Nov. 29, 2016 — Your editor has been retired 10 years now. And over that time he has written hundreds of articles that freely dispensed advice about retirement to tens of thousands of people. So what, if anything, has he learned during this decade, and what advice would he give anyone ready to enter retirement?
First of all, let me say how great it has been to be part of the Topretirements.com community all this time. The people I have met online and their wisdom and comments since the site began in late 2006 have been amazing in so many ways. Thank you to everyone in the Topretirements community, you guys have been so (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 29th, 2016
Health and Wellness Issues
By Liz Szabo at Kaiser Health News. (Reprinted with permission)
Nov. 21, 2016 — A new study finds that the prevalence of dementia has fallen sharply in recent years, most likely as a result of Americans’ rising educational levels and better heart health, which are both closely related to brain health.
Dementia rates in people over age 65 fell from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012, a decline of 24 percent, according to a study of more than 21,000 people across the country (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 26th, 2016
By Betty Fitterman
November 26, 2016 — Note: This is Part 5 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, See bottom of this article for links to the rest.
The difference between my husband and me is that while I am impulsive and curious and not at all worried about getting lost, he is a strategist and a planner and the kind of person who reads the manual before assembly. And he hates getting lost. So he does all the work of mapping out our routes, getting the RV attended to, and other chores I find boring or distasteful. Which, happily, allows me to be a happy-go-lucky, go-along companion who rarely objects to his plans, except for the ones that include rushing through an adventure in order to get (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 25th, 2016
November 20, 2016 — Editor’s Note: This article was written for our Tips & Picks section by Andrew Mastrandonas and Preston Gitlin, who lived and developed property in Costa Rica for many years (they have since moved on to other adventures). We have updated it and moved it here to the Blog so that people will have an easier time commenting on it. Their insights and advice remain true not only for Costa Rica, but for buying real estate in any foreign country. It is the First of a series.
Costa Rica is an alluring place for many people. With a terrific climate, stable and democratic government, proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, unbelievable scenery and wildlife, plus many outdoor and cultural activities, it is no wonder this country only the size of West Virginia remains one of the best in the world for retirement, investment, or a vacation. Over one million people visit Costa Rica each year generating about (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 19th, 2016
Active adult communities
Nov. 18, 2016 — Ask a group of retirees what they think about living in an active adult or 55+ community and you will get a wide range of responses (as we did in our recent Member Survey). Most people seem to think they are OK. But a common anecdote you will hear from a certain subset of folks is that they cannot/will not to live in a community that has a Community Association (also known as Home Owner Associations – HOAs). Their attitude seems to be that HOAs are a loathsome bunch, dominated by cliques on power trips. In this article we will explore attitudes towards HOAs as reported in some actual surveys, as well as why they sometimes generate negative opinions. In this we were fortunate to receive input from Joe West, CEO of the Community Associations Network, the largest free website of information for people on HOA boards.
Actually, most residents are positive about their HOAs
By large majorities, most of the people who actually (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 18th, 2016
Best Retirement Towns and States
Nov. 14, 2016 — Your editor went on a golfing junket to Kiawah Island in South Carolina’s Low Country recently, and here is our report on what it might be like to retire here. When added together with Judith’s report on her SC visit and our recent “10 Best Places to Retire in SC” article (see bottom for links to those), we’ve given Topretirements Members a pretty good dose of South Carolina retirement information lately. So coming up we will move on to other areas.
This was our first visit here to this island, a stretch of coast just south of Charleston it shares with Seabrook Island. To get a picture of where it is, it’s a little more than half way down SC’s coast, with Myrtle Beach at the top and Beaufort and Hilton Head Island at the bottom. Rivers and wetlands occupy much of the space. Someone asked on one of our SC articles if flooding is a problem here, and the answer is definitely YES, they don’t call it the Low Country for nothing. New homes must be built quite high off the ground to protect against flooding and tidal surges.
There are some places to retire along this stretch of South Carolina’s Atlantic Ocean frontage, but not that many. Around Charleston there is Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms. But after you go south from Kiawah there is a fairly empty stretch of coast until you get to Beaufort and Port Royal.
Posted by Admin on November 14th, 2016
Best Retirement Towns and States
November 12, 2016 — On a regular basis we update the thousands of pages at Topretirements. As part of that rotation we just updated the state retirement guides for every state in the union. The changes included tax changes all these states had in 2016 as well as other key information like housing prices. One thing we saw as we updated these guides is that home prices are on the rise in almost parts of the country – they are way up from what we reported one or two years ago.
Here is where you can find all of our State and Country Retirement Guides
Tax Friendliest States for Retirement
Do you have any suggestions for improving our State Retirement Guides? Do you find them useful? How are you researching which states to live in? Please add your Comments below.
Posted by Admin on November 12th, 2016
Financial and taxes in retirement
Nov. 11, 2016 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs will increase.
Because of the low Social Security COLA, (0.3 percent for 2017) a statutory “hold harmless” provision designed to protect seniors will largely prevent Part B premiums from increasing for about 70 percent of beneficiaries. Among this group, the average (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016
Active adult communities
November 9, 2016 — Many, many thanks to the 756 Topretirements Members who took the the time to fill out our most recent survey on retirement community preferences. You are good people – thanks!
Your input confirms some of our hypotheses and offers fresh perspective on others. One surprise was your favorite amenity – walking trails! You made hundreds of excellent comments to several of the questions – we just wish we had room to highlight every comment because they all offer a unique perspective. Here is one, describing the type of community someone is looking for, that is fairly representative: “Large, walkable, active community with urban area nearby for culture, restaurants etc. A Clubhouse with social clubs will make it easy to make new friends.”
Everyone has their own unique take on retirement, that much is obvious from these results. That is particularly true if you look at the 327 comments made to Question 10, “Please describe your ideal retirement community”. Here are some (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 8th, 2016