A “Next Chapter” – Afloat

Category: Adventurous retirement

By John Andola
May 15, 2018 — Just days from my 80th birthday, I am engaging in a major life style change. One that brings both serious stress for the present and potential promise for the future. Leaving our rental house of seven years and ridding our lives of tangible connections with past life, George and I are embarking on an adventure that will literally bring us to the next chapter in our lives. Literally, because we have commissioned the building of a new boat which we will live aboard full time, and that we have named Next Chapter.

At 35 feet, Next Chapter is ten feet longer than our treasured Grumpy Old Men, which we hope to sell within the next couple of months. But more about the new boat at a later posting. Here the focus is on the physical and mental transition through (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 14th, 2018

When Amenity Rich Is Not the Answer

Category: Active adult communities

This excellent suggestion came in from Pamela: “Please consider writing an article for people who don’t want to live in an amenity-rich community, and how frustrating it is trying to buy a home because that’s all that is being built? I’d love your perspective on this dilemma and any suggestions you may have. It would also be interesting to see the type of comments you get from your subscribers”. We hope her request will generate the usual amount of great comments from our Members. Here is her request, along with some of our thoughts.

May 9, 2018 — I’m an active adult baby boomer, but I can find my own fun. I don’t want to live in a 24-hour resort with a full-time lifestyle director, lavish clubhouses, fitness centers, numerous pools, tennis courts, bocce ball, playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields, etc. I’ve been paying for a manned gate and other amenities that mainly cater to families for a long time, and I’m sick of it. I’d love to find a simple, small and quaint community in Southwest Florida without all that stuff. It would be nice to find something maintenance free so I don’t have to deal with yard work, but I’d be happy to just find something without all the amenities.

I truly feel this is an expensive fad that baby boomers are going to regret because of the extremely high fees and those fees will be even higher when the builder is done (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 9th, 2018

The Invisible Retirement Wrecker

Category: Health Issues

May 9, 2018 — Maybe it is just timing, but we seem to be having more and more interactions with people who are very lonely. A widower and good friend admitted that, after feeling sorry for himself, he broke one of his own rules and went out to a bar by himself for a beer and pizza. Just this weekend we ran into an old friend, also a widower, who was visibly very upset. He was near tears as he described how he can’t seem to meet anyone that he would like to spend time with. Even on this site last week we had a post from a Member expressing her helplessness after the sudden loss of her husband. Almost three quarters of Americans have feelings of loneliness, according to a survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association. As many as one-third say (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 8th, 2018

Tough Questions: Mixed Results from Our ‘Social Security IQ Quiz’

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

May 2, 2018 — Even though the average scores were quite low on last week’s Social Security IQ Quiz, there is still plenty of good news. Best of all, we are happy that so many people, over 2,000 and climbing, took the time to take it last week. It wasn’t easy, particularly with its occasionally tricky multiple choice options. But after having taken it, gotten a score, read the answers, and understanding why they were correct – a lot of people now have a better understanding of this critical retirement benefit. Hurrah!

In this article we are going to cover the highlights of the quiz and how our test takers did on it. We won’t go into the nuts and bolts of every answer, because we already provided all the correct answers and explanations at Your Social Security Quiz Results.

Overall scores
The average score on the quiz was 50%. Of the 2046 taking it as of (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 1st, 2018

South Carolina’s 10 Most Popular Active Adult and 55+ Communities

Category: Active adult communities

May 1, 2018 — Many baby boomers are headed to a South Carolina retirement. The State is considered fairly tax-friendly for retirees and offers a mild winter climate (see our Retirement Guide to South Carolina). Some of the big draws are towns with multiple communities designed for active baby boomers, attractive real estate prices, and a lower cost of living. South Carolina has also gained attention for attracting “halfbacks”, the so-called retirees who moved from the north to Florida, only to become disillusioned and move “halfway back” home to the Carolinas. This article highlights the 10 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in South Carolina, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. A few weeks ago we published a list of the 10 Most Popular Active Communities in North Carolina.

Posted by Admin on April 30th, 2018

Don’t Get Painful Shingles: New Vaccine Is 90% Effective!

Category: Health Issues

April 25, 2018 — Have you known someone who contracted shingles, a painful disease related to the chicken pox? If so you understand why this is a disease you don’t want. Our brother came down with shingles in early March and is still battling it. He described the pain in his head, where his shingles was located, as like being jammed up against a cactus – not fun! But there is good news for everyone (because you can get shingles more than once). You can prevent shingles with a new vaccine, Shingrix, that was approved by the FDA last October.

Up until recently there was a shingles vaccine, Zostavax, that people over (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 24th, 2018

Take the Quiz: What Is Your Social Security IQ

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

April 21, 2018 — For most Americans, their Social Security retirement benefits are a critical part of retirement. So here is an important thing to remember about Social Security – IT IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL – YOU HAVE OPTIONS – AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME IMPORTANT DECISIONS. Those mostly revolve around when to take it – the way you decide that question will have a significant effect on on the rest of your financial life.

We find there is a fairly shocking lack of knowledge about Social Security. People tend not to know how their benefits are calculated, and they don’t realize how big a difference there is in the benefits, depending on when you take it. To help you get the most out of your benefit we have prepared a 13 question quiz on Social Security. The quiz is pretty challenging. The good news is that even if you don’t ace it, going through the process of taking the quiz, and then using our point by point explanation of each answer will be very educational. You’ll get pretty much all the knowledge you need about your benefits and options.

Note: We developed a similar quiz in 2014 and over 7500 people took it. Most did pretty well. But since then there have been some important changes to Social Security, hence this new quiz. We developed it ourselves; it does not represent anything official from the Social Security Administration, which is the ultimate arbiter of the rules concerning your benefits.

Here is the link to the Social Security quiz

Test prep: To maximize your learning experience, we strongly recommend that you read one of these articles first, then take the quiz, then look at the answers. (After you take the quiz you will see a link to the answers).

Social Security Overview
What You Don’t Know About Social Security Could Hurt You

Take the Quiz!

Comments? Let us know what you think about this quiz. Should we do more, and on what subject(s) – was it too hard? Any of the questions unfair? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below. We will also report on the results in next week’s newsletter.

Note: The answers and commentary are hard to get back to once you go off that page – so if you want to go back to them, here is the answers/comments link (no cheating!).

Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2018

Your Results: How Did You Do on Our Social Security IQ Test

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Thanks for taking our Social Security Quiz. (If you haven’t taken it already, here is the link to the Quiz). To make sure you don’t miss out on useful tools and information like this, sign up for our Free weekly Best Places enewsletter.

Overall results
It is clear this was a hard quiz – Social Security is complicated. The average score after more than 2,000 people took it is 50%. Of the 13 questions, more people in aggregate got the correct answer than not. There were, however, 2 questions that most people missed (by a narrow margin). See Question 3 (how Social Security calculates your benefit – (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 20th, 2018

North Carolina’s 10 Most Popular Active Adult and 55+ Communities

Category: Active adult communities

April 17, 2018 — The allure of North Carolina for retirement seems to be gaining momentum every day. It is considered fairly tax-friendly for retirees and offers a milder winter climate than states in the Midwest and Northeast (see our Retirement Guide to North Carolina). A big draw is attractive real estate prices and cost of living. When it comes to finding a place to live, it offers an amazing array of towns, cities, and active adult and 55+ communities. North Carolina has also gained attention for attracting “halfbacks”, the so-called retirees who moved from the north to Florida, only to become disillusioned and move “halfway back” home to the Carolinas. This article highlights the 10 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in North Carolina, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. In the next few weeks we will produce the list of the 10 most popular active communities in South Carolina.

Posted by Admin on April 17th, 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