Read the contract

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A MarketWatch.com article on retirement communities advises to “read the contract.” Good advice. If you think you’ll shift from RVing to living in a retirement community¬† – or assisted living or a nursing home – read this. In fact, this is excellent advice if you buy into an RV community.

Contracts (and state laws) vary tremendously. In the case of some continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs, you do not get your money back if you buy in. In some communities, getting your money back could take months, depending on whether or not there is a buyer waiting. The article gives several scenarios.

Park models at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, AZ.

Park models at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, AZ.

The later could happen in an RV community.¬† For example, the Escapees RV Club has a number of parks, varying from co-op to deeded lots to leased lots. The co-ops usually have waiting lists; you can get the money back you invested fairly quickly. For a deeded lot, you have to wait until it sells. For any RV park or resort that you buy into or lease – whether it is the lot or a structure- be sure you are clear on how you can get out of it. If your situation changes or it turns out you don’t like the place, you should be able to get your money back fairly quickly so you have other options.

Remember, even if a choice for a place to live looks perfect, you could change your mind. Health, relatives or other factors could mean another choice is better. Make sure you have the choice to change without losing a lot of money by reading the contract carefully before you sign. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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