Housing Market Gets Triple Helping of Good News – But Is That Good for You

Category: Retirement Real Estate

February 26, 2014 — What used to be described as the “beleaguered” housing market has entered a new phase these days. This week it received more great news. But, if that is good for you as a potential buyer in the retirement housing market is another question.

First, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index housing prices in the 4th quarter of 2013 rose 11.3% compared with a year earlier. Home prices haven’t recovered everything they gave back from 2008 -2011, but they are getting closer in most markets.

Second, the Commerce Department reported that sales of single family homes surged in January. They rose 9.6% from the previous month, reaching their highest level since July 2008. Economists were (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 28th, 2014

Most Popular Places to Retire for 2014

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Note: Our 2015 List has been published. See Most Popular Places to Retire 2015.
February 25, 2014 – When it comes to the best places to retire two things are very clear: the Sunbelt is where people want to go, and there is almost no interest in the Northeast or Midwest. The Sunbelt, with 77 towns on Topretirements.com’s 8th annual list of the 100 most popular retirement spots, continues to be prime territory for retirement dreams. Only 3 states in the Northeast (and none in the Midwest) made the cut: Virginia, Delaware (Lewes and Rehoboth Beach), New Jersey (Cape May), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). Most of the remaining cities on the top 100 list were from the Pacific Northwest and Colorado.

Florida Rules
Florida dominates the list of best places to retire, with 23 cities and towns (2 less than in 2013), followed by North Carolina (11), South Carolina (8), Arizona (7), California (6) and Washington (6). Tennessee had 5 cities in the top 100. The highest ranking non-Sun Belt city on our list was Charlottesville (VA) at #15. Note: To make sure you don’t miss new lists like this, sign up for our free weekly “Best Places to Retire” newsletter. See also “The Worst States for Retirement – 2014“.

11 New Towns Join as Popular Places to Retire
Eleven new towns moved onto the 2014 list, about the same number as in 2013. Eight of the 11 were from the Sunbelt. Of the remaining, (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 25th, 2014

Explore Key West in This Fun, New “Foodie” Mystery

Category: Travel

February 19, 2014 — Thought about visiting Key West as a possible retirement spot? With this winter’s weather in the northern part of the U.S. it might not be such a bad idea! You can get a good feel for what the southern-most town in the continental U.S. is like from the newest mystery from Lucy Burdette, “Murder with Ganache”. For the record, Lucy Burdette is the pen name (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 18th, 2014

Does Your Financial Advisor Have a Conflict When It Comes to Annuities?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 18, 2014 — Now that all of us have assumed responsibility for our own retirements, conducting due diligence has become part of our job description. That responsibility extends to vetting the financial advisers and providers of financial services that we might hire to help with our retirement finances. If you decide to buy an annuity, which many experts believe most retirees should have a portion of their retirement in, you need to be especially careful.

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article last week entitled “Who’s Training Your Financial Advisor“. The piece brings up how financial advisers (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 18th, 2014

Will Stereotypes Keep You from Discovering Your Best Place to Retire?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 17, 2014 — All of us have our biases. And, even with the best of intentions, we probably hold our share of stereotypes too. Not just about the rest of humanity, but also food, cars, brands of soda and beer, sports teams, movie stars, and yes – places to retire too. Just as being close-minded about people gets in the way of appreciating them as individuals, dismissing places out of hand could get in the way of finding your best place to retire.

Biases and Stereotypes about Places
Let’s first discuss the various types of biases that we have heard people bring up at Topretirements. For each one we will name (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 17th, 2014

Kitchens and Baths: Contemporary Look and Universal Design are In This Year

Category: Home and Garden

Feb. 11, 2014 — While consumers still prefer transitional kitchens by a slight margin, contemporary will be the fastest growing kitchen style this year. In bathrooms, contemporary already surpassed transitional to take the top spot in design for 2013, with even more growth anticipated in 2014. These trends are according to the annual Design Trends Survey released last week at the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Fading fast are Provincial, Tuscan and country/rustic styles and the distressed cabinet finishes that often accompany them, along with (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 11th, 2014

7 Great Places to Retire for Livability

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 10, 2014. You’ve probably seen lots of different kinds of lists of the “best places to retire” by now. Those include the likes of: the most affordable places to retire, the most tax-friendly states, and best retirement towns for the arts. Plus there are the best places to retire for…. biking, golf, culture, bookstores etc. So, get ready for yet another sub-category – the best places to retire for livability.

Livability means many things to different people. So although this is our list of 10 great places to retire for livability, your own personal list might be quite different. To help you work on your own list we have tried to identify some of the key factors that make living in a community a pleasure. You might want to add, or subtract your own (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 10th, 2014

HUD Program Has the Facts About Reverse Mortgages

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 4, 2014 — So misunderstood – that about sums up reverse mortgages as far as we are concerned. Hyped by some unscrupulous providers, this tool for older Americans to tap the equity in their homes for retirement has acquired if not a bad name, at least a lot of cautionary looks by potential customers. That’s why we were very happy to find a government site with some excellent background information about HUD’s Reverse Mortgage Program. The link provides a great deal of helpful (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 4th, 2014

The Darker Side of International Retirement – 6 Reasons Not to Do It

Category: International Retirement

February 3, 2014 — You have probably seen the ads with the alluring promises – live in luxury on your Social Security income, kick back while a maid and gardener toil away for just a few dollars a week, enjoy great food and fresh fruit, and experience wonderful medical care complete with inexpensive house calls. While all that might be true in some instances, there is a darker side of international retirement that the ads aren’t going to tell you about. This article will show you the other side of the coin, so you can make a more educated decision.

International Retirement Is Great for Some Folks
For some people an international retirement is a terrific (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 3rd, 2014