January 31, 2017 — We think a lot of people looking for a place to retire get intimidated when they start to visit active adult and 55+ communities, particularly if they roll up to a gated entrance and face a guard with a clipboard. They might think, “Gosh, maybe we don’t belong here”, or, “I don’t want to go into the sales office because they are going to give me a hard sell”. So we asked some of the professionals we know, advertisers at Topretirements all, how they would advise baby boomers who want to visit and find out more about a community. While we were at it, we tacked on a few other questions about what makes their communities unique, desired amenities, and how they see the current market and the future. We hope you enjoy it.
The format here is that we will print out each question, and then give the answers from each of our 4 active adult community executives. Thanks to them for taking the time to share their (more…)
January 28, 2017 — Dear Members. On our “Are You Ready for Retirement” thread MaryNB started an interesting thread about cost of living and coping with various expenses. That generated a raft of suggestions, so many that we have decided to move them all here to a new post just on that subject. Below are the Comments moved over from the original. Feel free to add your own!
— This may be off topic, but part of the calculations about cost of living. The references (more…)
January 24, 2017 — Earlier this month we wrote about “The Retirement Wrecker You Never Considered“, which turned out to be about adult children that fail to fledge. Today we will tackle the other half of the sandwich that often squeezes baby boomers; what happens when elderly parents and relatives need help that interferes with your retirement plans. We are certainly not saying that having elderly parents is a “problem”, it is a blessing if you get to enjoy your parents and relatives as they age. Unfortunately for some adult children, they experience challenges with their parents that can turn into a problem for their retirement plans. We know many of you have had experience dealing with this sometimes difficult issue, and hope you will contribute your knowledge and experience in the Comments section below.
To get started we have 11 tips to offer when it looks like your elders need more help but don’t seem to want to get it. After that we have re-posted some comments on this same topic from the past. Obviously there is a range of (more…)
January 22, 2017 — The AARP is a solid defender of Medicare and Social Security, as you might imagine. In their most recent Special Report the organization highlights some of the issues and dangers that Medicare faces as the Trump administration and Republican controlled Congress take over. We recommend reading the entire AARP Special Medicare Report – it raises important issues that every retiree, and every American, needs to be informed on. We certainly know the issue resonates with Topretirements members, who from our surveys say they like Medicare.
Conflict between the new President and conservative Republicans – and surprising potential allies
Trump promised on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that he would protect Medicare: “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security. They want to do it on Medicare. They want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. It’s not fair to the people who have been paying in for years.”
With the inauguration behind us the battle lines are a bit murkier. Speaker of the House Ryan has proposed that Medicare as we know it would be replaced by fixed payments with which beneficiaries would be able to buy (more…)
January 15, 2017 — Not everybody wants to retire, even if that is the popular expectation. Many more people, even though they are old enough, aren’t ready to retire yet. This article will help you determine if retirement is right for you, and if this is a good time to do it.
Retirement is a big step and one that is hard to reverse. (more…)
January 13, 2017 — The average size of newly built homes decreased in 2016 – a sign that builders are preparing for the coming wave of first-time buyers as Millennials begin to dip their toes into the market. At least that is the conclusion reached by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
In 2015, the typical new home had 2,689 square feet. In 2016, it dropped to 2,634, according to figures supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the first drop in size since 2009, said Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president for survey research.
“The data on new home characteristics show a pattern,” she said. “2016 marked the end of an era that began in 2009 when homes got bigger and bigger with more amenities. I expect the size of homes to continue to decline as (more…)
January 11, 2017 — Over the years our Members have told us how important it is for them to find great places to retire that are also affordable. So at this point we have quite a collection of articles with specifics on at least 50 such towns. This article has links to all of them, starting with the original: Affordable Places to Retire on the Waterfront, Part 1. We just updated that article with 2016 real estate prices, and are happy to report that 10 of those towns are still affordable (we swapped in a new one to replace Blue Ridge, GA, which has gotten a little pricey.
More Affordable Towns
If you are looking for an affordable retirement town check out all these articles for even more ideas:
Editor’s note: Over a period of years we watched our friends Jeff and Paulette get ready for retirement. They thought about it a lot, made field trips, and discussed it thoroughly. Not without a little trepidation, their careful plans to retire to Greenville, SC came to pass this last summer. We are very pleased that Jeff was willing to contribute his account of how a Minnesota boy came to be retired in the heart of the South.
By Jeff Alden:
January 6, 2017 — I first started coming to the Upstate of South Carolina in the seventies to visit my future wife’s family on holidays. She was a young professor at the University of Minnesota, where I was in graduate school. I grew up in St. Paul and never questioned that I’d spend the rest of my days up North, in the country I knew so well. But every Christmas or Thanksgiving, we’d travel down to Greenville to spend time with her folks (more…)
Editor’s note:The family we described in this article are not real, they are hypothetical. However the kinds of problems they experienced are real and painful. For a variety of reasons, more and more Americans are living in multi-generational households – 31% of those aged 25- to 29 in 2014 were living in households with parents and/or grandparents.
January 3, 2107 –June and Jim thought that their exquisitely laid retirement plan was solid. They had done so many things well – they had set up a regular savings plan, hired a good financial advisor, thought about how they would stay busy, and even made some scouting trips to potential retirement destinations. But due to circumstances they never imagined, June and Jim are worried that their retirement dream is probably finished – before it even started.
The problem wasn’t with the couple’s plan, it was their adult children. Margaret had been a great student and athlete in high school and even into college. But she lost focus somewhere along the line, and even though she graduated with a B.A. she couldn’t land a good job. So she moved back home, where she remains, not making enough to move out on her own, and her parents haven’t have the heart to ask her to pay rent. That was 5 years ago.
January 2, 2017 — Just as millions of baby boomers start to enjoy their Social Security retirement or disability checks comes a new worry. The problem arises for the folks who, for whatever reason, did not pay off all of their student loan debts. Many non-payers thought that after the initial wave of debt collection efforts subsided, they were off the hook. Wrong! The government has one last ace to play, and that is garnishment of your Social Security checks.
Last year the Feds reclaimed $171 million in unpaid student loans, and many of those paying it back were over 50 years of age – 114,000 of them in fact. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article the typical delinquent borrower sees their Social Security (more…)