Editor’s note:Larry is a frequent contributor to discussions here at Top Retirements, and we have learned much from him. We are happy to have him today as a guest to discuss what he has learned from helping individuals and couples find the best golf community for them (even if they don’t play golf!).
After 15 years of research, visits to 150 planned communities, more than 1,000 articles and hundreds of conversations with real estate professionals, golf directors, community board members and, most of all, the hundreds of clients I have worked with to identify the best community for them, I have come to a few important conclusions. I cover them, and more, in my new book, Glorious Back Nine, How to Find Your Dream Golf Home (which I could have titled, just as well, “Not for Golfers Only” since about half of those who live in golf communities never play golf).
Here are a few of the most critical lessons I’ve learned:
November 26, 2020 — You see the person coming down the aisle toward you and… panic! A minute ago their name was on the tip of your tongue, but now it is gone! Or, you are describing something to a friend, and the name of the book or the noun you are looking for has completely escaped you. It happens to all of us, but new research indicates that it is more likely to occur in people who are retired than people of the same age who are working.
Ross Andel, director of the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, tested the memories of people in their early 60s living in Canberra, Australia over almost a 20 year period. In the Australian test, starting at age 60 subjects were were asked to remember as many random and unrelated words in a list as they could. The tests were repeated every 4 years.
November 23, 2020 — One of our favorite pieces of advice is that retirement offers a chance for a do-over on life. However life has turned out so far, most of us have the opportunity to change directions, if we want to take it. With that in mind, here are the eleven types of retirees we’ve seen. Which type will you be?
Note that many, if not most, people live a retirement that is a combination of many types. Have you observed other types that we should have mentioned?
11 types of retirement
Keep on Truckin’. This might be the most common type of retired person. They retire and continue to live in the same home, doing the same kind of activities they always did. They might continue to work on a less rigorous schedule. They have more time now, but their days fill up quickly with projects, TV, etc.
November 18, 2020 — Finding a state with no income tax can be a good reasons to choose it for retirement for many well-heeled retirees. Up until 2021, only 7 states could claim they have no state income tax. But coming in 2021 an 8th will join the list, Tennessee (the State previously taxed dividends and interest, but not other income). Other states have made moves to make their tax situation more favorable in 2021 as well, mainly by increasing standard deductions and personal exemptions.
These states have no income tax
Starting in 2021 the eight states with no income tax will be: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire almost makes the list because it only taxes interest and dividends (up until 2021 Tennessee was in the same category).
November 14, 2020 — Not surprisingly, occupancy rates at assisted living and independent living facilities are off 2.5% since March, according to data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. Rates in skilled nursing facilities are declining even sharper, they have declined by 12%. One big reason for the soft markets is fear of the coronavirus. After tens of thousands of nursing home residents died in the early phases of the pandemic, nervous relatives have been considering safer alternatives for their loved ones. It is estimated that 40% of Covid-related deaths occurred in long term care facilities (WSJ). Adding to the anxiety are rules where residents are usually not permitted to have visitors, or if they do, only for very short times and under restrictive conditions.
November 11, 2020 – We are not talking cool as in the temperature, when we say 10 very cool towns for retirement we mean retirement towns that are fun to live in. Small town and mid-size cities where there is plenty to do, congenial neighbors, and attractions and charm that will make your children and grandchildren want to visit when this pandemic finally ends! Turns out there are a lot of cool towns that are great for retirement; here are our picks for 10 best places to consider for your retirement. If you know others, we hope you will talk about them in the Comments section at the end.
10 Great Towns for Retirement
Davidson, NC. Home to elite Davidson College, the population is growing rapidly and is now over 12,000 people. Local downtown businesses, characterized by restaurants and specialty shops, cater to an affluent market. Davidson College has made the town an intellectual and cultural center, drawing into its orbit professionals and some retirees.
November 10, 2020- if you like a lot of Americans you probably found some safe ways to socialize with a small group of friends or family this past summer. But with cold weather and the holidays arriving soon many folks are grappling with how to keep that going and avoid social isolation. We are curious to find out what techniques and strategies you might be using to make that happen.
Back in September we surveyed what Coronavirus Activities you are willing to engage in. Over 500 completed it; here is a Summary of the responses. One of the questions (#9) directly asked about cold weather, specifically if you would be willing to visit or entertain when it comes. Just over half said they would visit with other folks in some way or another, but with some conditions. The issue becomes even more important as Thanksgiving and the holidays loom in the immediate future.
There were over 80 written Comments to the question. The vast majority of those seemed to indicate they probably would entertain/be entertained, but only if masks and social distancing were observed, and if they trusted the other people.
November 4, 2020 — Data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services predict that Social Security benefits will provide an ever smaller portion of replacement income for retirees in the years to come. This prediction takes into account the delay in the Full Retirement Age from 65 to 67, along with increases in Part B Medicare premiums and federal taxation. The Centers sees the replacement level of income after those deductions falling from 41% in 1995 to to 29% by 2035. All of which puts more pressure on retirees for other sources of retirement income.
Pandemic might accelerate this. Employees and their employers pay taxes on their wages to fund the Social Security Trust Fund. As people lose their jobs and unemployment rises in the pandemic, and if it that were to persist for a long time, the Trust Fund would be negatively impacted. Social Security currently predicts that it only be able to pay 75% of benefits in 2035, but if a bad economy persists that percentage might even be smaller.
404(k) Balances growing. For those fortunate to have one, 401(k) balances increased through 2019. The median 401(k)/IRA balance for working households nearing retirement rose from $135,000 in 2016 to $144,000 in 2019. Since the stock market has also generally been up in 2020, it stands to reason that those balances are a little higher as 2020 ends. This information comes from the Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve and summarized by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR).