TODAY   |  March 29, 2012

Reimagine where retirement can take you

Financial expert Sharon Epperson and Mark Orwoll of Travel + Leisure magazine talk about new and different places to retire, such as a cruise ship, a recreational vehicle and co-housing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every year. it's creating a new trend when it comes to where they spend their golden years. mark is the international editor of "travel & leisure" magazine and sharon epperson is cnbc's personal finance correspondent. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> most people think of florida. the real issue is not how but where. the first trend is co-housing. explain.

>> well, specifically for seniors. senior co-how'sing is a trend that started in denmark about 30 or 40 years ago. here's what it is. it blends the best of communal living but with a private residence so you own your own home but in a little community. it might only be 20 or 30 houses. valverde is one of the newest ones in taos. there's only 28 homes. there's a common area. you'll have social group dinners.

>> you share the house with other people?

>> no.

>> okay.

>> that's the best thing about it. you own your own house, but you live in a community where everybody knows you. a lot of retirees like that aspect.

>> another trend that certainly caught my eye, the tiny house. tell us about the tiny house.

>> sharon and i were talking about this earlier. it's crazy. sometimes it's little. it's 400 square feet , a little kitchenette, very intimate sitting room. a loft bedroom. the interesting thing about this, what a lot of people are looking at is putting these on their grown children's property so they have their own independence, but they have the proximity of their kids.

>> also called the granny pod in the backyard.

>> in-law pod. before we go further, let's check in on some of the realities of doing this financially.

>> well, the realities of doing it financially, when you talk about senior co-housing, a lot of folks if they're living in their home, they've been there for years, a lot of their friends and neighbors have moved away, this is more of a social investment than a financial investment. you want to have friends and neighbors that might be able to take care of you. even if you have long-term care insurance, you have a caregiver to come in, you don't have your friends and family there. that's one of the considerations for co-housing. in terms of the tiny cottage, you really have to look at the local officials, the zoning board , see if it makes sense for your community. if they'll even allow you to do it, and see if it makes more financial sense to do that than just making an addition or fixing up another bedroom.

>> tiny fine print for the tiny house.

>> $40,000 or less for one of those houses.

>> another trend, some retirees going abroad. some countries in particular are very friendly to retirees.

>> belize has got beautiful caribbean coastline. this is for active retirees, if you like scuba, snorkel, jungle trekking and it's only about a four-hour flight from the united states . long weekends or vacation. it's very affordable.

>> i see pictures like that, i'm sold. what should we be cautious about?

>> make sure you understand what the health care requirements will be and make sure that you have a health care provider . you may not be able to get immediate care there. you want to make sure you can pay for your health care . the tax situation, probably going to be different than here. make sure you know what your payments will be and always contact social security to make sure you can get the payments. usually most countries you can get them, but some countries, if they don't have an agreement with the u.s., you may not be able to get your social security payments.

>> another thing is people cruising through their retirements. explain that.

>> there are people who will live on a cruise ship all year round. this is a little more expensive. not maybe as expensive as you would think. but if you've ever been on a cruise, you think that this is your lifestyle, i'm going to tell you an all eastern tif, just do an around-the- world cruise . it's 100 days roughly. it's a way to test it out and see if this is something you really want to do. everything's included, your meals, accommodation, maid service , it's all in the price.

>> very quickly, working and living in an rv.

>> it's called work camping. i was just talking with my retiree mom who knows a lot of people who do this. you travel in your rv, go to a camp. you can actually work at the camp, earn some spending money, pay for your campsite and travel on to the next place.

>> ten seconds. what would you warn?

>> just make sure when you're doing these things, this is for the first ten years of your retirement. make sure you have enough saved for the final ten years. make sure you've planned for long-term care insurance, even longevity insurance , something that will pay out an annuity when you're 80, 85. most people are living to 83 or 86. enjoy your full retirement, not just the first ten years.

>> after the cruise retiring. mark and sharon, good information. thanks so much.