With winter storms plowing the Midwest and Northeast, the idea of “wintering” and “summering” in different places in order to take advantage of more temperate weather may be on more than a few minds.
However, the practicality of owning multiple residencies isn’t possible for everyone. If you are playing with the idea, however, it’s best to talk to those who know best. For this topic Quizzle turned to Ron Weiner, CFP, founder, president and CEO of RDM Financial Group and managing partner at HighTower Advisors.
What do retirees need to keep in mind when they are considering multiple residencies?
Ron Weiner: First, they will need to consider the real cost versus the actual usage. If you’re spending a relatively short time (a month or two) in the area, you’re much better off staying at a hotel and renting a car. If you’re planning on being in a country club, you must scrutinize all annual expenses, which can be exorbitant, including repairs and maintenance, which are often not considered.
If you have two residencies in two different states, this will complicate estate plans since states have different rules. Make sure that you get advice from a professional for each of those states.
On a positive note, depending on where you want to live, there could be tax advantages. For example, it may be tax advantageous for a Florida resident rather than a New York resident.
However, this is a tricky slope and there are many complicated rules that you must be informed on and will have to adhere to.
What resources are available?
- Budgeting can be done through a financial advisor, CPA or accounting professional.
- Realtors can give real assessments and costs.
- Research can be done on the individual’s part to account for things like transportation, cost of living, etc.
- If the individual is looking to qualify the resident in a tax-favored state, make sure there is a CPA who understands the ramifications of the two states that they have residencies in, and the same goes for estate planning.
What are some of the pros/cons of this lifestyle? Are there any financial pros to having multiple residencies?
The costs – typically higher expenses in the first year. Failure to utilize the amount of time down South than you may have thought. As people get older, it becomes stressful having to pack up and move and open and close a residence.
Lastly, you may be entertaining more than you may actually want to!
There are significant pros – the enjoyment of life. Spending the winter months in warm weather not only allows for greater freedom to enjoy your time outdoors, but it’s often a more leisurely lifestyle, which is good for the body as well for the soul.
Under the theory that you can’t take it with you, if you can afford it, winter in the sun is a wonderful experience. In addition, spending more time entertaining family and friends is a big plus.
Additionally, there are financial pros to having multiple residencies. If you have residents in more than one state, no income tax or estate tax for the tax-advantageous state could be a significant benefit.