Social Security Trustees Report Little Change – Reform Needed

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

July 28, 2015 — If you were hoping for great news in the annual report from the Social Security Trustees, you will be disappointed – the program’s trust funds will still be exhausted in less than 20 years. However if you were looking for a doomsday report, you won’t find that either. Even when the Social Security trust funds are exhausted at the current projection date of 2034, current revenues will still be able to fund about 75% of promised benefits. But to avoid significant cuts to benefits, the program needs to be reformed sooner rather than later.

Here are some other facts from the Trustees Full Report: (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 28th, 2015

Don’t Make These 5 Costly Medicare Mistakes

Category: Health Issues

July 28, 2015 — There is at least one good thing about getting to the ripe old age of 65 – you are eligible for Medicare! It pretty much removes the worry of finding health and drug insurance coverage, and you get this benefit at a very low cost. But if you make some of these common mistakes, you might not be eligible for it when you want it, or it might cost you more money than it should.

We think this article will be useful for people who have not yet signed up for Medicare as well as those who are already in the program. It is part of our series on Medicare and health care insurance. See the bottom of this page for links to the rest of the series.

But before we launch into the worst Medicare mistakes, here is a tiny background about Medicare:

What is Medicare, and who is eligible?
Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Medicare has four parts — Part A, which is hospital insurance, Part B, which is medical insurance, Part C, which is Medicare Advantage Plans, and Part D, which (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 27th, 2015

More Affordable Places to Retire – A Reading List

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

July 21, 2015 — We just updated one of our earlier articles, “10 More Affordable (and Nice) Places to Retire“. While we knew we have written on this topic several times, we were surprised to find out that we have published at least 5 different “affordable” lists. So we thought it would be good to not only mention today’s updated article, but to also provide a reference in one place to all of the other ones. That way, anyone looking for ideas for a place where their retirement dollar goes further, and is also a nice place to retire, will have a ready source.

More Affordable Lists:
Affordable Places to Retire on the Waterfront, Part 1
Affordable Places to Retire on the Waterfront, Part 2
10 Affordable and More Best Places to Retire
20 Great and Affordable Towns to Retire
8 More Affordable Places to Retire
Most Tax-Friendly Places to Retire

Comments: If you have ideas or suggestions on affordable places to retire, please add them in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on July 21st, 2015

Are You Ready to Join the Tiny House Movement in Retirement

Category: Retirement Real Estate

July 13, 2015 — Some people dream of retiring in an expansive home with plenty of room for hobbies, friends and grandchildren. And others can’t wait to downsize, get rid of 40 years of accumulated “stuff”, and live in a manageable-sized home. This article is dedicated to those interested in the latter, especially to the folks who want to take it to a small extreme. The end of this feature had many resources to find out more about the tiny homes movement along with examples of – from TV shows to a Netflix documentary.

The average new single family home has grown and grown. In 1978, according to Wikipedia, it was 1,780 square feet (165 m2), but, despite a decrease in the size of the average family, the average home had bloated to 2,662 square feet by 2013.

Small… and then there is Tiny!
The small house movement generally refers to houses of less than 1,000 square feet. Tiny houses take that further, and are less than 400 sq. ft., with some (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 13th, 2015

Retirement: A Do-Over on Life

Category: Adventurous retirement

July 7, 2015 — We never tire of promoting the idea that retirement is a chance of a do-over on life. Not that you get to reset back to square one, but you can at least start over from this point. To that end we thought you might enjoy a group of fascinating articles about following your dream. One is a post about Lucy Burdette, the cozy mystery writing wife of your editor, while 3 others are from

Lucy’s 14th mystery, “Fatal Reservations“, comes out this week from Penguin Putnam. Although she has been at this a long time now, (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 7th, 2015

How to Find the Right Active Community for Your Retirement – A Checklist

Category: Active adult communities

July 4, 2015 — It’s out there somewhere, the perfect place for you to retire. A community with the right combination of activities, ambience, neighbors, type of homes, etc. that matches exactly to what you are looking for. The reality is there might be dozens, even hundreds of places that where you can retire happy, if you can identify and analyze them. This quiz will take you through the major issues that will help you understand and rate the communities that are a good match for you.

About this checklist/rating sheet
For each question there might be several answers that describe you and your preferences, so choose as many as fit. Once you complete this form you will have a better idea about your overall preferences. Then, by rating different (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 4th, 2015

What to Do If You And Your Partner Don’t Have the Same Retirement Plans

Category: Family and Retirement

June 27, 2015 — Most people are in relationships. Making decisions that involve a couple is complicated, starting with the obvious – there are two people’s needs and wants involved. Reconciling the dreams and goals of two different people is a challenge, but one that can bring much happiness and joy if done successfully. The goal of this article is to help couples find effective strategies to achieve success in their retirement planning.

Two years ago we surveyed our Topretirements Members on Spousal Compatibility. Over 600 folks completed the survey and provided a wealth of data, opinions, and great advice. You will find a link to the results of that survey at the bottom of this article. In this space we will discuss some of the most difficult issues that the survey turned up, along with a summary of the advice we received from our members on how to handle those challenges. We know that you enjoy reading about the experiences of actual people in your situation, so we hope you find these anecdotes useful. We especially look forward to your additional Comments at the end of the article.

A Suggestion
One way to use the information in this article is for both (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 27th, 2015

Dueling Mountain States for Retirement: CO, ID, MT, NV, UT, and WY

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

— This article continues our Dueling Retirement States series with another regional comparison. See Further Reading at end for links to other comparisons in the series —

June 22, 2015 — Are you tempted by the lure of mountains for your dream retirement lifestyle? The Mountain States of the U.S. – Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming – continue to experience amazing population growth, including from people of retirement age. Colorado’s population, for example, grew by over 1 million people between 2000 and 2014, much of which was net in-migration. Many of these mountain states’ new residents are 20 and 30 somethings who have come for jobs in these growing economies. But another demographic segment flocking to the region for its beauty, outdoor recreation, and in many cases, to be near their adult children, is the huge baby boomer group. The attraction for many of these folks is the opportunity to enjoy magnificent mountain ranges like the Beartooths in Montana, the Sawtooths in Idaho, and the many sub-mountain ranges of the Rockies in Colorado. In this article we will compare and contrast these 6 mountain states: Colorado and Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming (links go to our mini-retirement guides to each state). Population and income data is from American Fact Finder-U.S. Census Bureau.

A Few Facts
Colorado is by far the more populous of the 5 states. The 2014 population there increased to just over 5.35 million from 5 million in 2010, which is a 6.5% increase in just 4 years. There were 2.8 million people in the second most populous state, Nevada, up from 2.7 million in 2010 (+5.1%). Wyoming had the smallest population of the six, which stood at 584,000 in 2014, a 3.6% gain from 2010. Utah enjoyed a significant population increase from 2010 to 2014, 6.5%, double the overall U.S. growth rate. Its population estimate was 2,942,000 in 2014. Idaho had 1,634,000 people in 2014, up 4.3% from 2010. The Montana population was 1.024 million in 2014, up from 989,000 in 2010 (+3.5%). (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 22nd, 2015

Do You Want to Live in a Green Retirement Community

Category: Green Retirement Communities

June 16, 2015 — It is the rare person who doesn’t at least give some nod toward being green in various aspects of life. It might only be grudging recycling efforts or turning off some lights, but the spirit is usually there, somewhere. But would you make your environmental concerns a requirement for finding a suitable place to retire?

If there are many people like that out there they are probably having a hard time finding such a place. Using the Advanced Search Feature at Topretirements we found we have 23 communities (out of about 3000) that are self-described as “Sustainable”, another way of saying (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 15th, 2015

12 Lies We Tell Ourselves about Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

June 12, 2015 — Oh, the things we say we are going to do in retirement. And if only we did them! We were inspired by a recent MarketWatch story, “Five Lies We Tell Ourselves in Retirement“, which focused on lies people tell themselves on financially related aspects of retirement. We liked the idea enough we decided to create our own list of lies, but with a different focus – (mostly) non-financial fibs. This is our list – we encourage you to add (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 12th, 2015
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