Showcase Listing

Cresswind Charleston is Charleston-area's BEST active adult lifestyle community. Cresswind inspires active adults to live life to the ful...

Image
Showcase Listing

The Name CantaMia means "my song", and at this exceptional 55+ community in Goodyear, Arizona, we are playing your song.  Nestled in...

Image
Showcase Listing

Discover the distinct difference in active living, nestled within the scenic beauty of historic DeLand, Florida at Cresswind at Victoria ...

Image
Showcase Listing

Holiday Island, located in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, is a planned community situated at the edge of 53,000 acre Table Ro...

Image
Showcase Listing

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

Image
Showcase Listing

Life at Heritage Shores is full of amenities, activities and social opportunities. When you live here, each day can be as active or laid ...

Image

Financial Survey Results Show Much Higher Retirement Confidence and Savings

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 22, 2019 — Have you been wondering how your retirement investments and strategies stack up to other people in your situation? Do you make the same types of investments as others… use a financial advisor… think you saved enough? Well, thanks to the almost 500 members who took the time to contribute their valuable data and insights to last week’s “The State of Your Retirement Portfolio” survey, you will know the answers to a lot of these questions. Special thanks to all contributors to the survey – we appreciate you giving back to this community!

As promised, here is a detailed report on the survey. It includes a link to 100 interesting Member comments to the survey. And you will find a list of all our previous survey reports at the end of the article.

Background
This is the second time we have asked for data about your retirement investments and expectations. Here are the highlights from the most recent 14 question poll, with comparisons to the 2015 survey results when available. Detailed findings for each question are listed below that.

(more…)
Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2019

Retirement Planning 101 – An Online Course: List of Modules

Category: Retirement 101 Course

February 28, 2019 — We thought it would be a good idea to have a central page where all of the various Modules in our Retirement Planning 101 Course would be listed. So here is that list. As new modules are produced we will include them here. When we produced Module 1 (Introduction) you generated a raft of suggestions for the course. Here is a “Summary of Course Suggestions“.

The course is free and can be taken in almost any order (after Module 1). There are many interactive features and homework assignments. Module 4, for example, is an online quiz that will give you a score on your retirement preparation.

The Modules

Comments, anyone: We would love to hear your comments and suggestions on the course, including what should (and perhaps should not) be included in the course. See also the “Many comments Made So Far” in this article .

Posted by Admin on February 27th, 2019

Retirement Preparation Quiz Results

Category: Retirement 101 Course

February 20, 2019 — By now you have hopefully taken our online “Retirement Preparation Quiz” and seen your score. If you haven’t, you can take it here. Please realize that the original passing score (70%) was chosen subjectively – your opinion of the state of your retirement preparation is undoubtedly better than ours. We hope that by presenting the questions and reasons for the correct answers you can increase your understanding of retirement preparation. Note that for most of the questions we have provided a link to an article on that topic so you can explore it in greater detail.

Notes about the results

Almost 1100 people had taken the quiz as of Feb. 26. The average score for everyone taking the test was about 69%. That prompted us to lower the “passing” grade to 60% (from 70%), since many of the factual questions were difficult. In addition, for some of the questions that had more than 2 choices (e.g.; yes, no, somewhat) more than one answer might be considered acceptable. We have posted the percentage (%) of people who got each question right next the correct answers.

The questions that were most often missed were #3 and #8. Number 3 asked which of three investments had the best guarantee of income. Only 39% selected the “correct” answer, annuity, probably because people didn’t realize the key word was “income”, and assumed we meant “return”. Number 8, age of breakeven for delaying SS until age 70, was answered correctly by only 34%. We can see why, because not all experts agree on the consensus answer of 81-82. All of the questions we asked about progress on preparation and/or discussion with spouse/family members had strong results, usually 80% or better. That is good news, indicating that there is a lot of planning and discussing going on. Somewhat distressing were the responses to questions 9 and 10 on wills and health care directives. Almost one third of quiz takers do not have one or the other of those, so it is time for them to get busy on those important tasks. Only about half (53%) have spent time thinking about “late” retirement. The questions with the highest % of correct answers were those that had to do with planning on what type of community or home they want to live in – 90% or more said they had.

Question 01 
What is the average life expectancy of a woman and a man aged 65 years?

90 and 86

87 (woman) and 84 (man) – Correct (64%)

80 and 77

Comment: If you manage to live to the age of 65 you still have a long way to go – on average! This is a good thing to know when you consider when to take Social Security and budget your retirement – outliving your money is not pleasant. (Note: We added the age of a woman to this question following a Member suggestion).

(more…)
Posted by Admin on February 19th, 2019

Your Suggestions: Retirement 101 Course

Category: Retirement 101 Course

January 23, 2019 —   We had so many wonderful suggestions (48 comments in all!) on the future direction of our Retirement 101 Course (Module 1) – thank you! They were so helpful that we felt it important to summarize them here. This is a list of all the current “Retirement 101 Training Modules“.

We had proposed 17 different potential modules for the course. The idea was that people could take as many as they felt they needed for their retirement planning preparation. The comments contained solid endorsement and/or additional ideas on six of our seventeen. But even better, you suggested seven topics we hadn’t thought of, and all of them were interesting. Another way to look at these suggestions is that they are a great reflection of people’s concerns about retirement – the topics that keep people up at night!

The new topics that got the most interest were “retiring without a lot of money”, “being single in retirement”, “loneliness and social relationships in retirement”, and “the family bind/sandwich/family relationships”. Interesting that so many have to do with the social aspect of retirement, a topic that gets overlooked in retirement planning. We have selected some of the representative suggestions below (and as you will see, they were great!). Of course, we welcome more ideas for the series too!

(more…)
Posted by Admin on January 22nd, 2019

Retirement Planning 101 – Module 1: An Online Retirement Training Course

Category: Retirement 101 Course

January 1, 2019 — We’ve heard it said before that new parents shouldn’t have their new babies released to them until they have passed a child rearing class. Something similar might be said for retirees – retirement is far too important a project to undertake without some education and training. With that said we are undertaking a multipart online training class on retirement preparation. As we imagine it, this online course will be good for people to take years before they actually pull the retirement trigger.  We also hope is that it might provide refresher training for those who are already enjoying their retirements. Please let us know what you think of the idea!

At this point we are not sure how many modules the course will contain – that will determined by your reactions.  The course will have several elements that we hope you find fun and helpful. For example, the Comments sections will include some discussion questions. There might be some simple assignments like filling in checklists, or drafting a note to your partner outlining some part of your retirement dream. And there will be at least a couple of quizzes you can fill out online and check how well you are doing.  If you complete the course you can send us a note and we will send you a “Certificate of Completion” for your edification. 

(more…)

Posted by Admin on December 31st, 2018

Top Retirement Regrets And Concerns – What Are Yours?

Category: Retirement Planning

December 19, 2018 — Retirement is not always perfect, even for the people who are the most prepared for it.  Our Member surveys indicate that most of the people who visit this website are very satisfied with their retirement, but there is almost always room for improvement.  So when saw a recent survey from Global Atlantic that listed the top three retirement regrets, we were curious.  Particularly, we wanted to compare the regrets in that survey with the results from our own surveys, asking about retirement satisfaction. After you read our comparison we hope you will all provide us comments about your retirement regrets and concerns (as well as what is great about it)!

The survey from Global Atlantic was concerned mostly with  financial regrets.  Our surveys were broader than that, exploring all types of concerns and worries, not just financial. Note that there is a semantic differences between regrets and concerns, although both have negative connotations. Regrets seem to be about the past, and concerns/worries are more present and future. 

(more…)
Posted by Admin on December 18th, 2018

Ideal Snowbird Pairings and More: Fascinating Comments from Our Survey

Category: Retirement Planning

December 5, 2018 — This is Part 2 of our report on our recent Snowbird Survey. Part 1, “Florida is Favorite Snowbird Destination“, contained the detailed results on the survey’s first 9 questions. This installment is mostly made up of verbatim comments detailing where people snowbird to, and how they get there. Because these are actual comments from real people on this issue, we think you will find it a great source of ideas and comparisons to your own thoughts and experiences.

This article has three sections: Section 1 will start will overall observations, Section 2 is a sampling of 351 overall comments made to Question 10, “Anything More to Say”, and Section 3 has a link to all 166 comments made to Question 8, “How Hard Was It to Find a Place to Snowbird”.

Section 1: Observations
Driving vs. Flying. More people drive to their snowbird destination than fly; the ratio is about 3 to 1 in favor of driving. Top reasons for driving include: having a car at the destination, more room for stuff, taking pets, and visiting/exploring on the way are . Avoiding a multi-day, long drive is a top reason for flying. Many people who fly either keep a car at the destination, or have the car driven down.

East vs. West snowbirds. As is usually the case with Topretirements surveys, the majority of our audience is east coast based, mostly from the Northeast or Midwest. Although there were some folks who cross the Mississippi to either (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 4th, 2018

Florida Top Choice for Snowbirds, But Many Migration Paths Lead to Happiness

Category: Retirement Planning

November 26, 2018 — Thanks to the almost 700 members who generously contributed their insights to last week’s “Snowbird” poll. We appreciate you sharing! As promised, here in Part 1 is our first detailed report on the summary for each question. Part 2 features a compilation of the most popular snowbird pairings (where our Members say they want to snowbird to, and from where), along with how they get there and other details of their migrations.

Highlights
Your input confirms many of our pre-conceived opinions, along with some surprises. For example, it is not news that the top snowbird destination states are Florida, Arizona, and South Carolina – in that order. But we were surprised by how many people have a reverse migration pattern; they pack up and go somewhere cooler in the summer. One Member called himself a “sweatbird”, “shadebird” might be another handle!

(more…)
Posted by Admin on November 26th, 2018

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