How to Become a ‘Snowbird’
September 11, 2006 Business News(PRLEAP.COM) Columbiana, OH— A ritual almost as regular as the arrival of the Robin is the movement of Snowbird Retirees to their homes in the North, Midwest and East and the return to their second home down south or out west when the temperatures drop.
The snowbirding life, great for many retirees, is a tragedy for others.
Jim Miller, an author and Registered Investment Advisor, says Snowbird Retirement is great for those retirees who have a well-developed financial plan to fund their income needs, manage their risk and to coordinate their financial plan with their estate plan.
“I’ve seen so very many retirees realize too late that what they had believed made sense was not after all in their best interest,” says Miller. That’s why Jim Miller, a Registered Investment Advisor, has published Retire Dollar $mart: How you can do better than the Millionaire next door with less than half the capital… (ISBN 1-4120-3000-5, $25.99, 197 pages, Trafford available at: www.retiredollarsmart.com), a definitive primer on retirement investment portfolio design and investment management.
Miller, owner of ON Track Financial Services LLC, has more than 20 years experience designing retirement portfolios for clients. “I help my clients ensure they will not run out of money during their retirement. I help them get the most income, and the most secure growth at the lowest possible cost.”
To maintain two homes in retirement costs quite a bit more than most Snowbirds believed in the beginning. It is not enough to simply add up the living costs for each location and divide by the amount of time spent there.
“You must also take into account the costs of absentee ownership of both places,” stresses Miller. “Then it is prudent to factor in extra money for unforeseen expenses. For many retirees the ability to design a retirement income and investment portfolio to accommodate these additional expenses can be too complex and demanding. Proper help and consultation is required and many will pick absolutely the wrong people and institutions to help them.”
Prudent forecasting, maximum cost control, and the best tax strategies will determine success for all retirees.
“When looking at a winter home, value would be the first consideration I would look at,” advises Miller. “What is the home really worth and how well will it hold its value? How much can you borrow against it? In my mind the most important question is, do you want this property to cost you or to be a real investment for you?”
Other questions Snowbirds should ask about winter homes include:
 How much money can you spend on it and how long will you be required to tie that money up to own this property?
 Can you make money from this investment if you find you do not want to live there any longer?
 Must you personally be there to make money from it?
 What are the tax consequences long-term to both you and your family?
Before buying that winter home, Snowbirds should get the best possible help with their real needs first from an advisor, manage real risks with prudence and sophistication, and acquire and study Retire Dollar $mart.
Miller said he wrote Retire Dollar $mart to educate his clients and help them do the best they can for themselves. The second reason was to inform the public because nearly all of the information available to retirees about money management and investing in retirement is simply propaganda — advertising for the investment and financial services mainstream.
“I wanted retirees to know the truth and be able to make decisions based on that truth rather than depending on the so-called ‘free advice’ that has led them and is leading them to make decisions that are not only the wrong thing to do but just the opposite of the right thing to do,” stressed Miller.
For information about On Track Financial Services call 888-241-7641.
For a review copy of Retire Dollar $mart or to arrange an interview with Jim Miller, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090 or cell at: 248-705-2214.