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Alternative Retirement: A Lighthouse?

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 8 comments.


One of my dilemmas is the difficulty I’ve had with determining where I’d like to live when I retire some day. In fact, I’m having enough trouble deciding where to live next year. While I should probably solve the more immediate issue first, I still think about how I’d want to live in the future.

This year, I started throwing something around 25% of my overall income into retirement accounts. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to do so without the extra side business income. I don’t want to struggle financially when I finally quit the traditional working lifestyle, so I’m trying to prepare for that today while still making the most of my life in the present.

Recently, Sasha wrote about 10 exotic, affordable retirement havens. This type of living would certainly be an option, but what if I want to stay close to my family? Thirty years from now, retiring in the United States just may not be affordable.

Delaware Bay LighthouseApparently, there’s an option I never considered. The government is selling off its lighthouses, and retirees looking for “adventurous” living are picking them up. After historical societies have had their pick of the best locations, the remainders are made available to private buyers. I’m more of a land-lubber, so this isn’t going to be my first choice, but I find the idea fascinating.

If you have $30,000 to $200,000 to spare and you’re looking for a location with unpredictable weather and… well, water, then perhaps you would consider purchasing a lighthouse and remodeling it. It could be an interesting life.

For the Golden Years, a Bright Idea [Barron's]

Updated April 9, 2008 and originally published November 9, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Mrs. Micah

Maybe if it was on land. I’m claustrophobic and I think being out in the water itself would have a similar effect to being locked in a bathroom–panic!

A lighthouse on land, on the other hand, would be a great place for me to make quilts and put pictures of myself online looking like a nice quaint old lady who must make awesome quilts so you should buy one. :) (that was a convoluted sentence!)

The stairs would be good exercise until I got too old for them.

Still going with New Zealand.

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avatar Brian

This sounds great, but both government sites made it sound much rarer to buy one than the two business articles implied. One of the gov’t sites even said “Federally-owned lighthouses rarely pass into private ownership.” It said that in 1999 only one lighthouse moved to private hands. And the gov’t property auction site only had barren lots in AZ! That’s no fun at all :)

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avatar Minimum Wage

I’m looking to find decent places where poor Americans could go to retire.

I imagine health care would be a major concern, since Medicare (to the extent it will still exist) won’t be any help to retirees outside the country.

Perhaps it would be feasible to retire, say, a few miles south of the border, and commute back north for health care?

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avatar daffodil

My sentiments exactly!! Have you had any response to your query or any other ideas? I know many close-to retirement folks with the same dilemma. I will continue to search but would like to share some thoughts–just to see if I’m nuts or not.

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