February 26, 2020 — There is a small, but significant, number of Americans who decide to move to another country for retirement. Facts on how many do that and the countries they move to are in short supply, so we were happy to see the results from the 2019 Expat Insider Survey (which has a wealth of interesting information). The New York Times was able to get a breakdown of that survey showing the most popular countries by age groups: Millennials, Professionals, Families, and Retirees. Some of the results were very surprising, especially the number one country where retirees move to, Ecuador. Here are their top 10 for retirees:
We would have guessed that Mexico was number 1, and would never have put Bulgaria in the top 10. Note that these are the most popular countries, not necessarily the best. Overall, the 5 highest rated countries (for all age groups) were: Taiwan, Vietnam, Portugal, Mexico, and Spain.
February 25, 2020 — Retirement is a long, and potentially hazardous journey. Like any big trip, it requires a lot of advanced planning to stay safe and get the most enjoyment. So way before you hear a chorus of bon voyages, make sure you have mastered these 7 essential topics on retirement planning.
Your budget. Nobody is ready to retire until they understand what their budget looks like. Whether you use a financial planner or accountant, or do it yourself on a spreadsheet, you have to know if the input (your income) is going to match the output (what you are going to spend). The result of that exercise will help you determine answers to most of the other steps below – whether you can afford to quit working, where you’ll live, and what you will do to stay busy (travel, recreation, etc.) Whether the answer is great (you have enough to be comfortable in your desired lifestyle), or if it is not so good (serious shortfall ahead!), going through the budget exercise gives you a sound basis for decision making. This budget worksheet in csv format contains most of the items you need to consider when developing a budget.
Just heard from a friend who is concerned because she no longer gets our weekly “Best Places” newsletter. Unfortunately, due to a bone headed mistake I made, she is not the only one. Here is what I wrote back:
Hi, The newsletter is still the best way to get our info. But unfortunately I made a mistake in early Jan. and accidentally deleted a whole bunch of subscribers. Because the co. mailing the newsletters doesn’t want me adding people back in who have unsubscribed, the only way back in is for you to add yourself. This is the link https://www.topretirements.com/Newsletter.html – should just take a second. If you have suggestions or ideas, would love to hear them!
February 19, 2020 — This could happen to you next fall: you hand your license to airport security and she hands it back. Sorry sir, this is not REAL ID – you cannot board the plane. That’s right, starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification (such as a US Passport, US Passport Card, US military card, or a DHS Trusted Traveller Card) for domestic air travel.
The Real ID Act of 2005 sets forth requirements for state driver licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, which are activities defined as boarding commercially operated airline flights, and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.
February 18, 2020 — Every year we have fun rendering our opinion on the very “Best Places to Retire“. To start that process, late last year we featured the 20 Best Retirement Towns in three major U.S. retirement regions. In today’s installment we are going to winnow those lists down into our top 10 overall picks.
For 2020’s best places to retire our overriding criteria: how interesting it is to live there, recreation and culture, climate, taxes, economic situation, location, transportation, walkability, healthcare, and to a minor extent – cost of living. We also wanted to mix it up a little bit, offer diversity and some new faces.
Popularity on this site, as measured by online visits by our Members, is also very important. Here, in our opinion, are the best of the best places to retire in all of the U.S.
February 11, 2020 — More and more baby boomers in high tax states are tempted by the notion of retiring to greener pastures. The urge to move to a low tax, less expensive, and possibly warmer state has grown even stronger recently, because of the $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions. But before you make the leap – make sure you do it right!
A domicile is where an individual maintains his or her permanent abode, and where that person intends to return from any absence. You can only have one domicile at a time. In “How to Become a Florida Resident” we outlined the basic steps you need to change your domicile and become a resident of a new state. Follow those and you are on a good path, but not necessarily free of all trouble. Snowbirds who continue to maintain a residence in their old state are particularly at risk. Here are some of the most basic steps to take:
February 8, 2020 — Our popular series comparing different regions of the country for retirement has a new update. The Southwest, featuring comparisons of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah has all new data and a fresh look. You’ll find up to date information on housing prices, taxes, climate, and where to live in this handy comparison article. Plus over 220 Comments rich in detail.
February 5, 2020 — For many retirees, getting to where you want to go in a golf cart is just about heaven. For those living in one of the best golf cart communities, they can forget the car; a golf cart (or low speed vehicle) is all they need to get there and enjoy the surroundings in the open air. Most active adult communities allow you to keep a golf cart and drive on community roads to golf, pickleball, or the clubhouse. But the real bonus comes with places where you can get to destinations outside of the community like the supermarket, doctor’s office, and movie theatre. In this article we’ll review some of the best communities and towns in America for golf carts.
Best Golf Cart Communities in America
Peachtree City, Georgia is a huge planned community about 25 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia. Although it is famous for its golf cart oriented transportation system, it is not a 55+ community – it is for people of all ages – the median age is 37.5. You probably can’t walk to too many places nor take public transportation, but you sure can get about anywhere in your golf cart. There are special roads throughout that let you get to shopping, amenities, or different developments. Cresswind Peachtree City is an example of the type of active community within this city.
February 2, 2020 — For Europeans and residents of the British Commonwealth, the answer to that question might be yes, it is a great choice for an expatriate retirement. The area around Cape Town at the southern end of the Continent is particularly appealing. This article, based on our recent trip to the country, will explore what it might be like to retire in South Africa, list some possible retirement towns, and provide the pros and cons of retiring here. Our visit was brief and with the viewpoint of an affluent tourist, so our impressions are not comprehensive. We welcome those with more experience to chime in in the Comments section.
South Africa has long had the most prosperous economy in Africa. Much of that wealth came from gold, diamonds, and agriculture. Business is strong as well. Since apartheid was eliminated in 1994 the economy has softened, but still strong. Some people believe the Rand, the National currency, is undervalued by as much as 60%.
Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 28 years and then became South Africa’s President, was the major force in overcoming the horrible oppression of apartheid (see this link for John Brady’s talk about Mandela’s inspiring legacy – my talk starts about 16 minutes into the service).