Active adult communities
May 1, 2018 — Many baby boomers are headed to a South Carolina retirement. The State is considered fairly tax-friendly for retirees and offers a mild winter climate (see our Retirement Guide to South Carolina). Some of the big draws are towns with multiple communities designed for active baby boomers, attractive real estate prices, and a lower cost of living. South Carolina has also gained attention for attracting “halfbacks”, the so-called retirees who moved from the north to Florida, only to become disillusioned and move “halfway back” home to the Carolinas. This article highlights the 10 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in South Carolina, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. A few weeks ago we published a list of the 10 Most Popular Active Communities in North Carolina.
Posted by Admin on April 30th, 2018
Health and Wellness Issues
April 25, 2018 — Have you known someone who contracted shingles, a painful disease related to the chicken pox? If so you understand why this is a disease you don’t want. Our brother came down with shingles in early March and is still battling it. He described the pain in his head, where his shingles was located, as like being jammed up against a cactus – not fun! But there is good news for everyone (because you can get shingles more than once). You can prevent shingles with a new vaccine, Shingrix, that was approved by the FDA last October.
Up until recently there was a shingles vaccine, Zostavax, that people over (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 24th, 2018
Financial and taxes in retirement
TAKE OUR SOCIAL SECURITY IQ QUIZ
Note: Links go to the 2020 Quiz. To take the 2018 Quiz use this link: 2018 OUR SOCIAL SECURITY IQ QUIZ.April 21, 2018 — For most Americans, their Social Security retirement benefits are a critical part of retirement. So here is an important thing to remember about Social Security – IT IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL – YOU HAVE OPTIONS – AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME IMPORTANT DECISIONS. Those mostly revolve around when to take it – the way you decide that question will have a significant effect on on the rest of your financial life.
We find there is a fairly shocking lack of knowledge about Social Security. People tend not to know how their benefits are calculated, and they don’t realize how big a difference there is in the benefits, depending on when you take it. To help you get the most out of your benefit we have prepared a 13 question quiz on Social Security. The quiz is pretty challenging. The good news is that even if you don’t ace it, going through the process of taking the quiz, and then using our point by point explanation of each answer will be very educational. You’ll get pretty much all the knowledge you need about your benefits and options.
Note: We developed a similar quiz in 2014 and over 7500 people took it. Most did pretty well. But since then there have been some important changes to Social Security, hence this new quiz. We developed it ourselves; it does not represent anything official from the Social Security Administration, which is the ultimate arbiter of the rules concerning your benefits.
Here is the link to the 2020 Social Security IQ Test
Test prep: To maximize your learning experience, we strongly recommend that you read one of these articles first, then take the quiz, then look at the answers. (After you take the quiz you will see a link to the answers).
Social Security Overview
What You Don’t Know About Social Security Could Hurt You
Take the Quiz!
Comments? Let us know what you think about this quiz. Should we do more, and on what subject(s) – was it too hard? Any of the questions unfair? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below. We will also report on the results in next week’s newsletter.
Note: The answers and commentary are hard to get back to once you go off that page – so if you want to go back to them, here is the answers/comments link (no cheating!).
Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2018
Financial and taxes in retirement
Thanks for taking our Social Security Quiz. (If you haven’t taken it already, here is the link to the Quiz). To make sure you don’t miss out on useful tools and information like this, sign up for our Free weekly Best Places enewsletter.
It is clear this was a hard quiz – Social Security is complicated. The average score after more than 2,000 people took it is 50%. Of the 13 questions, more people in aggregate got the correct answer than not. There were, however, 2 questions that most people missed (by a narrow margin). See Question 3 (how Social Security calculates your benefit – (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 20th, 2018
Active adult communities
April 17, 2018 — The allure of North Carolina for retirement seems to be gaining momentum every day. It is considered fairly tax-friendly for retirees and offers a milder winter climate than states in the Midwest and Northeast (see our Retirement Guide to North Carolina). A big draw is attractive real estate prices and cost of living. When it comes to finding a place to live, it offers an amazing array of towns, cities, and active adult and 55+ communities. North Carolina has also gained attention for attracting “halfbacks”, the so-called retirees who moved from the north to Florida, only to become disillusioned and move “halfway back” home to the Carolinas. This article highlights the 10 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in North Carolina, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. In the next few weeks we will produce the list of the 10 most popular active communities in South Carolina.
Posted by Admin on April 17th, 2018
By Craig Blouin
April 13, 2018 — The warm, inviting glow of retirement on the horizon motivated me as I moved toward it during my last years in the workaday world. I’d put a good many miles on the roadway of life up to this point and now there was a sweeping curve up ahead. I sure wanted to have a look at what was around the other side.
Those last few miles seemed to take an inordinately long time to get through. But then I was there, the promised land: Retirement! After a rousing send-off by my work colleagues — either sad or delighted to see me go — finally it’s the first day of the rest of my life. Great! … So now what?
I’m not usually a goal-oriented sort of person, even though many years ago I’d attended a Covey Institute intensive workshop at the Sundance (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 12th, 2018
Best Retirement Towns and States
Does Your Retirement Town Deserve You?
April 11, 2018 — When it comes to finding the right retirement town, remember this – you are the customer! After all, even a moderate income couple brings a lot to the party. If you move to a new location to retire you strengthen the local economy by buying or renting a home. Even if you decide not to move and stay where you live now, you add stability to the local real estate market. Wherever you live you (or your landlord) pay sizable property taxes. In many locales you might have to pay local income taxes, which boost the local economy. And, your Social Security, pension, and 401(k) distributions will pump money into local stores and businesses (the so-called mailbox economy) every month.
Rating towns for retirement
Various outfits try to rate towns on the basis of retirement-friendliness. For example, states including Texas (about 50 towns) and Louisiana (8 towns) have “Certified Retirement Community” programs. To qualify as certified, the towns have to pass muster on a variety of criteria. For example (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 10th, 2018
April 7, 2018 — The majority of people say they would like to do some traveling once they retire. There are plenty of destinations that immediately come to mind. Paris, the Grand Canyon, London, New York City – these are on many people’s lists. Beyond that, evaluating and planning exciting places to visit can be a really fun part of the process. To help stimulate your thinking this article will give you some creative and offbeat ideas that will, hopefully, get your travel juices really going.
Out of the box travel ideas
Not that it is a competition, but who ever said you had to go to the same places that everybody else has. So consider these travel themes, which in many cases involve exploring all (or many) of the locations in certain categories.
Detail from The Temple of Bulguksa (built in 774) South Korea. World Heritage site
1. UNESCO – World Heritage sites – Worldwide there are 1,073 World Heritage sites, so it is improbable anyone could visit more than a few hundred or so. According to Wikipedia, “To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 6th, 2018
Some people really want to retire – but there are reasons why they can’t.
Other folks want to keep on working – but there are pressures on them to retire.
April 4, 2018 — Assuming you are lucky enough not to have found yourself unexpectedly retired, as so many baby boomers have, you might be wondering if this is the right time to retire. Unfortunately, there are so many different and unique situations that it is hard to assign a one-size-fits-all answer. In this article we will lay out some common situations where there is either pressure to retire or pressure against, and then some possible solutions. At the end what we are really hoping for is Member input for ideas on the best way to handle these situations. And, if you are looking for more articles on this topic, including case studies about actual people’s retirement experiences, check out the Retirement Planning section of our Blog (67 articles).
Not just a number
Retirement shouldn’t be just about a number – such as “I’m 65 so I better retire”. Obviously the best time to retire is when you want to, and when you think you can afford to. Many people dream of retiring as soon as they can – even in their 30s. But others hope never to stop working. But sometimes there are other factors that force the issue. That is what we will talk about here.
Some different situations:
A basic consideration about when to retire is if you love your job or not. Another big one is, can you afford to retire? Not being in a financial position to call it quits adds extra pressure. Sometimes there might be multiple factors that affect your decision to retire or not.
Let’s assume first (more…)
Posted by Admin on April 3rd, 2018