It’s Open Enrollment Season for Medicare and Obamacare: Not Paying Attention Could Cost You Money

Category: Health Issues

Note: This is the 4th article in our series on health care insurance and Medicare for baby boomers. Earlier articles explained Medicare, what to do if you are too young or ineligible for Medicare, and how our members feel about Medicare (find links to those articles and more at bottom). Part 4 will explain why open enrollment season is so important, what you need to do about it, plus the issues you should be looking at.

November 25, 2014 — This is the open enrollment period for both Medicare and Obamacare. If you are not getting health insurance from your employer you probably need to use this period to make sure that you are getting the coverages you need at the most affordable price. Changes are everywhere, especially in the new Obamacare arena, so you need to be on top of them.

Two different enrollment periods
Which open enrollment period you need to worry about depends on whether you are talking about Medicare or the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Medicare enrollment started on October 15 and runs through December 7. In other words, it’s almost over!
Affordable Care Act enrollment goes from November 15 to February 15 (half the time it was in 2014).

What is an Open Enrollment Period
An open enrollment period is the time during which you can change (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 24th, 2014

The Villages: Developer of World’s Largest Active Community Dies

Category: Active adult communities

November 13, 2014 — Many residents of the giant active adult community, The Villages, are mourning the loss of the legendary developer of their community, Gary Morse. Morse died on October 29 at the age of 77.

He moved to Central Florida in 1983 and starting selling real estate in the modest mobile home park owned by his father. Originally the homes here were mobile homes in a development called Orange Blossom Gardens. Over time the homes became a mixture of (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 13th, 2014

Heading Back to Campus in Retirement: University-Related Communities Make Great Places to Retire

Category: Active adult communities

Note: This is the 4th in a 4 part series on college town retirements. See Further Reading below for links to the first 3 installments.
November 11, 2014 — College towns are very often great places to retire. You are virtually guaranteed an interesting cultural life with plenty of opportunities to stimulate your mind. In most cases you might be able to take or audit college classes, or perhaps there is a Lifelong Learning program set up with the college. There are sporting events to attend, as well as world class facilities you might be able to use such as gyms or pools. College towns usually have more interesting shops and restaurants than in comparable towns. Lastly, most people find the presence of young people to be invigorating.

What Are College Affiliated Communities
Several colleges and universities have set up or have relationships with active communities or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) (more…)

Posted by John Brady on November 11th, 2014

Leaving an Inheritance to Your Children… The Height of Foolishness?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 8, 2014 — We retirees have a strong desire to leave something for the kids once we go on to baby boomer heaven. A recent study by the Population Research Center at the University of Texas found that 86% of people aged 59-96 expect to leave an inheritance to their kids and grandkids. In reporting that study the New York Times article, “The Children Will Be Fine: Spend Their Inheritance“, called this perhaps “the height of foolishness”. Let’s take a look why.

About half of baby boomers are concerned they won’t be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Yet the 86% figure from the University of Texas study shows that even people stressed by their retirement finances still hope to pass something on to the next generation. The irony (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 8th, 2014

The Best Islands for Retirement

Category: International Retirement

November 4, 2014 — Have you ever dreamed about retiring on an island? A relaxing place with warm breezes, the gentle sound of lapping waves, endless sunshine, and friendly locals? You certainly wouldn’t be the only person to share that dream. This article will review the pros and cons of island living, plus share 2 list of islands that might be good retirement spots – a domestic list we created and another, the 10 best tropical island retirements from NextAvenue.org.

There are islands – and there are islands
Some people’s idea of an island for retirement might be domestic, such as an island on a big lake in Michigan, one of the many off of the Maine coast, Catalina Island near (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 4th, 2014

Are Time Shares Part of Your Retirement Strategy?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

October 30, 2014 — Our member Louise recently started an interesting conversation about time shares on another of our posts. Then Caps suggested that we begin a Blog post on that topic. Seems like a fine idea, since we know that many retirees rely on time shares, aka Interval Ownership units, as a way to make their retirement life more enjoyable.

Time Shares – Different Strokes
Many folks have 1 or 2 time shares that they look forward to using every year. Some have additional weeks in different locales and time periods. Others we know have consecutive weeks in the same locale/complex, which allows them to stay in a favorite place for a long period of time. And then we know others who not only have consecutive weeks, but have multiple units at the same time so their children/grandchilden can visit.

How time shares get used also varies. Some folks stay (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2014

Where Are the Prettiest Places to Retire?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

October 28, 2014 — Your editor was at a family wedding a few weeks ago when one of our smart young nephews surprised us with a question. Daeson, who was curious about Topretirements.com, queried: “What is the prettiest town you know about?” The unexpected question stunned me, maybe because there are so many choices. I didn’t have a good answer.

Eventually I managed to stutter out Naples, Florida (to which the good wife said, Naples?), and Lucca, Italy. In the days afterwards I came up with many more, better possibilities. The exercise made me realize that it might be a really good idea to go further afield and ask you, our esteemed Topretirements members, what you think are the prettiest towns. In the interest of keeping on (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 28th, 2014

Social Security Beneficiaries to Get 1.7% COLA Bump

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 23,2014 — Monthly Social Security retirement benefits will increase 1.7 percent in 2015. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) begins in January 2015 and affects benefits received by more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

More Changes
The amount that beneficiaries under age 66 can receive before having (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 23rd, 2014

Tell Us Where You Are Living in Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

October 21, 2014 — Recently one of our members asked a very helpful question: “Why don’t you get people who have actually retired someplace to tell us where and why”. The request makes a good addition to other articles we have written about where people are thinking about retiring. Sorry we can’t find who it was who made this suggestion, but whoever you are – thanks for the great idea to get feedback from people who have actually retired somewhere.

In preparing for this article we found that we already have received some (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 21st, 2014

It’s That Time Again: The Snowbird’s Leaving for the Winter Checklist

Category: Home and Garden

October 15, 2014 — Every year about this time we link to our “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist” that we originally published in 2010. And every year we add to it and hone it in different ways, based on our own experience the previous year. We hope you find it helpful. To make it as valuable as possible we link to the original article, because there over the years there have been so many helpful and interesting Comments added by our members.

Here is the link to the original (but updated) article, “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist

For further reading
How to Find a Great Snowbird Rental for the Winter
Our Ideal Snowbird Pairings (Summer and Winter)
Sandy’s Adventures Part ii: How to Find a Great Snowbird Location for the Winter

Posted by Admin on October 14th, 2014
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