Planning a Retirement Cruise? Top Ten Tips From an Experienced Cruiser

Category: Adventurous retirement

April 30, 2012 — Wow.  There is just so much to learn about taking a cruise that it is hard to know where to start. Here is the first of a series of articles about cruising that we hope will help you sort through the many first-questions you need to address.  We start here with general tips, Part 2 covers more specific types of cruises.  These articles are by Patricia Kennedy who has taken and thoroughly enjoyed many cruises all over the world. If you want to share your cruising experience, contact us via the Contact Us link, or post a Comment to this article.

One of the first things many folks do when they retire is plan a great vacation. Now that you have time to travel, cruising offers you world-wide options.

Finding a cruise that you will enjoy shouldn’t be difficult, since the cruise industry operates on a simple, but inspired, strategy of offering something for everyone. The harder initial decision is deciding upon the specific itinerary, the type of cruise, and size of the ship that floats your boat – so to speak.

An ocean voyage across the Atlantic? A cruise that circumnavigates New Zealand? A riverboat down the Mississippi? As long as there is (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 30th, 2012

What You Think You Know about Social Security Could Hurt You – Part 1

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Note: We have written several other articles about Social Security you might also enjoy: “Social Security Quiz- A Learning Experience“, and “What Is Your Social Security Worst Claim Scenario”. Important changes to spousal claiming strategies occurred in 2016, these are referenced in our later articles.

April 24, 2012 — We were vain enough to consider ourselves experts on when and how to start collecting social security. That is, until we attended a talk last week in Old Saybrook, Connecticut by Kurt Czarnowski of Czarnowski Consulting. Boy, the things we didn’t know, and the others so misunderstood! This article is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series. Here will give a brief background on Social Security and then dive into successful strategies for optimizing your return from this important safety net. Part 2 of this series concentrates on issues related to claiming strategies for couples, the rights of divorced spouses, and frequent misunderstandings/questions about Social Security. Part 3 explains “How to ‘Buy’ an annuity from Social Security”.

First, let’s start with a quote from Kurt Czarnowski: “The myths and misunderstandings about Social Security are staggering”. This from a man who spent 34 years within the Social Security Administration, the last of those as a Communications Director. Given all the misinformation, it is important that (more…)

Posted by John Brady on April 24th, 2012

Social Security Crisis Worsens

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 24, 2012 — Update: Please see Jan. 2013 update to this article, “Social Security News Gets Worse“. The public trustees of Social Security delivered bad news to the country yesterday: the Social Security trust fund will not be able to pay 100% of promised benefits beginning in 2033, 3 years earlier than previously predicted. Piling it on, the trustees also predicted that the disability component of Social Security will run out of money 2 years earlier than previously thought (in 2016). Medicare’s trust funds had no change in the date of their expected exhaustion (2024), although the chief Medicare actuary, Richard S. Foster, that the projections in the report “are probably poor indicators of the future financial status of Medicare” (as based on current law).

Several factors combined to speed up the depletion of Social Security trust funds. For one, this year’s cost of living projections are (more…)

Posted by John Brady on April 24th, 2012

What Do Skiing, Rotary and Guatemala Have in Common for this Colorado Retiree?

Category: Adventurous retirement

Mary Anne Johnston is a retired educator who found an outlet for her interest in promoting literacy with Rotary International– in Colorado and Guatemala. Her story is the latest in our series of interesting baby boomer profiles. Here is her story as told to Patricia Kennedy. If you know a boomer retirement we should know about tell us via the Contact Us link.

As we began to transition into retirement, my husband and I moved to Colorado from Connecticut. An active outdoor life is important to both of us, so Colorado was an ideal location. We both enjoy the beautiful trails, scenery and the many skiing options. I don’t downhill ski anymore (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 17th, 2012

Florida Retirement 101: The Sunshine State is Bigger and More Diverse than You Might Think

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 17, 2012 — There are people that “hate” Florida, and there are those that “love” it. Surprisingly, the people who don’t have a strong opinion seem to be a smaller group. In Part 2 of this article we’ll get into which region might appeal to different folks better than others, but here in Part 1 we would like to provide a “Florida Retirement 101” crash course. Our objective is to help you understand this very large and popular state, which is diverse in more ways than you might think. You still might not like the idea of Florida, but at least you will know more about it.

First, a few facts
The 2010 household population was 18,800,000, the 4th most (more…)

Posted by John Brady on April 17th, 2012

Why Not Live in an Award-Winning Home – the 2012 NAHB Awards

Category: Active adult communities

By Shannon Keating

April 9, 2012 — Want to live somewhere cutting edge? The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) just released its 2012 awards for builders of 50+ communities, and the list is jam-packed with builders of some of the nation’s most innovative active communities.

If you’re unfamiliar with them, the NAHB is a trade association that helps promote the building industry and develop solutions to its issues.The various groups within it analyze policy issues, conduct consumer research, analyze economic and real estate trends, and in general work toward improving housing.

These awards are the NAHB’s nods to the most exciting, talented and (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 9th, 2012

Top Baby Boomer Stories and Links of the Week

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

April 3, 2012 — Some weeks we run across so many good stories and helpful features. So rather than let them go to seed, we are providing them in a form of a list. If you are interested, and we think you should be, just click on the link to get more. Here goes (a few links might require subscription): (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 3rd, 2012

Before You Buy a Home for Retirement: 10 Things for Your Financial Due Diligence List

Category: Active adult communities

April 3, 2012 — So let’s assume for a moment that you have come pretty far down the line toward buying your dream home for retirement. Whether it’s in a 55+ community, an active adult community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or just a home in a regular neighborhood – what are the steps you need to take to protect yourself from a bad investment and unpleasant surprises? This article is Part I, which covers the major financial issues to look out for. Part II will address due diligence concerns relating to community and social issues. As always, before you make a major purchasee consult with your real estate professional, attorney, or financial advisor.

1. How solid is the financial situation of your developer or Home Owner’s Association?
There are a host of questions under this topic, but the basic one is this – can the organization you are about to join weather a storm, either physically (think hurricane, fire, flood, tornado) or financially. It is worth (more…)

Posted by John Brady on April 3rd, 2012