Retirement Lessons Learned: A Former Retirement Community Chaplain Shares

Category: Retirement Planning

March 8, 2017 — In this article we hear from Bill Painter, who served for over 30 years as Chaplain/Spiritual Director at Judson Park, a Seattle area Continuing  Care Retirement Community (CCRC), before retiring. Bill is an ordained American Baptist minister, clinically trained for health care ministry. He offers valuable insights into retirement life and its challenges, gained from many years of experience. We particularly like his case studies, which bring the points alive. This article is a good recommendation for choosing a CCRC with a spiritual resource like him on staff.

Q 1 What was your role at Judson Park?
I served as Chaplain/Spiritual Director at Judson Park for over 30 years. A CCRC is a community for elders serving residents in independent residential, assisted living, 24 hour skilled nursing care and memory support.

My primary role was to provide spiritual support for residents, families and team (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 7th, 2017

Breaking Away – When the Rubber Hit the Road in Jeff’s Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

February 27, 2016 — Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of Jeff’s retirement saga. Last month we published his account of How a Minnesota Boy Came to be Retired in the Heart of the South. This installment provides more of the decisions made and surprises encountered when he actually pulled the trigger on his retirement.

By Jeff Alden:
I closed my office last July after thirty-five years practicing law in Minneapolis. For several years, my wife and I had talked about where and when we might retire. We read about and discussed different options, but never got further than the obvious: wherever we landed, it had to be on one floor. We even made a few exploratory trips and talked about the possibility of moving to those places. Almost right up to the last moment, it didn’t seem that we were really getting anywhere. Talk is cheap. But when we finally pulled the plug on our previous life, things happened fast. Kaboom! Like that.

I once had a law professor who liked to maintain that certain situations are “action-forcing.” If A happens, B must follow. Our transition to retirement was a case in point — the product of a series of forced actions on steroids.

My office lease was set to renew in August if I didn’t terminate it by May. In a very real sense, that lease called my bluff. If I was serious about retiring, why would (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 26th, 2017

Take This Quiz: Are You Ready to Retire – Or Not?

Category: Retirement Planning

January 15, 2017 — Not everybody wants to retire, even if that is the popular expectation. Many more people, even though they are old enough, aren’t ready to retire yet. This article will help you determine if retirement is right for you, and if this is a good time to do it.

Retirement is a big step and one that is hard to reverse. (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 14th, 2017

My Big Southern Retirement Adventure

Category: Retirement Planning

Editor’s note: Over a period of years we watched our friends Jeff and Paulette get ready for retirement. They thought about it a lot, made field trips, and discussed it thoroughly. Not without a little trepidation, their careful plans to retire to Greenville, SC came to pass this last summer. We are very pleased that Jeff was willing to contribute his account of how a Minnesota boy came to be retired in the heart of the South.

By Jeff Alden:
January 6, 2017 — I first started coming to the Upstate of South Carolina in the seventies to visit my future wife’s family on holidays. She was a young professor at the University of Minnesota, where I was in graduate school. I grew up in St. Paul and never questioned that I’d spend the rest of my days up North, in the country I knew so well. But every Christmas or Thanksgiving, we’d travel down to Greenville to spend time with her folks (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 5th, 2017

10 Years Later – What We’ve Learned About Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

Nov. 29, 2016 — Your editor has been retired 10 years now. And over that time he has written hundreds of articles that freely dispensed advice about retirement to tens of thousands of people. So what, if anything, has he learned during this decade, and what advice would he give anyone ready to enter retirement?

First of all, let me say how great it has been to be part of the community all this time. The people I have met online and their wisdom and comments since the site began in late 2006 have been amazing in so many ways. Thank you to everyone in the Topretirements community, you guys have been so (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 29th, 2016

Part 3: Even More Retirement Planning Stories – Christina, Nancy, Ben, Kent, Craig, and Dennis

Category: Retirement Planning

September 12, 2106 — We are very grateful to the many folks who agreed to tell us their retirement planning stories, along with suggestions for improving Topretirements and ideas for articles. Here in Part 3 are six more interesting and varied adventures! See “For Further Reading at Bottom” for links to Parts 1 and 2, which generated lots and lots of Member Comments.
Note: We edited down some of the comments to fit here but have tried not to change the sense of the input we received.

From Christina – Happy in Sun City Texas
Q: Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?

A: We lived in Southern California for 32 years. I was 54 and my husband was 63 when we became empty nesters. That’s when we sold our house and moved to (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 12th, 2016

3 More Retirement Planning Case Studies: Vic, Karen, and George

Category: Retirement Planning

Sept 3, 2016 — Today’s installment is Part 2 our series with 3 more Topretirements Members and their retirement planning stories. It is interesting how everyone has a different approach, experiences, goals, and results. You can find links to Part 1 and Part in the “Further Reading” section at end of article.

1. Vic Chooses Port Charlotte Based on Affordable Lifestyle
Vic: Although we have not yet moved to our retirement destination, Topretirements has played a key role in our strategy and planning. It is almost 5 years ago that a general Internet search resulted in subscribing to your email news feed. At that time, retirement was years away, but the concept of winding down our careers and taking the next step was becoming a frequent topic of conversation. This stage began not long after the adjustment to being “empty nesters” was firmly established. We found ourselves asking, “Who are we” or perhaps, “Who WERE we” and can we be those people again?

Our decision to purchase our eventual home four years before (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 2nd, 2016

Case Study: How Robert and Jan Planned Their Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

August 30, 2016 — One of our longstanding Members, Robert M, suggested that we interview our early subscribers who are still members and see how Topretirements and its community have helped them over the years. This is his and his wife Jan’s retirement planning story – which is still going on. Even though they have been with Topretirements almost 10 years, they are still 5 years away from pulling the trigger. We admire their planning spirit! We hope that their experience will prove useful to all of our members in suggesting ways to improve their retirement planning. Thanks Robert and Jan, it has been great to read how real people manage the retirement process (and thank you for your many kind comments)! Several other folks who responded to our interview request will be publishing their retirement stories in the near future.

Take it away Robert. We have tried to provide links to some of the features mentioned for your convenience.

Q: When and how did you discover Topretirements?
A: Looking at my files where I printed stuff off it looks like I found your site in late 2007/early 2008. I found it through looking for information on retirement and various states. Back then we decided we need to (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 29th, 2016

Baby Boomer’s Retirement Survival Guide

Category: Retirement Planning

August 9, 2016 — If you are retired or just about to retire, congratulations – this retirement survival guide is for you! You have earned your retirement – and we wish you the greatest happiness. This survival article will give you some basic guidelines for making it the happy and successful time it was meant to be. We have tried to take a broad approach to retirement survival, going beyond the financial component that is the focus of many ‘survival” books. If you search online you will find lots of “retirement survival kits” for sale – the gag gifts they contain are fun, but this piece is meant to be a little more practical! You will note that for each topic we have included a link or two to more articles that give you more depth.

Make a Plan
Everything goes better with a plan. Having a thought out approach with specific (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 9th, 2016

Pre-Retirees Underestimate How Soon They Will Retire – By up to 7 Years

Category: Retirement Planning

July 26 , 2016 — A recent study of those who are about to retire vs. people who have already retireed reveals a sobering fact – pre-retirees tend to dramatically underestimate when they will retire. That underestimate is huge – between 5 and 7 years. While it displays a healthy desire to keep working, it does not appear to be realistic, given the experience of those who have retired before them.

The main finding of the study is that in the USA actual retirees saved, on average, 28 years for retirement. Pre-retirees, however, say they will save for 35 years, 7 years higher. To some extent the higher figure reflects caution and better savings intentions. But for most of them, the study concludes, it is wishful thinking.

The survey, “Future of Retirement – Generations and Journeys” was done by HSBC and covers many other retirement issues. While some people are happy to retire before their planned start date, many are not. A big reason why is that missing out on years of work means more meager retirement savings, 401(k) balances, Social Security payments, and pension payouts. And that usually results in a retirement that is not as financially secure as planned.

Many reasons why you might retire sooner than you think
This is not the first study that reports people tend to retire sooner than they say the plan to (see Further Reading below). The reasons for earlier than planned retirement are often beyond (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 26th, 2016