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Judging a Retirement Town by Its Bookstore

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Authors Recommend Their Favorite Stores and Towns

Baby boomers have begun the search for their ideal retirement communities. For many of them, the quality of the town’s bookstore is a key selection criterion.

Goldengrain, a member at, put it this way: “I need bookstores, colleges, lectures, discussion (and) a good active library We feel the same way – communities without good book stores are ghost towns. This article will review some of the top retirement towns in America – based on the quality of their bookstores.

The most fun part of this article is that we were able to enlist a helpful group of top authors to write about their favorite bookstore towns. Here is the list (and feel free to post blog entries to cover the ones we’ve missed): (more…)

Posted by Boomer1 on November 25th, 2007

How Much Can I Earn and Still Receive Social Security Benefits?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 18, 2007 (Updated April 2012) — You guessed it: The most popular question asked at the Social Security Administration is “How much can I earn and still receive Social Security benefits”. Fortunately the SSA has the answers to this question and many others at

This question is an important one because many people living in retirement communities either need to or want to work in retirement. This question pertains to what is called the earning test. If you are under Full Retirement Age (FRA) when you start getting your Social Security payments (for example, you start taking benefits at 62), $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2012 that limit is $14,640. (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 17th, 2007

Housing Woes Hit Levitt’s Retirement Community Unit

Category: Retirement Real Estate

November 12 — One of America’s household names in construction, Levitt Corp, announced last week that its Levitt & Sons LLC division has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The division built retirement communities for baby boomers. In making its move the company cited cited “unprecedented conditions in the home-building industry” that were “particularly sudden and steep” in Florida and the Southeast. (more…)

Posted by Boomer1 on November 12th, 2007

Diane Rehm Show Focuses on Retirement Living Abroad

Category: International Retirement

November 8 — One of our favorite radio show talk hosts, Diane Rehm, recently had a great program called U.S. Expatriates in Mexico and Beyond. Use this link to listen as she and her fascinating guests discuss this topic that interests so many retirees.

Diane’s November 6, 2007 show explored how reverse migration appears to be on the rise as more Americans relocate and retire abroad. She and her guests took a look at what drives their decision and what life is like once they take the leap.

Her guests included: Caren Cross, who made the documentary (more…)

Posted by Boomer1 on November 8th, 2007

College Towns Are Islands of Stability

Category: Retirement Real Estate

November 5 — Here at we spend a lot of time writing about why college towns make such great retirement communities. Now there’s yet another reason to choose a college town to retire in – they are much less likely to be involved in the sub-prime mortgage mess that is wreaking havoc on so many other real estate markets.

A recent New York Times article, “College Towns Escape the Pain”, reported that college towns have among the lowest sub-prime or high cost loans of any places in the country. The people who live in college towns might be smarter, but they also have a lot of other things going for them. Stable employment, big medical centers, and a strong real estate market – in part propelled by retiring baby boomers – are also contributing to strength. The bottom line is that college towns are very strong economically and represent a solid real estate investment.

Figures from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council show that almost all of the 10 metropolitan areas with the nation’s lowest percentage of sub-prime loans in 2006 were college towns. For example,here are the lowest 5: Ithaca (NY), Iowa City (IA), Boulder (CO), Morgantown (WV) and Madison (WI). Whereas the U.S. average was 29%, Ithaca had only 11% subprime loans. Here is more information about the best college town retirements. Another site worth visiting is

Posted by Admin on November 5th, 2007

Lily Valley Sets High Bar for Green Communities

Category: Green Retirement Communities

November 3 — Imagine a community that is being developed by the Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin, Victor Sidy, along with 6 apprentices at the famous school. For one thing, you can be sure the community will balance well with the environment, and is not just so-called “greenwashing” (painting a community as green when it really isn’t). For another, it will be beautiful. Sidy’s team has developed plans for Lily Valley, called the “New American Village”, which will be just north of Hattiesburg MS. The effort by Taliesin is a response for innovative architecture to help this area of Mississippi devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Lily Valley will eventually occupy some 67 acres north of Hattiesburg, MS. It combines a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural elements and amenities. The idea is to create a sustainable and walkable community where residents can walk to grocery stores, medical care and recreational facilities. Homes will have solar panels and other controls to save energy. Some buildings will have green roofs to help control runoff and reduce heating and cooling costs. Homes are being designed for people of all economic levels.

Prairie Mod article about Lily Valley
Looking for Green Retirement Communities?

Posted by Boomer1 on November 3rd, 2007