Best Retirement Towns and States
Editor’s Note: Back in September we published our “10 Best Places to Retire in South Carolina” article. Its very first Comment was from Judith. She wrote that she was about to leave on a 2 week tour, and even promised to write up a report of her travels. She lived up to her promise (Thanks Judith!), and here is her report. Note that we have added a few comments from other Topretirements members at the bottom of some of the cities to try to give even more dimension. We just love these in-person reports – nothing better!
October 30, 2016 — I did a two week tour of South Carolina from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, and it’s taken me two more weeks to get on top of all my home chores after such a long absence. Laundry, email, you know. But it’s a quiet Saturday morning now, and I have time to put down my thoughts, for those who asked.
Travelers Rest: I entered the state of South Carolina on the freeway from Asheville, NC, which allowed me to pass through Travelers Rest. I was (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2016
October 29, 2016 — As most of our long term members realize, our periodic Member surveys are a treasure trove of interesting research and findings on wide-ranging aspects of retirement. So please invest 5 minutes to take our latest on “Retirement Living Preferences”. There are just 10 easy to answer multiple choice questions, and when you fill it out we will have an amazing info on how you feel about 55+ and other types of communities, types of housing, amenities, Home Owners Associations, and a lot more.
This survey is now closed. But here is where you can find our detailed analysis of the results for the more than 800 good people who completed it – “Walking Trails, Single Floor Living, and Social Interaction Dominate Our Community Survey Results“.
Thanks to everyone who contributed their time and thoughts to the survey!
Want to see our previous Survey Reports? Here is a link to All Previous Surveys.
Posted by Admin on October 28th, 2016
By Betty Fitterman
October 23, 2016 — Note: This is Part 4 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, See bottom of this article for links to the rest.
There are two important subjects to consider when you take off in a mobile home and they both have to do with baggage.
The first is relatively easy: what to pack. Generally speaking, the answer is, nothing breakable. I was determined that we would live a civilized life, so I packed real china, real glasses and good silverware. What didn’t fall out of the closet when we hit our first big bump is now packed in towels and stored away. I did save three wine glasses, and find that those plastic sock dividers are perfect for keeping them safe while traveling.
Also stored away are the my dresses and pretty shoes, winter coat and good (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 23rd, 2016
Financial and taxes in retirement
October 18, 2016 — The Social Security Administration today announced a very modest Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2017 of 0.3%. There was no COLA in 2016, whereas the COLA in 2015 was 1.7%. The 2017 increase results in a whopping $4 a month based on the average SS retiree benefit of $1350.
The government measures changes in the cost of living through the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Since the CPI-W did rise this year, the law increases benefits to help offset that inflation. As a result, monthly Social Security and SSI benefits for over 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017.
Other changes will also begin in January 2017. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $127,200.
Information about Medicare changes for 2017, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.
Posted by Admin on October 18th, 2016
By Betty Fitterman
Note: This is Part 3 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, Parts 4-6 are at Tips & Picks Section/Adventurous Retirements (we will eventually move all of them into the Blog so people can Comment on them).
If the idea of mobile living, with its cost savings and opportunities for travel, appeals to you, my advice is take it easy. Try before you buy. Don’t rush headlong into a major investment before you sample the lifestyle. Remember that like any vehicle, an RV will lose significant value once you drive it off the lot.
Fourteen years ago, we took a vacation in a rental RV. You can rent RVs (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 14th, 2016
Financial and taxes in retirement
October 11, 2016 — We just read a bunch of articles on how to “maximize” your Social Security benefit from some of the top experts in the field. Did we get enlightened? Actually we ended up more confused than ever. In fact we got so tangled up by the explanations that we almost think that one SS guru did it on purpose to sell his Social Security software. And we didn’t feel any better after reading that the same expert believes that employees at the SSA are not permitted to give out certain information (like breakeven points for various claiming optoins), and often give incorrect information to their clients.
This article provides 5 reasons why we think taking your Social Security retirement benefit is nowhere near as simple as you might think. We will also give (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016
Home and Garden
October 14, 2016 (NOTE: If you are a snowbird heading south in mid October, 2106 be advised that sections of I 95 are closed because they are under water due to Hurricane Michael. Consider an alternative route and check conditions before you leave!)
As our snowbird friends say goodbye to summer up north, it’s time we link to the “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist” that we originally published in 2010. Every year we add to it in different ways, based on our own experiences and suggestions from Members. We hope you find it helpful. We link to the original article because there have been so many helpful and interesting Comments added by our members over the years.
Here is the link to the original (but updated) article, “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist”
For further reading
How to Find a Great Snowbird Rental for the Winter
Our Ideal Snowbird Pairings (Summer and Winter)
Sandy’s Adventures Part ii: How to Find a Great Snowbird Location for the Winter
Posted by Admin on October 9th, 2016
Active adult communities
October 6, 2016 — Our new list of the 100 most popular 55+ and active adult communities at Topretirements for 2016 is here, and there are surprises and new faces galore. There is also plenty of consistency – most of last year’s top 10 communities are back. We think that looking at the kind of communities that our visitors and Members are most interested in is valuable – particularly to see the types of 55+ communities that generate interest, and where they are located.
Speaking of our top 100 list, we want to stress that these are not necessarily the “best” 55+ communities – however someone might determine that. Rather, The top 100 communities were chosen on the basis of visitor popularity at Topretirements during the period January 1 to September 30, 2016 as reported by Google Analytics. The communities whose listings were viewed by our visitors the most were determined to be the winners. Please see the end of article for more details (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 5th, 2016