Thinking About Holiday Options In Retirement

Steve’s _IMG_4533Although I live in a seaside resort, I’ve long dreamt about owning my own holiday home, to provide some variety in retirement.  I’m particularly attracted to the idea of taking holiday breaks off-season and renting my holiday home during the summer weeks.  I’m happy to stay at home in St Annes during the best weather weeks of the year, to maximise rental incomes.  That way I’d get to enjoy a holiday home during the winter, early spring and autumn providing some variety.  My favourite place would be Filey, which would provide me with amazing walks along the beach and cliffs even in bad weather provide I wrap up well.

My plan was to buy this holiday home with some of my tax free lump sum when I retire.  This year I’ve started to look into this seriously and I’ve had discussions with a few places so far.  Caravans seemed the obvious choice but after considering the the site costs and depreciation the numbers don’t appear to work for me.  I’ve also considered buying a cottage at Filey Bay or a studio apartment and these numbers seem much more attractive because whereas a caravan is a rapidly depreciating asset a cottage or apartment is typically an appreciating asset.  Given my preference for renting the late spring and early summer months it might work.

However after a long discussion with Debbie it seems clear that there’s no such thing as a free lunch in holiday’s.  If there was the big holiday companies would be making the capital investment themselves and there wouldn’t be a market for individual caravan or holiday home ownership.  It comes down to a lifestyle choice.  Some people spend crazy money on cars, some people buy caravans, some people buy mobile homes or boats.  None of these choices makes much sense in purely financial terms.   Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately that’s not how my brain works, I’m very attuned to investments with optimal cost benefit.

All things considered then, Debbie and I have made the preliminary conclusion that our best options are as follows, in order:

  1. Do house swaps, we live in a pretty desirable location so it shouldn’t be hard to find people who want to come to visit Lytham St Annes and it seems that there are good reputable organisations now that orchestrate the swap
  2. Rent off-season modest holiday homes
  3. Purchase a modest ‘bricks and mortar’ holiday home with good prime season rental potential, but also good off season walking potential
  4. Purchase a nice second hand caravan on a site with few facilities, and a location that many will find inconvenient, but we would like and hence only pay low site charges and low depreciation

I’ve enjoyed working through these options with Debbie this week, speculating about the future on a long walk is quite good fun, much better than talking to stupid caravan salesmen anyway!

The photo shows just how glorious a October morning walk can be on Filey beach, even better when there are seal pups to watch!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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