Thank You Our Veterans: And the Tale of My Father’s Dogtag

Category: Family and Retirement

November 10, 2017 — Today is the official celebration of Veterans Day because the actual date, Nov. 11, falls on a Saturday this year. Veterans Day remembers the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the Armistice to end WWI, “the war to end all wars”, was signed and hostilities ended. We know that many of our Topretirements members are veterans, and that virtually everyone has a relative who served to defend our wonderful country. We are in debt to you, and especially those killed in action and their families; your sacrifices have made our freedom possible.

The timing this year is propitious, as I just came into possession of my father’s WWII dog tags (pictured). My dad, like so many of our baby boomer fathers, served in this world changing war. A newly minted dentist, he volunteered in the US Public Health Service and Coast Guard as the war broke out. According to the legend my father, who didn’t clear 5’5”, had to hang from a bar so he was tall enough to get his naval commission. His first assignment was to British Columbia in Canada, where he provided dental services for the workers building the Alaskan (Alcan) Highway, that amazing project to shore up the defenses of vulnerable (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 10th, 2017

Be Careful in That Golf Cart

Category: Family and Retirement

March 28, 2017 — Golf carts are an increasingly popular way to get around. They are inexpensive, easy to park, generally environmentally friendly, and fun too. But just because they are cute doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt in one.

In communities like The Villages in Central Florida the golf cart is THE transportation mode of choice – with 65,000 carts in residents (1 for every 2 residents!) Many have been customized to look like a Rolls Royce or other exotic car. The Villages has 42 miles of paths which golf carts share with pedestrians and bicyclists. Peachtree City near Atlanta is another community where (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 28th, 2017

Retirement Problem #2: The Other Half of the Sandwich

Category: Eldercare

January 24, 2017 — Earlier this month we wrote about “The Retirement Wrecker You Never Considered“, which turned out to be about adult children that fail to fledge. Today we will tackle the other half of the sandwich that often squeezes baby boomers; what happens when elderly parents and relatives need help that interferes with your retirement plans. We are certainly not saying that having elderly parents is a “problem”, it is a blessing if you get to enjoy your parents and relatives as they age. Unfortunately for some adult children, they experience challenges with their parents that can turn into a problem for their retirement plans. We know many of you have had experience dealing with this sometimes difficult issue, and hope you will contribute your knowledge and experience in the Comments section below.

To get started we have 11 tips to offer when it looks like your elders need more help but don’t seem to want to get it. After that we have re-posted some comments on this same topic from the past. Obviously there is a range of (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 24th, 2017

The Retirement Wrecker You Never Imagined

Category: Family and Retirement

Editor’s note: The family we described in this article are not real, they are hypothetical. However the kinds of problems they experienced are real and painful. For a variety of reasons, more and more Americans are living in multi-generational households – 31% of those aged 25- to 29 in 2014 were living in households with parents and/or grandparents.

January 3, 2107 –June and Jim thought that their exquisitely laid retirement plan was solid. They had done so many things well – they had set up a regular savings plan, hired a good financial advisor, thought about how they would stay busy, and even made some scouting trips to potential retirement destinations. But due to circumstances they never imagined, June and Jim are worried that their retirement dream is probably finished – before it even started.

The problem wasn’t with the couple’s plan, it was their adult children. Margaret had been a great student and athlete in high school and even into college. But she lost focus somewhere along the line, and even though she graduated with a B.A. she couldn’t land a good job. So she moved back home, where she remains, not making enough to move out on her own, and her parents haven’t have the heart to ask her to pay rent. That was 5 years ago.

Justin also did well until he (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 3rd, 2017

Share Your Experience: Tips on Being a Fabulous Grandparent

Category: Family and Retirement

August 3, 2016 – Two weeks ago your editor became a grandparent for the first time. Having just about the most beautiful, precious child in the universe made us think – how can we help her become the best and happiest person she can be, and what can we do to support the new parents? In this article we’ve tried to include the major grandparenting topics, and for each of them some of the best tips we’ve heard or read about. However, our experience is very limited – under two weeks! We are hoping that our Members will chime in with their best ideas in the Comments section below – making this a shared community where we are all help each other enjoy the experience.

All of our friends and relatives rave about the grandchildren experience, whether they are retired or not. Life-changing and joy are two of the words that come up most (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 2nd, 2016

Gray Divorce: A Big Financial Cost

Category: Family and Retirement

January 13, 2016 — Baby boomers have long been the vanguard of a host of social changes – and it continues. Susan Brown, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University, estimates that 650,000 people over the age of 50 divorced in 2010, most of them boomers. While ending a marital bond might end a long period of unhappiness and even open the way to a new life, it does come at an economic cost.

It is an age old problem; when the proverbial marital blanket is split in half, (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 12th, 2016

Downsizing – Don’t Forget Your Dog

Category: Family and Retirement

October 21, 2105 — Many of us baby boomers are talking a lot about downsizing, in fact some of our most popular and commented upon articles are on that topic (see further reading below). But there is one aspect of downsizing that doesn’t get mentioned as often – your dog.

Americans love their pets, especially their dogs. But as we enter retirement it is worth some time thinking about whether or not you want to have a dog when your current one goes on to Fido heaven, and if you do, what type and particularly, size. We know that many people, including your editor’s wife, could not face living without a (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 21st, 2015

The Art of Giving a Eulogy…and More

Category: Family and Retirement

August 13, 2015 — One of the unpleasant aspects of being a baby boomer at this stage of our lives is realizing that our own mortality is inevitable, after all. Loved ones and dear friends are starting to pass on in growing numbers… some day we are pretty certain we will too. Dealing with that loss has many difficult aspects, so this article launches a series of how-tos on the subject.

Nextavenue.org, one of our favorite websites, had some great articles on the topic recently. We will add our thoughts to two of those here, and provide you with (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 12th, 2015

What to Do If You And Your Partner Don’t Have the Same Retirement Plans

Category: Family and Retirement

June 27, 2015 — Most people are in relationships. Making decisions that involve a couple is complicated, starting with the obvious – there are two people’s needs and wants involved. Reconciling the dreams and goals of two different people is a challenge, but one that can bring much happiness and joy if done successfully. The goal of this article is to help couples find effective strategies to achieve success in their retirement planning.

Two years ago we surveyed our Topretirements Members on Spousal Compatibility. Over 600 folks completed the survey and provided a wealth of data, opinions, and great advice. You will find a link to the results of that survey at the bottom of this article. In this space we will discuss some of the most difficult issues that the survey turned up, along with a summary of the advice we received from our members on how to handle those challenges. We know that you enjoy reading about the experiences of actual people in your situation, so we hope you find these anecdotes useful. We especially look forward to your additional Comments at the end of the article.

A Suggestion
One way to use the information in this article is for both (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 27th, 2015

Pets and Your Golden Years

Category: Family and Retirement

May 23, 2015 — Americans are crazy about their pets. There were 164 million pets in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Humane Society of the U.S., with about 62% of households having a pet. Pet ownership for retirees, however, is a little different than it is for younger Americans. The Retirement section of the New York Times recently did a feature, “Pets of the Golden Years“, which profiled some of those differences. This article will highlight some of the issues that affect retirees and their pets (see end of article for our previous articles on this topic).

Some differences
For starters, a smaller percentage of retirees own pets than (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 23rd, 2015