How to Find an Affordable Retirement

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Millions of baby boomers are going to be looking for an affordable retirement in the next few years. In most cases they haven’t save enough for retirement, although sometimes bad luck or some type of emergency might keep them from having enough money to maintain the standard of living they have become accustomed to. Whatever your situation, retirement age will come. The options are to get creative and make the best of it, or to accept a reduced lifestyle and blame someone else for it. Assuming Topretirements readers are positive people, this article will provide some ideas on how you can overcome your lack of funds and achieve an affordable, but quality retirement lifestyle. We will also list some places where you can live in style and on a budget.

With some good planning and dose of creativity it is very possible to find a retirement lifestyle that is exciting, fulfilling – and affordable. The best way to find that lifestyle is to start (more…)

Posted by John Brady on July 27th, 2010

Best Places to Retire for Livability

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

July 20, 2010. You’ve heard of the most affordable places to retire. The most tax-friendly places. The best retirement towns for the arts, or for bicycling, golf, libraries, bookstores… etc. In fact, Topretirements has reported on all of those elsewhere on this site. But there is another sub-category of best places to retire that you might never considered – livability.

Livability means many things to different people. We just read an article at New York Magazine, “The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York”, where the author devised his personal livability formula. In it he identified the factors that (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 20th, 2010

50 Best Active Adult Communities for 2010

Category: Active adult communities

July 20, 2010 — There was one very big surprise on the annual list of the best active adult and 55+ communities which was just published by Topretirements.com. It wasn’t that Arizona, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, California, or South Carolina had plenty of representation on the list. The big surprise was that tiny Delaware, the nation’s second smallest state in terms of geographical area, had 5 winners on the list (10% of the total)!

We speculate there are a couple of different reasons why Delaware was able to match its Sunbelt rivals with its active adult community popularity:
– Delaware has a reputation for being tax friendly with no state sales tax and lower than average property taxes
– According to the Tax Foundation, Delaware’s total tax burden is the 24th highest of all the states
– $12,500 of pension income is exempt from state income tax
– Close to big population centers, yet a much less crowded environment
– Access to the ocean. Towns in the Rehoboth Beach area are magnets for retirees who want to have a relaxing lifestyle

Go here to access the entire list of 50 most popular active adult communities for 2010 or the full release on the 2010 Active Adult Community Popularity Contest.

Posted by John Brady on July 20th, 2010

HOA’s Play Hardball to Cope with Growing Delinquencies

Category: Active adult communities

July 13, 2010 — It’s no secret that many Home Owner Associations (HOA’s – also known as Community Associations) are seriously concerned about the rise in their members who are in arrears on their association dues. Now some HOA’s are fighting back, often with the gloves off.

As background, arrears on community dues come in several forms. Many developments have some units that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, so dues are usually not paid on those units. In many other cases the owners have just decided for one reason or another to stop paying. Both situations put the associations at risk, as fewer and fewer members are available to pay the community expenses. In some communities well over 50% of the homes are behind in their dues. If the situation becomes dire enough it can lead to the association itself going into default on its loans or bills, resulting in foreclosure and (more…)

Posted by John Brady on July 12th, 2010

What Wes and Ida Learned During Their Weekend Discovery Package

Category: Active adult communities

Editors Note: One of our Topretirements members was kind enough to write this travelogue of his and his wife’s recent “Stay and Play” or “Discovery” Package experience. We thought it was so interesting that it would make a good article. Wes and Ida used a weekend getaway package to explore Deaton Creek in Hoschton, Georgia (a small town northwest of Atlanta along I 85). Please note that we are not endorsing Deaton Creek, we are just passing along their experience. We applaud Wes and Ida’s decision to check out a community in this way; there is no better way to get an opinion about a community than to live in it for a few days. Most active adult communities offer various Discovery packages. You can use the Advanced Search at Topretirements to find many of them. But if you don’t see one, ask!

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend getaway at Del Webb’s Village at Deaton Creek (DC)
this 4th of July (more…)

Posted by John Brady on July 12th, 2010

Foreclosures Dominate a Sagging Real Estate Market

Category: Retirement Real Estate

July 6 — Results in the real estate market for 2010’s first quarter reflect a dismal picture for the most part. With $8000 tax credits a thing of the past (and which probably sucked up a lot of future demand), real estate sales hit the skids again. A report from RealtyTrac highlighted by Bloomberg showed that foreclosed properties accounted for 31% of the U.S. home sales in the quarter. Fortunately for buyers and unfortunately for sellers, the average price for foreclosed properties was 27% below that of regular sales. The RealtyTrac report noted that “In a normal market, only 1 to 2 percent of home sales are foreclosures.”

Short sales during the period had about a 15% discount from normal sales. Mortgage delinquency rates were 9.2% in May. In a rare but probably not meaningful piece of good news, home prices rose .8% in April, the first rise in 7 months.

Posted by John Brady on July 6th, 2010

11 Good Reasons for Choosing a Retirement Town

Category: General Retirement Issues

July 6, 2010 — Whether you stay where you live now or move to a new town, choosing a retirement town or active adult community is a life-altering experience. If you choose well, you will be able to live comfortably on your resources, enjoy activities you like, and savor relationships with friends and family. Choose poorly, and you might be living in near poverty, not be able to participate in fun activities, and be bored and lonely. This article is designed to help you understand some of the best reasons we have heard of for choosing a particular retirement town or community.

Let us reiterate one thing before we provide the list – staying where you (more…)

Posted by John Brady on July 6th, 2010