Thinking Small Town Retirement – 7 Reasons Why It Might Not Be a Good Idea

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 26, 2018 — A few years ago we published an article about small town retirement that a lot of people seemed to really like: “Five Big Reasons to Choose a Small Town Retirement“. Here is the counterpoint; some great reasons why that might not be the best idea.

Moving to a small town for retirement is a frequent dream for many baby boomers. Friendly neighbors, walking to downtown for coffee, and no traffic are just some of the attractions for people fed up with suburban sprawl and city hassles. Unfortunately, sometimes the dream does not work out that well. Or, people just realize that small town living isn’t for them.

Decorah, Iowa – a town many Member say is a great small town for retrirement

Some of the problems we have seen
Access to medical care. The #1 issue we hear about is people who are disappointed with the health available in the small town they move to. There might not be many doctors, few specialists, and only a tiny hospital offering limited care. This really becomes a problem if you develop a condition that requires a specialist or a big hospital. A two or three hour drive to regular appointments, or in an emergency, will be a big problem for you. Small towns also greatly reduce your choice of doctors. It is not so much of an issue with towns (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 25th, 2018

6 Great Ways to Post to the Topretirements Blog

Category: Retirement Planning

September 25, 2018 — We love your Comments to the Topretirements.com Blog! Our Members consistently say they are one of the most valuable features of this site. BUT….one of our regular contributors made yet a great suggestion that might make this feature even better. He is frustrated with some Comments that he believes get in the way of a helpful flow of information. A pet concern of his are replies that turn into long-winded 2 person chats, to the exclusion of the rest of us. In the end, he and others tune out of the Blog because of the resulting conversational chit-chat, which deprives the rest of the community of their useful insights.

To that end we have put together this short piece of Blog how-to’s. Our goal is to accentuate the positive, rather than set out a rigid list of rules.

Six great ways to post to our blog
1. Stick to the topic. Nothing kills a good conversation quicker than when somebody makes a comment to a Blog post that has nothing to do with the featured topic. If, for example, the post is about when to collect social security, don’t add a comment about IRAs. If the topic is about retiring to Florida, don’t ask someone to comment about Arizona.
2. Keep the wider audience in mind. Please realize that thousands of people might read your comments, hoping to get a valuable exchange of information from them. If you try to use the comments as a one on one chat room, you are wasting everyone else’s time. Worse, valuable contributors will be turned off and go away, depriving the community of valuable insights. If you do want to share with another member, see end of article for suggestions on how to do that.
3. Stick to the facts, or frame your comments as an opinion. Far too many times we see people posting either fringe theories or just plain mis-information. For example, the government has NOT stolen your Social Security, and members of Congress ARE part of the Social Security system. If you make a factual statement, check to make sure it is a fact (snopes.com is a good place to find out if something is true or not). You are entitled to your opinion, but don’t state it as a fact if it is really only what you believe personally.
4. Keep it to YOUR experiences. If your brother-in-law lives somewhere, try to avoid reporting it unless you have experienced it yourself. Our Members especially like to learn about places where others have retired, but only from the people who have actual experiences there.
5. Be polite, be specific, and avoid generalizations. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Sarcasm and criticism is not appropriate. Don’t generalize – For example, calling individuals or a class of people a redneck, snowflake (or worse) is not helpful. People are not generalizations, we are all unique people with foibles and strengths to spare.
6. Tread carefully over politics and religion. Everyone has their opinions. In today’s highly politicized environment you are not going to change anyone’s mind, no matter how skillfully you think you are making the argument. So please spare us all the pain and agita that gets stirred up with your blistering critiques of the other party. This site is about retirement, and we want to concentrate on that, and get along in the process.

A few more
For your safety we recommend that you not post your email address or phone numbers in your posts. Spammers have programs that can scrape websites to harvest phone numbers and emails, and spam you. If you would like to contact someone who is posting on Topretirements and have a one on one conversation, send us an email. We will try to contact the other person, and if they want to get in touch with you, that is their option.

If you don’t follow our rules and suggestions
Here is where you can find out Site Rules (there is a link to them at the bottom of every page). Please don’t post irrelevant items, are hurtful or generalize, tell your life story over and over, promote fact-less arguments, speak to only one person, or make some other violation. Since we are a free site we don’t have the resources to spend a lot of time policing violations. So if you abuse our rules and common sense we will delete, edit, or move to a better, more relevant post – if worthy.

We hope you find this post helpful, rather than stern. Other sites encourage or permit a more raucous discussion, but that is not our why we are here. Our goal is to make Topretirements as useful as possible to people who want to have a great retirement. And so far you have done a great job in helping us do that!

Comments. If you have suggestions on how to keep our Blog discussions helpful please feel free to add them in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2018

If Social Security Payments Pay Only 77% in 2034 – What Will You Do?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

September 14, 2018 — Thanks to one of our regular idea contributors, Jeff H, we have a not so hypothetical problem for you. If, as the Social Security Trustees warn, the retirement portion of Social Security exhausts its reserves in 2034 and is only able to fund 77% of promised benefits starting in that year, what will you do? A similar question could apply to Medicare, which is expected to run out of money even earlier, in just 8 years (2026). Medicare’s case is harder to prepare for: if nothing is done, presumably benefits will be cut or reimbursements to doctors and hospitals reduced, driving even more health care providers out of Medicare.(Note: in our recent newsletter the headline said ‘cut 77%), which was an inadvertent error. The accurate statement is that benefits would be paid at 77%.)

In spite of a steady stream of warnings from Trustees and other experts, legislators have done nothing to address the coming problem. With soaring deficit projections expected (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 14th, 2018

Transition to Retirement: Will Your Income Match or Exceed Expenses?

Category: Retirement Planning

By Bob Stacy
National Institute of Transition Planning

September 15, 2018 — I am consistently amazed when conducting my NITP “Transition to Retirement” sessions when I ask participants a very simple question: “Do you know how much you spend each year?” The answer is almost universally “no”!

Retirement income should be easier to calculate
In preparing for retirement you should know approximately what your income will be. If you are a federal or state worker or you are employed by a larger company, you can visit your HR department and have them provide an estimate of your annuity or pension, which will probably be your main source of retirement income. Then you can add other possible sources of projected income such as 401Ks, Social Security, investment income, TSPs, part-time work and maybe even inheritance. If you don’t have a pension, it will probably be slightly easier to estimate your income.

No matter how much income you may have forthcoming, no one should retire if you don’t know what you actually spend each month. Running out of money in retirement is one of the worst things that can happen to you. So I suggest that you not consider retirement until you know your (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 13th, 2018

20 Most Popular Places to Retire in the Southeast: 2018

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 10, 2018 – Based on multiple surveys we have conducted, the best places to retire in America are in its Southeast, a region made up of 12 states. In that research 48% of respondents said they would like to retire there, twice as many as in the Southwest, the next highest choice. This is our 2018 list of the 20 most popular places to retire in the Southeast, the third in this year’s “Best Places” series. Here is a link to the first, “The Top 20 Places to Retire in the Southwest“. The second installment has the 20 Most Popular Places to Retire in the West (California to Colorado and points north).

What States are in the Southeast?
The states included in this big region are: West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. In general the region has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers. Areas in the west and north tend to be cooler as they generally have more elevation or are further north. Hurricanes can reach landfall in the summer and fall months along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The region’s major geographical features include: Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River.

Surprises ahead
The 20 most popular towns in the Southeast contain mostly familiar names, although they include a few towns that earned surprisingly high ranks. Asheville (NC), which has been top dog on our Top 100 list for the entire U.S. many times, was no surprise to take the #1 spot here. Its review was read by over 9,100 visitors in the first 7 months of 2018, more than four times as many as called up the #20 selection, Naples, FL. As an example of a bit of an upset, the #2 most popular place to retire on our list, Pensacola (FL), edged out many more famous retirement towns and cities. (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 9th, 2018

Red Tide Scourges Florida’s Southwest Coast

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 7, 2018 — Down in Southwest Florida residents have been seeing red this summer – as in red tide. This disturbing scourge is the worst it has been in more than a decade. It has killed huge amounts of marine life as well as cost millions in lost tourism dollars in communities like Marco Island. One charter boat captain there says his business is down 80%; to stay busy he has been volunteering to assist researchers out on the water.

In a 120 mile stretch of coast work crews have been spending their mornings cleaning up fish kills on the beach. The organism in red tide releases a deadly toxin that kills marine life like fish and shellfish, along with dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and loggerhead turtles. Local animal clinics are experiencing abnormal numbers of injured creatures being brought into their facilities for treatment. Tourists are staying away from the bad smells and air irritants.

Currently the red tide exists in a long stretch from Pinellas County (Tarpon Springs above St. Petersburg) south to Naples and into Collier County. Its appearance is not uniform, but varies in intensity from area to area. Observations of greater than 1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter ( very “high” concentrations) occurred in samples collected in or offshore of Hillsborough, Charlotte, (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 7th, 2018

Beware of Scams: Medicare Cards and Car Registrations

Category: Health Issues

September 3, 2018 — Scammers are always looking for the latest way to separate you from your money. The newest is centered on the new Medicare cards that are in the process of being sent out. The scam usually comes in the form of a phone call with an offer to get your card on an expedited basis – all they need is some personal information. Their object is to steal your identity, and maybe more. We will also discuss two other common scams to look out for.

Everyone enrolled in Medicare will be getting a new card soon, if not already. You don’t have to do anything, yours will come if you are in Medicare. They are being sent out in waves. Once you get your new card, which will have a new number, not your Social Security number, you can destroy your old card. There is no need to panic (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 2nd, 2018