San Antonio, Pittsburgh Among The Best Places To Retire 2020 | The Countdown | Forbes

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Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Timur and Pamela Lacey had flown from their Los Angeles-area home to Austin and Atlanta and were planning trips to Dallas, Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and the Florida Gulf Coast—all in search of a more affordable locale to enjoy an early retirement. “I’m still looking,’’ says Timur, a 57-year-old IT technician. Except instead of heading to the airport, he now pores over real estate listing websites and calls far-flung realtors to chat about their markets.

While he’s still looking, home sales have started to come back, thanks in part to record low mortgage rates and a stock market rebound. Daryl Fairweather, chief economist of Seattle-based Redfin, the big, cut-rate nationwide property brokerage, reports nearly half of its buyers are now making offers on a property without physically visiting it. She attributes that to a combination of coronavirus fear and enhanced online information, including interactive three-dimensional video scans produced for all homes listed by Redfin agents. In some states it’s even possible now to do a no-contact video closing.

What about retirees looking to buy? They “aren’t slowing down,” reports David Masterson, a real estate agent in Green Valley, Ariz., an area 25 miles from Tucson that is one of Forbes’ 25 picks for this year’s Best Places To Retire list. Such upbeat talk may sound jarring given the millions of laid-off Americans now worrying about paying their rent or mortgage or even putting food on the table.

But the reality is the Covid recession hasn’t been felt equally across generations; in a survey released last week, 32% of Millennials (aged 24 to 39), but just 16% of Baby Boomers (56 to 74), said that the current crisis has had an “extreme” or “very negative” impact on their personal finances. In that poll, 22% of still working boomers said they planned to retire later, and 14% sooner, because of the pandemic. But with the spread of work-from-home, even those who are delaying may be able to move now, points out George Rativ, a senior economist at the National Association of Realtors.

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