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Hackers Now Targeting 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, many 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. A recent article in USA Today highlighted some ways to protect your accounts.

Email is the way most hackers use to break into your accounts. Tricking you into downloading something, providing personal information, or going to a dangerous site is the usual way in.

A scammer might already have some of your personal information, stolen from a compromised site and subsequently sold on the dark web.
The email might tell you there is a problem with your account and request more information, or ask for your password.
4 things to protect your retirement account.
Rule #1: If an email even looks faintly suspicious, don’t open it up. Never reply with any personal information or club on a suspicious link.
Rule #2: Read your statements every month. Look for unusual activity and amounts or transactions you don’t recognize. Call your pro livid RF 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 it up to date.

#4: Use different passwords for different sites. That way if one is compromised you can contain the damage. Use a password manager to generate and/or store your passwords. It is a lot easier and safer than writing them down on scraps of paper, or worse yet, trying to hide it in your computer. To simplify things you might combine nonsense words that you can remember easily, such as Cat dogfish222.

 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 different enrollment periods cover a specific set 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.

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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

New Book: How to Find Your Retirement Utopia

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

January 8, 2020 — Our friend Dave Hughes, the creator of the retirement website Retirefabulously.com, has just released a helpful new book. The Quest for Retirement Utopia is designed to help you find your best place to retire. To see for yourself, Dave is offering a free download of one of the chapters: Chapter 17 – Avoid These Common Mistakes When Choosing Where to Retire.

Dave is a very practical writer. And as he points out, there is a lot to consider, so choosing the place that’s right for you can be overwhelming. The Quest for Retirement Utopia covers all the possibilities and help you cut through all of the daunting and often conflicting information. 

The book will help you clarify what factors are most important and suggest some considerations that you may not have thought of. It will suggest new possibilities for where and how you might retire. It will help you evaluate each place realistically and dissuade you from making a poor choice. And it will provide you with the resources you need to properly evaluate the places you are thinking about retiring so that you can make the most informed choice.

Here’s the link to buy The Quest for Retirement Utopia on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37jK6ra. It is available in paperback and Kindle.

Posted by Admin on January 8th, 2020

Did You make a New Years Resolution This Year?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

January 7, 2020 — We are conducting a quick poll here on this Blog and in our Best Places Newsletter. The question is:


Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?

Please answer Yes or No in the Comments section below. And if you care to comment on how you did on last year’s, or if you love or hate the whole idea, feel free to share. We will be adding a tally in this article as the votes come in.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Posted by Admin on January 7th, 2020

20 Great Places Where You Can Retire on a Lake

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

BULLETIN: SOFTWARE GLITCH MIGHT HAVE UNSUBSCRIBED ALL SUBSCRIBERS!

We are sorry to burden you with this, but it appears the company that sends out our newsletter might have accidentally UNSUBSCRIBED ALL of our Best Places Newsletter subscribers! If you would like to continue getting our free newsletter, please go to this signup form and resubscribe. Thanks so much!

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.

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January 4, 2020 — Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a loon calling in the distance. Or the sound from the gentle lap of waves on the shore. Having the grandchildren up to enjoy some fishing or a boat ride. Not to mention the pleasure of an early morning dip in velvety lake water.

The good news is that the country is filled with lakes and ponds of every size and description. Some are edged by major cities (Chicago or Madison WI), while others have bucolic towns on their shores. Still other lakes have nothing around them except the occasional camp or cottage. By choosing just 20 lake towns in this report, it means that we have omitted dozens if not hundreds of other great candidates. We have tried to focus on lakes where it is possible to live on or near the lake, and where there is some kind of nearby town for entertainment and the necessities of life. Some of these lake towns were suggested by members.

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Posted by Admin on January 4th, 2020

How Would Your Rate YOUR Retirement Happiness?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

December 29, 2019 — What makes for a happy retirement… and what are the factors that drive the not so good ones? We would love to find out more about that dynamic. Plus, get a base level reading on just how happy the Topretirements Membership is. So please help us all out by taking a few minutes to complete this quick survey on Retirement Happiness. We promise a full report in the next few weeks, it should be very interesting.

Take the Happiness Survey

Posted by Admin on December 29th, 2019

3 Social Security Rules to Know and Live By

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

BULLETIN: SOFTWARE GLITCH MIGHT HAVE UNSUBSCRIBED ALL SUBSCRIBERS!

We are sorry to burden you with this, but it appears the company that sends out our newsletter might have accidentally UNSUBSCRIBED ALL of our Best Places Newsletter subscribers! If you would like to continue getting our free newsletter, please go to this signup form and resubscribe. Thanks so much!

December 28 , 2019 — Social Security is the single most important source of retirement income for most people. So it is crucial that you understand how the rules apply to your situation.  Here are three important things you need to understand about how Social Security works.

1. Know when to claim

The earliest you can claim is age 62.  Your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is somewhere between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year (if born before 1954 it is 66 and increases one month per year after that up to 67). Your benefit maxes out at age 70; there is no advantage in waiting past that.  if you file at age 62 you will only get 75% of what you would get if you wait to your FRA. If you claim between your FRA and 70 your benefit will increase by 8% a year.  You can file for your benefits online or in person.

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Posted by Admin on December 28th, 2019

Most Popular Retirement Articles of 2019

Category: Retirement Planning

December 25, 2019 — It is always interesting to see what articles at Topretirements generate the most readership and comments. Out of 94 Blog articles written in 2019, these are the 10 most popular. Subjects range everywhere from 401(k) changes to the 7 Deadly Sins of Retirement. Let us know your favorites, along with any ideas for future topics you might us to tackle. To drill down on your areas of interest, you can always explore the Blog Categories on the right hand side of the page.

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Posted by Admin on December 25th, 2019