Best States to Retire: Comparing North and South Carolina

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 30, 2018– We have just updated our ever-popular “Dueling Retirement States” series with the North and South Carolina comparison. With all up to date demographic and pricing information, this article, “Dueling Retirement States: Which Is a Better Place to Retire, North or South Carolina” has a treasure trove of information. Originally written in 2010, it has almost 600 very interesting Comments on retirement-oriented towns in these states, and what it is like to live these states. Check it out -the facts are useful and the commentary is amazing!

Posted by Admin on May 29th, 2018

If Amenity-Lite Isn’t the Answer, What Are Boomers Looking for in a 55+ Community

Category: Active adult communities

May 23, 2018 — Our article of two weeks ago, “When Amenity Rich Isn’t the Answer”, stirred quite a reaction from Topretirements Members. It generated 53 (and counting) interesting comments in support of Pamela’s quest for a community with minimal to no active adult amenities. Which prompts us to ask, what is it that most people are looking for in an active adult, 55+ community? If not amenities, then what? If amenities, which ones are the objects of their desire? In this article we we review data from past surveys as well as some of the more interesting comments we have received on what Topretirements Members want to find in an active adult or 55+ community. We hope you will all chime in with your thoughts in the Comments section of this article – they are always the best part.

Amenity-Light – a quick summary
Pamela’s article brought forth many like minded folks who seek a community with only the most basic amenities. The primary motivation seemed to be economic: “Why should I pay high HOA fees for amenities like a golf course and fancy clubhouse with activities director when I will probably never use them”? Ella then asked (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 22nd, 2018

As America Ages Out, Counties Are Winners And Losers

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 20, 2018 — Maps can tell you a lot in a hurry. Comparing two demographic representations, one from the New York Times and one from the Wall St. Journal, can tell you a lot about America’s birth rates, aging patterns, and where retirement age people are moving. The maps represent different themes on the aging of America, much of which is proving to be a surprise to demographers, who are puzzled by an an unexpected decline in birth rates.

Counties where deaths exceed births
The New York Times map offers a fascinating moving image of areas of the country that are aging out – where more people die than are born. As you watch it the map changes: it starts out with the picture as it was in 1991, and eventually ends showing 2016. During this 25 year period you can see that massive parts of the country that now have negative natural population decreases. Although much of the Midwest and Appalachia have been in this (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 19th, 2018

Applying for Social Security Online: Our Experience

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

May 16, 2018 — (Updated July 18 with more experience feedback). Back in March I received a letter from the Social Security Administration – “It is time for you to register for your retirement benefit!” I was impressed with their timing and efficiency, since my 70th birthday will be this August. Nicely done. This article will chronicle my experiences in registering for my Social Security retirement benefit online – lessons learned that hopefully will help others when it comes time to claim their benefits.

My decision was to wait until age 70 to claim. Fortunately we have been able to afford to live without that benefit so far. That blessing, coupled with very good genes (my parents’ average age before departing this earth was 97), made it seem like a good bet to wait until 70. That way I could capture the 8% increase a year for delaying from age 66, and then enjoy that extra money for a long time past the breakeven point in my late 70s (and my wife after I pass). Time will tell if that was a good move or not.

Registering for Social Security retirement benefits
My plan and hope was to register online, and not have to spend time on the phone or waiting (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 15th, 2018

A “Next Chapter” – Afloat

Category: Adventurous retirement

By John Andola
May 15, 2018 — Just days from my 80th birthday, I am engaging in a major life style change. One that brings both serious stress for the present and potential promise for the future. Leaving our rental house of seven years and ridding our lives of tangible connections with past life, George and I are embarking on an adventure that will literally bring us to the next chapter in our lives. Literally, because we have commissioned the building of a new boat which we will live aboard full time, and that we have named Next Chapter.

At 35 feet, Next Chapter is ten feet longer than our treasured Grumpy Old Men, which we hope to sell within the next couple of months. But more about the new boat at a later posting. Here the focus is on the physical and mental transition through (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 14th, 2018

When Amenity Rich Is Not the Answer

Category: Active adult communities

This excellent suggestion came in from Pamela: “Please consider writing an article for people who don’t want to live in an amenity-rich community, and how frustrating it is trying to buy a home because that’s all that is being built? I’d love your perspective on this dilemma and any suggestions you may have. It would also be interesting to see the type of comments you get from your subscribers”. We hope her request will generate the usual amount of great comments from our Members. Here is her request, along with some of our thoughts.

May 9, 2018 — I’m an active adult baby boomer, but I can find my own fun. I don’t want to live in a 24-hour resort with a full-time lifestyle director, lavish clubhouses, fitness centers, numerous pools, tennis courts, bocce ball, playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields, etc. I’ve been paying for a manned gate and other amenities that mainly cater to families for a long time, and I’m sick of it. I’d love to find a simple, small and quaint community in Southwest Florida without all that stuff. It would be nice to find something maintenance free so I don’t have to deal with yard work, but I’d be happy to just find something without all the amenities.

I truly feel this is an expensive fad that baby boomers are going to regret because of the extremely high fees and those fees will be even higher when the builder is done (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 9th, 2018

The Invisible Retirement Wrecker

Category: Health Issues

May 9, 2018 — Maybe it is just timing, but we seem to be having more and more interactions with people who are very lonely. A widower and good friend admitted that, after feeling sorry for himself, he broke one of his own rules and went out to a bar by himself for a beer and pizza. Just this weekend we ran into an old friend, also a widower, who was visibly very upset. He was near tears as he described how he can’t seem to meet anyone that he would like to spend time with. Even on this site last week we had a post from a Member expressing her helplessness after the sudden loss of her husband. Almost three quarters of Americans have feelings of loneliness, according to a survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association. As many as one-third say (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 8th, 2018

Tough Questions: Mixed Results from Our ‘Social Security IQ Quiz’

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

May 2, 2018 — Even though the average scores were quite low on last week’s Social Security IQ Quiz, there is still plenty of good news. Best of all, we are happy that so many people, over 2,000 and climbing, took the time to take it last week. It wasn’t easy, particularly with its occasionally tricky multiple choice options. But after having taken it, gotten a score, read the answers, and understanding why they were correct – a lot of people now have a better understanding of this critical retirement benefit. Hurrah!

In this article we are going to cover the highlights of the quiz and how our test takers did on it. We won’t go into the nuts and bolts of every answer, because we already provided all the correct answers and explanations at Your Social Security Quiz Results.

Overall scores
The average score on the quiz was 50%. Of the 2046 taking it as of (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 1st, 2018