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Here is the story. I am 63 and plan on retiring when I hit 68.
1) I currently have around $250,000 in equity after brokerage fees based on my home being super nice and at the beach. My wife is retired. She has income and when I retire, I will have around $10,000 per month to live on before taxes. Together we will have around $13500 per month before taxes to live on.
2) Once I retire, I won't be able to afford my home. I've been working at this company for 34 years and by the time I hit 68, that will be 38 years. If I want to stay at my home I would have to keep working and I don't want to. I am getting burned out.
3) I own one car and will have the other paid off in a couple of years and other then the house, no debt (Thanks Dave)
4) Right now, the market at the beach is still hot, regardless of the virus but my wife is really worried that if we don't sell the house this year, we could see the market crash because its been going up for years and it could take another 5-8 years to get back to where it is now or even longer. I am worried that I could be working until I turn 70 and I can't. FYI, our home value today is $500,000 higher then back in 2012 so that worries me when the next crash happens in California and it will happen.
Question: What would you do? Sell then tuck the money away, rent for now and buy a small home when the market does crash at a price lower than it is today in California.
or chance that in 5 years, I would still have equity.
or Sell now, use the equity to buy a small home that has a mortgage that I can afford once I retire?


My dream would be to leave this high taxed state and pay cash for a home in another state but grandkids are just to wonderful to leave. Appreciate other ideas as well. I know how we all talk about no debt but where we live, the cost of a home and the cost of rent is high and paying for it with cash is not workable at this late stage of my life. Thank you.
 

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Sometimes you can find less expensive homes in CA that are in mountain villages, like Wrightwood or Big Bear. It's too bad that you have to sell your home. My experience in CA has been that my parents' home and my home values have continured to rise over time. Ours held the value, even when people were losing their homes. It depends on how much land you have, if you bought in a down market, and if you own your home outright. Maybe call Dave Ramsey and ask him. It sounds to me like you have an excellent amount of money to live on in retirement, but I don't have a mortgage. I know people in your situation who sold their home here, and now regret it. (usually they want to be near the grandkids.) Buying a new home can be very expensive. Could you reduce your expenses and pay off the home faster? Could you sell some stuff, or drive older cards? You seem very well set up to me, financially.
 

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I would trust your gut as far as the choices you listed. If the action makes you feel uneasy, that's your best financial advice. Proposition 13 is another consideration in CA. Taxes are so high with these soaring home prices. I can live on very little in CA, but I have low expenses and a 567 square foot home. that I bought as a fixer upper. Suze Orman usually recommends that people in your situation sell now. She feels we are at the height of the market. If you can downsize and rent, then buy something when prices are better, that's ideal. I just don't know if that advice holds in California. Rentals are scarce up in Wrightwood, because everyone is now doing Air B&B.
 
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