January 26, 2021 — Every year we have fun rendering our opinion on the very “Best Places to Retire“. This list is meant to highlight retirement towns that represent exceptionally great places to retire. But it is important to remember, any place where you can be happy in retirement, that is the best place – for you!
To develop this list we consulted our previous reports of the 20 Best Retirement Towns in three of the major U.S. retirement regions. But the primary consideration was visitor and Member interest at Topretirements.com – the cities that generated the most interest from January to December on this site were the winners. The big news is that several of the towns generating top places on this list had never placed so high. Arizona garnered the top two places on this list, joining Florida and New Mexico who also had two winners. Congratulations to all!
10 Best of the Best Places to Retire
Popularity on this site, as measured by online visits by our Members,was the most important criteria. On that basis, here are the best of the best places to retire in all of the U.S.
January 23 — Outrage over media reports of Canadians and other foreigners paying big dollars for charter flights to Miami for coronavirus vaccine shots generated understandable blowback. Reacting, Florida Gov. DeSantis took steps to eliminate this form of medical tourism this week. While that made most residents happier, Florida’s many snowbirds became concerned that the new rules might effectively shut them out of getting inoculated. Fortunately the new rules for snowbirds and other seasonal visitors have been clarified, and most should be eligible for a shot (if they can get an appointment!)
Elsewhere, there is concern that groups with close ties to the Governor, who is touting his decision to prioritize residents age 65+ over essential workers, are getting priority access to the vaccine. Residents in communities like The Villages were quick to an allocation, while almost everyone in Century Village and Kings Point has had a chance to get their shots by now. Meanwhile, millions of other FL residents not so well connected are stymied by non-existent web sites, lengthy queues, and fragmentary information. This has led to speculation that the Governor or his staff is steering vaccines to organizations he has ties to. Speculation has also arisen over the Publix supermarket chain’s donation of $100,000 to the Governor’s political campaign. The chain has since become a major source of Covid 19 vaccines administered in the state. The Governor’s office has denied any connection, according to WUSF Public Media.
Who is Eligible for the Vaccine in Florida?
Eligibility for non-Florida residents starts with being able to prove that they reside in the state for at least 31 consecutive days. Then they have to scramble to come up with two other types of documents. The first document might be easy to come by, but the second could involve more effort.
January 23, 2020 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that will allow enrollees to know in advance and compare their out-of-pocket payments for different prescription drugs. The changes are generally effective for the 2022 plan year and will potentially lower enrollee cost sharing on some of the most expensive prescription drugs.
The final rule will require Part D plans to offer a real-time benefit comparison tool starting January 1, 2023, so enrollees can obtain information about lower-cost alternative therapies under their prescription drug benefit plan. Enrollees would be able to compare cost sharing to find the most cost-effective prescription drugs for their health needs. For example, if a doctor recommends a specific cholesterol-lowering drug, the enrollee could look up what the co-pay would be and see if a different, similarly effective option might save the enrollee money. With this tool, enrollees will be better able to know what they will need to pay before they are standing at the pharmacy counter.
Thanks to Tom Cretella for letting us know about this new development.
January 16, 2021 – Living the expatriate life in retirement can be great… or not so wonderful. So much depends on where you retire to, your preparation, and what you bring to the party. Almost 10 years ago we published an interview with Steven Anderson, who wrote a book about his bad experiences in retiring to Mexico: “Mexican Retirement Gone Bad: Can’t Wait to Get Back to the USA“. The article sparked over 160 Member Comments, and those actively continue to this day.
A minority of commentators agreed with Stephen’s negative experiences, while a significant majority talked about their wonderful Mexican and other expatriate retirements. The Comments make for interesting and informative reading, and even though some of them are a few years old, they should be required for anyone contemplating an expat retirement. Here in this article we take a sampling of both sides of the argument, but since more people responded with positive stories of their expat retirements we have included more of those. We hope you will agree that these Comments from actual people who have lived in Mexico are very useful.
January 12, 2020 — Arizona is a really popular place to retire because of its climate, scenery, and interesting towns. At Topretirements it is the second most popular state for retirement. It also has the second highest net immigration of people over 65 (SmartAsset). Since Covid has put the damper on travel and exploration, please join us on this virtual tour of the best places to retire in this beautiful state. This is the second in our series of virtual tours of popular states for retirement (Southwest Florida was the first).
The Road Trip
Arizona is the sixth largest state in terms of size and 14th by population. Florida by contrast has almost 3 times the population in just under half the area, with many more retirement communities. Arizona’s sheer size means a retirement tour of the Grand Canyon State involves a lot of driving. If done outside of the summer, it means bringing along some warm weather clothing for parts of the trip, because many areas have high altitude and chilly weather at times. This virtual tour will hopefully whet your appetite for an Arizona exploration, and learn more about the many towns we mention here and over 300 active adult and 55+ communities in our Arizona Directory.
January 9, 2020 – Most of the people who took the new version of our popular Social Security IQ Quiz were able to get a passing score of 60%. But there were 3 questions that many people had a lot of difficulty answering correctly. That lack of knowledge, unfortunately, could cost them significant amounts of money over their lifetimes.
Underestimating your Social Security benefits will cost you money
These were the Social Security questions that most people missed, along with the correct answers and more detailed explanations:
How many earning years are used to calculate your Social Security retirement benefit.
Only 49% of quiz takers got this answer correct. The choices were 25, 30, or 35 years – the correct answer was 35 years. While that might not seem that important a detail, it is.
January 6, 2020 – The coronavirus and the election might have been the two big national stories in 2020, but Topretirements Members and visitors had some other issues on their minds as well. We published almost 100 Blog stories last year, and it turns out that once again, features that highlight great places to retire almost always come out on top. Here are the most popular articles on Topretirements last year, 2020. As always, we appreciate any future story ideas you might have too.
20 Great Places to Retire on a Lake. This article picked the top 20 communities from the 122 lake towns reviewed on Topretirements. We focused on places where it is possible to live on or near the lake, with some kind of nearby town for entertainment and the necessities of life. This story from January was the runaway favorite of the year.
10 Best of the Best Places to Retire for 2020 In this “Best of the Best” review, we picked 10 towns from lists of our 60 Best Retirement Towns in three major U.S. retirement regions. Asheville (NC), a frequent winner, came out of top.
January 3, 2020 — Hundreds of millions of Americans can’t wait to have a coronavirus vaccine pumped into their arms. The problem is the wait could be long, and the process to get one could turn into the wild west – every person for themself. Evidence of that is already happening in places like Fort Myers, FL, where seniors are camping out over night in a chaotic effort to get a shot because Lee county has no online system for appointments. Officials say that was necessary because eager vaccine seekers are crashing online vaccination systems. We earnestly hope the process of vaccinating America doesn’t turn into a disaster as the unprepared authorities botch the rollout.
The ball is in your court
Consider this: it is highly unlikely that you will get a phone call or person knocking on your door, telling you where and when to go to get your shot. How soon will you get one? Sadly, that probably depends on you. To help, here are some steps you can take and a few resources.
December 30, 2020 – A new survey from SnowbirdAdvisor.ca estimates that only 31% of Canadian snowbirds will make the trip south this winter. Problems crossing the U.S. border for non-essential travel, quarantines, and concerns about catching Covid are some of the reasons. Besides the impact on Canadians who will have to spend a winter in the cold, the communities that rely on them to support their winter economies will also suffer. According to the website about 1 million Canadians ordinarily spend the winter in the U.S. or some other warm climate.
By Jackie: (This was an unsolicited contribution by one of our Members who has retired to The Villages. It is so rich in detail we thought it had to be published on its own. See bottom of article for links to other articles on The Villages).
December 27, 2020 –
“The Villages is an incredible place to retire to”.
I spent the first 60 years of my life visiting family and friends mostly in Key West, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tamarac, Boca, Delray, West Palm Beach, Naples, Fort Myers, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Sarasota, The Villages and Ponte Vedra. I knew 10 years ago I wanted to move to The Villages (TV), but my husband was keen on either Naples or Delray. So about 4 1/2 years ago I decided to retire to Delray Beach after looking for a home to buy over a 5 year period. Then I stayed at my aunt’s house in The Villages for a long weekend for a family wedding. After that we decided to cancel our plans for Delray and move to the Villages instead. We have not regretted our decision.