Finding a Tax Friendly State for Retirement: A Checklist

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 30, 2013 — Note: This is part 2 of our Most Tax Friendly Places for Retirement series. Part 1 was “Finding Your Tax Friendly Place for Retirement“.

Let’s assume that you are a person looking for a tax-friendly state to retire. You need to start your search by realizing these key facts: your tax situation is going to be different in retirement from what it was during your working days, and because of that some of your current tax assumptions might no longer be valid. Here in Part 2 we will discuss some of the key tax issues that affect retirees, as well as provide a checklist to help organize your thinking.

A Key Change – Different Income
In retirement your income will probably be (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 30th, 2013

Retirees Beware: Pension Loans Trap the Unwary

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 29, 2013 – A front page story in yesterday’s New York Times spotlighted the newest way for retired Americans to get into serious financial trouble. The story, “Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees highlighted the growing trouble in Pension Advances. The idea behind them is that in exchange for an upfront advance (called an advance, but really a loan), you sign over your pension checks far into the future. Cash-strapped and often unwary retirees are increasingly using these loans, but paying interest rates and fees from 27% to as high as 106%.

The article used the experience of Ronald E. Govan as an example. This disabled veteran took out a $10,000 (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 29th, 2013

Is It Finally the Right Time to Buy (or Sell) Your Home?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

April 24 — Oh what a contrast from 4-5 years ago. In the dark days of real estate reporting in 2008 and 2009 there was a steady drumbeat of foreclosures, short sales, record home inventory backlogs, and falling prices. There were no buyers, it seemed, and although there weren’t many sellers, it wasn’t from lack of trying.

Something to (Grouse) About
Fast forward to the March sales report from National Association of Realtors (NAR) that came out this week. Sales are up 10.3% above the year ago month, and the median price of a home, $184,300, increased 11.8% over (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 23rd, 2013

The Pros, Cons, and Considerations of an International Retirement

Category: International Retirement

April 23, 2013 — Notes: This is Part 2 in our recent series about International Retirements. Part 1 provided our list of the “10 Best International Places to Retire“. Also of note, Part 1 generated an interview request from Radio Kerry (Ireland), which was delighted in Ireland’s #1 ranking on our list. The short radio conversation (Ireland Is Best Place in the World) was fun to do, you might find it interesting to listen to.

If you happen to be on the mailing list for some companies it would be easy to think that an international retirement is your ticket to paradise. One that includes plentiful maids and gardeners, cheap but glorious real estate, doctor house calls for (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 23rd, 2013

Out of Work Baby Boomers Struggle to Survive

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 16, 2013 — Millions of baby boomers have been forced into earlier than intended retirement. Surviving that experience has become a brutal challenge. A study from the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, found that it took more than nine months for half of those over 50 to find a job. Many have not been able to find a job, and have either given up the search or gotten creative about how to survive on their reduced incomes.

3 Boomers Profiled
The Squared Away Blog from the Center for Retirement Research recently profiled 3 baby boomers who are experiencing the struggle to survive. The profiles will sound familiar to many.

Kevin Milligan, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, determined that two-thirds or more of jobless Americans between (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 16th, 2013

Finding Your Most Tax-Friendly State for Retirement: Part 1

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 15, 2013 — For a significant percentage of retirees, finding a tax-friendly location to retire is very important. But, while indeed there are many states and localities that are very tax friendly, making a decision based simply on someone’s list of low tax states could lead you to a poor choice. Tax friendliness varies considerably by state and locality, and how your personal situation interacts vs. those taxes has a huge impact. This is Part 1 of a 2 part series: In this article we will explore the various kinds of taxes that might affect you as a retiree; Part 2 is “Finding a Tax Friendly State for Retirement: A Checklist“, and it features a helpful checklist for you to evaluate your tax situation vs. states you might be considering for retirement. See also this MarketWatch article on “Tax Friendliest States” for a slightly different perspective.

Major Taxes in Retirement
The major state taxes you need to be concerned about are property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, and how your pensions, IRA distributions, and social security will be taxed. All of these factors (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 15th, 2013

Retirement Quiz Updated

Category: Retirement Planning

April 6, 2013 — We have just updated our April 2011 “How Ready Are You for Retirement Quiz” article. There are 20 questions and if you keep track of your Yes and No questions, we’ll give you a score at the end. Take the Quiz, it will be fun!

Posted by Admin on April 6th, 2013

10 Ideas to Help with the “What Are You Going to Do When You Retire” Question

Category: Retirement Planning

April 2, 2013 — Congratulations, you are getting ready to retire. You’ve done the hard part – spent a life time getting out of bed and getting into work, took care of your family, and saved for this day. But have you thought about what happens if retirement turns out to be too easy for you (as in, not enough to do)? This article is designed to stimulate your thinking and get you started planning now, so that when your retirement finally comes you are set up for a happy transition from the working life.

In our experience the busiest people are usually the happiest. Call us old-fashioned, but we think human beings are hard-wired for some kind of purpose. Your job probably gave you that, and now it is history. We strongly recommend not retiring without a clear idea of what you are going to do to stay busy and engaged with life. Perhaps some people can manage a fulfilling retirement with only an idea “to do some projects” or “take a few trips”, but this approach doesn’t work for many. Without some kind of structure to your days you run the risk of becoming bored (or boring), depressed, or worse – turning into a grumpy (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 2nd, 2013

A Puerto Rican Retirement: Glenn Shares His Thoughts

Category: International Retirement

Updated August 4, 2014 — Editor’s Note: In 2013 one of our Members, Glenn, shared his thoughts with us about his extensive travels in Puerto Rico. We think they give an interesting perspective about what it might like to retire there. A slightly edited version of his comments is published below. At the end of his comments we’ve added a few our our own, and then in August 2014 Glenn provided yet another update (see Comments) And Thanks Glenn!

I have been visiting Puerto Rico about every three years from 1989 to 2012. I live in the Bronx with a wife of Puerto Rican descent, though she was born here in U.S. I am about as white/Anglo-Saxon as they come, growing up in a Queens, N.Y. neighborhood. When I moved to the Bronx to work for Social Security nearly 40 years ago, it was like moving to another country. I met many beneficiaries from Puerto Rico and learned much about the people of the island from my professional and personal contacts.

We wanted our children to learn much about their (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 1st, 2013