What Style of Active Community Hits Your Sweet Spot

Category: Active adult communities

September 30, 2011 — Once you start looking at active adult and 55+ communities the enormity of the choices hits you. There are so many styles of communities, and so many choices within styles, not to mention possible locations. It is almost enough to freeze a person. The good news is this, however: there is definitely a community out there that will hit your sweet spot.

In this article we will highlight some of the more common choices in types of communities, give a brief summary of the pluses and minuses for each, and provide links to a sample or two. It should be useful in informing you about your choices. You can always search Topretirements for keywords to help you find what you are looking for. Or, you can use our Advanced Search (from the Search link in our top navigation).

Major types of retirement communities
Age Restricted. There are thousands of age-restricted communities. Most tend to be 55+ because (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 30th, 2011

Best Places for Retirement by Lifestyle

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 27, 2011 — A few years ago one of our members suggested that we expand our lists of “best places” for more lifestyles. We thought that was a great suggestion and our members seemed to agree. This article updates and expands those lists. We are always looking for new things to profile, so if you have suggestions, please let us know in the Comments section below:

Best Places to Retire by Lifestyle:
Top 10 Golf Towns

15 Great Biking Towns
(and don’t overlook the exciting stuff Portland, OR is doing to be bike friendly)

Great Towns for Bookstores
(more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 27th, 2011

Latest Retirement News and Features – CNNs 25 Best Places to Retire and More

Category: General Retirement Issues

September 20, 2011 — This week there were some very good features about retirement. Here is our rundown, with links:
CNN’s 25 Best Places to Retire. You can always count on CNN/Money to come up with a good list. This year’s includes some good bargain towns, like Cape Coral, Florida and Boise, Idaho.

– New York Times: “The Company You Keep“. A very interesting article from the Times special Retirement Section on neighbors who decided to retire near one another. You might have to log in to see these NY Times articles.
(more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 20th, 2011

Have You Planned This Year’s Best Places to Retire Road Trips

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 20, 2011 — Doing a great job of finding your best place to retire is a process. This article will focus on one of the last steps in a successful best places to retire quest – exploring different communities and forming perceptions based on what it is actually like to live somewhere.

But first, here is a quick review of the steps to help you successfully find your best place to retire (see helpful resources for each at end of article):
1. Identify your location priorities. If you have a significant other, find out and discuss how those match.
2. Work on a budget, which will help narrow your search to the best places that fit you. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 20th, 2011

How to Develop Your Personal Rating System for Active Adult Communities

Category: Retirement Real Estate

September 16, 2011 — The good news is that you have been out looking at active adult or 55+ communities. Scoping out different communities, their homes, and the amenities is an important step in the process of finding your best place to retire. But the bad news is that unless you have a good system for evaluating what you are seeing and learning, or if you don’t rate the communities when they are fresh in your mind, they are all going to blend together as time goes on. Which leads us to today’s article, how to develop an easy-to-use and reliable system for evaluating active adult communities. Note that (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 16th, 2011

10 Very Affordable… and Great Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 14, 2011 — If you are like most people, affordability is a big part of the equation in finding your best place to retire. We certainly get enough requests from our members asking for help finding them. But we also know there are other aspects to choosing your retirement location – you are too discriminating to settle for some place just because it’s cheap. So with that in mind we created this list of places to retire that are not only affordable, but have enough going for them that you might actually enjoy living there. This is part I from towns starting A-L. Here is a link to Part 2, Affordable Towns M-Z. We also updated this series in 2012, see “More Great Affordable Places to Retire“.

The selection factors we used to develop this list:
Affordability. Median home price in the community should be at least 25% less than the U.S. median of $171,900 (2nd quarter 2011, National Association of Realtors), or $130,000.
Lower taxes for retirees. We did not consider any of the states on our “Worst Tax States for Retirees” list.
High culture. To avoid you getting stuck (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 13th, 2011

Surprising Results: The Worst Retirement States for Taxes Are Not What You Thought

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 6, 2011 – It’s pretty well known that some states are definitely harder on retirees than others when it comes to taxes. So we confess that when we set out to research this article on the worst retirement states for taxes, we had some pretty strong preconceptions. Most of the worst tax states would be in the Northeast, we assumed, with perhaps California thrown in for a little geographical balance. Boy were we wrong – all but 3 of the states on our list are west of the Mississippi.

First, a few caveats about our list of worst tax states for retirement. It is easy to generalize about taxes, but that would be a huge mistake. The more we analyzed the topic, the more complicated it got. To begin with, there are many different kinds of taxes: income, sales tax, property taxes (at the state and local level), inheritance, estate, and incidental taxes like those on cigarettes and gasoline. Depending on individual situations, one type of tax will have a larger (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 6th, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Or When I Lost It

Category: General Retirement Issues

September 3, 2011 — Many of us who live in along the East Coast north of South Carolina are still trying to dig out from the ravages of Hurricane Irene. For Topretirements, based on the Connecticut Shoreline, one important step arrived this afternoon, 7 days after the storm – electricity! Internet and cable TV were welcomed back at the same time. We empathize with those who lost their homes, suffered storm damage, were injured, or who still remain without power. We hope your life returns to normal soon.

Those of us in retirement face slightly different challenges in the aftermath of a natural disaster like a hurricane. We don’t have (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 3rd, 2011