Update March 18 – We just provided an update on how the new TrumpCare replacement will affect people age 50 – 64 – “Obamacare Replacement Will Hammer Pre-Retirees“
March 1, 2017 — Judging by the number of Comments and questions we are seeing on this Blog, baby boomers are uneasy about what might happen to their healthcare insurance under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA – Obamacare). Given all the headlines and conflicting plans and positions, those concerns seem to be well founded. In this article we will air some of the most frequent questions and concerns aired on the Topretirements.com Blog. In some cases we provide answers provided by other Members. We also have some good resources to recommend where you can research this topic in greater detail.
First, a little update on where we stand
The President, the Republican controlled Congress, and the new Secretary of the Health, Education and Welfare have all said they are going to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA – Obamacare). Democrats, on the other hand, favor improvement/repair rather than repeal. The subject is confusing: according to one poll, one-third of Americans don’t realize that the ACA and Obamacare are the same thing. Republicans have floated at least one replacement plan in rough form, but they appear to have no consensus among themselves, in fact conservative Republicans say they won’t go along with many of the provisions in that plan. What will happen, (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 28th, 2017
February 27, 2016 — Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of Jeff’s retirement saga. Last month we published his account of How a Minnesota Boy Came to be Retired in the Heart of the South. This installment provides more of the decisions made and surprises encountered when he actually pulled the trigger on his retirement.
By Jeff Alden:
I closed my office last July after thirty-five years practicing law in Minneapolis. For several years, my wife and I had talked about where and when we might retire. We read about and discussed different options, but never got further than the obvious: wherever we landed, it had to be on one floor. We even made a few exploratory trips and talked about the possibility of moving to those places. Almost right up to the last moment, it didn’t seem that we were really getting anywhere. Talk is cheap. But when we finally pulled the plug on our previous life, things happened fast. Kaboom! Like that.
I once had a law professor who liked to maintain that certain situations are “action-forcing.” If A happens, B must follow. Our transition to retirement was a case in point — the product of a series of forced actions on steroids.
My office lease was set to renew in August if I didn’t terminate it by May. In a very real sense, that lease called my bluff. If I was serious about retiring, why would (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 26th, 2017
Financial and taxes in retirement
February 22, 2017 — A lot of baby boomers are facing a very difficult retirement. The Employee Benefits Research Institute’s (EBRI.org) 2014 survey reported only 55% of retirees are very or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. A Topretirements.com survey was even less optimistic; only 46% of our Members said that their expected retirement income will allow them to continue their pre-retirement lifestyles.
The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a baby boomer in this situation who took a surprising solution to solve the problem – “With $15 in the Bank, A Baby Boomer Makes Peace with Less (article might be behind a paid wall). Kathleen Wolf lived in the San Francisco area until recently. During her working life in real estate she made (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 21st, 2017
Home and Garden
February 18, 2017 — Winter’s silver lining is that being trapped indoors much of the time gives you the leisure to experience what we think is the golden age of TV. There has never been the quality and the range of programs that is available right now. Cable and streaming television has become such an exciting place to work that many of the best creative people – actors, directors, producers – are moving to television where they have more opportunities and control than in the movies or network TV. In fact there are so many quality programs to watch that even if you did nothing else you couldn’t keep up. You can try though, as one of the the great things about being retired is that you can stay up as late or get up as early as you want!
One of the hardest parts of deciding what programs to enjoy is deciding where and how to watch them. There are so many options, and they are changing so fast, it is hard to stay current.
Let’s look at the where to watch first, and the choices are endless. Besides the major networks, you have hundreds (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 18th, 2017
Best Retirement Towns and States
February 15, 2017 — From time to time we get the question, “Which is the better state for retirement, Florida in the East, or Arizona in the West”. Both states are popular and have many great places to live. Based on the interest we see on Topretirements.com, Florida attracts more retirement interest than any other state: in the last quarter of 2016 people saw our two main Florida pages 24,000 times, double the number viewed for Arizona (just under 12,000). Tennessee, both Carolinas, and Colorado also generate a lot of prospective interest.
Further down in this article we will present various factors for each state so you can draw your own conclusions from the facts. But first, here is your Editor’s personal opinion about what makes each of these two states a great, or not so great place to retire. As always, reader input is extremely important. We encourage you to use the Comments section below to tell your stories and express your (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 15th, 2017
Financial and taxes in retirement
February 12, 2017 — First the good news – the financial outlook is not as bad as has been reported – for most states. A study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) looked at 3 fiscal components: pensions, other post employment benefits (OPEBs), and debt payments – to analyze which states, counties, and municipalities face the biggest future financial crunch. Most states have a manageable situation in the coming years; 36 of them have required payments below 15 percent of own-source revenue, and 22 of them have obligations less than 10%. The problem is more acute for the 8 states who face obligations more than 20% of own-source revenues. The experts in the study believe that payments over 25% are untenable.
The problem children
The bad news for five states – Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Kentucky – is that future payments for pensions, OPEBs, and debt service are more than 25 percent (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 11th, 2017
Active adult communities
February 8, 2017 — This article is the 3rd in a series written by Jay Michaels on his pursuit of the perfect retirement community. Now, five years after the second installment, he and his wife Jane have gone a long way (and then again not so far). Here is their update (links to Parts 1 and 2, both highly recommended for their site visit and decision process details, are below).
Jay Michael’s tour bus ran out of gas
Several years ago I wrote about our travels to find a new place to live after my retirement, and these were published on the Top Retirements blog. My wife and I had travelled thousands of miles and visited over 60 communities intermittently over a two year period from 2011-2013. We finally made a decision in 2013 on where to retire, and enough time has passed for me to now summarize our decision and how it has worked out for us.
Where did we end up?
My brother gets a laugh from people when he tells them I travelled for two years investigating the best place to retire and picked Cleveland, Ohio, as my destination. As you will read below, however, Cleveland has some really big and nice surprises, and I feel its reputation is not accurate or justified in many ways.
The place we picked is a golf community in Avon Lake, Ohio which is about (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 7th, 2017
Financial and taxes in retirement
February 7, 2017 — If you will celebrate your 62nd birthday in 2017 or later, the age in which you are eligible for full Social Security benefits is on its way to 67. The full retirement age (FRA) will steadily increase in two-month increments from age 66 over the next six years, eventually reaching age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. This is not a new development, however. It has always been part of changes made the last time the Social Security program was overhauled, which was 1983.
The bad news is that your Social Security benefits are also taking a hair cut compared to your fellow boomers who were born prior to 1955. When your FRA becomes age 67, your (more…)
Posted by Admin on February 6th, 2017