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Gen X Is More Worried About Retirement

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 27, 2022 — Of all the current demographic generations, Gen X is the one most worried about its retirement, according to a research study from the SOA Research Institute. They are the folks born between 1965 and 1980, and are the next demographic group to start retiring. Gen X came immediately after baby boomers (1946-1964), but before Gen Y/Millennials (1981-1996), and then Gen Z. Gen Xers are currently between the ages of 42 and 57.

The SOA study researched a number of questions about their retirement preparation and feelings about financial security.

Posted by Admin on April 25th, 2022

The Villages: Fascination and Machination

Category: Active adult communities

April 22, 2022 — Journalists looking for a good story hit the jackpot any time they check out The Villages, the giant retirement community in north Central Florida. The community has all the elements needed to fascinate readers: high stakes politics, real estate machinations, Viagra fueled Lotharios, and the latest – voter fraud. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in this community that stretches over 3 counties with some 60,000 (and growing) households.

Books, Magazines, and Movies

Starting with Andrew Blechman’s Leisureville in 2009, The Villages gained a certain notoriety. Blechman’s youthful vantage point might have made him a little too cynical, but he did produce a good read. His account of Mr. Midnight, a boomer aged Lothario cruising for action among the community’s many single women, was highly provocative and one of the most entertaining parts of the book. He poked a lot of fun elsewhere too, although it actually might have encouraged other baby boomers to move there for the non-stop activities and socialization. Then there is The NY Times version of TV life, published in this March feature: The Disney for Boomers Puts Hedonism on Full Display.

Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2022

10 Great Places to Explore on the East Coast

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 20, 2022 — Highways are filling up with snowbirds headed north right now. Those trips provide the perfect excuse for exploring the many wonderful East Coast towns along the way. Here are 10 towns that we think are definitely worth a detour, either for a night in a B and B, or a leisurely lunch to break up the drive. In this installment we will concentrate on charming or interesting towns near the coast. But if your trip takes you along the western route, see our 2 part series on great retirement towns along that route through western Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.

Posted by Admin on April 19th, 2022

6 Good Reasons to Collect Social Security Early

Category: Social Security

April 14, 2022 — As anyone who reads this Blog regularly knows, Topretirements is a big fan of waiting as long as you can before you start to collect Social Security. But that is not to say there aren’t many good reasons to take it early, or at least not wait until age 70. Here are six of them.

You don’t expect to live past 80. The break-even age for collecting early vs. waiting until Full Retirement Age or beyond is often debated, and it differs from men to women. In general, if you don’t expect to live past 80, collecting now is probably a good idea.

You don’t have any other good source of income. If you aren’t working and don’t have another source of income to live on, you don’t have a choice – start collecting your Social Security now.

You don’t have a spouse who might live longer than you. People often overlook what their survivor might get in spousal benefits after you die. If they live a long time you want to make sure they get the highest benefit they can so they don’t end up in poverty. But if you don’t have a spouse, or the one you have has a better earnings record than you do, it might make sense to collect early.

You think you can earn more than 8% with what you collect on Social Security. In some recent years, returns from the stock market have been better than the 8% annual increase you get for waiting from Full Retirement Age to age 70. But given the state of the world, most people would probably not feel comfortable guaranteeing earning more than 8% annually from investing their Social Security benefits.

You can use Social Security to pay down high interest debt. If you have high interest credit card debt it might be a good idea to use Social Security to pay off those loans as soon as you can.

You are pretty sure Social Security won’t be able to pay its obligations. By 2034 or so the SS trust funds will be exhausted and current revenues will be able to fund about 75% of promised benefits. Some people think Congress won’t act in time to keep paying benefits at 100%, so they feel they might as well collect now rather than wait for less. So far Congress has wasted its time in stupid party fights, while completely neglecting Social Security, so maybe that is a good bet.

Bottom line. The right answer to when to take Social Security is complex and depends on your unique situation. Don’t accept anyone else’s pat answer – figure it out for yourself. Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

For further reading:
What Is Your Social Security IQ (a quiz)

Posted by Admin on April 13th, 2022

Shake Things Up in Retirement: 10 Great Adventures

Category: Adventurous retirement

April 13, 2022 — People often say that the most memorable things in our lives are our experiences, and we believe that is really true. You have worked hard to earn your retirement, so why make it really special with some once in a lifetime experiences. Here are 10 fantastic ideas for adventurous things to do in retirement – and we bet you could come up with even more.

10 once in a lifetime adventures:

Hike on the Camino de Santiago or some other famous trail. One of the best is the Camino de Santiago in Spain and France. You hike along a path that pilgrims of St. James have been taking for centuries and stay in inns along the way. You can hike one of its many routes or just a part of one. Or, hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, or another famous trail in England or Ireland.

Posted by Admin on April 12th, 2022

What Is Our Role as Grandparents?

Category: Family and Retirement

April 7, 2022 – A few weeks ago I attended a concert by Ellis Delaney, a folk singer and songwriter with a lovely voice and inspiring lyrics.  “You’re Royalty to Me” is one of her best songs, in my opinion.  It is a tribute to her grandmother, her main source of support growing up. Ellis spoke about the great times they had together, playing cards and enjoying each other’s company, and most of all experiencing unconditional love. The song’s message gave me goosebumps, particularly from this line: “I am who I am because I was loved by a queen”. You can read the beautiful lyrics to the song here.

Wow, that song seemed like a direct message about our potential as grandparents. Sure, savoring the joy these kids bring to life can be pretty great. But this song is a message that grandparenting is bigger than just enjoying them.  To me, it shows that if we can be a  reliable source of unconditional love and support, we might make a difference in their lives, just like Ellis’s grandma did. That extends to supporting the parents, who face incredible pressures in trying to raise children in this age, even before Covid. 

Posted by Admin on April 6th, 2022

What States Offer the Best Tax Treatment for Retirees?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 3, 2022 — For many people entering retirement, the holy grail is to find a state where their hard earned money won’t get taxed.  When it comes to  the 8 states that have no income tax, that’s easy: nothing will be taxed at the state level: not Social Security, pensions from any source, distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs, or interest, dividends, and capital gains.

But of the remaining 43 states and District of Columbia, a complex patchwork exists. Each state seems to have a unique approach to taxation, levying  taxes on some of these items completely or partially, while exempting others. Finding out which states tax what can be confusing, made more difficult because every retiree brings a different package of earning sources to the party. Because the states frequently change what is taxed and what is exempt, it is best to check state websites and or your accountant before basing any decision on this information, which should be used as a survey rather than a definitive guide.

8 states with no income tax

Posted by Admin on April 2nd, 2022