Moving Challenges for Snowbirders: Tonka and Yoda Do the Annual Migration

Category: Travel

Travels with Lucy, John, Yoda, and Tonka
May 2, 2016 — The heart of this article was originally posted on by Lucy Burdette, who you might recognize as the better-half of Topretirements. We have appended an additional section at the end on the traveling issues that snowbirders have, with pets or not.

Lucy Burdette: John and I have always been a little smug about (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 2nd, 2016

Renting vs. Buying – Which Is Better in Retirement?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

April 29, 2016 — One of the biggest considerations most Americans face is determining if, and when, it makes sense to buy a home. In retirement, however, the question becomes a different one: “Should I remain a homeowner?” For all Americans, one recent study by found it is more cost effective to buy than rent. But what about for retirees? Trulia found that it is 41.8% cheaper for retirees to buy than rent in all major US metros. The issue is not quite that simple though, as there are emotional and practical considerations as well as financial ones.

We were very pleased that Trulia reached out to Topretirements for this article, providing us with custom data for our Top 10 Most Popular Places to Retire. This data, presented (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 29th, 2016

7 Key Steps If You Lose Your Smart Phone

Category: Home and Garden

April 19, 2017 — Just about everybody has an iPhone, smart phone, or at least a vintage flip phone. If you own one of the former two devices, you have made a significant investment, one that would hurt if you lost it. Unfortunately you could experience that pain all too easily if you lose it (done that several times!), take it swimming (that too), or have it stolen. This article will focus on what to do if you lose your phone, and why you have pretty good odds of finding it again, if you take the right steps.

Although Apple claims in advertising that the iPhone 6 starts at $200, higher performance models can easily go to $400 (plus a $450 subsidy from your carrier). But by the time you attach it to a 2 year plan, your total cost will probably not be less than $500 and could go over $1000 (See ZDNet article on costs). Models from other manufacturers are also expensive.

So when your editor lost his (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 19th, 2016

Sandy and Annie’s Quest for the Perfect Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 11, 2016 — We love hearing stories from real people about their adventures in finding the perfect place to retire. So we were very fortunate recently to get an in depth interview from 2 old friends, Sandy and Ann, who shared their retirement search adventures. We hope you will find it interesting and instructive. (Don’t miss the Further Reading section at the end – over the years we have interviewed a whole lot of people about their retirement search experiences – and the links to those stories are all there!)

Prior to retirement the pair lived in a comfortable New York suburb, from which they commuted to successful careers in the Big Apple. Their enviable lifestyle included frequent ski trips to Vermont in winter and a busy social life at a country club the rest of the year. But when it came time for retirement, both were interested in a change of scenery. They agreed on two main motivations: to have easier access to outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking, biking, and skiing; and to escape New York’s expensive cost of living and real estate taxes.

Looking down south
Like so many others, they were faced with a big (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 11th, 2016

Best and Worst Places to Retire Lists: Worth the Time It Takes to Read Them?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 6, 2016 — Are any of the Best States to Retire” lists you see so frequently worth the few minutes it takes you to read them? That is a pretty good question, since A: there are so many to read, and B: they seem to contradict themselves more than they agree. This article will illustrate the many ways that 2 recent lists differ from one another, along with the few ways they coincide. We will also see how these lists best and worst selections compare with the last 2 editions of Topretirements “Best (and Worst) States” lists. All of which has us shaking our heads at the general lack of agreement!

Every time we publish one of these types of lists we can count on a few readers taking a shot at why we picked this or that place, or why we didn’t include yet another. That is understandable, as even when objective criteria are used to make the (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 5th, 2016

KILLER TAKEOUT: #7 in the Key West food critic series hits bookstores today!

Category: Adventurous retirement

Editor’s Note: This announcement of her 7th Key West food critic mystery is from Lucy Burdette, aka Mrs.
April 5, 2016 — Killer Takeout by Lucy Burdette takes place during Fantasy Fest, a zany ten-day festival beginning with the unofficial zombie bike ride, and ending with an enormous, creative parade winding from the Truman waterfront across the length of Duval Street.

The research necessary to write this book was arduous, as always. For his part Mr. Top Retirements was a super good sport, as we got our faces painted like zombies for the bike ride, trotted around town in tutus (no body paint costumes for us though), and served as Fantasy Fest parade ambassadors. We also ate every kind of takeout we could get our hands on–because what seasoned food critic tries to elbow her way into a restaurant with 90,000 visitors crammed onto the island? The only research we avoided was experiencing a hurricane, which to me would be much more scary than zombies or people wearing body paint only.

You can buy the book in your favorite local bookstore or from Amazon.

Posted by Admin on April 5th, 2016

Topretirements Publisher Featured in “Where to Locate” Podcast

Category: Uncategorized

April 2, 2016 — We were recently quite flattered to be asked to be featured in a podcast for Ted Carr, its President, asked some very helpful questions. It was a good challenge to re-think many of our positions on and reasons for choosing a place to retire. We hope you will find our comments and observations, as well as the website, interesting.


Let us know in the Comments section below if you have any feedback.

Posted by Admin on April 1st, 2016

Dueling Retirement States Series Update: VA, MD, NJ, DE

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 29, 2016 — Due to popular requests we periodically update our extensive series of “Dueling Retirement States”. The latest to be updated is the comparison of retirement in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The previous version of this comparison was from 2010. Since then most trends and facts stayed relatively the same. But here are some salient points from the update:

– Delaware and Virginia tend to be more popular for retirement than NJ or MD (between them they have 5 towns on our Top 100 List)
– Comparing taxes between these states illustrates the perils of a simplistic approach. NJ, MD, and DE are among the top half of high tax burden states. But if you focus on taxation just for retirees, Delaware and MD become more attractive. The type of tax is what should be focused on, and how it affects you.
– Real estate prices are still recovering from the highs they hit prior to 2008

See all comparisons in the series
State Retirement Guides
Gulf Coast Retirement: Sun, Tax-friendly, and a Lower Coast of Living
Retirement 101 Mid-Atlantic States: MD, DE, VA, NJ
Florida Retirement 101
Dueling Carolinas: NC vs. SC
Dueling States: Arizona vs. Florida
California Retirement 101
Retirement in the Southwest: AZ, NM, and Utah
The Mountain States: CO, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY
The Pacific Northwest: Oregon vs. Washington

Posted by Admin on March 29th, 2016

And the Nation’s Fastest Growing Metro…. The Villages, of Course

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 26, 2016 — If you asked most people to name the fastest growing Metro in the U.S., we think many would not be able to come up with the right one. The answer is a most surprising one – The Villages, the sprawling community of 119,000 in Central Florida known for its souped up golf carts and endlessly active baby boomers. The population in The Villages increased 4.3 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Golf cart crazy

TV was joined in the top 20 by five others in the Sunshine State: Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island. Texas was also red hot according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas added about 159,000 and 145,000 residents, respectively — the largest gains of any metro areas in the nation. Two additional Texas metro areas adjacent to each other — Austin-Round Rock and San Antonio-New Braunfels — were each also among the 16 nationwide to gain 50,000 or more people over the period.

These four Texas metro areas collectively added about 412,000 people. Texas as a whole gained about 490,000.

For further reading:
Why Len and Ann Think the Villages is the Perfect Place to Retire
Does The Villages Have Any Large Competitors – You Bet!

Posted by Admin on March 25th, 2016

Baby Boomers Leading the Charge to Online Dating

Category: Singles and Retirement

March 23, 2016 — Although the quest for a suitable partner or companion is an age old quest, there are some new twists – the tools for finding that person. A study from the Pew Research Center found that the share of 55- to 64-year-olds who use online dating has doubled in just the past few years, from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2015). And interestingly enough, it is us baby boomers, along with the youngest adults, who are leading the charge into online dating on sites like About 15% of the total U.S. population reports having used used online dating. The youngest adults are more likely to have used mobile apps for dating or meeting people. Some dating sites have achieved a certain level of notoriety, such as Tinder and Ashley Madison.

As we boomers age there is more need for a dating solution. Gray divorce is increasing, spouses unfortunately die, and many people never got married in the first place. Now as online dating becomes more acceptable and familiar, many are turning to it. About 41% of all American adults say (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 22nd, 2016
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