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Downsizing, Renting, Affordability Dominate Your Survey and Poll Suggestions

Category: General Retirement Issues

June 4, 2013 — Thanks to the 41 (and counting) creative members who took the time to provide suggestions for future Topretirements surveys, polls, and articles. Besides giving us solid direction on the areas we should concentrate on to serve you better, you have thought of ideas that we never would have! Note: As the weeks pass since we wrote this summary, we have developed articles on many of these topics. Where we have done that, we have included a link to the article.

Our plan is to write about the the top ideas in the coming weeks, starting with the one we just finished, “12 Steps to Successful Downsizing“. Many of these ideas don’t lend themselves to online surveys – but they are perfect as vehicles to generate member comments. And since your comments are so interesting, please comment away. If anyone cares to submit quotes about your experiences on any of these topics for inclusion in future articles, feel free to email us! Lastly, on those topics mentioned that we have previously written about, we are providing a link so you can satisfy your early curiosity.

Here were the top ideas
Downsizing and Moving (see new article, “12 Steps to Downsizing Success“)

Snowbird Pairs (the best combinations of winter and summer residences)
– See the article we just wrote following up on this suggestion: “Your Best Place to Retire: Ideal Snowbird Combinations“. Also”Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist“.

Renting (How to find, for the winter, or permanently)
See Buy, Rent, or Stay

Affordable Communities (Including what to expect to pay for various components)
See “10 Very Affordable and Highly Livable Communities
“Sandy’s Adventures: How to Find an Affordable Community for the Winter”

Retirement for Single People (also for women)
– See Best Retirement Places for Singles

Other Ideas
Staying Put (See “The Case for Staying Right Where You Are Now“)
Full Time RVing (See our 6 Part series by Betty Fitterman, beginning with “Living the Mobile Lifestyle”)

Local Culture and Diversity
Experiences Selling Your Home
Co-housing (See Co-housing article)
Scenic Places to Retire
Retirement with Children
Survey Real Prices Paid to Live in a Community
Buying Health Care Insurance (See “Your Early Retirement: What Are You Going to Do About Health Insurance“)
Sandwich Generation
How to Find a Good Financial Advisor (see “Why, And How, to Pick Your Financial Advisor“)

Comments: Do you have more ideas for future surveys, polls, and articles – we would love to see them. You can post them in the Comments section below. And if you want to comment about your experiences with any of these topics so we can use it in a future article, feel free!

Posted by Admin on June 4th, 2013


  1. […] – We have published the results of your suggestions in this summary article. But please keep your ideas […]

    by » Wanted: Your Member Input and Survey Topics! Topretirements — June 4, 2013

  2. I would like more emphasis on political views and religious views of retirement cities along with more climate information.

    by — June 5, 2013

  3. You’ve included interests in women, singles, etc., I’d like to see an article on the cultural diversity of retirement communities. As an African American, I have found some communities not particularly friendly or welcoming. I’d like to learn about communities that value diversity and are made up of diverse groups. I understand this may be difficult, as I don’t expect communities to say they are “not open”, however demographic data can be helpful.

    by Joyce Coffman — June 5, 2013

  4. viva, you can get political and religious snapshots by zip code at Lots of other info there too.

    by Julie — June 6, 2013

  5. Even if one reads about “diversity” of a certain area/place, one still needs to visit (and if possible stay for extended period) to get the real “feel” of a place. Just because there are people there with same sex, color, whatever, does no mean they share same religious, political, wealth as yourself … or in which you would be “comfortable.” I know that I could say that I want to be near VA hospital because of ex-military status; however, my views on war, or even one particular one, might not “jell” with other vets … we all had different experiences (even if we were in the same war, in-country vs. stateside, in the field vs. REMF, even same unit (HQ vs RECON company), branch of services, etc., etc. The same is true of sexes, sexual preference, racial, etc. I guess TOLERANCE/RESPECT of differences is the key.

    by Mad Monk — June 6, 2013

  6. Well said, Monk!

    by Stacey — June 6, 2013

  7. Thanks for stating it so well, Monk! Hopefully the specific differences that you cited will be of little significance in retirement. Life is too short, as they say!

    by Sandy — June 7, 2013

  8. I still would like to hear more about doctor’s who accept new Medicare pts. I am healthy at least for now.

    Medical comment: In Virginia, the doctor, not you owns your medical records such as lab results. Probably meaningless to most, but I am curious if that is true in other states. It is the first state that I have lived in where that is true and it annoys me. Some will give you copies (for a price even if you had to pay for lab results)…some will tell you only what they think you should know.

    by Elaine — June 8, 2013

  9. […] for their ideas for future article subjects. We received some terrific suggestions (see “Downsizing, Renting, Affordability Dominate Your Suggestions“). This article is the second one we’ve written on those suggestions, following up on […]

    by » Best Places to Retire: Our Ideal Snowbird Pairings Topretirements — July 2, 2013

  10. As Mad Monk and others have pointed out, diversity does not equal tolerance. That is especially true today, as the effects of our economy reach all levels of society. With this new “mix” we have new challenges, many not covered by any kind of rules or legislation, or even local culture. The trick is to find a place that provides both the extrinsic and intrinsic values and characteristics you long for. Remember the wooden horse? Pass up potential surprises. The very best thing any of us can do is to actually go to the location and spend “meaningful” time there if at all possible, and also do a really thorough research of the area and surrounding areas. There is no such thing as perfection, but these 2 steps in addition to financial wisdom, will help you find something you, and your spouse or partner, can live with. Dr. Sinclair

    by DR SINCLAIR — July 3, 2013

  11. […] For further reference: See previous survey results on the Best and Worst Things about Retirement, Buckets Lists, Retirement Housing Preferences, and more. This is a link to your suggestions about future article topics. […]

    by » Adventurous Topretirements Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves Topretirements — August 6, 2013

  12. It would be very interesting to hear from those who have ALREADY retired or moved, rather from those PLANNING to retire or move. This would provide us with people’s actual experience rather than anticipated experience.

    Editors note: I think if you look at the comments from the survey you will see that many if not most are from people who have actually retired

    by Jeanne — August 8, 2013

  13. Jeane,
    We are halfway through our move, buying a vacation home a couple of years ago that was in need of fixing up, and will move in to full time on retirement in a couple of years. The upper 550SF has been just about finished, and we have moved furniture in gradually as we go down to enjoy the property. I’m just using our minivan for the moves. Also bought new appliances, as even the kitchen had to be gutted, and had them delivered and installed by Lowes who does that for “free.” The 150 SF guest house is just about done and I’ll move some more furniture up then, followed by the 720SF lower level that should be done by the end of the year. Meanwhile our originally over cluttered primary home has been getting more organized, both as we bring furniture down to our retirement home to be and as we spend 1 hour a week getting rid of clutter, realizing the place we are headed is not that large. When we sell our current residence in a couple of years, there will be very little to move, with most things being cleared out by an auction co or picked up by one of the many non-profits that do that in this area.

    I confess I have never had to do an instant move from place A to B in one single trip, and I never want to have to do so. We spent 11 years looking for our vacation/retirement home, 4 in this specific location, and were fortunate to pick up a perfectly located place for a great price at the bottom of the market. It has been a royal pain rehabbing a place that is a 6 hour drive away, and we were surprised how it was hard to get a decent contractor even in this economy. Fortunately I am pretty handy so I’ve taken to doing quite a bit of the rehab myself. No doubt it helps that we are also younger than typical retirement age, but if less physically able we would just hire out the loading and unloading of the van to some of the young men in both neighborhoods.

    I am a planner, I guess, and hate to be rushed in anything I do. Having sold real estate, I’ve watched too many people try to move out and in on the same day, and see the stress they go through, not to mention the problems they face when one of the closings fails. I am willing to pay the (in this case) surprisingly very small price to carry the costs of two houses and move in gradually. YMMV, but for us the process has begun.

    by Julie — August 9, 2013

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