September 29, 2020 — We have updated our 2016 list for “10 Great Places to Retire in the Southwest That Won’t Break Your Budget“. The good news is that there are still some great places to retire that are affordable. The bad news is that most home prices are higher than they were four years ago, on average of about 30% higher in these towns and cities. Rather than develop an entirely new post, we decided to update the previous version, mostly because of the wonderful comments to the original version.
September 27, 2020 — We are curious about what you think is safe, and are willing to do in this coronavirus pandemic. Would you take a vaccine (and who do you trust more?). How about eating in a restaurant, visiting a hairdresser, taking a trip, having friends over? Please take this quick survey so we can see how the Topretirements Membership feels about all of these questions. It will take you less than 3 minutes. We promise we will report on the results in the Oct. 6 Best Places newsletter. Thanks!
September 25, 2020 — Every month The Wall Street Journal asks its readers to describe a random act of kindness that affected them. What a great idea in this time of division, economic troubles, and a corona pandemic that doesn’t want to quit. So, please use the Comments section to tell us about your experience with someone unexpectedly helping you. It could have happened since you retired, but any time in your life is fine too.
To kick things off, here is one that happened to me while living in New York City in my twenties .
It was the late 1970’s. Coming home from work one night on the Broadway IRT express I was working with my briefcase open on my lap. Startled to hear the doors open at my stop, I jumped up to exit. But I had forgotten about the open briefcase, and its contents exploded across the subway car. Instantly people sprang into action. Two blocked the doors so they couldn’t close. Others got down on their hands and knees to retrieve my papers. One woman handed me a couple of paper clips. Property secured, I left the car, this small town boy from PA knowing that when it counts, New Yorkers come through.
Let’s hear yours – we could all use a little pick me up! Please add yours in the Comments section below.
September 23, 2020 — Always wanted to live on the water? Have a boat or thinking about getting one? Turns out there are a ton of places to retire where you can not only live on the water, but enjoy your community’s own private marina too. This article will show just 12 of the almost 150 communities in the Topretirements database that are on the water and include a marina as part of their amenity package. You can use “Advanced Search” to refine communities by State or other parameter. You will find many more exciting communities to choose from there.
Some of the communities who list these characteristics are fairly modest, offering a small dock or boat launch with a location on a lake or river. Here we tried to concentrate on developments where living on the water with your boat is either the main attraction or a very big deal. If we miss some that you think should be included, please let us know in the Comments section below.
September 21, 2020 — The leaves are starting to turn in some locales and there is a chill in the air. Which means many snowbirds are starting to wrap up their summer and getting ready to head south for the winter. To help retirees in that situation with their preparations, we are happy to present our ever-popular “Snowbirds Checklist for Leaving for the Winter Checklist” article. Not only are there some great tips in the article, but even better are the many Member Comments that added even more great ideas. We guarantee you will find something useful. Check it out!
September 16, 2020 — It is clear that consumer tastes are fickle, and that sure seems to apply to what retirees are looking for in an active adult or 55+ community. Certainly that is what we found when we analyzed our visitor logs from the first 8 months of 2020, looking for the 15 most popular communities in the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. This article complements a similar one for the Southwest: “15 Most Popular Active Adult Communities in the Southwest for 2019“.
Changes from the 2019 list aplenty. More than half of the communities on this list are new to it this year, which is pretty exciting (see links below to last year’s list). All of the top 5 are repeat winners. The review for the most popular community on this list, Amelia Island Plantation, was viewed 1,330 times during that period. As usual there are several “no-brainer” choices like The Villages and Solivita, both located in Florida. Some winners were a bit of a mystery, and that includes The Cottages at Lakeview Road in Warner, GA. Nalcrest is a speciality community that caters only to retired postal letter carriers. Florida had 9 winners with the rest coming from Georgia (4) and South Carolina (2). Note that most, but not all, of these communities are designated 55 plus. But the majority of the residents in all of these communities would probably meet that qualification.
While these are the 15 most popular active adult communities on this site for FL, GA, and SC, they might not necessarily be the “best”. There are thousands of choices that might work for you, but you won’t even find out about them unless you look around. If this list does anything for you we hope it expands your horizons.
The most popular 55+ communities in the Southeast for 2020
September 14, 2020 – Downsizing, ridding out, whatever you want to call it, paring down your stuff is an important job in retirement. This past week your Editor and his wife had the pleasure of safely disposing more than a dozen boxes of important papers that were cluttering up their home. Here are some tips on how you can do the same (with links to many of our other downsizing articles at end).
Don’t leave cleaning up to your surviving spouse or children. It’s just not fair. Give your kids a break – they have lives to live – so don’t leave them with a basement or attic full of old papers or documents to dispose of. They will have no idea what was is important and what is not.
September 9, 2020 – Bermuda is one of those countries where it is really hard to live for a period longer than a brief vacation stay. But the pandemic has changed that, at least temporarily. Now, if you are still working, you can live there for one year for just a $263 application fee. The move is one to bolster the tourist based economy, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Work from Bermuda website, the program is for people who are currently employed and working from home or enrolled in tertiary education and studying remotely. Instead of working or studying remotely in your home country, you can work or study remotely from Bermuda.
September 9, 2020 — Although the pandemic has been horrendous for activities like dining out or social gatherings, others are experiencing a gold rush. One of those is biking (cycling to our British brethren). Walk into a bike shop now and say you need a bike – get ready for a 3 month wait. Want a used bike… sorry. The same goes for bike parts and repairs. As people avoid mass transit and have more time on their hands, biking has never been more popular.
While it is a great activity, it is a lot more enjoyable when you live in a place where the infrastructure is set up for it. When bikers and cars are kept separate it is a lot safer and more fun. Bike lanes, special traffic signals, concrete barriers, and under/overpasses make all the difference. No one wants to bike along a narrow berm next to speeding cars, or face daunting intersections with multiple lanes to cross.
September 2, 2020 — Spending more time walking, cooking, taking the dog out, exercising, or gardening during the pandemic? One great way to get double the pleasure out of these activities is to listen to a good book while you are doing them. All you need is your phone and a set of headphones, preferably Bluetooth connected.
Your editor has enjoyed some wonderful books lately. American Dirt, Where the Crawdads Sing, and Half Broke all have female protagonists with strong storylines that will carry you away as you take on your various chores and activities. Educated is an inspiring memoir of a young girl’s struggle to escape her crazy survivalist family in Idaho. Biographies like “Shoe Dog”, the story of how Phil Knight created Nike, is a fascinating listen. The Doll House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks, is great too.