Every year when the weather gets cold, thousands of northerners flock to the south to soak up the sun and, more importantly, avoid frigid temperatures. This migratory pattern has earned this group the “snowbirds” nickname. While it might seem like a tropical locale is an expensive place to spend your winter (and your cash) this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are a few ways to save if you’re ready to get serious about snowbirding.
The first way to save is to downsize your primary home. A slightly smaller home can save you a ton of money in the long run, and they’re easier to maintain. If your kids have flown the coop, you might not need the space anyway. Plus, you’ll save on heating and electric costs. Finally, it’ll force you to get rid of belongings and furniture you no longer need. (Which you can sell for even more cash.)
If you’re not too keen on moving house just yet, you could always rent out your primary home. Consider setting up an Airbnb account or looking for vacation exchanges. You’ll probably need another person’s help to maintain it, but this can be a simple way to offset some of the money you’re spending.
When you think “warm winter” you might think of a beach somewhere in Hawaii. But don’t just limit yourself to one location. One way to save is by searching for the most affordable spots to spend your winters. If you don’t want to give up the beach, Florida is one of the most affordable places for retirees. Plus, there are tons of senior-oriented communities and activities in Florida. But don’t limit yourself to one spot. If you love to travel, you can save and see some beautiful sights in other warm states, such as Arizona.
Not everyone will want to (or can afford to) spend a full six months of the year in a second home. Another way to save is to take an abbreviated snowbird vacation. Instead of spending six months, maybe limit your trip to only the coldest months. If you don’t mind spending the earliest and latest parts of winter at home, you can save tons on short-term rentals.
Once you’re actually at your destination, you can save even more cash by cooking in instead of eating out. Not only is this better for your wallet, but it’s probably healthier for you, too. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t enjoy the occasional night out. But when you do, don’t forget to ask for a senior discount at one of these restaurants!