Showcase Listing

Quaint Cottage Living, in your hometown. Slow down & relax by the pool or escape to the nearby trails. Get a little local shopping do...

Image
Showcase Listing

Holiday Island, located in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, is a planned community situated at the edge of 53,000 acre Table Ro...

Image
Showcase Listing

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

Image
Showcase Listing

Fairfield Glade, a stunning master-planned community, is perched high atop the Cumberland Plateau, and offers serene mountain beauty as i...

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

Life at Heritage Shores is full of amenities, activities and social opportunities. When you live here, each day can be as active or laid ...

Image

Oct 1 Deadline Approaching: Ready for REAL ID?

Category: Travel

February 19, 2020 — This could happen to you next fall: you hand your license to airport security and she hands it back. Sorry sir, this is not REAL ID – you cannot board the plane. That’s right, starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification (such as a US Passport, US Passport Card, US military card, or a DHS Trusted Traveller Card) for domestic air travel. 

The Real ID Act of 2005 sets forth requirements for state driver licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, which are activities defined as boarding commercially operated airline flights, and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on February 19th, 2020

10 Best of the Best Places to Retire for 2020

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 18, 2018 — Every year we have fun rendering our opinion on the very “Best Places to Retire“. To start that process, late last year we featured the 20 Best Retirement Towns in three major U.S. retirement regions. In today’s installment we are going to winnow those lists down into our top 10 overall picks.

For 2020’s best places to retire our overriding criteria: how interesting it is to live there, recreation and culture, climate, taxes, economic situation, location, transportation, walkability, healthcare, and to a minor extent – cost of living. We also wanted to mix it up a little bit, offer diversity and some new faces.

Popularity on this site, as measured by online visits by our Members, is also very important. Here, in our opinion, are the best of the best places to retire in all of the U.S.

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

So You Want to Change Your State Residency: Be Wary!

Category: Uncategorized

February 11, 2020 — More and more baby boomers in high tax states are tempted by the notion of retiring to greener pastures. The urge to move to a low tax, warmer state has grown even stronger recently, because of the $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions. But before you make the leap – make sure you do it right!

A domicile is where an individual maintains his or her permanent abode, and where that person intends to return from any absence. You can only have one domicile at a time. In “How to Become a Florida Resident” we outlined the basic steps you need to change your domicile and become a resident of a new state. Follow those and you are on a good path, but not necessarily free of all trouble. Snowbirds who continue to maintain a residence in their old state are particularly at risk. Here are some of the most basic steps to take:

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

Southwest State Retirement Comparison Updated

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 8, 2020 — Our popular series comparing different regions of the country for retirement has a new update. The Southwest, featuring comparisons of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah has all new data and a fresh look. You’ll find up to date information on housing prices, taxes, climate, and where to live in this handy comparison article. Plus over 220 Comments rich in detail.

The Southwest States for Retirement

More state and regional comparisons:

Posted by Admin on February 8th, 2020

The Best Golf Cart Communities in America

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 5, 2020 — For many retirees, getting to where you want to go in a golf cart is just about heaven. Forget the car, a golf cart (or low speed vehicle) will get you there while you enjoy your surroundings in the open air. Most active adult communities allow you to keep a golf cart and drive on community roads to golf, pickleball, or the clubhouse. But the real bonus comes with places where you can get to destinations outside of the community like the supermarket, doctor’s office, and movie theatre. In this article we’ll review some of the best communities and towns in America for golf carts.

Special roads in Peachtree City

Peachtree City, Georgia is a huge planned community about 25 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia. Although it is famous for its golf cart oriented transportation system, it is not a 55+ community – it is for people of all ages – the median age is 37.5. You probably can’t walk to too many places nor take public transportation, but you sure can get about anywhere in your golf cart. There are special roads throughout that let you get to shopping, amenities, or different developments. Cresswind Peachtree City is an example of the type of active community within this city.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on February 4th, 2020

Is South Africa a Great Place to Retire?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 2, 2020 — For Europeans and residents of the British Commonwealth, the answer to that question might be yes, it is a great choice for an expatriate retirement.  The area around Cape Town at the southern end of the Continent is particularly appealing.  This article, based on our recent trip to the country, will explore what it might be like to retire in South Africa, list some possible retirement towns, and provide the pros and cons of retiring here. Our visit was brief, so the impressions we formed on our own and from our guides are not comprehensive. We welcome those with more experience to chime in in the Comments section.

South Africa has long had the most prosperous economy in Africa. Much of that wealth came from gold, diamonds, and agriculture. Business is strong as well. Since apartheid was eliminated in 1994 the economy has softened, but still strong. Some people believe the Rand, the National currency, is undervalued by as much as 60%.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on February 1st, 2020

Hackers Have a New Target: Your Retirement Accounts

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

January 28, 2020 — Having tried to cheat you out of your money in dozens of other ways, hackers are now targeting retirement accounts. Unfortunately it can be very easy for them, and even worse than that, you might not get your money back if they steal it.

With retirement funds being one of their biggest assets, the stakes are huge for retirees.  This article will review some of the best ideas for protecting your accounts.

Email is the way most hackers use to break into your accounts. The usual methods include tricking you into downloading something, asking you to provide personal information to “solve a problem” with your account, or leading you to a dangerous site. The email might seem real and alarming, telling you there is a problem with your account.

A big problems is that the scammer might already have some of your personal information, stolen from a compromised site and subsequently sold on the dark web.  They probably already have your username, email and password for one site. Betting that you reuse the same password or a close variant of it , they can keep plugging in various combinations and sooner or later hit pay dirt. 

4 things to protect your retirement account. 

Rule #1: If an email even looks even faintly suspicious, don’t open it up. Never reply with any personal information or click on a suspicious link.

#2: Read all your statements every month. Look for unusual activity and amounts or transactions you don’t recognize.  Call your provider immediately if you do.

#3: Have virus software on your computer. Inexpensive products such as those from Norton will alert you to suspicious web pages and block most malware and other dangers. Keep the software up to date.

#4: Use different passwords for different sites – never reuse the same one. That way if one of your accounts is compromised you can contain the damage. Use a password manager to generate and/or store your passwords – Roboform and Lastpass are two popular ones. The safest but also the clumsiest way is to write all of them down in a notebook that you hope doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The worst plan is to try try to hide them somewhere on your computer. To simplify things you might combine nonsense words that you can remember easily, such as Catdogfish222. But you must mix things up or the hackers will figure out your system.

Comments?  Have you been hacked ?  If so, how bad was it, and what did you do to recover ?  What systems do you use to stay safe ?  Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.

For further reading: USA Today article by Paul Gores:  “Cybercrooks Targeting Retirement Accounts”

Posted by Admin on January 27th, 2020

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period ends March 31

Category: Uncategorized

January, 2020 — One of confusing things about Medicare is that it has two different open enrollment periods. We are currently in the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from Jan. 1 through March 31. We have previously written about the Medicare Open Enrollment period and which type of Medicare might be best for you.

The two enrollment periods cover different sets of actions, so it is important to understand the difference.

These periods are the times when you can sign up for, switch, or disenroll from various plans.

The current Medicare Advantage period allows actions, as the name would imply, pertaining to Medicare Advantage plans. If your plan didn’t turn out to be what you were looking for, or some other event in your life suggests a change, consider what you can and can’t do now.

Here is what can be done during the current period.

1. Change Medicare Advantage (MA) plan to another MA plan

2. Change MA Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan to another MAPD plan

3. Change your MA plan to make it a MAPD plan

4. Change MAPD plan so it is only a MA plan

5. Disenroll from MA or MAPD to Original Medicare and enroll in a Part D Plan

During this period you cannot:

1. Switch a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) to a new PDP

2. Change from a Medicare Savings Account

3. Change from a Cost Plan (These plans are ending in several states).

There are Special Enrollment Periods that allow you to make changes to Medicare plans outside of the two open enrollment periods. Those include losing coverage, changing locations, and aging into Medicare.

Comments: Have you ever made changes to your Medicare coverage during one of these periods? If you are unhappy with your coverage or costs it might be worthwhile investigating at this time.

Posted by Admin on January 19th, 2020

Retirement Happiness Levels High – And Great Advice for Next Generation

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

January 13, 2020 — Many thanks to the over 400 members who took the time to contribute their valuable insights to last week’s “Retirement Happiness” survey, We appreciate your spirit of giving back to this community!

As promised, here is a detailed report on the survey. We’ve included links to hundreds of interesting Member responses to various questions – they are definitely worth reading to get a better understand happiness and retirement. At the end of the article you will find a list of reports to all our previous surveys.

Background
This is the first time we have surveyed on your retirement happiness. Here are the highlights from the 18 question poll. Detailed findings the questions are listed below that.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on January 12th, 2020

BULLETIN: SOFTWARE GLITCH MIGHT HAVE UNSUBSCRIBED ALL Best Practices Newsletter SUBSCRIBERS!

Category: Uncategorized

BULLETIN: Software glitch unsubscribed you from our Weekly Best Places Newsletter!

We are sorry to burden you with this, but it appears that because of operator error and a badly designed interface, we accidentally UNSUBSCRIBED ALL of our weekly Best Places Newsletter subscribers! If you would like to continue getting THAT free newsletter, please send an email to jbrady@topretirements.com with the word “SUBSCRIBE” in the email. Thanks so much, we definitely don’t want to lose you!

PS – The only newsletter subscriptions affected are those for the weekly Best Practices newsletter. The Communities East, Communities West, and Daily Digest/Alert were not affected – no need to resubscribe to those.

Posted by Admin on January 9th, 2020