AARP Says Senate Health Care Bill Will Hurt Older Americans

Category: Health Issues

Bulletin – June 28. In light of a lack of support from their own party, House Republican leaders have decided to put off a vote on this bill until after July 4. According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, only 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate’s health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove.

June 26, 2017 — AARP, The giant association of retired people, has finally seen the Senate’s new health care bill. And they don’t like anything about it. They and a host of other organizations have sent a fiery letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell – there appear to be about 100 organizations who signed this letter.

Whatever your politics, we feel that it is important that you understand the issues in this bill, which has so many ramifications for people of retirement age. Pro or con, it is very important that you let your senators know how you feel.

Here are some of the concerns expressed by the AARP on their website: (“Senate Unveils Health Care Bill – and It’s Bad!“)

– “This new Senate bill was crafted in secrecy behind closed doors without a (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 26th, 2017

Social Security 2017 Update: Part 2

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 26, 2017 — This is Part 2 of our “Social Security 2017 Update”. Here we will cover the changes to two popular SS claiming strategies that went into effect last year, and what you might do in response.

In Part 1 we explained how the Full Retirement Age (FRA) is gradually increasing for those born in 1955, eventually reaching age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. We also provided some strategies on how to make up for this delay and the slightly smaller benefits that come with it. Here is the link to Part 1, “What You Need to Know About Social Security in 2017“.

2 big changes to SS in 2016
Two Social Security claiming strategies went into effect on April 30, 2016 that changed (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 26th, 2017

How to Travel Alone and Love It

Category: Singles and Retirement

June 22, 2017 — You are retired now and all set to do that traveling you dreamed about. Europe, Patagonia, Japan, the Caribbean – there are some any exciting places in the US and the world to visit. But there is one problem, you don’t have a traveling companion, and you are worried about doing it by yourself. Sometimes you might be in a relationship, but your partner either doesn’t like to travel or cannot handle it physically. We would love to hear from our Members who have figured out answers to this challenge. But rather than not traveling because you don’t have a companion, here are three suggestions for how to do it:

In Antarctica

1. Travel with a group such as Roads Scholars (formerly Elderhostel). They have trips everywhere, and many of their customers are traveling solo. You might pay extra if you are not willing to have a roommate, but you will certainly meet people on your (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 21st, 2017

Midwestern Retirements Part 2: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 21, 2017 – Welcome to Part 2 of our magical midwestern retirement tour. Here is the link to Part 1, which covered the Michigan part of our tour from its Upper Peninsula to Empire (near Traverse City).

From beautiful Empire we followed Route 22 south along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This is a pretty drive with frequent views of Lake Michigan and other lakes.

Scenic overlook

Muskegon has a big and busy commercial waterfront. According to our friends this small city of 38,000 is having a resurgence. Muskegon is the commercial center of this area, and this is where area residents come to shop and be entertained.

Muskegon near the waterfront

Grand Haven, just south of Muskegon, shares Lake Michigan and the banks of the Grand River with (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 20th, 2017

The Scammers Are Standing By…to Cheat You. 5 Tips to Stay Safe

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 14, 2018 – Don’t think for a second that you are safe from the criminals who are trying to separate you from your money. There are tens of thousands of these folks who spend all day, every day, coming up with clever ways to trick you. Here are just a few tips to help keep them at bay.

1. Never, ever give out private information like credit card, SSAN, or bank account numbers to someone calling you. No reputable outfit will ask you for it. The IRS doesn’t call people, they send letters. If you “won” something, someone tells you your grandson needs bail money, or that you missed jury duty, hang up. They are trying to trick you. No credit card company or bank will ask for your credit card or account number.

2. Be very cautious about giving out too much information over the phone, even if you are the one calling out. Here is how your editor got tricked last (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 14th, 2017

Michigan Is a Great Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 13, 2017 — Your editor went on a road trip last week touring potential retirement spots, and wow, was that a great experience. We learned so much from visiting so many places, as well as from the many interesting folks we met along our 1300 mile journey. Starting out from Illinois on the western side of Lake Michigan we ventured north into Wisconsin, then crossed Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After crossing the Mackinac Bridge we enjoyed several days in northern Michigan before going on to explore a few towns in Indiana and Ohio. The Great Lakes State (MI) was the main focus of the trip, and the first half of that State’s tour is what what we will report on here. Part 2 covers the rest of the Michigan tour, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio portions. We have included more photos than usual to give you a better flavor.

Michigan – A Great Place to Retire
We’ll give you the bottom line first – from so many standpoints Michigan, particularly the area along Lake Michigan, is a tremendous place to retire. It is exceedingly beautiful, uncrowded, and not super expensive (which also makes it a great vacation spot even if you are not going to retire there). The Lake is pretty to look at and offers exceptional boating and beach experiences. Yet its huge Great Lake is not the only body of water – there are rivers and a multitude of lakes, many of which are connected to Lake Michigan. Most towns are very pretty and lively. Its system of bike trails is one of the most (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 13th, 2017

10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go on a Retirement Scouting Tour

Category: Travel

June 8, 2015 — Your Topretirements Editor is on a retirement scouting tour that will take him through 5 states. The trip has been an wonderful source of fun (we visited a number of friends who live in great places) and a learning experience. The focus of this article is what we learned about how to go about taking a retirement scouting tour.

For the record, we started last week in Batavia (IL). From there we went up the west coast of Lake Michigan through Wisconsin, drove across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, crossed the Macinack Bridge, toured a number of great retirement towns along the east side of Lake Michigan, made a couple of stops in Indiana, and will end up in Columbus, Ohio. The concentration was on the extremely popular retirement towns in the Michigan part of the trip. We’ll report on the towns we visited in next week’s issue, and a future installment will (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 7th, 2017