December 17, 2014 — The Obama Administration and Raoul Castro opened up the way to a normalization of relations today. Although limited in scope, it appears that family travel will be permitted, remittances will be made easier, and the U.S. will open an embassy in Havana. Americans will also be able to bring back up to $100 worth of cigars and rum, which is likely to be very popular (your editor was in Cuba in November, and wished he could have done so!).
Everybody loves the 1950s American cars here
The news also has implications for retirees. For one, it will be easier to visit, (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 17th, 2014
Best Retirement Towns and States
December 15, 2014 — Most “best places to retire” lists are highly subjective and based on somebody’s personal opinions. Some others use a certain set of criteria, such as crime, climate, health care availability, etc. Another example is the annual “100 Best” lists at Topretirements, which are based on popularity – the city reviews on our site that were read most.
But there is at least “Best Places” list that truly is almost completely objective and data driven – the “Best Cities for Successful Aging” from the Milken Institute. Although you might not like all of its choices (in fact the reader comments to our 2012 version of Best Cities generated more than a few “you’ve got to be kidding” remarks), it is so fact based that it is hard (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 16th, 2014
Family and Retirement
December 15, 2014 — The calendar is ticking down for buying holiday gifts for that special retiree. So thanks to input from our frequent contributor Jan Cullinane, here are a few book ideas to stimulate your thought process. We’ve added some other non-book suggestions at the end.
Books (all available at your favorite independent book store, or search by title on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com):
1. Working: Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ by Kerry Hannon
2. Finances: Money for Life by Steve Vernon
3. Being happy in retirement: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie Zelinski
4. How we think about money: Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics by Gary Belsky. (Jan notes that this one is a favorite because she’s heavily into behavioral economics – (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 15th, 2014
Best Retirement Towns and States
Editor’s note: This article is the latest in our series on various regional comparisons for retirement. See end of article for links to other regions in this series. We welcome ideas for future comparisons.
December 10, 2014 — The area that we will call the mid-south is an under-estimated and often misunderstood place for baby boomer retirement. All of these states are relatively favorable for taxes, cost of living, and climate compared to many others. Yet so far they definitely take a back seat in terms of popularity compared to the Carolinas, Florida, and Arizona. In this comparison we will evaluate various factors for these states that affect retirement, letting our readers draw their own conclusions from the facts. As always, please remember that areas and neighborhoods within a state, even a Metro, can be very different – so generalizations are tricky. Reader (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 9th, 2014
Retirement Real Estate
This article contains information from the NAHB on 2 topics: progress toward recovery in the housing market and the list of finalists in their 50+ housing category awards competition.
WASHINGTON – Markets in 59 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) report from November. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. Based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 90 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 66 percent of markets have shown an improvement year-over-year.
“The markets are recovering at a slow, gradual pace,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Continued job creation, economic growth and increasing consumer confidence should (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 8th, 2014
Best Retirement Towns and States
December 2, 2014 — It is a hard reality that many baby boomers are very concerned about not having enough money for an enjoyable retirement. Yet a comparison of two studies, one that ranks Metros by affordability and another that tracks the Metros that are attracting the most new 55+ residents, finds very little correlation between the top of both lists. Apparently, housing costs are not always the only drivers when it comes to deciding where to retire!
The first study, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Affordability Index (See the “Complete Listing by Affordability Rank” report) compares home prices to median incomes in in U.S. Metros. The result is an Affordability Index ranking, which, surprisingly, produces a list completely different than that from the second study, the William H. Frey Analysis of American Community Survey data. That study lists the highest population U.S. areas with the most net migration of people 55+. In this article we will provide the highest ranking Metros on both lists and speculate reasons for the disconnect.
First of all – the most affordable Metros
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Affordability Index compares the median income (more…)
Posted by Admin on December 2nd, 2014
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 sign up for coverage for the upcoming year if you don’t have it now. You can also change (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 24th, 2014
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
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
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