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Everything you need to live life to its fullest is now in Peachtree City. With Kolter Homes’ award-winning active adult community, Cressw...

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Just four miles from Bethany Beach, Millville by the Sea strikes the kind of balance you might spend your whole life looking for, a new-h...

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

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A Stress-Free Decision for Better Living. Traditions of America at Silver Spring is located in the  #2 "least stressful place to liv...

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Traditions of America at West Brandywine, is a brand new active adult community in the most sought-after Philadelphia suburbs. Located in...

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

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Knocking Down Some Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Misconceptions

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

July 4, 2020 — Our friend Robert Powell at TheStreet.com just wrote a very helpful article for people who worked for governments or non profits and did not pay into Social Security for much of their work lives. They are usually concerned that they won’t get Social Security retirement payments. In “Did You Work for a Government and Not Pay Social Security“, Powell writes to straighten out some misconceptions.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces your Eligibility Year (ELY) benefit amount before it is reduced or increased by early retirement, delayed retirement credits, cost of living adjustments (COLA), or other factors. If applied, your Social Security retirement payments will be lowered.

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Posted by Admin on July 4th, 2020

More RMD Relief Available

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

July 1, 2020 – Bummed out that for once in your life you were early, and took out your 2020 Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) earlier this year? Well, relief is in site. The IRS announced On June 23 that all investors who already took RMDs in 2020 have an extension to be able to roll back those distributions. The new deadline for RMD rollbacks is August 31, 2020. That replaces the previous requirement of rolling them back within 60 days of the distribution, or by July 15 for certain distributions.

The CARES Act also allows another benefit to those affected by COVID. If you, your spouse, or a dependent is diagnosed with the disease you may be able to distribute up to $100,000 from an IRA or employer-sponsored plan in 2020. The distributions are not subject to the normal 10% early withdrawal penalty, and normal taxation of those proceeds can be spread over three years, or even reinvested.

For more information:
What the CARES Act Means for You (Vanguard)

This article also discusses the advantages of a ROTH conversion this year.

Posted by Admin on June 30th, 2020

Will Coronavirus Force You Into Early Retirement?

Category: Work and Volunteering

June 30, 2020 — Over a third of baby boomers say they would like to delay retirement, perhaps into their late 60’s or even later. The problem is, however, more actually retire much earlier. According to the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy, just over half of the workers who retired between 2014 and 2016 did so involuntarily, for a variety of reasons. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic is exaggerating this phenomenon, forcing even more people off the job before they want to.

Millions of Americans have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs due to the shutdowns and economic chaos caused by the virus. Many of those will eventually find their way back on the job, or perhaps already have. Others might not want to return to work, either for fear of getting infected or because their attitude toward work has changed. Whatever their decision, the problem of getting back on the job for older workers is difficult for a host of reasons.

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Posted by Admin on June 29th, 2020

Is Your Covid Compliance and Vigilance Changing Over Time?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

June 24, 2020 – One thing we can all agree on, Covid is getting old, even if it isn’t going away. Most people have been very good about trying to stay safe, keeping their social distance, wearing masks in public, and avoiding high risk behaviors like large indoor social gatherings. Not so long ago in cities and towns, people often switched sides of the street to avoid contaminating one another. But as time goes on it seems like many are getting relaxed about it. Maybe too relaxed, in view of the fact that this crisis could be with us a long time. With 10 states recording case increases of 50% in the past few days, there is the danger that could overwhelm our healthcare system.

We would like to get Member input on how your response to the pandemic is changing over time. For example, are you doing things now that you wouldn’t have considered a few months ago? If so, what kinds of activities (eating out, travel, visiting friends, sports, a haircut, etc.) are you engaging in that you now consider safe or minimal risk? Are you as careful about wiping things down as you were before? Do you have a bubble, and how do you make sure you stay safe within it? Do you socialize with others outside your bubble, and if so, under what circumstances?

Please use the Comments section below to share how your compliance attitudes and behaviors have changed over time, and what you consider safe. We aren’t looking to debate how real the crisis is, or shame those who are clearly not concerned about the pandemic. There are those in that camp, but there is not much we can do, except give them a wide berth. In the meantime, we hope you will all stay vigilant and safe. Until we have a vaccine, our generation is the most vulnerable.

Posted by Admin on June 23rd, 2020

Estate Planning: Is It Fair to Leave Different Amounts?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 23, 2020 — Note: This article starts with the premise that it is crucial for every person of retirement age (and younger) to have a will and/or an estate plan, no matter how small the assets you own. If you don’t have a legal document, you are going to leave a huge mess for your heirs to clean up, you will waste money on probate expenses, and perhaps end up with a result you wouldn’t like.

Every family is different in so many ways. Couples might have children that are equally successful and get along well. But for family like that there are those with a child who has had a hard time, a disability, or other issue. Families with stepchildren face additional challenges. Many people worry about a child they feel is not responsible, and who might squander any bequest on drugs, gambling, etc. There might be a family business where one or more siblings, but not all, are actively working. It can get very complicated. And, your children probably know if have already substantially helped one child financially more than the others.

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Posted by Admin on June 23rd, 2020

15 Very Intriguing New Active Adult Communities

Category: Active adult communities

June 17, 2020 — Following up on the theme of a few weeks ago, how stereotypes affect where you might retire, we thought it would be interesting to highlight the amazing range of active adult, 55+, and baby boomer appropriate communities that exist. While to many people all active communities seem alike (clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, and walking trails), there is, in fact, quite a range. The samples we have selected here are just a few of the many communities added to the Topretirements database since March (we generally add about 6 per week). We tried in these selections for a range of styles and locations across the country.

Our point: Not all retirement communities fit in the same bucket. We encourage you to do a little exploring to make sure you don’t miss one that might be exactly what you might are looking for.

Some interesting choices

The selections on this list cover a wide range of types. There are several traditional active adult communities (golf courses, etc.), intergenerational, independent living communities, independent living within a CCRC, Traditional Neighborhood Developments, urban rental loft apartments, Eco-Friendly, mixed use (commercial and residential combined), a cooperative development, and another with different ownership options including fractional ownership.

Carolina Park Mt. Pleasant, SC. A master-planned community just a few miles from Charleston, this development offers several neighborhoods in a park-like setting. The community is connected through a network of pedestrian walkways, with The Residents Club as the central gathering place.

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Posted by Admin on June 16th, 2020

Surprise, Surprises: The Most Popular Active Communities in Florida

Category: Active adult communities

June 10, 2020 — For over 100 years, Florida’s warm winters, soft sandy beaches, and every imaginable kind of place to live has made it a retirement magnet. Some retirees come here as snowbirds for the winter months only, while others jump all the way in, moving to the Sunshine State to become full time residents. However they arrive, Florida is by far the most popular place in the U.S. for retirement. This article highlights the 14 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in Florida, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. You can see how the list changed by comparing the 2017 version of this article.

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Posted by Admin on June 10th, 2020

Stereotypes Can Mean Missed Opportunities When It Comes to Finding Best Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 2, 2020 — Back in 2014 we wrote a piece (updated this March) that tries to make the point that people’s stereotypes might keep them from finding their best place to retire. Will Stereotypes Keep You From Finding Your Best Place to Retire? was quite popular and generated 65 interesting Comments. Those drove home the message even better, because they were the experiences of real people as they went through the process of finding a place to retire. This article features a selection of some of the more interesting, wide ranging Member Comments from 2014 – we think you will find them still useful! (PS – we took snippets from the Comments, you can read them all in the article).

Paula on Las Vegas

There’s nothing like seeing a place in person to help either confirm or dispel stereotypes. My DH and I recently spent a week in Las Vegas, somewhere we’d never been (and had never desired to see), staying with friends who in the housing crash bought a small second home there (their first home is in Ithaca, NY, where we also live). We were very pleasantly surprised at the incredibly reasonable cost of living there — if our friends were to move there for year-round residence, they would easily save $10-15K on property taxes (less than 20% of what they are here), income taxes (none), cheaper gas and groceries, incredible senior centers and Ys and discounts for Nevada residents at museums, Vegas shows, etc. 

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Posted by Admin on June 2nd, 2020

Are You Not Getting Our Free Weekly “Best Places” Newsletter?

Category: Retirement Planning

May 29, 2020 — Due to an unfortunate error on our part, a significant number of our most active subscribers were accidentally deleted from the rolls of our “Best Places to Retire” enewsletter subscribers. While we were able to add many of you back, there are probably several thousand that were not included. We miss you!

Please come back!

The system we use to mail our various enewsletters, Mail Chimp, is generally pretty good (although we were very unhappy that they made it so easy to delete all of you). To protect people like you from unscrupulous mailers there is an extra layer of protection that makes it very difficult to sign up again for our newsletter once you have been deleted. But there are a couple of good ways you can get back on the subscriber rolls. The easiest is to post a simple Comment at the end of this article that says “Please Subscribe me to this newsletter”, and we can sign you up again (it has to be that long or the Comment won’t “take”). No one will be able to see your email address except for us). Or, send an email using the “Contact Us” form that contains the message “Subscribe”. Either way it will take a week, but you will be back on the list! Thanks to everyone for their patience.

PS – there is duplicate control so you don’t have to worry you are signing up for 2 copies.

Posted by Admin on May 29th, 2020

Always Elusive, HOA Fees Remain Perennial Hot Button

Category: Active adult communities

May 27, 2020 — Any time active communities come up in a discussion HOAs and their fees are always a big focus. For many retirees, avoiding those fees or finding the lowest ones can become an obsession. So, is there a central depository of the fees at the thousands of active adult and 55+ communities around the country? Alas, the simple answer is no.

But that flat response does not mean that you cannot discover what you need to know before making an important purchase like buying a home. Ongoing HOA fees and assessments are key to your decision. First, let’s talk a little bit about what kind of charges you might expect if you move into a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA) or Community Association (CA).

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Posted by Admin on May 26th, 2020