April 22, 2019 — Have you been wondering how your retirement investments and strategies stack up to other people in your situation? Do you make the same types of investments as others… use a financial advisor… think you saved enough? Well, thanks to the almost 500 members who took the time to contribute their valuable data and insights to last week’s “The State of Your Retirement Portfolio” survey, you will know the answers to a lot of these questions. Special thanks to all contributors to the survey – we appreciate you giving back to this community!
As promised, here is a detailed report on the survey. It includes a link to 100 interesting Member comments to the survey. And you will find a list of all our previous survey reports at the end of the article.
Background This is the second time we have asked for data about your retirement investments and expectations. Here are the highlights from the most recent 14 question poll, with comparisons to the 2015 survey results when available. Detailed findings for each question are listed below that.
April 20, 2019 — In many active adult and 55+ communities much of the social life centers around couples. For people who happen to be single, that environment makes it difficult to have a full social life and results in feeling left out. We hope this article can help single people find places to retire where they are happy and feel included.
It would be a mistake to cast all retired single people in the same mold, assuming that all of their retirement needs and goals are identical. Many singles are very happy to go through retirement without a partner. Others are content to be single, but would like to find a place to retire where they feel included and a part of the community. Another group would prefer not to be single, or at least to have more friendships and social interactions than they have now. Regardless of what type of single person you might be, we hope you find this article interesting.
First we’ll talk about specific kinds of places that singles might find attractive as places to retire, and then we’ll include a few Member comments that seem especially useful to this discussion.
April 17, 2019 — Our Online Retirement 101 Course continues today on a topic relevant to any retiree interested in an active adult community: what are the best ways to visit and appraise the developments you are interested in. The topic is far bigger than it initially appears because it includes how to find and select the communities you want to visit, how to get the most out of your on-site visit, and finally, how to compare the properties on your list of possibilities. In this article we will start with a general outline of how to get started. Then we will go on to some representative comments from the hundreds and hundreds of Member Comments we have received over the years on evaluating 55+ communities. See list on “Further Reading” at end for a list of articles on this topic.
The Process: How to Get the Most Out of Your Active Community Visit Following a disciplined path to visiting and evaluating 55+ communities will get you the information and feedback to help you make the best decisions. Finding the right community for you is a process – one site visit normally won’t give you an instant answer, but it will help build your knowledge base. After visiting several communities you will be in a position to knowledgeably evaluate all the properties you are interested in. Here is a basic approach to follow:
April 15, 2019 – The controversial bills advocated by online short term rental companies have apparently faded away in the Florida legislature. If passed, HB 987 and SB 824 would have taken away local control of transient rentals from local governments in the Sunshine State and given it to the State instead. While most people seem to be in favor of short term rentals (1 week or less) when they go on vacation, homeowners in tourist areas tend to resent the onslaught of one and two night renters coming through their neighborhoods (see “Short Term Rentals in Florida Legislature” with survey results). Affordable housing is another issue impacted when short term rentals tend to take over local markets. State Rep. Holly Raschein and State Senator Anitere Flores were two south Florida officials who were opposed to the legislation.
April 12, 2019 — It is always interesting to compare how we handle things vs. our peers and neighbors. So while it is not considered polite to discuss your finances and how you handle them, it is an important subject, and one that should not be ignored. Please fill out this short new survey which asks some basic questions about your retirement finances. There are questions about what types of investments you have, if you think you will have enough to retire comfortably, do you have a financial advisor, etc. It should just take a few minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.
We promise to write up a summary of the results and post it online in the next week or so. Comparing how you manage this important subject with your peers should be both interesting and useful – we hope!
April 9, 2019 — The Carolinas are extremely popular retirement states, with good reason. Their winters are warmer than in the midwest and northeast, taxes and the cost of living are agreeable, and there are many great retirement towns. Here are some of our favorite retirement towns in Carolina, based on how attractive they are. The competition for prettiest retirement town in the Carolinas is pretty stiff, in fact you probably have some of your own favorites. Please share your suggestions in the Comments section at the end.
Beaufort, SC. The Old South lives on in the quaint seaside charm of this town, pronounced b’yoofurt. Known as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”, the Spanish came here in 1514 and it was chartered by the British in 1711. It lies in the Sea Islands or “Low Country” area of South Carolina near Hilton Head.
April 8, 2019 — Your Social Security benefit is one of the pillars of your retirement. To make the most of it you need to make smart choices on how and when you take it. Make a wrong move based on misinformation or lack of knowledge, and it could cost you and your spouse tens of thousands of dollars in the years ahead. This article will go over a few of the areas that seem to trip up the most people. To help answer these questions we used information from the very helpful SSA.gov website. Use these examples to help inform your own decisions, along with your own careful research.
It is up to you to apply for Social Security retirement benefits. If you don’t apply, you won’t get them. You have your first option to start receiving retirement benefits when you turn 62. Taking them then gives you the smallest monthly payment, but it is money in your bank account now. You can apply at any time from age 62 on, but your monthly benefit will go up for every month you wait to claim (benefits are capped at age 70).
April 3, 2019 — So many times we are asked, what are the best states for retirement? There are many ways to answer that question, and in fact over the years we have tried several. You could consider it from a tax viewpoint, as in which states retirees will experience the lowest taxes. Or you could compare on other economic factors like cost of living. Alternatives are best climate, natural hazards like hurricanes, geographic features like beaches and mountains, political climate, financial health of the state, medical care, etc.
Ultimately, identifying the best state for retirement is a very personal question. In the end it boils down to what is the best state for YOUR retirement. It is very possible that your best state is where you live now, if it meets your desires, since 80% or more retirees do not cross state lines after they retire.
In this year’s best states for retirement roundup we are going to attack the question in a very practical way. First we’ll look at where the most people are actually moving in retirement. Then we’ll add some states that folks seem to be very interested in retiring to, based on the ones they spend the most time reading about on this site.
Where people actually move First, let’s look at where people actually move for retirement, because that is the acid test of retiree preference. SmartAsset.com has done a great job extracting U.S. Census data to track the net migration of people ages 60 and over – that is, where more people that age move into a state than move out.