Best Places for a Wintery Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

We’ve got to hand it to Yahoo, nobody comes up with more “best” and “worst” lists than the search giant. This week they announced their “10 Winter Wonderlands Retirement“. Their chief criteria were the likelihood of having lots of snow on the ground for most of the winter, along with cost of living, access to medical care, and availability of other amenities.

Here is their list:

Juneau, AK
Aurora, Colo.
Burlington, Vt. (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 25th, 2011

When Should You Start Taking Your Social Security Benefits?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Note – October, 2016 — This article still has a lot of good information in it, but some is outdated, particularly as it pertains to spousal benefit strategies like “File and Suspend” and “Restricted Benefit”. See “Filing for Social Security: 5 Reasons Why It Is More Complicated Than You Think” for more up to date information.

January 25, 2010 — If your quick response to this question was 62, you might want to think a little harder. More and more information is coming out that supports the idea that you should wait as long as possible, particularly if you or your spouse had a high earning career. If you responded that you weren’t sure, that was a good answer, because the question is a surprisingly complex one and highly personal too. This article will review some of the key considerations you need to take into account before reaching your decision. Note: See our 2011 article, “10 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Taking Social Security“.

First, to recap: For people born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66 (for people born earlier it is few months younger; or older if you were born in a later year). If you were in born in 1946 and elect (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 24th, 2011

How to Design A House for More Than One Generation

Category: Home and Garden

Thanks to the economic downturn, it’s become a lot more common to have 2, sometimes 3 generations living in the same home. In some cases it’s the adult child who comes home to live with parents in an effort to save money during a career change/challenge. Other times it’s a decision to keep elderly parents nearby – either as a cost cutting move or because the parent doesn’t want to move to an assisted living facility. Occasionally, all 3 generations are living under the same roof.

Fortunately, builders and architects are taking note of this trend, and designing some helpful solutions to its many challenges. Professional Builder ran a recent article, “Design Trends in Multi-Generational Housing” that should be required (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 18th, 2011

How Can A State Be the Worst… and the Best for Retirement?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

The most frequent comment on all of the websites that have been covering our “Worst States for Retirement” article has been this one: “How can the same state be on the best and the worst list?” A typical comment is the one made by “stylesb” on the AARP.com site: “Real credible info. Connecticut is on both the Best and Worst ranked states for retirement.”

The main reason why a state might show up on both lists is that the lists were prepared by different organizations using different criteria. That’s the situation with Connecticut, which is #9 on the Topretirements’ list of worse states, and #8 on the Money-Rates’ list of best states for retirement. The lists use different rating criteria. Topretirements used the fiscal health of the state, taxes, and climate as its 3 criteria for choosing the worst states. Money-Rates used climate, crime rate, (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 17th, 2011

New Study Shows Positive Signs Ahead for 55+ Communities

Category: Active adult communities

January 17, 2011 — Both buyers and sellers in the 55+ market have been marking time for the past few years, waiting for some positive sign that the worst of the bleeding is over. A new report, using data from the 2009 American Housing Survey and reported on by the Met Life Mature Market Institute and the National Association of Home Builders, contains some findings that might indicate things could finally start to turn around. Not that they, or we, are predicting anything like the crazy times of 2004-2006, when buyers slept on floors to be the first to bid on new homes, sight unseen. But perhaps a steady 55+ market where the long-predicted pent-up demand matches supply, and buyers can sell their existing homes and start… (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 17th, 2011

Top 10 Bargain Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

It used to be that the cheapest places to live in the USA were in the interior of the country and in the southeast. If you just got away from the coasts, prices went down and it was easy to buy a lot of home for relatively little money.

While that is still true – the median home price in Oklahoma City was $135,500 in 2010’s 3rd quarter (National Association of Realtors) – now there are bargains in south Florida and Nevada as well (Cape Coral/Ft. Myers was $100,000, Las Vegas was $138,100 in the same period). Forbes Magazine just came out with their list of the “Best Places for Bargain Retirement Homes“, based on taxes, price of real estate, and stable home prices. The prices in these bargain communities show (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 11th, 2011

Now That You’re 65 – 10 Things You Need to Know

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

Update August 2017: This series, and particularly its Part 2, seemed very timely after we received this comment from Marty: “Please remind all your readers to consider the possibility of losing their mate and being in an unfamiliar area. Wills may have to go to Probate Court, decisions made on burials, and accounts frozen. Not having your old friends around adds to the loneliness.”

Note: This is Part 1 in a series. See also “10 More Checklist Items for the Retiring Baby Boomer“, as well as Part 3: 7 Must-Do Items Now That You Are Retired. We have another multi-part series that relates specifically to Medicare “Now That You’re 65, How to Get Started with Medicare”.

January 9, 2011 — The oldest of the nation’s baby boomers, those born in 1946, start turning 65 this year. For people who grew up with the Mickey Mouse Club and the Lone Ranger, the thought of getting involved with the Social Security Administration might be hard to swallow, but it is about to happen to you. This article will be your primer for what you need to do, now that you are 65. Note: The government’s Social Security and Medicare websites are first rate and very helpful. We have used much of their information in the sections below, and provided links as well.

1. Register for Medicare to start your health care coverage
Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 9th, 2011

Mean Girls (and Guys) Can Ruin Retirement

Category: Health Issues

It seems like the biggest story about retirement this week was the sad tale of
Doris Lor, a 76 year old resident of Solera, an active adult community in Chandler, AZ. According to numerous news reports, Ms. Lor was repeatedly bullied by women in the community, who refused to let her sit at their table or join in community card games. Apparently it is not just mean girls, either, as some men (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 4th, 2011

Can’t Find Your Ideal Retirement Community: How About a New Urban Community?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

January 4, 2011 — Many baby boomers we run into are perplexed about where they will live in retirement. A big concern often centers around the bewildering number of choices – how can they find the town that matches their personality and their dreams for retirement? They often have an easier time ruling out regions or states than have choosing a particular retirement spot.

In our opinion an often overlooked choice for retirement is what is alternatively called the New Urban, Master Planned, or Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). These communities – some totally new, while others are older towns that have invested heavily in urban planning – deliver on many of the requirements held by so many baby boomers. Those include walkability, easy access to (more…)

Posted by John Brady on January 4th, 2011