Top 10 Amenities that Make for a Best Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

November 27, 2012 — There are plenty of the Best Places to Retire lists (including the ones we publish) for this or that. But what does make a town a great place to retire? Weather, location, taxes – those are some of the essential factors. But just as key are the amenities that a town offers to its residents. If done right, even a town with a crummy location or climate can make itself attractive to retirees. This article launches a two part series on what the most innovative and forward-thinking towns are doing to make themselves more attractive to baby boomers. This installment lists our Top 10 Municipal Retirement Amenities; Part 2 provides our list of (more…)

Posted by John Brady on November 27th, 2012

What Hurricane Sandy Can Teach You about Buying A Home for Retirement

Category: Retirement Real Estate

November 20, 2012 — If Hurricane Sandy had some tiny silver lining amidst the tragedy it wreaked in the Caribbean, New Jersey, New York, and elsewhere, it is its lessons on preparedness. Those lessons could be very relevant to you if you are considering buying a retirement home in the next few years.

Infrastructure experts have long warned state and local officials as well as home owners about serious problems that could come with coastal flooding. Yet electrical and communications equipment left at ground level flooded, along with subway and car tunnels. Homes in flood zones were destroyed, above ground power lines were downed, roads washed out. The resulting human suffering is beyond (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 20th, 2012

Goodbye 4% Retirement Spending Rule: Popular Rule of Thumb Eclipsed by New Theories

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Nov 20, 2012 — New research suggests that the traditional rule of thumb for how much you can safely take out of your retirement funds, 4% per year, is not the ideal tool for the job. Originally popularized by Bill Bengen in 1994, it was at least partially based on the assumption that traditional stocks and other investments would return 6% or more over the long haul. As reported by Robert Powell at WSJ MarketWatch in “Retirement Income: What’s Wrong with the 4% Rule” and the Center for Retirement Research in “Can Retirees Base Wealth Withdrawals on the IRS’ Required Minimum Distributions?”, several exciting new theories challenge (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 20th, 2012

Inheriting an IRA–What You Need to Know

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 14, 2012 — As we baby boomers age there is a good chance that we might inherit an IRA from a parent, spouse, or sibling. Likewise your spouse and/or heirs will probably inherit yours when you go to the pearly gates. The rules governing inherited IRAs can be complicated, so it is important that you understand the basics that apply so you can make the best decisions. Here are the major issues to consider.

Transferring inherited IRA assets
If you inherit a traditional or Roth IRA from someone who isn’t your spouse, your options are fairly limited. You can’t roll the proceeds over to your own IRA, treat the IRA as your own, or make any additional contributions to the IRA. What you can do is transfer the assets to a different IRA provider, as long as the registration of the account continues to (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 14th, 2012

Are Pets and Retirement A Good Mix?

Category: General Retirement Issues

November 12, 2012 — Americans love their pets, there is no getting around that. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the USA is the overwhelming pet capital of the world. The WSPA reports that in 2007 we had 67 million dogs, more than twice as many as Brazil, which had the second highest number. And when it comes to cats we are even crazier – our almost 84 million cats outnumber Russian cats by more than 4 times (Russia holds 2nd place in the cats race with 18 million cats). The number of pets reported by WSPA seems higher than those from Petfinder.com, but they are directionally similar. Petfinder reports that 57% of American households have some kind of pet, often more than one.

The question many folks have as they approach retirement is whether or not to have a pet, and if so, what kind. This article will explore some of the issues you need to consider about pet ownership – pros, cons, and strategies for pet owning success. More than that, we are hoping to provoke (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 12th, 2012

10 Places to Retire with Great Weather

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

November 8, 2012 — Weather is a critical input in the retirement happiness quotient for most people. Back in September we provided a list of resources where members could research the best weather conditions to fit their personal tastes. This month we’ve taken a different approach — we’ve selected the top 10 places to retire based on our own weather criteria. And because there are lots of good choices, we’ve also included a few honorable mentions. Note that although our choices are numbered 1 – 10, the choices are so subjective it is better to view them as all good choices rather than one is better than another. This article was prepared in cooperation with WSJ MarketWatch, who published a beautiful slideshow version of the 10 Best Places to Retire for the Weather.

The places on this list all offer good (more…)

Posted by John Brady on November 8th, 2012

Topretirements Members to Washington: Medicare Is a Great Program – Keep It That Way!

Category: Health Issues

November 4, 2012 — Note: This is Part 2 of our Medical Insurance for Retirement Series. See Further Reading at end for links to Part 1 through 5.
The result of last month’s member survey about Medicare are in. We are pleased that you have ideas on a plan to fix Medicare, something that differentiates you from our elected leaders in Washington. When asked to rank your ideal fix from a list of 9 choices, limiting benefits to the most affluent was the number 1 choice, closely followed by 4 others (see detailed results below). Vouchers and lifetime benefit caps were the least popular choices in the survey. Elsewhere in the survey results, most of our responders have opted in to Medicare and its component parts. The sole exception is Part C (Medicare Advantage), where more folks are not in the program than are.

We are so grateful to the more than 550 people who took to the time to answer our 9 questions about Medicare. While we can’t say that any of the findings are particularly surprising, the results do shed (more…)

Posted by John Brady on November 4th, 2012

Sandy Says No Newsletter This Week

Category: Retirement Planning

Nov 2 — Our thoughts and prayers are with all our members in the Notheast who have been affected by Subtropical Cyclone Sandy. The pictures of the devastation are horrible but do not do justice to the tragedy and hardship many of you are suffering.

As of this date the power is out at our house and for over 80% of the population in our town. Many homes were flooded, school cancelled all week, and businesses shut down. Yet our troubles are nothing compared to New Jersey’s, which has experienced devastating flooding.

The bottom line here is that we are unable to publish our newsletter this week, and know that many of you in the Northeast would not have the resources or time to read it. So look for the next edition of the newsletter to come out on Thursday, Nov. 8. We will have a follow up on our Medicare survey plus an article on “the Best Places to Retire for Weather”. In the meantime, feel free to post to our existing Blog articles, the Forum, and read the reviews of our best places to retire.

Be safe!

Posted by Admin on November 1st, 2012