May 29, 2020 — Due to an unfortunate error on our part, a significant number of our most active subscribers were accidentally deleted from the rolls of our “Best Places to Retire” enewsletter subscribers. While we were able to add many of you back, there are probably several thousand that were not included. We miss you!
Please come back!
The system we use to mail our various enewsletters, Mail Chimp, is generally pretty good (although we were very unhappy that they made it so easy to delete all of you). To protect people like you from unscrupulous mailers there is an extra layer of protection that makes it very difficult to sign up again for our newsletter once you have been deleted. But there are a couple of good ways you can get back on the subscriber rolls. The easiest is to post a simple Comment at the end of this article that says “Please Subscribe me to this newsletter”, and we can sign you up again (it has to be that long or the Comment won’t “take”). No one will be able to see your email address except for us). Or, send an email using the “Contact Us” form that contains the message “Subscribe”. Either way it will take a week, but you will be back on the list! Thanks to everyone for their patience.
PS – there is duplicate control so you don’t have to worry you are signing up for 2 copies.
By Flo Williamson – Frequent contributor and Site Monitor at Topretirements
May 27, 2020 — Who knows when this Covid-19 pandemic will end, and what life will look like in the future? Besides the tragic loss of life, lost jobs, and lost income, there is a sense of loss and questioning for many retirees or those close to it, as to what the future holds during the time we have left.
Reassessing our priorities has become unavoidable– what we thought we wanted our retirement to Look like, has become for many, what we need our retirement to be. For those of us wishing to relocate and possibly downsize that option has become more difficult. Besides the obvious difficulties in visiting, buying, and selling, I for one, am questioning my initial relocation choice.
February 25, 2020 — Retirement is a long, and potentially hazardous journey. Like any big trip, it requires a lot of advanced planning to stay safe and get the most enjoyment. So way before you hear a chorus of bon voyages, make sure you have mastered these 7 essential topics on retirement planning.
Your budget. Nobody is ready to retire until they understand what their budget looks like. Whether you use a financial planner or accountant, or do it yourself on a spreadsheet, you have to know if the input (your income) is going to match the output (what you are going to spend). The result of that exercise will help you determine answers to most of the other steps below – whether you can afford to quit working, where you’ll live, and what you will do to stay busy (travel, recreation, etc.) Whether the answer is great (you have enough to be comfortable in your desired lifestyle), or if it is not so good (serious shortfall ahead!), going through the budget exercise gives you a sound basis for decision making. This budget worksheet in csv format contains most of the items you need to consider when developing a budget.
December 25, 2019 — It is always interesting to see what articles at Topretirements generate the most readership and comments. Out of 94 Blog articles written in 2019, these are the 10 most popular. Subjects range everywhere from 401(k) changes to the 7 Deadly Sins of Retirement. Let us know your favorites, along with any ideas for future topics you might us to tackle. To drill down on your areas of interest, you can always explore the Blog Categories on the right hand side of the page.
October 22, 2019 — Sometimes the best advice is right in front of your nose. That revelation hit us while researching a new article on retirement preparation and happiness. As we read past Member comments on various Blog articles, we found an unbelievable trove of collective wisdom! Small wonder, as you are the folks actually living and experiencing retirement – you know the territory.
So, rather than us trying to reinvent the wheel, here is a recent sample of wisdom-filled retirement preparation advice from the people who frequent Topretirements. We apologize if we didn’t select one of yours, because undoubtedly we missed many good ones and didn’t have the room for others. This is just a tiny sample, so we encourage you to go through the “Planning” category on our Blog where there are hundreds and hundreds of great comments on all kinds of retirement topics. Also, you might consider taking our “Retirement Preparation” Quiz to get an idea of the state of your planning (see “Further Reading” at bottom).
Your Wise Comments! (comment and who contributed it in ( ) )
I love retirement and wish I had retired earlier. (bill shan)
September 17, 2019 — A special Retirement supplement in the New York Times was filled with sage advice about baby boomer retirements. The Sept. 12 section had articles on topics like finances, the new retirement, finding purpose, etc. ( See link at end, you might also find it in your library). The experts and retired people interviewed there (some quoted below) sparked a whole raft of new thoughts about retirement. Particularly, it made us realize how retirement is such a different experience from any other phase of life. Retirement might even be harder, mainly because it requires a great deal of self-initiative to do it right. Here are some of our new thoughts on the retirement process.
No ritual. The founder of consulting company Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald, points out that there is a ritual associated with most of the events in our lives, but not retirement. When you started school your mother probably took you out to buy clothes, and the whole family waited for the bus to pick you up. The process of going to college meant you took tests, visited campuses, got counseling, and if lucky, had parents who gave plenty of advice. Graduations were fraught with ceremony. But on the day you retire, you might be lucky to go out for drinks with colleagues. The next day all the trappings and structure of 40 years of working disappear.
“In retirement you are in a class of one; it’s a life test with no text and no teacher”
August 27, 2019 — Seven seems to be the magic number when it comes to sacraments, dwarfs, and deadly sins. In this article we will pose our seven retirement sins – the worst mistakes you can make in retirement – the kind of error that can ruin even the most carefully thought out retirement. We hope you will add your own ideas for sins – based on your own experience.
Retire too early. Sure, many people have it in their head to retire as soon as they can. For many it is a good move, for others it is a disaster. By working longer you can save more money, have to finance fewer years with your savings, and increase your Social Security benefits. Even if you do have enough money to retire you might still not be happy. Which leads us to the next point. SEE MORE BLOG POSTS
August 6, 2019 — Perhaps the most fundamental question you face in retirement is to move or not. You might be considering retiring from the midwest, for example, to the Sunbelt. Or from the suburbs to a city or active adult community. You decision might not mean moving far; perhaps just relocating to a more age-appropriate home in the area where you live now. Whatever you decide, we think that if you are going to do a good job of retiring, you need to answer the question.
As for where to retire, that is mostly what this site is about. We’ve written all kinds of articles about the possibilities, with reviews of thousands of towns and communities to explore. So in this one we are going to try to answer some of the questions that might come up as you think about whether you should move or not. (Thanks to Jeanette Pavini of TheStreet.com for posing these questions we answered in an article at TheStreet.com)
Q: How should someone determine if they should stay in their current home/location to retire, or if they should consider moving?/
A: As we said up top, this is a hugely important question for retirees. The type of home you live in and where it is located can have a profound impact on your retirement lifestyle. Most people are comfortable living where they have always lived, so it is a big deal to consider moving. There is hassle, expense, and the fear and uncertainty of moving to the unknown. Your social life will be majorly affected.
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.
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.
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 .