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The Best Walkable Places to Retire in South Carolina

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 1, 2023 — A few years back one we featured the Best Places to Retire in South Carolina in one of our Blogs. Not only were they attractive places to retire, but most had the added advantage of being very walkable towns. The piece prompted a lot of interesting discussion and Comments. It even inspired one of our Members, Judith, to go and visit many of them on a two week trip. Happily for Topretirements, she then reported back to the Blog on her experiences.

We have reprinted her trip report below. Even better, when we contacted Judith about this article, she reported that she had gone back to many of the same towns a few years later She provided us with her notes on that tour, which are in bold below. We added a few additional details to some of those places to retire (they are in italic). Here goes:

Judith’s Trip Report to SC Best Places to Retire

I did a two week tour of South Carolina from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6 (2016). It’s a quiet Saturday morning now, and I have time to put down my thoughts, for those who asked.

Posted by Admin on February 28th, 2023

Rising Popularity of ADU’s a Blessing for Retirees

Category: Family and Retirement

February 23, 2023 — One of the hottest acronyms in the real estate world is ADU, which stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. Demographic shifts from Covid, exploding real estate prices, and a shortage of affordable places to live has suddenly put them in the spotlight, prompting more states and communities to encourage and approve them. Their rise is a bonus for retirees, who can benefit from them in a multitude of ways.

The idea behind ADUs is pretty simple.

ADUs provide a secondary building unit on one lot. So right off the bat they are less expensive – they don’t require any extra land. They can take the form of a small detached building, a second floor, basement, or other addition to the main home, or a conversion of part or all of a garage into a small home or apartment. Typically they are between 600 and 1,000 sq. ft. They usually have a bedroom, small kitchen, bathroom, and living area. Or they are just a small studio apartment. Prefab models are available, or they can be custom built. Normally they have a separate entrance. An example of “gentle density, they are often called granny flats, in-law apartments, carriage houses, casitas, etc.

Posted by Admin on February 22nd, 2023

More Tales of Downsizing… and the Household Negotiations Involved

Category: Downsizing

Special Thanks to the author SW Hubbard (Susan) for this article, which was originally published on It is the latest in our Downsizing/Decluttering/Ridding Out Series.

February 22, 2023 — The writer Lucy Burdette asked SW if we are drawn to our profession because of our disposition, or does our disposition morph after years in the same profession? And more particularly, how does that relate to domestic relations chez Hubbard, now that you are both mostly retired?

SW Hubbard: As with any chicken-or-egg question, the answer is a little of both.

Most nurses are naturally compassionate, and I’ve never yet met a happy-go-lucky lawyer unconcerned with details.

But spending many years in one profession changes the way you view your personal life, and the skills you use in the office tend to come home with you to be rolled out on the home front.

Take my husband.

Posted by Admin on February 21st, 2023

15 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 15, 2023 — In 2021 the Federal Trade Commission received 1.5 million reports of identity theft. And guess who is usually the #1 target for scammers – right, retired people. A combination of carelessness, trust, declining faculties, and increasing deviousness from criminals is raising this crime to new levels. Becoming a victim goes beyond embarrassment, it can be painful and the loss of all your hard earned money. Scammers can use your data to start new credit cards, drain your accounts, and take out loans in your name. So take these steps to minimize the risk that you fall prey to an increasing number of scam artists. Some of these tips you might have heard about, some others might be new.

Don’t lose your identity

Use a locked mailbox of PO Box. Criminals can cash your checks, or use personal data to impersonate you.

Buy a shredder. Documents with account numbers and personal information need to be shredded rather than go in the trash or recycling.

Never share personal data to someone who calls you. No matter how convincing they are, don’t give out your SS, birthday, credit card number, etc. Be careful about the numbers you call too – scam artists reserve phone numbers that are mis-dials of legitimate companies. When you accidentally dial a wrong number, they are only too eager to help you out of your money.

Memorize your passwords or use a password manager. Writing down your passwords is a gold mine for anyone who finds them. And for heaven’s sake, don’t use the same ones over and over.

If the IRS, Social Security, or Medicare calls – hang up. They will always contact you by mail.

Beware popup charities. Criminals love a new earthquake or natural disaster as a way to fleece good-hearted citizens. Go to and check them out before you give.

If a friend asks for money online, delete. If you think they are sincere, call them up.

Don’t reply to, use links, or call phone numbers from emails. Look up the company online if you think they might be legitimate. The same goes for attachments; never open one up unless you are completely sure you trust where it is coming from.

Don’t allow websites to remember your credit card number. Far too many organizations get hacked everyday, so don’t take a chance.

In a restaurant, take your credit card to the front desk or use it at the table. Crooked employees might enjoy selling your credit card number and CVV code for a few dollars.

This booklet from Positive Promotions is helpful

Check your account activity regularly for unfamiliar charges. Report immediately if you see something strange, or are notified that doesn’t look right. Sign up for activity alerts by text.

Never send a gift card to anyone who asks for one. Chances are, they are up to no good. And why would anyone legitimate prefer a gift card over a check or cash?

Don’t fall in love with a stranger online. That person who is so fascinating online, but who you have never seen in person, and who asks for money, is dangerous and probably not real. It happens more than you would think, the practice is called catfishing.

Minimize the risk when you travel. Use a money belt or theft resistant clothes. Carry as little cash and few cards and identification you can – and forget your checkbook. Beware bogus food flyers delivered to your hotel room or on the street.

Beware skimmers and shoulder surfers. Be wary of ATMs not at a bank, or anyone who crowds in as you enter your PIN. Criminals can install skimmers on ATMs that steal your data.

Bottom Line – Be Cautious – and Report Suspected Fraud immediately!

Be cautious and try to avoid problems. If you think it has happened, call the business where you think fraud has occured. Alert your bank or credit card company. File a complaint with the FTC – – 1 877 438-4338

Call one of the credit score companies to request a credit freeze. – 1 888 766 -0008 – 1 888 397-3742 – 1 800 680-7289

Comments? Have you ever had your identity stolen? Or, do you have other tips that we should be following so we don’t lose our identity or get scammed? Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on February 15th, 2023

Travel Like a Millionaire – on a Retirement Budget!

Category: Travel

February 14, 2023 — Travel is often the number one thing that people say they look forward to when they retire.  Many yearn for far off, exotic destinations – like a glacier in New Zealand, African safari, or Alaskan cruise. Travel goals for others are more modest, like touring all of the National Parks or a trip to Arizona.  Time is not a problem for most retired people – their biggest challenge is often coming up with the money to make the trips they dream about.  This article will cover a range of budget ideas that can help not only make those trips possible, but upgrade the experience too.  We look forward to your suggestions as well.

Luxury Travel on a Retirement Budget – 11 Ideas

Be flexible. Perhaps you’ve seen the emails – travel to San Francisco for $59! The airlines, hotels, and tour operators do offer great deals in slow periods, but you have to be ready to take advantage of them. Think about what it would take to get ready for any kind of adventure that might come up, and plan to act when you see an offer that appeals. This especially applies to budget airlines like Avelo, which has resort destinations.

Posted by Admin on February 12th, 2023

Early Retirement Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

February 9, 2023 — Millions of Americans dream about an early retirement.  Many others had no such goal, but were pushed into it by the pandemic, unexpected layoffs, or health issues. But however they might have come into the ranks of the retired,  many will not fare well. That is according to research reported in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, where Binghamton University researchers found that early retirement can lead to “faster cognitive decline among the elderly”.

The study behind these findings comes from data from a Chinese program for promoting early retirement. In an effort to reduce poverty among its rural population, the country provided pension benefits in its 2009 New Rural Pension Scheme (NRP). The Binghamton researchers compared what happened to people in China who took the pension benefits and retired early, versus subjects who stayed in the workforce.

Plusses and minuses of early retirement

On the plus side, those in the study who took early retirement often experienced improved overall physical health. They tended to sleep better, and reduced their alcohol and smoking intake. So far so good. On the negative side, those who retired early seemed to exhibit reduced social engagement and mental activity. Ultimately, they showed an accelerated cognitive decline in the form of delayed recall.  Dementia, it seemed, could be predicted in many of the subjects. 

Other studies

The brain health results of the Binghamton University study on early retirement reinforces what Topretirements has seen in other studies as well as our personal experience. When people stop working they need something to take its place to keep their brains healthy. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the TV medical expert, has an excellent book in which he lays out his 5 pillars of brain health. He says no amount of crossword puzzles or Wordle games will keep us sharp if we don’t attend to the basics that keep our brain cells in tip top shape. His 5 pillars are: Stay physically active, discover things like a new skill, get enough sleep, eat well, and have lots of social connections.

Retirement necessary for many people

We don’t mean to say that retirement isn’t a good thing. Many folks have mentally and physically stressful jobs that are hazardous to their health. For them, retirement is necessary and helpful. Others just want to retire early, and that is OK.

Bottom line

Retiring early can be a great thing if that is the goal. But, no matter what age we retire, we need to engage in activities that will keep our minds sharp. Staying healthy and connecting with others is key. Finding a purpose to our lives is a great way to having a healthy brain. It can be a hobby, a volunteer job, caring for a loved one, travel, a sport, etc.  Just don’t wait until the day you start retirement to find that focus. Start now developing a plan of action to find the thing that is going to get you out of bed in the morning with a sense of excitement. 

For further reading:

Posted by Admin on February 8th, 2023

How Will Social Security and Medicare Survive in the New Congress?

Category: Medicare

February 7, 2023 — The debt ceiling is one of the big issues in the new Congress. How it plays out should be interesting, with Republicans narrowly controlling the House and the Democrats with a slight edge in the Senate.  Some lawmakers think that Social Security and Medicare funding could become part of the debt ceiling solution, while others have a firm “hands off” posture. Both of these programs are crucially important to Topretirements Members, regardless of their politics, so here is a rundown on what we know about where things stand (most of which have to do with Social Security). 

Social Security has somehow become part of the discussion on the debt ceiling, even though the program has no effect on the national debt (the opposite applies to Medicare). The larger issue for these two programs, which does not relate to the budget ceiling, is how to fix them long term. Social Security’s Trust funds will run out in 2034 or thereabouts, and when that happens, only about 70% of promised benefits would be available to be paid to beneficiaries. Meanwhile, Medicare costs continue to rise.

Republican positions vary

Posted by Admin on February 6th, 2023