The baby boomer generation has some decisions to make in regards to housing for their retirement years. There are some really great opportunities right now:
Low prices - Particularly in resort and vacation communities, where many boomers would like to spend their retirement, prices of homes are down considerably. These markets are more impulse-driven, and the economic woes of late have cut buyer pressure significantly.
Very low interest rates - With mortgage interest rates at historically low levels, locking in that retirement home payment is a very appealing concept. Balancing a fixed income with lower fixed expenses is definitely a major goal.
Running out and buying that perfect retirement home is frequently dependent upon selling a current home. That's where the problems arise. With home prices stagnant or down across the country, boomers are not seeing the equity they had a few years ago. So, it's tricky to balance the need for cash for the purchase of a retirement home with the smaller equity that they'll receive from selling their current home.
While it's a bit daunting, it could still be an excellent time to sell and move on with retirement living. Call a real estate professional and ask for a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, to determine the market value of your home. Know in advance that it will probably be less than you hoped for. But, if there's enough there to buy that retirement home, it's very unlikely that you'll ever see a better time for long term savings.