Best Retirement Towns and States
November 26, 2021 — When it comes to lists of Best Places to Retire, one of the most consistent and “best” sources is US News. Their lists usually make sense, and rarely include bizarre choices in North Dakota or other places that don’t take into account that most retirees looking to relocate want to move to somewhere where winter temperatures are warm. While their new Best Places for 2021-2022 lists uphold their sterling reputation for the most part, the fact that they left off the entire western half of the country seems like a very serious omission.
Florida came out on top on both of their new lists this year – “Best Places” and “Most Affordable Places to Retire”. The Sunshine State garnered 8 of 10 spots on the Best Places to Retire list, and with 4 of the Most Affordable selections. Two of those Florida cities, Daytona Beach and Pensacola, made it onto both lists.
How they were chosen, along with our quibbles
Posted by Admin on November 26th, 2021
Health and Wellness Issues
November 2021 — In Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s book, “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age“, the neurosurgeon states early on that “you can make your brain better, faster, fitter, and yes, sharper”. That is good news – we are not stuck with an aging brain that diminishes every day thanks to old age, too much drinking, or other bad habits. His book is about propagating brain cells and making our existing ones more efficient. Not to make us smarter, but to help us “navigate life” better.
People tend to think that memory loss is something that comes automatically with old age, which is not the case. Cognitive decline is not inevitable. Just about everyone worries about memory lapses, like forgetting the name of the person you have known for years, but that is not as worrisome as some might think. “Keep Sharp:” is dedicated to the idea that you can have your own “sharp brain” program to improve your thinking and memory, no matter what your age.
The book has several sections, and the most important is probably his 5 pillars of brain health. We will venture to say that you will not be able to guess which pillar is number one.
Posted by Admin on November 20th, 2021
November 18, 2021 — Who knows if it will ever pass a fractured congress, or even what would be in such a bill if it were ever signed into law. But as the Build Back Better bill stands today, there is a lot for older Americans to like.
The potentially most attractive parts of the bill for seniors concern healthcare and prescription drugs. Here are some of the features in the bill as of this date:
Hearing aids for Medicare patients. Currently more than 25 million Medicare recipients need hearing aids, which often cost $6000 or more per set.
Monthly insulin charges capped at $35, along with maximum annual out of pocket costs for drugs of $2000. Currently about 2.5 million people on Medicare pay more than that, and those with very expensive drugs pay far more.
Medicare would have the right to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. The number of drugs would be very small, but could save pharmacy costs for millions of recipients. Needless to say this part of the bill is being intensely lobbied.
More money for home health care. This could help an estimated 800,000 Americans on the waiting list for nursing homes get care in the community.
To get passed, the bill, in whatever final form it takes, would take every Democratic Senator and almost every Democratic Representative to vote for it, since there appears to be no Republican support. Key in that support will be the cost estimates provided by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which reported that the bill will add about $ 367 billion to the deficit over 10 years. The bill passed in the House on 11/19 and now moves on to the Senate.
Posted by Admin on November 18th, 2021
Health and Wellness Issues
November 14, 2021 — Gasoline and groceries aren’t the only items seeing hefty prices increases coming out of the pandemic. Medicare just announced that Part B premiums will increase 14.5% next year, resulting in the heftiest dollar increase ever, $21.60/month for the majority of people receiving the benefit. The base charge for the Part B benefit will be $170.10 per month next year, as opposed to $148.50 this year. Individuals with higher incomes will pay more, as seen in the chart below. At the top end, those making $500,000 or more will pay $578.30.
Posted by Admin on November 14th, 2021
Active adult communities
November 13, 2021 — The Associated Press reports that a judge has ordered the giant Solivita 55+ community in Poinciana, FL to pay back homeowners $35 million for improper HOA fees. The case arises from a proposal by the developer to sell various amenities including a clubhouse, swimming pools, and a tennis court to the residents for $73 million. An investigation revealed that the value of the properties were inflated to as much four times their actual value. Each homeowner could get as much as $10,000 in the settlement ruled by Polk County Judge Wayne Durden. The improper HOA fees paid in the case go back to the 2000s, but the statute of limitations limited them to to 2013. Solivita was a subsidiary of AV Homes, but has been owned by Taylor Morrison since 2018.
Comment: Nobody likes paying HOA fees, but normally they are a necessary evil if you want to have a well maintained community with nice amenities. Obviously the Solivita plaintiffs will be happy with the decision. This highlights the tricky situations that often arise after a developer finishes development and wants to exit the property. The developer usually owns the amenities and the HOA wants to buy them so they control them better. But how those amenities are valued can be controversial, as we see in this case.
Link to the Associated Press story.
Posted by Admin on November 13th, 2021
Best Retirement Towns and States
November 10, 2021 — People in retirement have different needs and abilities. So finding a place to retire that offers the transportation, housing, social activities, and health care suitable for your age is important. Fortunately there are some organizations that are working to develop and identify more communities that are age friendly. The AARP, which now has 575 cities in its AARP certified network, is one of them. Many states have also developed programs to certify as retirement communities too.
Certified communities are working to provide safe and walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.
Posted by Admin on November 10th, 2021
November 9, 2021 — A happy retirement is something people look forward to with great anticipation. But just what are the keys to a successful retirement; the things you can do to maximize your happiness and enjoy the fruits of all of those years working? In this article we will try to uncover the secrets that others have used to make their retirements live up to their expectations. We hope our readers will add more ideas from their own experience in the Comments section.
8 keys to retirement succes
Be prepared financially. In poll after poll, the number one fear retirees have is running out of money. So don’t pull that retirement trigger until you have saved the number that will ensure a secure retirement. If that means lining up a part time job, downsizing, or moving to a more affordable home or location, take those steps before you turn in your notice. To help with that, make sure you have developed a realistic budget that balances income and expenses to backup your decision.
Posted by Admin on November 8th, 2021