7 Out of the Box Ideas for Surviving a Retirement Savings Shortfall

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 22, 2017 — A lot of baby boomers are facing a very difficult retirement. The Employee Benefits Research Institute’s (EBRI.org) 2014 survey reported only 55% of retirees are very or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. A Topretirements.com survey was even less optimistic; only 46% of our Members said that their expected retirement income will allow them to continue their pre-retirement lifestyles.

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a baby boomer in this situation who took a surprising solution to solve the problem – “With $15 in the Bank, A Baby Boomer Makes Peace with Less (article might be behind a paid wall). Kathleen Wolf lived in the San Francisco area until recently. During her working life in real estate she made (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 21st, 2017

The Golden Age of Television – Just in Time for Your Retirement

Category: Home and Garden

February 18, 2017 — Winter’s silver lining is that being trapped indoors much of the time gives you the leisure to experience what we think is the golden age of TV. There has never been the quality and the range of programs that is available right now. Cable and streaming television has become such an exciting place to work that many of the best creative people – actors, directors, producers – are moving to television where they have more opportunities and control than in the movies or network TV. In fact there are so many quality programs to watch that even if you did nothing else you couldn’t keep up. You can try though, as one of the the great things about being retired is that you can stay up as late or get up as early as you want!

The Options
One of the hardest parts of deciding what programs to enjoy is deciding where and how to watch them. There are so many options, and they are changing so fast, it is hard to stay current.

Let’s look at the where to watch first, and the choices are endless. Besides the major networks, you have hundreds (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 18th, 2017

Which is Better for Retirement – Florida or Arizona

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 15, 2017 — From time to time we get the question, “Which is the better state for retirement, Florida in the East, or Arizona in the West”. Both states are popular and have many great places to live. Based on the interest we see on Topretirements.com, Florida attracts more retirement interest than any other state: in the last quarter of 2016 people saw our two main Florida pages 24,000 times, double the number viewed for Arizona (just under 12,000). Tennessee, both Carolinas, and Colorado also generate a lot of prospective interest.

Further down in this article we will present various factors for each state so you can draw your own conclusions from the facts. But first, here is your Editor’s personal opinion about what makes each of these two states a great, or not so great place to retire. As always, reader input is extremely important. We encourage you to use the Comments section below to tell your stories and express your (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 15th, 2017

The 8 States With the Biggest Financial Problems

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 12, 2017 — First the good news – the financial outlook is not as bad as has been reported – for most states. A study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) looked at 3 fiscal components: pensions, other post employment benefits (OPEBs), and debt payments – to analyze which states, counties, and municipalities face the biggest future financial crunch. Most states have a manageable situation in the coming years; 36 of them have required payments below 15 percent of own-source revenue, and 22 of them have obligations less than 10%. The problem is more acute for the 8 states who face obligations more than 20% of own-source revenues. The experts in the study believe that payments over 25% are untenable.

The problem children
The bad news for five states – Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Kentucky – is that future payments for pensions, OPEBs, and debt service are more than 25 percent (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 11th, 2017

Jay Michaels Retirement Tour Bus: 5 Years Later

Category: Active adult communities

February 8, 2017 — This article is the 3rd in a series written by Jay Michaels on his pursuit of the perfect retirement community. Now, five years after the second installment, he and his wife Jane have gone a long way (and then again not so far). Here is their update (links to Parts 1 and 2, both highly recommended for their site visit and decision process details, are below).

Jay Michael’s tour bus ran out of gas
Several years ago I wrote about our travels to find a new place to live after my retirement, and these were published on the Top Retirements blog. My wife and I had travelled thousands of miles and visited over 60 communities intermittently over a two year period from 2011-2013. We finally made a decision in 2013 on where to retire, and enough time has passed for me to now summarize our decision and how it has worked out for us.

Where did we end up?
My brother gets a laugh from people when he tells them I travelled for two years investigating the best place to retire and picked Cleveland, Ohio, as my destination. As you will read below, however, Cleveland has some really big and nice surprises, and I feel its reputation is not accurate or justified in many ways.

The place we picked is a golf community in Avon Lake, Ohio which is about (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 7th, 2017

Turning 62 This Year? Your SS Retirement Age Goes Up and Benefits Down

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 7, 2017 — If you will celebrate your 62nd birthday in 2017 or later, the age in which you are eligible for full Social Security benefits is on its way to 67. The full retirement age (FRA) will steadily increase in two-month increments from age 66 over the next six years, eventually reaching age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. This is not a new development, however. It has always been part of changes made the last time the Social Security program was overhauled, which was 1983.

The bad news is that your Social Security benefits are also taking a hair cut compared to your fellow boomers who were born prior to 1955. When your FRA becomes age 67, your (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 6th, 2017

Best Way to Visit an Active Adult Community? Advice from the Pros

Category: Active adult communities

January 31, 2017 — We think a lot of people looking for a place to retire get intimidated when they start to visit active adult and 55+ communities, particularly if they roll up to a gated entrance and face a guard with a clipboard. They might think, “Gosh, maybe we don’t belong here”, or, “I don’t want to go into the sales office because they are going to give me a hard sell”. So we asked some of the professionals we know, advertisers at Topretirements all, how they would advise baby boomers who want to visit and find out more about a community. While we were at it, we tacked on a few other questions about what makes their communities unique, desired amenities, and how they see the current market and the future. We hope you enjoy it.

The questions
The format here is that we will print out each question, and then give the answers from each of our 4 active adult community executives. Thanks to them for taking the time to share their (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 31st, 2017

Living in Retirement on a Tight Budget – Ideas from Members

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

January 28, 2017 — Dear Members. On our “Are You Ready for Retirement” thread MaryNB started an interesting thread about cost of living and coping with various expenses. That generated a raft of suggestions, so many that we have decided to move them all here to a new post just on that subject. Below are the Comments moved over from the original. Feel free to add your own!

This may be off topic, but part of the calculations about cost of living. The references (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 28th, 2017

Retirement Problem #2: The Other Half of the Sandwich

Category: Eldercare

January 24, 2017 — Earlier this month we wrote about “The Retirement Wrecker You Never Considered“, which turned out to be about adult children that fail to fledge. Today we will tackle the other half of the sandwich that often squeezes baby boomers; what happens when elderly parents and relatives need help that interferes with your retirement plans. We are certainly not saying that having elderly parents is a “problem”, it is a blessing if you get to enjoy your parents and relatives as they age. Unfortunately for some adult children, they experience challenges with their parents that can turn into a problem for their retirement plans. We know many of you have had experience dealing with this sometimes difficult issue, and hope you will contribute your knowledge and experience in the Comments section below.

To get started we have 11 tips to offer when it looks like your elders need more help but don’t seem to want to get it. After that we have re-posted some comments on this same topic from the past. Obviously there is a range of (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 24th, 2017

AARP Report Raises Concerns About Future of Medicare

Category: Health Issues

January 22, 2017 — The AARP is a solid defender of Medicare and Social Security, as you might imagine. In their most recent Special Report the organization highlights some of the issues and dangers that Medicare faces as the Trump administration and Republican controlled Congress take over. We recommend reading the entire AARP Special Medicare Report – it raises important issues that every retiree, and every American, needs to be informed on. We certainly know the issue resonates with Topretirements members, who from our surveys say they like Medicare.

Conflict between the new President and conservative Republicans – and surprising potential allies
Trump promised on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that he would protect Medicare: “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security. They want to do it on Medicare. They want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. It’s not fair to the people who have been paying in for years.”

With the inauguration behind us the battle lines are a bit murkier. Speaker of the House Ryan has proposed that Medicare as we know it would be replaced by fixed payments with which beneficiaries would be able to buy (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 21st, 2017