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Live your dream retirement in Hot Springs Village! Located in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, the Village offers a beautiful natural ...

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Fairfield Glade, a stunning master-planned community, is perched high atop the Cumberland Plateau, and offers serene mountain beauty as i...

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Named one of the "50 Best Master-Planned Retirement Communities in the US" by Where to Retire Magazine!Located just 20 miles from histori...

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Where Will You Be When You’re 80?

Category: Retirement Planning

October 31, 2018 — A provocative question we hear from time to time is, “Where do you think you’ll be, and what will you be doing, when you turn 80 and move toward 90?” Forward thinking helps insure that you arrive at the place that you want to be, ready for the challenges that might be there.

The purpose of this short article is to solicit brief answers from our Topretirements community on this question – how will your lifestyle differ from what it is now in your 60s or 70s? Please refrain from saying you will probably be dead – half of us will live into our 80s – and we need to understand what we should be (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2018

6 Great Ways to Post to the Topretirements Blog

Category: Retirement Planning

September 25, 2018 — We love your Comments to the Topretirements.com Blog! Our Members consistently say they are one of the most valuable features of this site. BUT….one of our regular contributors made yet a great suggestion that might make this feature even better. He is frustrated with some Comments that he believes get in the way of a helpful flow of information. A pet concern of his are replies that turn into long-winded 2 person chats, to the exclusion of the rest of us. In the end, he and others tune out of the Blog because of the resulting conversational chit-chat, which deprives the rest of the community of their useful insights.

To that end we have put together this short piece of Blog how-to’s. Our goal is to accentuate the positive, rather than set out a rigid list of rules.

Six great ways to post to our blog
1. Stick to the topic. Nothing kills a good conversation quicker than when somebody makes a comment to a Blog post that has nothing to do with the featured topic. If, for example, the post is about when to collect social security, don’t add a comment about IRAs. If the topic is about retiring to Florida, don’t ask someone to comment about Arizona.
2. Keep the wider audience in mind. Please realize that thousands of people might read your comments, hoping to get a valuable exchange of information from them. If you try to use the comments as a one on one chat room, you are wasting everyone else’s time. Worse, valuable contributors will be turned off and go away, depriving the community of valuable insights. If you do want to share with another member, see end of article for suggestions on how to do that.
3. Stick to the facts, or frame your comments as an opinion. Far too many times we see people posting either fringe theories or just plain mis-information. For example, the government has NOT stolen your Social Security, and members of Congress ARE part of the Social Security system. If you make a factual statement, check to make sure it is a fact (snopes.com is a good place to find out if something is true or not). You are entitled to your opinion, but don’t state it as a fact if it is really only what you believe personally.
4. Keep it to YOUR experiences. If your brother-in-law lives somewhere, try to avoid reporting it unless you have experienced it yourself. Our Members especially like to learn about places where others have retired, but only from the people who have actual experiences there.
5. Be polite, be specific, and avoid generalizations. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Sarcasm and criticism is not appropriate. Don’t generalize – For example, calling individuals or a class of people a redneck, snowflake (or worse) is not helpful. People are not generalizations, we are all unique people with foibles and strengths to spare.
6. Tread carefully over politics and religion. Everyone has their opinions. In today’s highly politicized environment you are not going to change anyone’s mind, no matter how skillfully you think you are making the argument. So please spare us all the pain and agita that gets stirred up with your blistering critiques of the other party. This site is about retirement, and we want to concentrate on that, and get along in the process.

A few more
For your safety we recommend that you not post your email address or phone numbers in your posts. Spammers have programs that can scrape websites to harvest phone numbers and emails, and spam you. If you would like to contact someone who is posting on Topretirements and have a one on one conversation, send us an email. We will try to contact the other person, and if they want to get in touch with you, that is their option.

If you don’t follow our rules and suggestions
Here is where you can find out Site Rules (there is a link to them at the bottom of every page). Please don’t post irrelevant items, are hurtful or generalize, tell your life story over and over, promote fact-less arguments, speak to only one person, or make some other violation. Since we are a free site we don’t have the resources to spend a lot of time policing violations. So if you abuse our rules and common sense we will delete, edit, or move to a better, more relevant post – if worthy.

We hope you find this post helpful, rather than stern. Other sites encourage or permit a more raucous discussion, but that is not our why we are here. Our goal is to make Topretirements as useful as possible to people who want to have a great retirement. And so far you have done a great job in helping us do that!

Comments. If you have suggestions on how to keep our Blog discussions helpful please feel free to add them in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2018

Transition to Retirement: Will Your Income Match or Exceed Expenses?

Category: Retirement Planning

By Bob Stacy
National Institute of Transition Planning

September 15, 2018 — I am consistently amazed when conducting my NITP “Transition to Retirement” sessions when I ask participants a very simple question: “Do you know how much you spend each year?” The answer is almost universally “no”!

Retirement income should be easier to calculate
In preparing for retirement you should know approximately what your income will be. If you are a federal or state worker or you are employed by a larger company, you can visit your HR department and have them provide an estimate of your annuity or pension, which will probably be your main source of retirement income. Then you can add other possible sources of projected income such as 401Ks, Social Security, investment income, TSPs, part-time work and maybe even inheritance. If you don’t have a pension, it will probably be slightly easier to estimate your income.

No matter how much income you may have forthcoming, no one should retire if you don’t know what you actually spend each month. Running out of money in retirement is one of the worst things that can happen to you. So I suggest that you not consider retirement until you know your (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 13th, 2018

Downsizing, Decluttering, or Ridding Out: Whatever the Name, It’s Time to Do It

Category: Retirement Planning

August 6, 2018 — In addition to death and taxes, you can add one more to the list of things you can’t avoid. Whether you call it decluttering, ridding out, or downsizing – the job has to be done, sooner or later. Sooner…. if you plan on moving to a different home in retirement. Later… even if you die without emptying out your basement, attic, garage, overflowing closets, and countless drawers – your children or heirs are going to have the thankless task of getting rid of everything you managed to hoard all these years. And the job is even harder if you plan on moving to a tiny home, boat, or RV.

Last year we surveyed our Members to find out how they are doing at downsizing. The answer is (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 5th, 2018

Where You’ll Retire – and Why: What You Said

Category: Retirement Planning

July 25, 2018 — Note: Last week we reported on the statistical results from our 12 question poll about where members want to retire, and why. (See” When It Comes to Where to Retire, Climate and Weather Rule“). This week we are reprinting a sampling from the hundreds of comments you made to the survey, which reveal a fascinating depth of detail on retirement choices and reasons. We hope you enjoy them as well as find them helpful!

We have arranged the comments into themes where they seemed to fit. The major themes are: Reasons for choosing a retirement area, Particular states/regions chosen and why, and type of community. Each “–” indicates a new comment from a different person. There were (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 24th, 2018

When It Comes to Where to Retire, Climate and Weather Are Top Reasons

Category: Retirement Planning

July 16, 2018 — Thanks to the more than 750 members who took the time to contribute their valuable insights to last week’s “Where You’ll Live and Why” poll. We appreciate you sharing! As promised, here is our first detailed report on the summary for each question. Within the next few days we will publish a second article which will feature the fascinating comments the poll generated.

Highlights
Your input confirms many opinions we hold about retirement preferences in general, along with some surprises. For example, it is not much of a stretch to bet that most of you are interested in retiring to a warm weather clime, with the Southeast (Florida) and Southwest at the top of your preferences. We did not expect to see the level of interest there was in a suburban environment. (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 16th, 2018

Countdown: Five Years to Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

July 10, 2018 — Think of your retirement as if it were a rocket poised for liftoff at Cape Canaveral. You, flight safety, are going through an elaborate countdown, ticking off countless items from exhaustive checklists. Only when everything is lined up properly is permission granted for your retirement launch!

In this piece we’ll go through a five year countdown to retirement, an excellent idea developed in a NY Times feature last week by retirement expert Peter Finch. Without first looking at what he proposed, we took our own crack at this countdown idea… and look forward to comparing notes (a link to his article is at bottom).

Five, four, three, two, one – retirement blastoff!
Although we have tried to concentrate each year on one major task, that doesn’t mean you should not be thinking about other planning aspects. This is a suggested timetable – you don’t have to be rigid about which planning area gets emphasized each year – but these are the important areas to consider. What is important is to tackle all the key planning bases with the remaining time you have before “blastoff”. Think where you live now is the best place for you to retire, and don’t need to bother? Going through this planning process helps guarantee that as a mindful decision, rather than planning by just letting things happen.

Five years out – Finances rule
Your most important task this year is prepare a financial balance sheet that shows what your expected income will be compared to your retirement expenses. By taking a serious (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 9th, 2018

Take Our Newest Poll – What Factors Affect Where You Will Retire?

Category: Retirement Planning

July 9, 2018 — We think one of the most interesting questions about retirement is where people decide to retire – and why. In this short poll we list a number of potential reasons why someone might prefer one area to another, and ask you to rank them in order of how important they are to you. Plus we added a question on how important the political atmosphere of an area is to your retirement decision, just to see what might come back. We will use the anonymous data from the survey as the basis of an article published in the next few weeks – should be interesting!

TAKE THE POLL!

PS – If you have suggestions about this poll or other questions to add, please use the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on July 8th, 2018

How Will You Celebrate Your First Day of Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

June 28, 2018 — LakeSinclair (LS) posted this challenging comment on the Topretirements Forum last week: “I’m eight days away from retirement after being a college administrator for 40 years. Any thoughts on a particularly profound way to spend my first day?”

What a great question, thanks LS. It is worthy of a lot of thought. Part of the answer has to do with how far you have come in your pre-retirement planning. If you did a good job of that, then Day 1 can be even more celebratory. You know where you are going to retire, how you are going to stay busy, and you are confident you are on a path to a financially secure retirement. If your planning is not so far along, or maybe not even started yet, then perhaps (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 26th, 2018

Finding a Purpose in Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

By Craig Blouin
April 13, 2018 — The warm, inviting glow of retirement on the horizon motivated me as I moved toward it during my last years in the workaday world. I’d put a good many miles on the roadway of life up to this point and now there was a sweeping curve up ahead. I sure wanted to have a look at what was around the other side.

Those last few miles seemed to take an inordinately long time to get through. But then I was there, the promised land: Retirement! After a rousing send-off by my work colleagues — either sad or delighted to see me go — finally it’s the first day of the rest of my life. Great! … So now what?

I’m not usually a goal-oriented sort of person, even though many years ago I’d attended a Covey Institute intensive workshop at the Sundance (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 12th, 2018