus savings) will be another $2 million or so. Social Security will kick in on top of that.
We both love skiing and ski towns, but also lakes with forest running and mountain biking trails. It seems hard to find affordable ski towns that aren’t too touristy with good lakes and water sports nearby. We’d prefer not to be too far from a “real” city to get our urban fix, when needed.
We have $200,000 available for a down payment. That would put a house budget at around $1 million. We’ve looked at Park City — it’s pricey these days. Aspen Valley is way out of reach, as is Breckenridge. East Coast skiing is icy and unpredictable. Places like Whitefish (in Montana) or Crested Butte (in Colorado) are nice but remote and hard to get to. Same with Durango. New Mexico lacks the lake options (ie, Santa Fe, Taos). Lake Tahoe is congested and full of casinos and second homes. I feel like we must be missing something. Any ideas? Thanks! Dillon Dear Dillon, An underdiscovered ski town? That’s a tough one.
I hear you on pricey, but that’s down to supply and demand. And right now, demand is hotter than normal as people figure they can work from somewhere else. Sadly for you, Breckenridge is particularlyhot.
And ski towns are often in no rush to build more housing. See these objections about a proposed development in Breckenridge as an example. But a $1 million housing budget is nothing to sneeze at. Many are priced out of their dream ski town with far less. I admit I’m nervous about an $800,000 mortgage. You know your expenses and lifestyle better than I do, but please, double-check your budget and don’t forget to take income taxes on tax-deferred savings into account. Yes, you have an impressive nest egg and pensions. Equally, a 30-year mortgage at 3% is $3,373 in monthly payments — and then there are property taxes and possibly HOA fees.
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