The article “American Seniors Enjoy the Middle Class Life” (1) tells how Americans aged 65 to 74 using Social Security, pensions, investments and delayed retirement have emerged particularly well positioned in the nation’s economic timeline.
Click on this image to see the pocket of opportunity we stumbled across from The Villages to Mount Dora.
The article says: While there are plenty of individual exceptions, as a group they are better off financially than past generations and may well enjoy a more successful old age than future ones, even those merely a decade younger. In the past, the elderly were usually poorer than other age groups. Now, they are the last generation to widely enjoy a traditional pension, and are prime beneficiaries of a government safety net targeted at older Americans. They also have profited from the long rise in real estate prices that preceded the recession. As a result, more seniors now fall into the middle class — defined in this case between the 40th and 80th income percentile — than ever before.
The article is interesting but what especially caught my attention is the following:
More secure in their finances, many older Americans have congregated in traditional retirement communities. The Villages — a Central Florida haven for seniors with its low crime and dozens of golf courses — has been the fastest-growing American metropolitan area for the last two years.
For the past five years I have been singing the praises of opportunity in Central Florida, especially around Mount Dora which is about 40 minutes drive to the Villages. Merri and I have been accumulating property in this area and once again find ourselves holding property in a fast rising market.
Since the 1970s when I was working from Hong Kong, publishing our books and reports on global investing, we also included special real estate opportunity created by distortions and trends.
In 1976, I noticed that London real estate had not appreciated while property prices in much of the USA, Asia and Western Europe had skyrocketed. Research showed that there had been a huge real estate crash in 1970 which continued to dampen London real estate prices six years later despite the rampant global inflation. This was quite a distortion so I started buying British real estate. The first house in Bedford Park (a London suburb) cost $35,000 and sold four years later for $253,000.
Our London experience led us to the Isle of Man where again real estate prices were of incredible value. At the same time we began accumulating real estate in Naples, Florida. Prices exploded upwards in both places. After years there we headed to the Dominican Republic and enjoyed enviable appreciation again until we stumbled across incredible real estate bargains in Ecuador.
For fifty years we have been able to get in at the very beginning of really strong real estate appreciation, but here is the point. Not once did we go to any of these places: Hong Kong, London, Naples, Isle of Man, Dominican Republic Ecuador or Central Florida, to look for an investment. Merri and I followed our passions. We were having fun first going where we desired and because our desires are like those of so many we were in the path of opportunity.
Yes, we had to be aware and watch for opportunity. Yes, we had to do our due diligence and research in each place. Yes, we had to work hard and take risks. But that all took place after we saw that we stumbled upon the opportunity because we were just having fun.
Next time you think about starting a business or making an investment, ask yourself, “Will I enjoy this?” Our nature gives us two driving forces, pleasure and pain. We like to spend as much time as we can doing pleasurable things.
We avoid pain like the plague. Let’s look for something fun to do in business or investing.