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Cold Weather and the Holidays Are Coming – How Will You Adjust?

Category: Home and Garden

November 10, 2020- if you like a lot of Americans you probably found some safe ways to socialize with a small group of friends or family this past summer. But with cold weather and the holidays arriving soon many folks are grappling with how to keep that going and avoid social isolation. We are curious to find out what techniques and strategies you might be using to make that happen.

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Back in September we surveyed what Coronavirus Activities you are willing to engage in. Over 500 completed it; here is a Summary of the responses. One of the questions (#9) directly asked about cold weather, specifically if you would be willing to visit or entertain when it comes. Just over half said they would visit with other folks in some way or another, but with some conditions. The issue becomes even more important as Thanksgiving and the holidays loom in the immediate future.

There were over 80 written Comments to the question. The vast majority of those seemed to indicate they probably would entertain/be entertained, but only if masks and social distancing were observed, and if they trusted the other people.

Posted by Admin on November 9th, 2020

Back by Popular Demand: The Snowbird’s Leaving for the Winter Checklist

Category: Home and Garden

September 21, 2020 — The leaves are starting to turn in some locales and there is a chill in the air. Which means many snowbirds are starting to wrap up their summer and getting ready to head south for the winter. To help retirees in that situation with their preparations, we are happy to present our ever-popular “Snowbirds Checklist for Leaving for the Winter Checklist” article. Not only are there some great tips in the article, but even better are the many Member Comments that added even more great ideas. We guarantee you will find something useful. Check it out!

“Snowbird’s Leaving for the Winter Checklist”

You also might enjoy “7 Steps to Becoming a Successful Snowbird“.

Posted by Admin on September 20th, 2020

The Sweet Joys of Shredding

Category: Home and Garden

September 14, 2020 – Downsizing, ridding out, whatever you want to call it, paring down your stuff is an important job in retirement. This past week your Editor and his wife had the pleasure of safely disposing more than a dozen boxes of important papers that were cluttering up their home. Here are some tips on how you can do the same (with links to many of our other downsizing articles at end).

Don’t leave cleaning up to your surviving spouse or children. It’s just not fair. Give your kids a break – they have lives to live – so don’t leave them with a basement or attic full of old papers or documents to dispose of. They will have no idea what was is important and what is not.

Posted by Admin on September 14th, 2020

Audiobooks to the Rescue

Category: Home and Garden

September 2, 2020 — Spending more time walking, cooking, taking the dog out, exercising, or gardening during the pandemic? One great way to get double the pleasure out of these activities is to listen to a good book while you are doing them. All you need is your phone and a set of headphones, preferably Bluetooth connected.

Your editor has enjoyed some wonderful books lately. American Dirt, Where the Crawdads Sing, and Half Broke all have female protagonists with strong storylines that will carry you away as you take on your various chores and activities. Educated is an inspiring memoir of a young girl’s struggle to escape her crazy survivalist family in Idaho. Biographies like “Shoe Dog”, the story of how Phil Knight created Nike, is a fascinating listen. The Doll House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks, is great too.

Posted by Admin on September 2nd, 2020

7 Steps on How to Be a Successful Snowbird

Category: Home and Garden

September 24, 2019 — The skies are starting to get busy with birds and butterflies headed south on their winter migrations. And soon Interstates like 25, 75, 95 will be crowded with baby boomers on their way to similar retirement destinations. To help you get ready for those trips we re-publish our popular “Snowbird’s Leaving for the Winter” Checklist every year. This year we also have a new article with tips for making your snowbird experience as wonderful as possible. Note that most of these tips will apply even if you are one of the many counter-snowbirds: folks who live north in the winter and elsewhere the rest of the year.

Anyone who has had the snowbird experience quickly learns it leads to a very different lifestyle than what they experience living in only one place. Your snowbird life will be a little more complicated, probably a bit more expensive, and if done right – more enjoyable. Here are some things to consider as you embark on this lifestyle.

Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2019

8 Steps to Stop Those Annoying Robocalls

Category: Home and Garden

July 20, 2019 — Here is one thing in this increasingly divided nation that we can agree upon — we all hate Robocalls! These annoying and persistent calls often come right around dinner time from numbers and names that look familiar. If you answer, it is about a scam trying to part you and your hard-earned money and security. Even when enrolled in DO NOT CALL registries, the problem is so bad that many people have stopped answering their phone unless they are sure who is calling. The problem is also spreading to text messages.

For this article we have done some research to find out the best ideas for how to minimize the problem. Here we go:

Posted by Admin on July 19th, 2019

The Retirement Conundrum: Who Is going to Change the Lightbulb and Get You an Ice Cream Cone?

Category: Home and Garden

May 22, 2019 — An interesting new book by Joseph Coughlin, founder of the AgeLab, pinpoints the many contradictions marketers face when targeting the senior market. In The Longevity Economy”, Coughlin finds that while builders build out housing inventory intended for baby boomers, the market is constrained. That is because eighty-seven per cent of retirement-age people want to stay where they live now – the homes where they experienced the three ‘M’s: marriage, mortgage, and memories.

Coughlin says the problem with that preferenced is that they can’t continue to live there. “Not when the model is a two-story house with a bedroom and the bathroom upstairs. If we can solve the stairs problem, we won’t need new housing.”

Part of the issue is that we are living longer than ever, and our coping skills don’t always keep up. Coughlin says that having simple answers to two questions can determine whether you’re going to age well in place:

“Who’s going to change the light bulb, and how are you going to get an ice-cream cone?”

It might seem a little silly, but it does get at the problem. If you can find solutions to problems like those, you will be all set for a comfortable old age. If you can’t, problems await you!

A New Yorker article that reviews Coughlin’s book, “Can We Live Longer But Stay Younger”, points out many other contradictions that AgeLab has found while trying to help aging baby boomers. Marketers often find a solution to a problem, but can’t sell it. AgeLab studies find many products that could make life easy for us, but it they have a tinge of “senior” to them, they will languish on the shelf.

For further reading:

Comments: How are you going to solve the problems of who is going to change the lightbulb and how are you going to get an ice cream? Some day we will all face these problems. What kind of housing are you going to choose to prepare for what lies ahead?

Posted by Admin on May 21st, 2019

We Need Your Opinion: Short Term Rental Survey

Category: Home and Garden

March 6, 2019 — The appearance of a pair of bills in the Florida legislature has brought the issue of short term (usually vacation) rentals to the fore. It is a complex topic, and one that has powerful constituencies on both sides. The purpose of this survey is to find out where the Topretirements membership stands on the issue. We will be reporting on the results, both here at Topretirements as well as our Florida representatives. So please take a moment to answer this very quick survey. Thanks!

Take the Survey

Comments: Please feel free to give your opinion on the subject, pro or con, in the Comments section below.

Further info:

The Florida House Bill 987

Senate Bill 824

Posted by Admin on March 6th, 2019

What Homebuyers Want in 2019

Category: Green Retirement Communities

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 20 – Laundry rooms and energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification are among the most wanted home features, according to survey results from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHB surveyed nearly 4,000 home buyers–those who have either recently purchased a home or plan to purchase a home within the next three years–ranking 175 features based on how essential they are to a home purchasing decision. The survey was done among home buyers of all ages, so the results might differ somewhat from retiring baby boomers. You might want to keep these in mind whether you are looking for a new home or planning on improving your existing one.

The top 10 features also included home-storage needs, such as garage storage and walk-in pantries, as well as hardwood flooring, a patio and exterior lighting. 

Housing trends across the board include a continued decline in the average home size and decreased demand for upscale features such as three-plus-car garages. In 2018, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home started declined to 2,576 square feet–down from its peak at 2,689 square feet in 2015–driven in part by increased production in townhouses, which comprised 14 percent of new home starts. Over in the UK, we’ve been following housing prices fluctuate by using this free tool from TheAdvisory called PropCast.

Posted by Admin on February 22nd, 2019

10 Ways Retirement Living Will Change in the Future

Category: Home and Garden

November 7, 2018 — In our younger days we baby boomers did our bit to change the world. Now that most of our working days are behind us, will we revolutionize retirement living too? This article will review how retirement living options have changed since our teen years, and then we will prognosticate on what might be coming down the road, as the last baby boomers reach retirement age (they hit age 65 in 2031), and turn the baton over to Generation X in 2032.

Retirement, back in the day.
Prior to 1960, when Sun City Arizona opened, your retirement living options were pretty simple, probably occurring in stages. You could live in your own home (with a caretaker if you were well off), move in with one of your children, or go to a retirement or nursing home. The latter tended to be pretty bleak- surrounded by a lot of old people, maybe lucky to get your own room. Amenities tended to be limited.

The original Sun City Show Home

Sun City introduced the active adult community (or 55+ community) to the world, and it has been super successful. To give you an idea, from that single community in 1960 there are now thousands; in fact there are 3,761 communities in our Topretirements database, and at least 80% of those could be classified as 55+ or active adult. We (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 7th, 2018