How to Find a Second Career in Retirement

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

You don’t have to look hard to find either great optimism and depressing pessimism about the retirement prospects of American baby boomers. For example you could read “Find a Retirement Career” from Fidelity and feel pretty good. Or, you could spend some time with these articles from the Wall Street, “Another Threat to the Economy:Boomers Cutting Back” or USA Today, “Boomers Wanting to Work Past Retirement Age Find Limited Options“, and get very depressed.

All of these articles have their strong points (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 29th, 2010

Watch Out for This Hidden Fee

Category: Retirement Real Estate

Here’s a really good deal – at least for the developer of your new active adult community. A new fee being inserted deep into some convenants has this feature – when you sell your home someday, the developer will get 1% of the price. But wait – it gets better! For the next 99 years, every time your home is sold, the developer will get 1% of the sale price. Talk about annuities!

The New York Times recently reported about this new fee in its “A Fee Only a Developer Could Love” article. One of the worst aspects of the view is that unwitting homeowners are not always made aware of the fee, in some cases the details are spelled out in addendums that do not require signatures. Freehold Capital Partners claims that it has signed up 5000 developers who have signed up for this new fee, who apparently find the future revenue stream very appealing in these difficult days for real estate developers.

Others are not so sanguine about the new fees. According to the Times, Justin Ailes, director of government affairs at the American Land Title Association, the new fee “…doesn’t pass the smell test”. A number of real estate trade groups, including the National Association of Realtors, the American Land Title Association and the Center for Responsible Lending, are organizing to oppose these fees. The federal government doesn’t seem to like the fees other, so it appears that the concept could be in danger.

What About Your New Home
The new fee means you must add yet another item to your due diligence list. Ask your lawyer to determine if there is such a resale fee attached to your new home. If there is, negotiate to have it removed, walk away, or insist on a price adjustment. Some day you or your heirs will have to sell this home, and you don’t want this fee around to queer the sale.

What do You Think?
Have you any experience with resale fees? Please use the Comment section below to share with your other members.

Posted by John Brady on September 29th, 2010

No Social Security COLA Seems Likely for 2011

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

There were no big surprises in the 2010 Trustees Report for the Social Security system that finally emerged in early August. Once again and for the 3rd year running, the report was not signed by any public trustees. The report finds that a social security deficit is looming out there in the future, as payments to retiring baby boomers outmatch contributions from younger workers. And most important for the millions of retirees who are already collecting social security, it appears that for the second year in a row it is very unlikely that there will be any cost of living increase (COLA) paid for 2011. According to the way the COLA’s are calculated, the cost (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 16th, 2010

Lunch (Again) with Mr. Topretirements.com

Category: General Retirement Issues

By Roberta Isleib, Ph.D

Neither my husband (Mr. Topretirements) nor I are likely to forget the days after he retired from his regular job and moved home to start his website. I am a psychologist/writer who had grown accustomed to lots of space—and peace. On that first day, he clattered up from the garage with boxes of papers and junk from his previous office, which he proceeded to unload in the dining room. I caught him spreading his computer and piles of other miscellany out on the dining room table, plainly visible to every visitor to our home.

“Oh no you don’t,” I said. “You can’t set up your office there!”
“It has to be somewhere,” he said. “And don’t think I’m going to be eating lunch with you everyday, either.”
After some heated discussion, we agreed that he might enjoy (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 16th, 2010

Are You Dreaming About Building an Eco-Friendly House?

Category: Green Retirement Communities

By Cynthia Booth

If you have ever dreamed of living your retirement in a dream home that is friendly to the planet, this article is for you.

Denis Carpenter recently acquired a small vacant lot and, to achieve his concern for the planet, planned a residence that was environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. Denis hired designers and Jersey City citizens Richard Garber, assistant professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design in Newark, and Nicole Robertson of GRO Architects in New York City to design and oversee the construction of his single-family house. The result is genuine proof of both innovative design and eco-friendly technologies.

What’s so special about this home?

– Inside the home, on the ground level, radiant heating beneath the exposed cement floor warms the bath room and bed rooms.

– In the loft-like second level, sleek aluminum and stainless steel railings accent the bamboo stairway to the mezzanine, lounge room and an artfully designed kitchen outfitted with salvaged devices and cabinetry. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 14th, 2010

The Next Best 25 Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 13, 2010 — Consider us sentimental, but we feel kind of bad for the towns that don’t quite make our various “best places” lists. After all, how would you feel if you were #101 on a list of 100 best places to retire? It’s not like the quality of the experience is that different among the top tier places to live in retirement. And, given that everyone has their own individual tastes and requirements, #115 might just be a lot better fit for you than say, #2 on the list.

So to indulge that feeling, and more importantly to help expand our members’ knowledge, here is our list of the “next best places to retire” – from #101 to 125. Oh yes, we will tell (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 13th, 2010

How to Get Ready for Your New Home Owners Association

Category: Active adult communities

September 7, 2010 — You have moved into your dream active adult community and are enjoying retirement. Then one day a letter arrives from the Home Owners Association (HOA). But it’s not an invitation to a welcome aboard party, it’s a letter telling you that your 58 pound Australian Shepherd is a few pounds over the line…. of the community limit of 30 pounds. The letter’s bottom line: either Tonka goes, or you go.

Home Owners Associations, often called Community Associations or Condominium Associations, are one of the unanticipated features of living in an active community, development, or condo. Well run associations are indispensable to the peaceful enjoyment of your new community. They set the rules that make communal (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 7th, 2010

How to Keep in Touch with Children Once You’ve Retired

Category: General Retirement Issues

September 5, 2010 – We recently had this thought-provoking question from one of our members: “Boomers are usually really close to their children So if you move to a different town or a different part of the country, how do you stay in touch? How do you accommodate your children when they visit? What do people do who move away from where everyone else lives? Thanks, Eileen”.

We wrote back to Eileen and asked if she had any ideas about how to (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 5th, 2010