Showcase Listing

Welcome to Cresswind Charlotte!  This nature-rich refuge of inviting streetscapes, manicured landscaping and miles of walking trails...

Image
Showcase Listing

Few towns in the Southeast offer more gracious charm than Aiken, South Carolina.  Take a relaxing stroll through Aiken's tree-lined ...

Image
Showcase Listing

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tellico Village comprises over 5,000 acres along Tellico Lake. Established in 1986...

Image
Showcase Listing

Discover the distinct difference in active living, nestled within the scenic beauty of historic DeLand, Florida at Cresswind at Victoria ...

Image
Showcase Listing

The Grove is an upscale, manufactured home community for active adults 55+, located in sunny Bradenton, Florida, on 40 lush acres of form...

Image
Showcase Listing

Twin Oaks is a 55+ active adult community located in sunny Bradenton, Florida, and brimming with serenity and charm. Our private, pet-fri...

Image

What Type of Retiree Will You Be?

Category: Retirement Planning

November 23, 2020 — One of our favorite pieces of advice about retirement is that it offers a chance for a do-over on life. However life has turned out for you so far, most of us have an opportunity to change directions, if we want to take it. With that in mind, here are the eleven types of retirees we’ve seen. Which type will you be?

Note that many, if not most, people live a retirement that is a combination of many types. Have you observed other types that we should have mentioned?

Keep on Truckin’. This might be the most common type of retired person. They retire and continue to live in the same home, doing the same kind of activities they always did. They have more time now that they are not working, but their days do fill up quickly with projects, TV, etc.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 23rd, 2020

There Are Now 8 States No Income Tax

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 18, 2020 — Although there are many good reasons to choose a state for retirement, for many well-heeled retirees, finding one without an income tax is right up there. Up until 2021, only 7 states could claim that particular attraction. But coming in 2021 an 8th will join the list, Tennessee (the State previously taxed dividends and interest, but not other income). Other states have made moves to make their tax situation more favorable in 2021 as well, mainly by increasing standard deductions and personal exemptions.

Starting in 2021 the eight states that charge no income tax will be: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire almost makes the list because it only taxes interest and dividends (up until 2021 Tennessee was in the same category).

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 18th, 2020

Multi-generational Housing Gets Covid Boost

Category: Family and Retirement

November 14, 2020 — Not surprisingly, occupancy rates at assisted living and independent living facilities are off 2.5% since March, according to data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. Rates in skilled nursing facilities are declining even sharper, they have declined by 12%. One big reason for the soft markets is fear of the coronavirus. After tens of thousands of nursing home residents died in the early phases of the pandemic, nervous relatives have been considering safer alternatives for their loved ones. It is estimated that 40% of Covid-related deaths occurred in long term care facilities (WSJ). Adding to the anxiety are rules where residents are usually not permitted to have visitors, or if they do, only for very short times and under restrictive conditions.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 14th, 2020

10 Very Cool Towns for Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

November 11, 2020 – We are not talking cool as in the temperature, we mean retirement towns that are fun to live in. Places where there is plenty to do, congenial neighbors, and attractions and charm that will make your children and grandchildren want to visit when this pandemic finally ends! Turns out there are a lot of fun towns for retirement; here are our picks for 10 cool towns to consider for your retirement. If you know others, we hope you will talk about them in the Comments section at the end.

Davidson, NC. Home to elite Davidson College, the population is growing rapidly and is now over 12,000 people. Local downtown businesses, characterized by restaurants and specialty shops, cater to an affluent market. Davidson College has made the town an intellectual and cultural center, drawing into its orbit professionals and some retirees.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 10th, 2020

Cold Weather and the Holidays Are Coming – How Will You Adjust?

Category: Home and Garden

November 10, 2020- if you like a lot of Americans you probably found some safe ways to socialize with a small group of friends or family this past summer. But with cold weather and the holidays arriving soon many folks are grappling with how to keep that going and avoid social isolation. We are curious to find out what techniques and strategies you might be using to make that happen.

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Back in September we surveyed what Coronavirus Activities you are willing to engage in. Over 500 completed it; here is a Summary of the responses. One of the questions (#9) directly asked about cold weather, specifically if you would be willing to visit or entertain when it comes. Just over half said they would visit with other folks in some way or another, but with some conditions. The issue becomes even more important as Thanksgiving and the holidays loom in the immediate future.

There were over 80 written Comments to the question. The vast majority of those seemed to indicate they probably would entertain/be entertained, but only if masks and social distancing were observed, and if they trusted the other people.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 9th, 2020

Replacement Income from Social Security Falling, Might Get Worse

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 4, 2020 — Data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services predict that Social Security benefits will provide an ever smaller portion of replacement income for retirees in the years to come. This prediction takes into account the delay in the Full Retirement Age from 65 to 67, along with increases in Part B Medicare premiums and federal taxation. The Centers sees the replacement level of income after those deductions falling from 41% in 1995 to to 29% by 2035. All of which puts more pressure on retirees for other sources of retirement income.

Pandemic might accelerate this. Employees and their employers pay taxes on their wages to fund the Social Security Trust Fund. As people lose their jobs and unemployment rises in the pandemic, and if it that were to persist for a long time, the Trust Fund would be negatively impacted. Social Security currently predicts that it only be able to pay 75% of benefits in 2035, but if a bad economy persists that percentage might even be smaller.

404(k) Balances growing. For those fortunate to have one, 401(k) balances increased through 2019. The median 401(k)/IRA balance for working households nearing retirement rose from $135,000 in 2016 to $144,000 in 2019. Since the stock market has also generally been up in 2020, it stands to reason that those balances are a little higher as 2020 ends. This information comes from the Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve and summarized by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR).

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 2nd, 2020

Surprisingly, Builders Confident about 55+ Market

Category: Retirement Real Estate

Oct. 29, 2020 – Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market was at an all-time high in the third quarter, jumping 18 points to 83, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.

The 55+ HMI measures two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic).

(more…)
Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2020

Hits and Misses: Answers to the 2020 Social Security IQ Quiz

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 28, 2020 — Thank you for taking our 2020 Social Security IQ Test. We hope you found it useful. (If you haven’t taken it yet, here is the link). Please find below a detailed summary of all the questions and answers, along with an explanation of each correct response. So far 500 people have taken the latest version; over 10,000 people have taken previous versions. We hope even more take it to advance their Social Security education.

Note: most of the links provided in these explanations go to excellent advice on the SSA.gov website. The correct answer in each case is indicated in bold either by a ? or a check mark.

Conclusions – Underestimation most frequent kind of incorrect answer

Of the 500 people taking the test so far the average score is 64% (we set 60% as the passing score). There were 3 questions that 80% or more folks got right: Full Retirement Age (#1), collecting on the benefits of a divorced spouse (#10), and withdrawing your application within 12 months (#11). There were 4 questions which most people could not answer correctly. Unfortunately, these were mostly questions that are important for Social Security recipients to know.

Underestimating will cost people money

The questions that most people missed had to do with:

-How many years are used to calculate your benefit

-How much your benefit will increase if you wait to claim past your Full Retirement Age (FRA) and the difference between claiming at age 62 vs. 70

-And when a spouse can collect their full spousal benefit.

Unfortunately, underestimating how much they could get by delaying their benefits instead of taking them at the first opportunity could cost them and their spouses a lot of money down the road.

  1. Assuming you were born in 1960 or later, what is considered your Full Retirement Age for Social Security benefit purposes? (The rest of the questions in this quiz assume you were born in 1960 or later, unless otherwise specified).
  •  62
  •  65
  •  66
  •  67?

Comment: “Full Retirement Age” is when you are eligible for your full Social Security benefits without penalty. For those born between 1943 and and 1954, it was age 66. For those born in 1955 and later the FRE increased 2 months per year, until for those born in 1960 and later, it became age 67. But you can actually qualify for “more than full” and get a larger benefit at any age up to 70. (See Full Retirement Age Chart). 80% got this correct.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on October 28th, 2020

The Future of Social Security: Biden vs. Trump

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 28, 2020 — Perhaps you have already voted in the U.S. Presidential election. If so, congratulations on fulfilling an important responsibility of citizenship. But if you haven’t voted yet here are some facts, as best we can determine, to help you understand where the two presidential candidates stand on the future of Social Security, one of the most important issues for current and future retirees. For this article we have relied mainly on an excellent article on NextAvenue.org, “What Biden’s Plans Mean for Social Security“.

The nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank analyzed Biden’s plans for Social Security in that article. They concluded that his plan could “close about a quarter of Social Security’s long-term financial shortfall”, which as currently projected would reduce promised benefits by slightly more than 20% in 2035.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on October 27th, 2020

What Is Your Social Security IQ? New 2020 Edition

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 25, 2020 – Just how much do you really know about your Social Security benefit? This quick 12 question quiz, will tell you with an instant score. This year’s edition covers the basics you need to know with new, revised, and updated questions to reflect your benefit in 2020. It is a great opportunity to learn what you know, and don’t know, about this important benefit.

Take The Social Security Quiz!

Let us know what you think of the Quiz in the Comments section below. Preliminary results show it is not that easy. If you have suggestions, we would love to hear them! We will have a detailed question by question review very soon to better understand each question.

Posted by Admin on October 24th, 2020