The One and Done Appeal of a Life Plan Community

Category: Retirement Planning

February 27, 2016 — One of the best pieces of advice we have heard about retirement is to take the long view, rather than just focusing on the early years. The long view idea is to find a place to retire where you can live the rest of your life – regardless of your health or ability to do various activities – without having to move again. And one of the best ways to do this is to choose a Life Plan Community (sometimes Life Care), which are also referred to as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs).

Life Communities, of which there are about 2,000 in the U.S., combine the best of several worlds in one package. New residents typically live in a nice apartment or small home that isn’t much different from what you would see in an active adult or 55+ community. There are extensive community facilities, amenities, transportation, and social and cultural programs. The campuses are usually quite compact – often you can walk to everything without having to (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 27th, 2016

Sarasota is the New #1 Most Popular Place to Retire: Announcing Our 2016 List

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Update July 2017: See our all new 2017 Best Places to Retire List
June, 2016 – Move over Asheville, there is a newcomer perched atop the Topretirements annual list of most popular places to retire. For the first time since we started publishing this list in 2007, Asheville, NC is not #1 – that honor goes to the vibrant city of Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast. It edged out Asheville and Green Valley (AZ) in a close contest for the top spot.

Sarasota neighborhood

Many people view Sarasota as one of the two cultural capitals of Florida (the other would be Miami). Built through the philanthropy of the Ringling Brothers Circus and other generous souls, Sarasota’s rich cultural institutions make it a vital and interesting city in which to live. There is also the beautiful Sarasota Bay, lovely beaches and barrier islands, and fascinating urban and low key neighborhoods. Sarasota was chosen for the top spot through a simple process. We count how many times each city’s review has been viewed at Topretirements.com, which we view as a gauge of interest in that destination. For example, the Sarasota review was viewed over 10,000 times,
which was 10 times as often as the newcomer in the #100 position, Palm Coast (FL). It doesn’t mean that people will actually move to any of these destinations, but it does indicate interest and popularity.

A Place in the Sun
When it comes to places that Americans might consider for retirement, towns in the Sunbelt and the West are definitely the places to be. Eighty of the cities and towns on our 2016 list of the best places to retire were in the Sunbelt. As always, Florida had the most cities on the list with 24, followed by North and South Carolina. The American northwest and mountain states are also popular for retirement – 17 destinations made the list from California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Idaho. Just as in 2015, only 3 states in the Northeast made the cut: Virginia (Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Winchester), Delaware (Lewes and Rehoboth Beach), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). The highest ranking non-Sun Belt city on our list was (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 23rd, 2016

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Security Statement

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 16, 2016 — Even if you are not retired yet you have probably received several statements from the Social Security Agency over the years. That is because the Agency mails Statements to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and older. They go out three months prior to their birthday (but not if they receive Social Security benefits or have a my Social Security account).
SS-statement-top

The statement contains an amazing amount of helpful information. Unfortunately, that info is often ignored or misunderstood. In fact one survey found (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 16th, 2016

10 Very Retirement-Friendly States for Retirement: They Want You There!

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 12, 2016 — In looking for your best place to retire it is nice to know that there are some states that really want you. They have taken concrete steps to make themselves more desirable for retirees. These states (and many towns) know that the homes retirees buy and the money they spend locally can be an important, and clean, industry. They call it the “Mailbox Economy” – where the local industry takes the form of the pension, 401(k), dividend/interest, and Social Security checks that arrive in local mailboxes and bank accounts every month. Some of these states might (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 12th, 2016

Help Wanted: Seniors Need Not Apply (And How to Overcome That)

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 10, 2016 — The sad truth is that millions of baby boomers are ending up retired well before their target age, which is usually around 65. In fact a 2015 study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 50% of retirees stopped working earlier than they had planned. Layoffs or health issues are usually the culprit. This usually produces unpleasant results for the newly, and unexpectedly, retired: Four or five years of planned retirement savings don’t happen; and folks have to find a way to live without a steady income. A common result is that 41% of American workers were not too or not at all confident of having enough money for retirement in 2015.

The easy solution would be to find a new job. If only that were (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 9th, 2016

7 “Must-Do” Items Now That You Are Retired

Category: Retirement Planning

Note: This is the third in our series of vital things you need to do once you retire. The first 2 installments include different things to think about, and also have some great Comments from our Members.

February 8, 2016 — Well done, your long-awaited reward for years of hard work, struggle, and sacrifice is here. Now that you’ve actually retired, we have just a few more tasks to complete the process. Once you tick these off you can truly enjoy your retirement, knowing that you done most if not all of the important things you need to do to protect your family and heirs, not to mention make the most of this experience. (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 8th, 2016

To Work Or Not to Work: Many Early SS Claimers Make An Un-informed Choice

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 2, 2016 — Social Security – so misunderstood. And unfortunately, that misinformation causes many people to make very costly decisions. This article will talk about how one of those decisions – filing early and deciding not to work any more because of fear that earnings will be taken away – can jeopardize financial health. We’ll explain that mistake in detail, but first we have to give some background, including how concerns about Obamacare can complicate the decision making. Note: we are not accountants or financial experts. Before you make any important financial decision consider it carefully and get expert help.

Over the years Congress has tweaked Social Security to encourage people to work to at least Normal Retirement Age (66 for most boomers), rather than collecting sooner (the earliest you can claim is at age 62). The thought was to encourage folks to work longer and delay benefits so they have the opportunity to save more money for retirement. And, because they paid more into the SS system, they and their surviving spouses get higher benefits for the rest of their lives. Both factors result in (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 1st, 2016