7 “Must-Do” Items Now That You Are Retired

Category: Retirement Planning

Note: This is the third in our series of vital things you need to do once you retire. The first 2 installments include different things to think about, and also have some great Comments from our Members.

February 8, 2016 — Well done, your long-awaited reward for years of hard work, struggle, and sacrifice is here. Now that you’ve actually retired, we have just a few more tasks to complete the process. Once you tick these off you can truly enjoy your retirement, knowing that you done most if not all of the important things you need to do to protect your family and heirs, not to mention make the most of this experience. (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 8th, 2016

To Work Or Not to Work: Many Early SS Claimers Make An Un-informed Choice

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 2, 2016 — Social Security – so misunderstood. And unfortunately, that misinformation causes many people to make very costly decisions. This article will talk about how one of those decisions – filing early and deciding not to work any more because of fear that earnings will be taken away – can jeopardize financial health. We’ll explain that mistake in detail, but first we have to give some background, including how concerns about Obamacare can complicate the decision making. Note: we are not accountants or financial experts. Before you make any important financial decision consider it carefully and get expert help.

Over the years Congress has tweaked Social Security to encourage people to work to at least Normal Retirement Age (66 for most boomers), rather than collecting sooner (the earliest you can claim is at age 62). The thought was to encourage folks to work longer and delay benefits so they have the opportunity to save more money for retirement. And, because they paid more into the SS system, they and their surviving spouses get higher benefits for the rest of their lives. Both factors result in (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 1st, 2016

Can a Northerner Find Retirement Happiness in the South: Part 2

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Note: This is Part 2 in a series. Part 1, “Can a Yankee Find Happiness in the South”, came out in 2010 and has generated an amazing 241 comments so far. The topic continues to be of interest: there have already been 52 comments made so far this year!

January 26, 2015 — It is an important question for every snowbird considering a big move in retirement: will you be happy in your new location and culture? Part 1 explored the pros and cons our many members from the northeast face as they head south for retirement – often seeking warmer weather, lower costs, and fewer taxes. Here in Part 2 we will (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 26th, 2016

Staying Busy All Day: Why Not Expand Your Mind And Have Fun Too!

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

January 19, 2016 — The 4th leg of last week’s Retirement Plan on a 3 X 5 Index Card was the question: How will you stay busy all day? The point seemed to resonate with many folks. Some have great plans and never expect a dull moment, others are clearly worried that the close of their working days will mean the end of mental stimulation. Today’s article focuses on how lifelong learning programs help hundreds of thousands of retirees keep their minds sharp while learning all kinds of interesting and useful stuff.

We know of at least 4 great ways to get involved in lifelong (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 18th, 2016

Gray Divorce: A Big Financial Cost

Category: Family and Retirement

January 13, 2016 — Baby boomers have long been the vanguard of a host of social changes – and it continues. Susan Brown, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University, estimates that 650,000 people over the age of 50 divorced in 2010, most of them boomers. While ending a marital bond might end a long period of unhappiness and even open the way to a new life, it does come at an economic cost.

It is an age old problem; when the proverbial marital blanket is split in half, (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 12th, 2016

The 3 x 5 Index Card Guide to Retirement Planning

Category: Retirement Planning

January 11, 2016 — It can be daunting to think about planning for retirement. There is so much to consider, where do you even start? But what if all you had to think about was boiled down to a 3 x 5 index card? That is what we have done in the part 1 of this article. In part 2 we are going to show how you how to write your retirement action plan on an index card, complete with a sample.

Our hope is that once you have seen retirement planning simplified to the bare essence, you will give planning a chance. So (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 11th, 2016

Topretirements Gets Mobile Friendly

Category: General Retirement Issues

February 1 Update: Since we published this post more of the Topretirements site has gone mobile friendly. The City Reviews, over 1000 of them, are now much easier to view on your mobile. Please also check out our 2nd video, which is a quick one on “How to Get Started Finding the Best Communities at Topretirements

January 3, 2016 — If you are viewing Topretirements on a tablet like an Ipad or a smartphone, there is a different look from you would have seen a few days ago. The world is moving more and more to mobile phones and ipads, and Topretirements.com is trying to meet that demand. To that end we are pleased to announce that after a long and demanding upgrade process, our site is now much easier to use and better looking on the small screen.

Stats by device type
The trend is pretty clear – Internet users are moving from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones. In the last 6 months (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 3rd, 2016

The Best of 2015 at Topretirements: From Best Places to Funky Towns

Category: General Retirement Issues

December 30, 2015 — As 2015 begins to float away in the eddy of the busy holidays, it is interesting to see which articles grabbed the attention of the Topretirements.com community during the year. There are always at least a few surprise articles that generate more readership and Comments than we expected. Here is our annual review of the best of Topretirements for 2015.

We Do Appreciate
Before we list the best articles, we need to mention some other bests here. For one, we appreciate the loyal advertisers who make this site possible. Many have been with us almost since our beginnings in 2007 – thank you for your support. Our members are tops too; we love your insightful and thought-provoking comments and suggestions (please keep both coming!) It is fun to produce this site for such an engaged group of people.

Most Read Articles of 2015
The first few articles are no strangers to this list – our (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 29th, 2015

They’re Back: Charitable IRA Contributions Not Taxable

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

December 28, 2015 — You only have a few days left to do it, but you can now once again make a qualified charitable donation from your IRA in 2015, and not have that donation count as taxable income. The re-authorization of The IRA Charitable Rollover provision is one of many outcomes of the Congress’s recent Omnibus spending bill (PATH Act of 2015). The provision allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The change is permanently reinstated. The payment must be made directly to the charity from the IRA or 401k.

The problem with this good news is that most (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 27th, 2015

How Much of Your Social Security Benefit Will You Pay in Taxes

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Note: This article compiles information from a Social Security Office or Retirement and Disability Report: Taxation of Social Security Income. Note that we are not tax professionals – consult your accountant or other expert before you make any important decisions on this issue.
December 18, 2015 — Many of our members are either not aware that they might have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits, or if they are, not sure how much they might have to pay. This article will try to shed some light on the issue.

Social Security beneficiaries with total income exceeding certain thresholds have been required to claim part of their Social Security benefits as taxable income since 1984. The income thresholds for taxation of benefits have remained unchanged since Congress first established them but, because wages have increased, the proportion of Social Security beneficiaries who must pay federal income tax on their benefits has risen over (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 19th, 2015
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