Sept 30, 2022 — If you are a fan of Scotland and/or love fiddles, we have a great armchair visit in store for you, complete with short videos of mini-concerts on scene. Mrs. Topretirements, aka Lucy Burdette, set up this tour for us and 5 friends last month with one of America’s top fiddlers and one of northern Scotland most accomplished tour guides. We visited Wick (famous for its herring fisheries early in the last century) and then took overnight ferries to the Orkneys and Shetland Islands. We saw the haunts of the fictional detective, Jimmy Perez, created by author Ann Cleese, along with prehistoric standing stones and homes from 4,000 B.C. It was a great tour, and Lucy’s blog on Jungle Red makes you feel you were there. You will love the music!
September 28, 2022– As a follow up to our recent article, “There Might Be More Than One Kind of Home for You in Retirement“, this one concentrates on the latter stage of retirement. What you will do when you are a little less active, and your abilities are not quite what they were in the beginning and middle phases of retirement? The idea for this started when the eldest sister in our family, approaching her 79th birthday, asked our relatives what they were planning for their late retirement years. We agree this is an important conversation to have, particularly with one’s children and other family members. We hope that you will add your thoughts in the Comments section below, so we capture a wide range of opinions and plans.
The conversation started with this question:
We have no plans to sell our houses or to move, but it is certainly time for us to think about the future. With our children spread out, we could go many places. Our policy up to now has been, when we need help we will pick up and move close to one of our children. But I wonder if that might be too late. It’s hard for an older couple to make a big move, particularly if one is needy. Since both of our parents lived to a ripe old age (92 and 102) with most mental faculties intact, our genetics make it seem like we should be planning for the long term.
Sept. 27, 2022 – The leaves are turning and there is a chill in the air in the Northeast and Midwest. So it’s time we once again link to the “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist” that we originally published in 2010. Every year we add to it in different ways, based on our own experiences and suggestions from Members. We hope you find it helpful. We link to the original article because there have been so many helpful and interesting Comments added by our members over the years.
Here is the link to the original (but updated) article:
Sept. 22, 2022 — Thanks to the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and other factors, inflation is raging here in the U.S. and everywhere in the world. While early estimates are the 2023 Social Security COLA will be one of highest in history at 8.7%, that will not be enough for the millions of retirees who are living on a shoestring. To help with that, we have assembled a collection of tips our Members have provided in the past. We hope you will add more of your own in the Comments section below (and thanks to Grace for suggesting this topic!) Note that these are just a fraction of the fabulous ideas our Members have posted over the years. Check out the articles listed at bottom for hundreds more!
Sell stuff. Darla suggests: Downsizing by selling stuff didn’t appeal to me, but a friend has an Ebay store. He takes care of anything I ask him to sell, and I give him 30% (the stuff would have gone to the trash or thrift store anyway).
September 21, 2022 — Swept up in the desire to stay healthy and armed with plenty of time in retirement, millions of baby boomers are enjoying hiking as a fun pastime. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong. According to hikersdaily.com, almost 5,000 hikers are injured every year, with most of those coming from slips and falls, with the ankle most often affected. There are an estimated 15,000 rescue operations in an average year on public lands. The most tricky of those are helicopter rescues, which typically cost around $12,000.
We would like to make sure one of these mishaps doesn’t happen to you. And to make your hike more fun, we are including some great tips from our friend Tom Cretella, one of the most experienced hikers we know. These are his tips.
Top 10 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make Hiking
Not enough water. Running out of water is never a pleasant experience. I always carry at least 2 liters of water for a day hike. Hint, Don’t wait till you are thirty to drink; then it’s too late to fight off dehydration. Try to drink often during the hike. Good hydration keeps your muscles from cramping and your reflexes sharp. Tip: Water is heavy so I carry an extra liter of Water and stash it about 1/2 way to my destination, and retrieve on the way back. It can be a life saver.
Sept. 21, 2022 — Topretirements is about to enter its 17th year, hard to believe. During that time we have covered about every topic we could think of, from best places in all kinds of categories, to Medicare and Social Security, to what to do in retirement, and a whole lot more (see Blog Categories at right for over 1,000 articles). But what topics do you think we should concentrate on in the next few months – we would love to hear from you.
To that end please take this instant poll. Just choose your answer and you will see the results. You can add more topics and Comment at the bottom of this article, they will be very useful and much appreciated!
Comments and more topics? Please add them to the Comments section below. If you would like to rank your top choices, that would be great too. Thanks for the input!
September 10, 2022 – There is good news coming for the estimated 1.5 million Medicare recipients who have been affected by the notorious prescription drug donut hole. The relief will arrive in 2025, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden. Then the new law will put a $2,000 limit on annual drug copayments by retirees, replacing the current donut hole scheme, which hits people hard when they spend over a certain amount until they hit a catastrophic limit. Along the way monthly insulin charges will be capped at $35 for Medicare recipients in 2023, and in 2024 the 5% copay on charges over the catastrophic limit is eliminated.
Current law requires retirees to pay 25 percent of the cost after they and the government pay a combined $4,430 out for their prescription drugs. The 25% figure lasts until people hit a “catastrophic” threshold amount, currently $7,050, and then they still have to pay 5% over that. Some beneficiaries were paying over $5,000 or even $10,000 because of it. The new limit eliminates these requirements; copayments will be capped at $2,000 in 2025.
The new law is a big win for retirees, and it has been a long time coming. Together with the government’s new ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients, retirees (and the government) will be saving a lot of money.
September 7, 2022 — We are fortunate to be living in a time when retirement has so many possibilities. Not so long ago, our choices were to work until we dropped, move in with one of our children, or get shipped off to a nursing home. Now, the choices are endless – but which one is right for you?
Retirement is a continuum
For most people, there isn’t just one phase of retirement – there are many. Let’s say you retire in your early to mid 60’s. The type of community you retire to might not be a lot different from where you lived before. Maybe you move to a new town or state, or stay in your current home. A new home might be smaller, bigger, or very different from your current one. You probably want to move to a community or an area that offers the kind of amenities and recreation that your new freedom opens up. Those might include golf, pickleball, hobbies, culture, hiking, biking, exercise, etc.
Sept. 1, 2022 — Several Members commented recently about whether or not they would take Paxlovid if they contracted Covid. In a Comment Rick said he wouldn’t use it, based on the experience of so many people he knows who have taken it and experienced rebound. RichPB, however, said that the drug can reduce death and serious hospitalizations, and that taking it is a personal choice. To that point, a new study from Israel found that Paxlovid reduced the risk of death by 79% and hospitalizations 73% among patients over the age of 65. The study is one of the first tests since the arrival of the Omicron variant. The drug seemed to have little beneficial effect among younger patients in the Israeli study, even if they had underlying health problems.